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Category Archives: Ephesians

Ephesians 2:1-10 – “But God”

SIH STSTA ICON(Our Great Need Of Christ)

 

INTRODUCTION:

Over the years, through personal experience and observing the lives of others, I have seen fallen mankind’s absolute need of Christ clearly revealed.   There can be no doubt that all of us, as a part of sinful mankind, is absolutely separated from God and unable to think, desire, say or do anything that is pleasing to God or glorifying to His name.

So, as members of fallen mankind, what can we do?  How can we find peace and communion with God, when we are unable to do anything to purify ourselves or enter into fellowship with God of our own efforts?

We can do nothing to meet these great needs, “BUT GOD” can meet our every need!

In this lesson, we will be looking at what God’s Word teaches us about our great need of Christ and His wonderful grace.  It is this very grace that enables fallen mankind to receive the forgiveness of sins, enter into His presence, please Him, and enjoy eternal communion with Him.

 

 

TODAY’S TEXT:

Eph 2:1-10

(1)  And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;

(2)  Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:

(3)  Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

(4)  But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,

(5)  Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

(6)  And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

(7)  That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

(8)  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

(9)  Not of works, lest any man should boast.

(10)  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

 

 

TODAY’S LESSON:

 

And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;

All of mankind was conceived in a sinful, spiritually dead condition (Rom 3:23 & Rom 3:9), because of this, man is alienated from our perfectly holy God (Isa 59:2 & Micah 3:4).

Furthermore, due to the effects of sin in his life, mankind is much like a corpse.  Just as a corpse can do nothing to regain the life that as once within it, likewise lost mankind can do nothing to restore spiritual life to its spiritually dead condition (Titus 3:4-7).  This is why the above verse describes man as being “dead in trespasses and sins”.

If mankind was simply left to himself, he would continue in this sinful isolated state, never coming to an understanding of his own sinfulness, his isolated condition apart from God, nor his desperate need of Christ (John 12:39-40 & Rom 3:10-11).

But thanks to the Lord, He reaches down from heaven, intervenes in the heart of the lost man, and grants him spiritual life (2 Cor 4:6 & Acts 26:18 & Col 2:13).  This is what is being referred to by the phrase “And you hath He quickened (given life)”

 

Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:

The writer of Ephesians, the Apostle Paul, describes the condition of every saved person prior to Christ’s intervention in their lives. By doing this he is teaching us that all mankind began “in the same boat”, we were ALL sinful, followers of Satan, with no hope of salvation within ourselves. This is the time period he is referring to by the phrase “in the time past”.

Paul describes the lost person’s lifestyle as following the path set by this sinful world and Satan (1 Cor 6:9-11 & Gal 1:4) when he states, “ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air”.

Lost mankind’s submission to the control of Satan and Satan’s activity in their lives is emphasized in Paul’s dual description of Satan: “the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience”.  Folks, Satan is alive and actively intervening in the affairs of all fallen mankind on earth (1 Pet 5:8 & John 8:44).  For us to denying his existence or his activity among us is to deny the very teachings of God’s Word, which in effect, makes God a liar (Rom 3:4).  This cannot be.

 

Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

None of saved mankind can be prideful, nor take credit for their own salvation (Rom 4:2 & Rom 3:27-28 & 2 Tim 1:9).  We are clearly told in this verse that those who are saved through the Lord’s gracious intervention were equally sinful and separated from God as those who are not saved (Eph 5:8 & Titus 3:3-6).  Paul clearly points to the lifestyle of the saved prior to their salvation experience when he says, “Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past”.

Paul tells us that those who are saved were previously living according to our sinful longings, living to fulfill the evil determinations that come from our fallen nature and corrupt minds…”in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind;” 

Paul stresses the spiritually dead, sinful, guilty condition of the saved prior to their salvation when he says, “and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others”.

 

But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,

“But God” these are the sweetest words that a lost person can ever hear…

“But God” this is the only hope for all of mankind who are spiritually dead and unable to please the Lord of their own merit.

If lost mankind was left to themselves, they would be condemned by their own actions, under the wrath of God, and without hope of redemption (Jer 13:23 & Rom 8:7-9).  But with the gracious intervention of God, they can experience forgiveness, deliverance and fellowship with God.  Our wonderful God is overflowing in mercy and incredible love for His people.  Paul says it this way, “God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith he loved us,”

His love is so great and His mercy flows so freely that even the chief of sinners could find forgiveness through His gracious intervention in their lives.

