Ephesians– overview of 3:1-9; tapping into the power of God, part 7.
Wednesday Oct. 30, 2019
Isa 26:1 In that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah:
"We have a strong city;
He sets up walls and ramparts for security.
Isa 26:2 "Open the gates, that the righteous nation may enter,
The one that remains faithful.
Isa 26:3 "The steadfast of mind Thou wilt keep in perfect peace,
Because he trusts in Thee.
Isa 26:4 "Trust in the Lord forever,
For in God the Lord, we have an everlasting Rock.
In vv. 1-4 the pilgrims arrive in the great day.
Isa 26:5 "For He has brought low those who dwell on high, the unassailable city;
He lays it low, He lays it low to the ground, He casts it to the dust.
Isa 26:6 "The foot will trample it,
The feet of the afflicted, the steps of the helpless."
Victory, in part, comes from the total defeat of the enemy.
Isa 26:7 The way of the righteous is smooth;
O Upright One, make the path of the righteous level.
Isa 26:8 Indeed, while following the way of Thy judgments [law], O Lord,
We have waited for Thee eagerly;
Thy name, even Thy memory, is the desire of our souls.
In vv. 7-8, we go back to human history (all ages) in which the pilgrims are making their way to Zion. They follow the path of the Upright One and follow the way of His commandments; they obey.
We have been examining the way in which we tap into the power to God – wisdom/understanding, obedience, and the Holy Spirit within.
Eph 3:4 And by referring to this, when you read you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ,
Eph 3:5 which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit;
Eph 3:6 to be specific, that the Gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel,
Eph 3:7 of which I was made a minister, according to the gift of God's grace which was given to me according to the working of His power.
It is knowing and understanding with insight that allows me to obey and therefore tap into the power of God.
Eph 1:8 In all wisdom and insight
Eph 1:9 He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him
Eph 1:10 with a view to an administration suitable to the fulness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things upon the earth.
His power working in me has to be in accordance with my own intellect, conscience, and will, or else it is not a part of me.
How could that possibly happen when my intellect or knowledge is void of God’s, or my conscience is void of His values, or my will is void of God’s own desires? It cannot.
I am to be consciously choosing God’s will, which is the only way that I can be obedient. Obedience can only happen when faith is its foundation. We put our faith in the revealed purpose of God, the revealed truth of God, which gives us wisdom and insight.
So, it is all on us? Not so fast. It is telling that some Christians seem to emphasize one or the other of the sources of power, when both should be equally emphasized. What is the other source?
Wisdom and insight through faith and obedience to God’s word…
God the Holy Spirit …
…is the inner source of power.
Eph 3:14 For this reason, I bow my knees before the Father,
Eph 3:15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name,
Eph 3:16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man;
This echoes Paul’s first recorded prayer:
Eph 1:18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,
Eph 1:19 and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe.
The source of power is the Holy Spirit working through the inner man.
How do I tap into this power? Obedience.
The power of God is in obedience. Sin is powerless. If we obey the commands then the Holy Spirit will empower us in the will of God.
With obedience is the power to love in the face of those who would otherwise make us fearful, bitter, angry, worried, or jealous.