Ephesians 4:4-6, The one body, its variety, and God's love that unites it, part 2.

Wednesday October 14th, 2020

Last time we looked at Psa 133. In this one stanza poem, it moves from brothers dwelling together to a nation dwelling together to all the people of God, Jew and Gentile, dwelling together for all eternity because of the blood of Christ.


Everything that makes for unity, spirituality, blessing, and anything good is a gift from God. The existence and results of these many blessings from God are found among those people who recognize and utilize them.


For us to not let diversity lead to division, we must see the sovereign purpose of God. We must see as Christ sees.


Human life is a blessing from God, but in the hands of fallen man it ends in disaster without regeneration, God’s greatest blessing in giving us His only-begotten Son. God has given us heavenly life through His Son. The Son of God entered earth and explained that life before He did what was necessary to give it to us.


Jesus, like Paul in 1Co 12, uses a human body analogy.


Mat 6:22-23

“The lamp of the body is the eye; if therefore your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!”


If your eye is bad – physically blind.


If the light in you is darkness – physically can see, but don’t see what Jesus sees; true life from God.


Jesus uses actual blindness, more common in their day than ours, to reveal a truth about seeing with the eyes of the heart. If you were blind then your body is full of darkness. Light in only recognized by the eyes. The skin can distinguish or “see” heat, but only the eyes see light.


Light that is in you therefore means all of them there that can physically see. And perhaps, a few that morning who were blind an hour ago have been healed. (can you imagine the impact upon them upon hearing this). 


Luk 6:19-20

And all the multitude were trying to touch Him, for power was coming from Him and healing them all.


20 And turning His gaze on His disciples, He began to say, "Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.


Mat 6:22-23

“The lamp of the body is the eye; if therefore your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!”


The light that is in you is darkness - you can all see, but you don't see what I see; you don't see true life, heaven, hell, nor the goodness of God. 


How great is the darkness - you think you see what life is: eating, drinking, wearing clothes, i.e. existing.


Mat 6:24

“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will hold to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”


serve two masters - no one can see and not see. Either you see as I (Jesus) do or you don't. 


The earthly life demands mammon, money and the bread it buys, which is idiomatic for all the basic needs of life. Jesus does not bid us to try and live without those needs, nor to be ascetics trying to get by on as little as possible, but to not be concerned about them. True life is divine life from heaven, the life of Christ that when He came into this world became the light of men. And that life, which is the life of the kingdom of heaven, has no concern for material needs.


Mat 6:25-34

"For this reason [seeing what Christ sees – the kingdom of God] I say to you, do not be anxious for your life, as to what you shall eat, or what you shall drink; nor for your body, as to what you shall put on. Is not life more than food, and the body than clothing? 26 "Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? 27 "And which of you by being anxious can add a single cubit to his life's span? 28 "And why are you anxious about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, 29 yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory did not clothe himself like one of these. 30 "But if God so arrays the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more do so for you, O men of little faith? 31 "Do not be anxious then, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'With what shall we clothe ourselves?' 32 "For all these things the Gentiles eagerly seek; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 "But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you. 34 "Therefore do not be anxious for tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.


And if you see as I see, says Jesus, then you will not be anxious for your earthly life, over such mundane things as food, drink, clothing, which are all meaningless in My kingdom.


Seek first God’s kingdom (humility, meekness, patience, forbearing, love, one body, one Spirit, one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one Father over all, through all, and in all) while you are on the earth and your earthly needs will always be there.


There is more to His kingdom than these, but they are our exhortation from Paul, so far, to walk in a worthy manner in Eph 4.


And if you see as Christ sees, and only care, therefore, for His kingdom, then you will not have wants that exceed the present need, and if you do find that you have more than you need, then great, how do you use it to God's glory?


Desire that exceeds the purpose of God, and actually exceeds is not the proper word in that context, for such desires are far below the purposes of God, will lead to pride and division.


The disciple of Christ functions in Christ’s gifted life by means of the Holy Spirit within. It is Christ’s desire that we transform into the whole resurrected person (in life) when the giftedness of the HS will become unhindered, transparent, and complete.


We would be completely mature Christians the day of our salvation if ignorance and self-will were wisdom and humility, and fouled conscience were a heart where Christ dwelled at home. At least we can all take comfort in the fact that no Christian began in such a state. God gives us time and also gives us the ability to take hold of His knowledge and will by choice and desire, thus making what is His, shared as our own. God wills and does on our behalf, for our good, so that we will see, slightly at first and then more so, so our conscience becomes a palace for the doctrines of Christ to reside in. It is ourselves that retard the process and slow it, sometimes to a grinding halt, but our God is patient and loving and for us, not against us.


At salvation, the life of God was a mystery, and for some time after, though parts of it are known, much of it is hidden from our eyes. Yet, hope has grown in us, and with time, more and more comes until we begin to see larger chunks of it. God’s name is “I am that which I am” (eh-hiyeh asher eh-hiyeh from hayah connected to YHVH). Yavah, pure existence, but not just being like an object, but being like Him. I doubt God was bored when He created angels and then men, because all of angelic and human history ends with men existing like God; pure existence, not as objects, but as humans in His image being like Him.


Contemplating God’s existence made me wonder, are we content to just be, but not as couch vegetables watching screens, but just be as the image of Christ?


Unity is the result of a group recognizing and utilizing the blessings from God.


The blessing of God brings a delightful and enriching unity to His people. One of those great blessings is the body of Christ, God the Father’s family, all sharing His name (Eph 3:14). Another blessing is the spiritual gift that is given for the common good of the family. So then, if the blessings of God are the basis for unity, and they are, then they bring with them the responsibilities of a community.


As we know, the flesh, in the end, desires isolation, for it is weak and threatened.


Carnal Christians find reasons for not being a part of a body; serving, gathering, considering how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds. They ignore this major aspect of God’s blessing and justify it. Such behavior is a function of the sin nature and its desire for isolation, and remember, the flesh (the self) will compromise a bit to get what it wants in the end, meaning, it will give into some gathering and some serving so long as it can eventually crawl into its dark cellar of isolation. This is half the reason facebook and smartphones are so popular. God does not settle for us to give Him a part of ourselves.

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