 

Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

Paul continues to address the saved and the wondrous change wrought in their lives through God’s grace.  Even when the saved person was spiritually dead, the Lord saw fit to graciously grant him spiritual life (John 14:6 & 1 John 5:11).  This is the “quickening” being talked about in the phrase “hath quickened us”.

The giving of spiritual life was given to us as a joint work of both God the Father and Christ (John 5:21).  Spiritual life was given to us by our gracious Father, based upon the work of Christ on the cross, not our own goodness or works (Rom 5:21 & 1Pet 3:7)…”hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)”

 

And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

The joint working of the Father and Christ does not end with the giving of spiritual life.  His work continues in the life of the newly saved individual.

Paul talked about this continuing work when he said “hath raised us up together and made us sit together in heavenly places”.   Based upon Christ’s work, the Father then raises the saved to a new lifestyle in Him (2 Cor 5:17 & Gal 6:15), and promises him an eternity of fellowship in the very presence of Christ (Rom 6:4-5 & John 14:3).

 

That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

Why does the Father and Son work together granting spiritual life, a new lifestyle and eternity with Christ to the saved?   Is it because our inherent goodness obligates Him to do so?  Or, perhaps, it is because, through our good works we have gained these great blessings?

Absolutely not! Paul tells us that “in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his kindness”.  It is nothing in us that motivates the Lord to grant to us spiritual life (Isa 40:17 & Psa 62:9).  It is all based upon His character and greatness.

 Two of the great motivations in the heart of the Father that drives Him to grant spiritual life to us is His love for us and His desire to be glorified (John 3:16, 2 Thess 1:11-12 & Rev 5:9-15).  He graces us with spiritual life so that His great gracious kindness will be seen, remembered, and celebrated throughout history.  In other words, He did all of this for us so that He might be glorified and honored when we see, and experience His great love and grace in our lives.

 

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Paul now explains how spiritual life is obtained by the lost individual. Since the lost individual lacks inherent goodness, and their good works cannot merit their salvation, how is it acquired?  It is entirely based upon the grace of God, as we exercise faith in Christ (Rom 4:16)…”For by grace ye are saved through faith” .

But when we read this it seems to say that we are saved through a work that we do… an exercise of faith.  However, Paul makes certain that we do not get confused about this issue. He tells us that the faith we exercise is “not of yourselves, it is the gift of God”.  Even the very faith we exercise in Christ does not simply come from within us, but it is a gift that comes from the Father (John 6:27-29 & Rom 12:3).   Therefore, in a very true sense, our faith is not a work we perform, but it is a work the Father performs in us.

Once again, we can see the wondrous grace of God as He gives to one who is destitute of saving faith, the gift of faith and the ability to exercise that faith.  When we come to this knowledge it eliminates any possibility that we might boast about our exercise of faith in Christ.

This is why Paul then clearly states that saving faith in the individual is “not of works, lest any man should boast”

 

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Since our salvation is a work of God within us, our life is like a poem (“workmanship”) that is brought into existence through the work of Christ and and declares His glory through the good works of the saved (Eph 1:4 & Gal 5:22-26).  This is the meaning of Paul’s phrase “created in Christ Jesus unto good works.”

Remember that in verse 7, we saw that God was motivated to save His people so that He might be glorified throughout the ages for His great grace and kindness.  This same principle can be seen in this verse as well.

Paul tells us that the performance of good works by the saved person “God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”   Before the salvation of His people, in eternity past, the Lord chose that when He saved an individual, their lifestyle would change to a way of life that would bring honor and glory to His name.  This helps us to understand that not only the very act of salvation, but also its effects in the lives of those saved, will bring honor and glory to God alone (Jer 9:23-24).

 

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

So what is a lost person to do?  How can a lost person receive the forgiveness of sin and be the recipient of God’s wonderful grace?

We have that questioned answered in John 6:27-29…

“Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.

Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? 

Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.”

 

As the Lord shows you the sin that is in your life, and the of forgiveness and deliverance from that sin, simply believe on Him.

Believe in Christ as the Divine Son of God (1 John 5:7).

Believe in Christ as the One who came to the earth and died on the cross to pay the price for your sins (Phil 2:5-9).

Believe in Christ as the Only Way of salvation (Acts 4:10-12).

Believe in Christ as the new Master of your life (Phil 2:10-11).

