Ephesians 4:14: The malady that arrests the church’s development – spiritual warfare is only in time.

Sunday January 9,2022

Eph 4:11-13

And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fulness of Christ.


As a result of our status and blessing and work of service in vv. 1-13, we are not to remain immature, but are to grow up in all respects unto Christ.


Eph 4:14-15

As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves, and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; 15 but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him, who is the head, even Christ


As a result of our blessed lives and the gracious gifts that our Lord has given to us for the equipping of others in their work of service and the building up of the body of Christ, we are not to remain immature.


As vs. 13 told us, every member of the body is going to mature, and in view of eternity – all in perfect bodies without the sins and hang-ups and opposition that believers succumb to on earth and fail to grow up – we can sort of imagine how it will happen for us all to arrive.


Only in time can the believer live free in the face of God’s enemy and while surrounded by the enemy’s system.


1Pe 5:6-11

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, 7 casting all your anxiety upon Him, because He cares for you. 8 Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9 But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world. 10 And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you. 11 To Him be dominion forever and ever. Amen.


God made it so that the need for courage to live free would exist in our beginning. Heaven is without opposition or unrighteousness.


1Ti 6:11-16

But flee from these things, you man of God; and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness. 12 Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 13 I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who testified the good confession before Pontius Pilate, 14 that you keep the commandment without stain or reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 which He will bring about at the proper time —  He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords; 16 who alone possesses immortality and dwells in unapproachable light; whom no man has seen or can see. To Him be honor and eternal dominion! Amen.


We could look at dozens of more passages referring to the same call to faithfulness and courage in the face of the devil, his world system, and our own flesh. Notice that in both Paul’s and Peter’s passages concerning our fight and resistance in the spiritual war that they both proclaim that Jesus Christ alone has all dominion and glory.


Rev 5:13

I heard saying,

"To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever."


Throughout the scripture, God’s people are commanded and strongly entreated to live and walk in mature faith in time, which demands that they overcome their flesh’s command, and the world’s influence, and the devil’s persecution.


God has not made a plan for His church in which they are to always be slaves on earth and free only after they reach heaven. God gave freedom now.


Eph 2:1-3

And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, 2 in which you formerly walked according to the course [aion – the way of the age] of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. 3 Among them we too all formerly lived [behaved, conducted ourselves] in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.


Great description of the general life of fallen man, all of which are children of wrath – dead in sin, stuck in the course (ways of the age) of the world, conducting ourselves in the lust of the flesh and indulging those desires in body and mind. Lust comes in many forms: sex, chemicals, wealth, power, influence, to be noticed (approbation), laziness, security (dependence for comfort – slave mentality), etc. Every man has his idols.


We have to be saved from that state of death and then we have to mature in the way of life. Vv. 4-9 is that precious salvation and vs. 10 is our new life lived while maturing in the full knowledge of Christ.


Eph 2:4-10

But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places, in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, that no one should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.


Some, believers and unbelievers, are drowning in life. They are enslaved, suffering at their own hands, addicted and ashamed. They have no esteem because their repeated attempts at strength have failed and therefore only proved their complete weakness. They are inwardly disgusted with themselves, which only drives them to their addictions even more; spiraling downward with greater speed. These are either pondering or have concluded that there is no hope for them. But God, being rich in mercy, pities and cares for the drowning, and through Jesus Christ, has made the dead alive and risen and heavenly. Faith in this saves the drowning. Take hold of the hand of God, O drowning man, and see where He will take you.

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