Ephesians– overview of 3:1-9; tapping into the power of God, part 22.
Tuesday November 26, 2019
Is your love for the Lord enough that you want nothing more than to be like Him?
1Co 10:23 All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful, but not all things edify.
1Co 10:24 Let no one seek his own good, but that of his neighbor.
1Co 10:33 I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit, but the profit of the many, that they may be saved.
Even if something in the conscience is wrong it must be obeyed. Our goal for our conscience is enlightenment, not disobedience. If you disobey your conscience you will certainly be wrong. If we learn to disobey our conscience then we will disobey it when it is right.
1Co 9:24 Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win.
1Co 9:25 And everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.
1Co 9:26 Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air;
1Co 9:27 but I buffet my body and make it my slave, lest possibly, after I have preached to others, I myself should be disqualified.
Keep it simple: If you wish God’s love accept it; if you long for holiness, take Christ as your Friend; if you see no greater joy than to serve in His great cause, do His will and follow Him.
Paul didn’t say that the purpose of his instruction was to make everyone Calvinists, or premillennial dispensationalists, or to fill their minds with facts, though there is need of understanding in all of these.
1Ti 1:5 But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.
1Ti 1:6 For some men, straying from these things, have turned aside to fruitless discussion,
1Ti 1:7 wanting to be teachers of the Law, even though they do not understand either what they are saying or the matters about which they make confident assertions.
Then Paul uses his own experience as proof of God’s love converting and changing a person.
God’s power changed Paul, and on Paul’s end (free will never leaves the equation) he was faithful.
1Ti 1:12 I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service;
1Ti 1:13 even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor. And yet I was shown mercy, because I acted ignorantly in unbelief;
1Ti 1:14 and the grace of our Lord was more than abundant [huperpleonazo = much too much], with the faith and love which are found in Christ Jesus.
1Ti 1:15 It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all.
Paul wasn’t called because he had any merit, in fact, he was the worst of mankind, but he would respond to God’s love. Why some people won’t accept God’s love is an unanswerable question. The question you can answer is why will you or won’t you.
1Ti 1:16 And yet for this reason I found mercy, in order that in me as the foremost, Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience, as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life.
1Ti 1:17 Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.
He tells Timothy that the ultimate test of his ministry is whether or not the truth he communicates develops men and women characterized by a lifestyle of love. Such love in a person calls forth beauty from what was once ugly.
And alas, with some it is not misunderstanding that prevents a close connection between soul and Christ, but some worldly purpose or some entangling and deeply cherished sin.
I cannot offer any remedy that allows you to stay on the road to destruction and avoid the destruction that is sure to come. That road always goes where it does. The behavior has to stop and you have to stop it. If you understand that whatever it is is filling some void, although not very well, know that God loves you and desires to fill that void Himself. Will you let Him? Yet, don’t be a fool, you cannot let Him fill the void in you while you continue to try and fill it yourself. You have to give it over to the loving hands of your Father. It is silly to think that He will do nothing with such authority; we know that to be true, what we fear is giving it over to Him. If you are breathing, there’s still hope.
Phi 3:17 Brethren, join in following my example, and observe those who walk according to the pattern you have in us.
Phi 3:18 For many walk, of whom I often told you, and now tell you even weeping, that they are enemies of the cross of Christ,
Phi 3:19 whose end is destruction, whose god is their appetite, and whose glory is in their shame, who set their minds on earthly things.
Phi 3:20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ;
Phi 3:21 who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.
Follow Paul’s example – the road to life.
The road to destruction – god is the appetite, shame, and mind set on earthly things.
The believer’s citizenship is in heaven (made alive with Him, raised with Him, seated with Him). The road to destruction doesn’t fit him at all.
Instead of bodily appetite ruling him, he knows that his body is going to be transformed into the same as Christ’s heavenly body. Instead of earthly things, he is a citizen of heaven, surrounded by heavenly things. Instead of shame as glory, he has the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, sharing in His glory.
1Co 3:6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth.
1Co 3:7 So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth.
1Co 3:8 Now he who plants and he who waters are one; but each will receive his own reward according to his own labor.
1Co 3:9 For we are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, God's building.
1Co 3:10 According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building upon it. But let each man be careful how he builds upon it.
1Co 3:11 For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
1Co 3:12 Now if any man builds upon the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw,
1Co 3:13 each man's work will become evident; for the day will show it, because it is to be revealed with fire; and the fire itself will test the quality of each man's work.
1Co 3:14 If any man's work which he has built upon it remains, he shall receive a reward.
1Co 3:15 If any man's work is burned up, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved, yet so as through fire.
A church or a person that choses to build upon the foundation of Christ with poor work will only see charred ruins and a cloud of dust good for nothing.
The foundation stone is Christ, and that stone is as a polished slab of marble, having its upper surface smooth as a mirror, whereas we are like stones that have been lying on the seashore, encrusted with shells and lichens, drilled with holes, grown all round and round with unsightly inequalities; and if we are to rest with entire stability on the foundation, these excrescences (outgrowths) must be removed. Even a small one at one point is enough to prevent close adhesion. Don’t be fooled. One sin retained for self, one command or expression of God not responded to, makes our whole connection with Him unsettled. (I didn’t say that we lose our connection to Him, that we always have, but that it will be unsettled)
Think of yourself adhered to Christ. How well is that adhesion? Are there bits of things weakening the seal at certain points?
I would add, is it important to you that you be as flawlessly adhered to Christ as possible?
We may say that it’s only a little unsettled, but the truth is that it is more unsettled than we’re willing to know or admit if holding on to a certain sin is the cost, and plus, are we really willing to have our connection with Christ somewhat insecure in this life? Are we saying that something fleshly or worldly is worth making our connection with Him slightly off?
A believer unsettled and off balance by some worldly purpose or sin has confessions and repentances that are untrue and hardening rather than changing, prayers hesitant and insincere, love for Christ waxing and waning and often hollow, life inconsistent, vacillating, and unprofitable.
To them that believe in the God revealed by sacrificial love, the cross is the power of God. It is the love of God that overpowers us, strips us of our own doings, and giving us desire to go forth in His will and power.
The cross is the power of God. We only yield our lives to God when we see that He yielded His for us in the Person of Christ.