This is what the Lord has commanded each of us to do.  As the Lord intervenes in our life, showing us our great need and working in our hearts, we are to turn to Him and trust in Him as our Lord and Savior.  This is how we respond to the workings of God in our life.

What amazing grace to know that He can graciously intervene in our life and draw us to Himself as we respond in faith to Him (john 6:43-45).

As we come to an understanding of all these things, we can only come to the conclusion that “To God be the glory, great things He hath done”!

 

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Ecclesiastes: Chapter 2 Verses 18-23

SIH TOTT ICONWhat Is Your Life If Not Lived For The Lord? (Part 7)

 

 

 

INTRODUCTION:

Solomon addresses himself as “the Preacher”.   He is the one that will proclaim the spritiual truths of God to those in his nation and to Christians throughout time.

Keep in mind, Solomon learned these truths by trying to find the meaning to life through experiencing all this world has to offer.  Solomon was uniquely suited to learn these lessons and share these truths with the people of God…

First of all, very few men possess sufficient wealth and power to be able to sample all this world has to offer (1 Kings 10:23).

Secondly, only Solomon and a few others throughout time, have been universally respected causing his teachings to be taken very seriously and thoughtfully by all (1 Kings 4:30-34).  (Keep in mind, even Christ Himself and His teachings were rejected by many of those around Him.)

Solomon was God’s man, in God’s place, at God’s time, by God’s grace, to learn this most important truth and proclaim it with authority to those he loved.  May we all listen carefully as Solomon reveals to us the true meaning to life and answer the question…  “What Is Our Life If Not Lived for The Lord ?”.

 

TODAY’S TEXT:

 

Eccl 2:18-23 –

(18)  Yea, I hated all my labour which I had taken under the sun: because I should leave it unto the man that shall be after me.  (19)  And who knoweth whether he shall be a wise man or a fool? yet shall he have rule over all my labour wherein I have laboured, and wherein I have shewed myself wise under the sun. This is also vanity.  (20)  Therefore I went about to cause my heart to despair of all the labour which I took under the sun.  (21)  For there is a man whose labour is in wisdom, and in knowledge, and in equity; yet to a man that hath not laboured therein shall he leave it for his portion. This also is vanity and a great evil.  (22)  For what hath man of all his labour, and of the vexation of his heart, wherein he hath laboured under the sun?  (23)  For all his days are sorrows, and his travail grief; yea, his heart taketh not rest in the night. This is also vanity. 

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

Solomon now begins an investigation of the short-lived benefits of responsible stewardship over the things of this world …

  

Yea, I hated all my labour which I had taken under the sun: because I should leave it unto the man that shall be after me. 

Solomon came to despise possessing a life goal of laboring for material possessions.  What was the reason behind this?  To put it in today’s vernacular, Solomon realized that “you can’t take it with you”.  He realized that, eventually, at his death, he would lose all of his material possessions and they would be given to another person.

 

And who knoweth whether he shall be a wise man or a fool? yet shall he have rule over all my labour wherein I have laboured, and wherein I have shewed myself wise under the sun.

Solomon understood that the one who would receive his possessions may be a poor steward of all for which he had labored.  At his death, Solomon would lose all authority in his possessions.  The one receiving his possessions would have complete control over how they would be used.  He could use them wisely or waste them in a very foolish way.

 

This is also vanity. 

Solomon came to understand that the transferal of all his possessions, at his death, made all his labors to accumulate those possessions simply acts of vanity (short-lived benefits, no lasting value).

 

Therefore I went about to cause my heart to despair of all the labour which I took under the sun.  For there is a man whose labour is in wisdom, and in knowledge, and in equity; yet to a man that hath not laboured therein shall he leave it for his portion.

As Solomon learned of the vanity of accumulation of earthly goods and the disposition of them at death, Solomon became very depressed and despondent.  A man can use his many talents, knowledge and morality to gain a great fortune on earth, and yet lose it all to one who has done nothing to deserve them.

What a great waste of human effort, what a sad misuse of accumulated material possessions to lose them at death and have them turned over to others who do not deserve them but will only  squander them.

 

This also is vanity and a great evil. 

This is makes the accumulation of worldly possessions short-lived, of no lasting benefit, and actually harmful to both the one who accumulates them and the slothful one who wastes them of carnal, worldly pursuits.

