Ephesians overview – 3:14-19, part 38: Inner man; the good heart.

Thursday May 21, 2020

 

 

Nothing short of the startling doctrine of the divinity of Christ, of the hypostatic union, can stir our desire for Him when we learn that the King Himself served in the ranks like a common soldier. And not because He wanted to impress anyone with a pretense of humility, but because He truly loved, cared for the soldiers, even unto death in the giving up of everything that was dear to Him.

 

Making Jesus human only takes everything away from it. It takes heaven away from it. To simply say that a very good and wise man can die for what he believes is no more inspiring and life changing than knowing that Leonidas died at Thermopylae.

 

But, having the Master of heaven come to earth, live poor, and die in order to show us His life, eternal life, and die so fully, spiritually, in order to satisfy the justice of the righteous, sovereign, immutable Father; He would give us this life by faith alone, strikes the deepest note in the hearts of men.

 

The life of Christ, as it is revealed by Him and expounded upon in the writings of the NT, with its love, obedience, sacrifice, and tireless working of good, could only be known to man by revelation. The greatest scholar or sage or philosopher could never have known it.

 

True religion is revelation of reality. False religion is revelation of fantasy. Satan’s whole scheme is the revelation to man of a lie. Revelation is a vision. We see it by faith and by faith we know that it is a reality before we even embark on it. When we live committed to Christ’s holiness, we will see its reality within ourselves, i.e. the Christ will dwell in our hearts through faith.

 

Therefore, faith consists in a conviction of the reality of a vision, a picture, and this reality is the Person and life of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Messiah, the Son of God, the Bread of Life from heaven.

 

The life of heaven is unknown to the people of earth. The born again believer walks through the narrow gate into that heavenly world and then he is free to gaze upon it all. Yet, at the start, that world is still mostly unknown to him. If it were not, false doctrines would have never taken hold upon the church. And so, we must explore and discover, being at once taught the truth, instructed in righteousness, corrected, and reproved (2Ti 3:16) so that we may “fit” into heaven nicely.

 

2Ti 3:16-17

All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17 that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.

 

“adequate” – artios = fitted, complete. (from artos = a limb or joint). Jesus made us “fit in” in heaven, and now on earth He teaches us how to fit in heaven and “fit out” of the flesh/world.

 

It is wonderful to think of it like a limb perfectly fitting in a joint.

 

And we must never forget why it is so important for us to keep exploring what it means to be fitted into heaven and its holiness, for in some past there was treason in heaven and a great desertion from holiness by which evil damaged and tried to destroy a cosmos that it could not create. Evil is very real and very dangerous. The evil or evil one is painted for us as a roaring lion prowling everywhere seeking someone to devour.

 

Yet still, the life of heaven, so foreign to our old life and never found in the societies of earth (no matter how hard people tried to make it so) had an element of the unknown, and if we’re honest with ourselves, still possesses some unknown.

 

Certainly the unknown is scary to all people, but like courageous pioneers we must step out onto the landscape and pick up our crosses and follow Christ, and when we do, overcoming our fear, we will discover over time that the burden of our cross was lighter than we thought it would be.

 

The Christian life is a story, and a story starts in one place and ends in another. God begins His revelation to man – “In the beginning” (beresheet barah Elohim). It ends in Rev 22:20 with Him saying, “Behold, I am coming quickly.” A story starts in one place and ends in another. But from Buddha and his wheel to Akhenaten and his disc, from Pythagoras with his abstraction of number to Confucius with his religion of routine, there is not one of them that doesn’t end up where it starts.

 

At salvation we were changed and we are not going back. In life as we walk with God we are being transformed, and we cannot go back. Onward Christian soldier, marching as to war, with the cross of Jesus going on before … marching heavenward with spiritual weapons. Every Christian is on a journey that leaves him forever changed.

 

And this is why all good nations, kingdoms, and empires die. When they reach their peak morally, socially, economically, politically, the story they began, the purpose for which they formed, has ended. There is no continuance to the story other than decay and decline, and so they do. There is one kingdom that will always be on the journey, for its end cannot be reached, being infinite itself. The story of the kingdom of God will go on forever and its members with it. The kingdom of God alone has romance combined with truth in a never-ending story.

 

Luk 21:33

“Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.”

 

Luk 6:20-26: Blessed are you who hunger, weep, are hated for His sake. All things in our lives are under God’s authority. We never seek our own way.

 

God’s Son possessed the love of God and was kind to the ungrateful world, while that world hated Him, persecuted Him, and killed Him.

 

That is not the prosperity gospel. One can see the insidious fingers of Satan in the prosperity gospel.

 

And then, it is stated, for the son is like the Father, and specifically, you will be kind to the ungrateful. Many don’t see that as a reward, but it is the greatest reward. God is making you like a creature the world had never seen before Christ. He’s making you like His Son, and that is the reward.

 

Giving the good things in our life back to God who gave them to us, meaning that we use them as He instructs us, is to possess things like a son of the Most High.

 

It is these actions, the outworking of our faith and obedience that changes our hearts. God within us weaves the life of Christ into the foundation of our inner man, making that life understood, loved, and unshakeable. Christ will tell us to do these things and then we will be like a house built upon the rock – unshakeable even through the fiercest storms.

 

And while there are plenty of people in the world who don’t hear His words in Luk 6 and Mat 5-7, He said if we did hear them and didn’t do them, then we would be like a house built upon the sand. A fine structure until the inevitable problems of life come, and when they do, your possessions, your nice disposition, your money and your time will all show their weakness, crumbling under the pressure, ceasing to be.

 

Luk 6:46-49

"And why do you call Me, 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I say? 47 "Everyone who comes to Me, and hears My words, and acts upon them, I will show you whom he is like: 48 he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation upon the rock; and when a flood rose, the torrent burst against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. 49 "But the one who has heard, and has not acted accordingly, is like a man who built a house upon the ground without any foundation; and the torrent burst against it and immediately it collapsed, and the ruin of that house was great."

 


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