Ephesians– overview of 3:1-9; tapping into the power of God, part 13.
Sunday November 10, 2019
Human power, which is minus God’s power, inevitably has self as its ultimate goal, and so results in sin.
Freedom is the use of God’s power in everything. Freedom is the ability to do good in every situation, especially the very unexpected ones.
Gal 5:13 For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.
Gal 5:14 For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word [utterance], in the statement, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."
Jesus is the One who fulfilled the Law, and He did it on the cross by applying “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
For the word of the cross is to those who are perishing foolishness, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
Gal 5:15 But if you bite and devour one another, take care lest you be consumed by one another.
And then, once again, we find the Holy Spirit appear in a passage dealing with our work and duty in God’s kingdom.
Gal 5:16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.
The desire of the flesh is not only immoral sin but also to work the law.
When people talk about morality they are generally interested in fair play or harmony between people. But what they don’t want to discuss is another, and most important, part of morality, and that is the condition of the people within themselves. People usually want to say that what they do cannot be wrong because it’s not hurting anyone else.
Concern only with harmony between people leads to law making, which important and necessary as it is, does not guarantee a good society. We make laws governing how we should treat one another, and God gave mankind the greatest one of these. And we find that all nations and societies more or less agree on them. No culture hails cowardice, or thievery, or murder. All people agree that you shouldn’t take another man’s wife, or make another man your slave. But what is so often missed is that laws do not make people good.
Law does not make a man good. Bad people can follow laws.
Bad people follow laws because the consequences of breaking the law outweigh their lawlessness.
This is why the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, which isn’t a law – love. Deu 6:4-5 Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one! And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And Lev 19:18 you shall love your neighbor as yourself, I am the Lord.
The law alone provides no desire to follow it other than blessings and curses, which alone is a poor motivator. There was one motivation to follow the Law in the OT, and it was said every morning by every Jew, Deu 6:4-5. Love for God motivated men like David and the prophets.
What makes a person more obedient, the thunders of Sinai or the welcoming love of the prepared banquet in Zion?