 

For what hath man of all his labour, and of the vexation of his heart, wherein he hath laboured under the sun?  For all his days are sorrows, and his travail grief; yea, his heart taketh not rest in the night.

When a man devotes his life to live frugally and wisely in an attempt to accumulate the vain things of this world, he is destined to live a life filled with:

  1. labour – great effort that only wears one down
  2. vexation of heart – constant unfulfilled desires (always wanting more).
  3. sorrows – painful regret
  4. travail grief – busyness that produces only sorrow
  5. no rest in the night – worries, cares, lack of sleep

 

This is also vanity.

When Solomon looked at the effects of living for worldly possessions on our lives, he comes to the same conclusion…. It is short-lived and without any lasting value.

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

Folks, we should always be careful to not misinterpret Solomon’s teachings on these issues.  There is nothing wrong with frugal and wise use of our material possessions.  In many ways these can be admirable pursuits…. However, it should never be our goal in living.

hen the accumulation and frugal use of material possessions become our life goal we are headed to living a wasted life.  Solomon has proven to us all that it is vain pursuit that will only bring regret and pain to us as we come to an end of ur lives.

Solomon’s pursuit of the meaning of life included:

 

1. 2:1-3 The pursuit of carnal desires  (the base pleasures found in a fallen world)
2. 2:4-11 The pursuit of material possessions through human labors
3. 2:12-17 The pursuit of worldly wisdom, madness and folly
4. 2:18-23 The pursuit of responsible (frugal & wise) living to retain worldly goods

 

 

 

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The Precious Human Life #6: Prepare To Meet Thy God

SIH TOTT ICON

 

 

INTRODUCTION TO OUR SERIES:

 

This is part of a series that is looking at the preciousness of life and the need for a more serious examination of the Scriptural validity of taking a human life under any circumstance.  Folks, our world has devalued the taking of human life to the point the loss of human life is “no big deal” and “JUST a part of the world in which we live.”

By God’s grace, as we continue through this series, my prayer is that the Lord would open all of our spiritual eyes and come to a more complete realization of the great value of human life.  Also, we need to carefully consider the results of our actions, and the circumstances surrounding the taking of human life, making sure that in each situation, the taking of life is Biblically justifiable and absolutely necessary.

Our devotional series will contain six daily devotions, all of which will emphasize the wondrous nature of the human creation and the loss inflicted upon mankind when a human life is taken from their midst…

  1. Thou Shalt Not Kill (Exo 20:13)
  2. The Glory and Honor Of Man (Psa 8:4-6)
  3. God’s Image & Likeness (Gen 1:26-27)
  4. Fearfully and Wonderfully Made (Psa 139:14-16)
  5. The Minister and Witness Of These Things (Acts 26:16-17)
  6. Prepare To Meet Thy God (Amos 4:12)

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

Prepare To Meet Thy God (Amos 4:12, Eccl 9:10, Isa 38:18-19, 55:6, Eph 5:15-17)

 

Amos 4:12 KJV – “Therefore thus will I do unto thee, O Israel: and because I will do this unto thee, prepare to meet thy God, O Israel.”

Ecclesiastes 9:10 KJV – “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.”

Isaiah 38:18-19 KJV – For the grave cannot praise thee, death cannot celebrate thee: they that go down into the pit cannot hope for thy truth.   The living, the living, he shall praise thee, as I do this day: the father to the children shall make known thy truth.”

Isaiah 55:6 KJV – “Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:”

Ephesians 5:15-17 KJV – “See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,  Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.   Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.”

 

In Amos 4:12, We find the Lord speaking to the nation of Israel after explaining to them their sinful condition.  The Lord commands them to “Prepare to meet thy God”.  In other words, the Lord was encouraging the Jews recognize their sinful condition, turn from their sins and place their faith in the coming Messiah.

In a very real way, the command given to the nation of Israel applies to us in today’s time as well.   All of fallen mankind, regardless of race or nationality, are to prepare to meet their God through recognition of their sin, turning from those sins, and placing their faith in the Messiah, Jesus Christ, who came to the earth and died on the cross to pay the price for the sins of His people.

When are we to prepare to meet our God?  Now, while we still have life within us.  At our physical death, our opportunity to be prepared will come to an end, and we will enter eternity.  That is why the Bible emphasizes the need to live our physical lives to prepare to enter into our Lord’s presence, after death all opportunities for salvation and faithful service will come to an end (Eph 5:15-17).  And this is why Ecclesiastes tells us to do all we can, while we can, to the best of our ability.  It will be too late to come to Christ or serve Him following our death (Eccl 9:10).  Even the Old Testament prophet Isaiah understood this truth (Isaiah 38:18-19).

Folks when the physical life of a person is taken from them, all their hope of salvation and their future service for Christ is forever lost.   From a totally human perspective, the taking of life can rob a person of their future salvation or service to our Lord.

Please keep in mind: We know that the Lord is a sovereign Lord who will bring to salvation those whom He has chosen to save from eternity past.  He will keep each and every one of His elect alive until He calls them to Himself and grants them eternal life and forgiveness.  From a divine perspective, when a person dies in a lost state it is proof they were never one of God’s elect.

However, when we are looking at an issue concerning man’s responsibility, we are required to look at things from a human viewpoint.  For example, from God’s standpoint, any sin that is committed is a part of His sovereign plan for mankind.  If it wasn’t a part of His plan, He would not allow the sin to take place.

However, although a sin may be allowed by God, when we stand before Him we will never be able to justify that sin by saying “You are to blame, You allowed the sin to take place” or “The sin I committed as done according to your will’.  Of course we could not say these things.  To blame the Lord for our sin and attempt to make Him the responsible party based upon His sovereign will, is utter blasphemy.

 

The same holds true for the argument that would say, because the Lord allowed me to kill this lost individual, then it proves the person was not one of God’s elect.  Although, from God’s perspective, this may be true; from mankind’s perspective, we can never look at things this way, nor justify our actions based upon them.   From our human viewpoint, we cannot know if a lost person is one of God’s elect or not, therefore we can, and will, be held accountable for taking their “chance” of salvation away from them at the point of their death.  This is a grave sin indeed.  In a sense, from our viewpoint (as mankind who cannot know God’s future sovereign will) we are taking the eternal destiny of an individual into our own hands.

Likewise, how foolish it would be to try to justify the taking of human life based upon the principle that if the Lord did not desire for it to take place then He would not have allowed it.  In other words, we can twist the Word to teach that all taking of human life must be pleasing to God… simply because it took place.  Both of these attitudes are unscriptural and a blasphemy in God’s sight.

 

In closing, may we all follow Isaiah’s instructions for us and… “Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:”  (Isaiah 55:6 KJV)

 

Summary Of Our Study

In these devotionals, we have seen several ramifications of the taking of physical life:

  1. For mankind to devalue human life is to mock the authority, value and deserved respect that God Himself has placed upon mankind.
  1. For mankind to devalue human life is to devalue a wonderful picture of the gracious humility, authority and exaltation of Christ that took place at His first coming.
  1. Man being made by God the “image” (“similitude”) and “likeness” of Him is another reason why the devaluing of human life is such a very sobering act. When a man’s life is taken, an image of God given to mankind is silenced and, in actuality, destroyed.
  1. We are devaluing that which the Lord has fearfully and wonderfully made and that continually testifies of His greatness. To bring an end to this life is to bring an end to this testimony of God’s greatness.
  1. Whether they be saved, or potentially a future recipient of salvation, by devaluing and taking away physical life, we are silencing one who may be used of God to accomplish great things in His service.
  1. The devaluing and taking of human life is, from a human viewpoint, will, be held accountable for taking their “chance” of salvation away from them at the point of their death. This is a grave sin indeed for we are taking the eternal destiny of an individual into our own hands.

May we all come to understand the need to value physical life above all of God’s other creations and do everything in our power to bring an end to the unscriptural devaluing and taking of life that is so common in today’s world…

“But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man, that thou visitest him?   Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands:”

(Hebrews 2:6-7 KJV)

 

 

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“The Kingdom Of Christ, Of God, Of Heaven” – Displays Of His Ruling Authority Throughout Time

SIH STSTA ICON

 

 

To begin our study we need to understand what the Bible means when it speaks of a “kingdom”.  The word translated Kingdom in the NT is the Greek word “basileia”.  This word has two basic ideas behind it:

  1. The first idea is the AUTHORITY to rule that a King possesses (Luke 1:33, Luke 17:20-21, Matt 12:28 etc)
  2. The second idea is the REALM that is ruled over by a King. WhenBasileia is used in this way it can speak of either:
    1. the land area and physical possessions that a King rules over (Mat 4:8, Mark 6:23,  Heb 11:33 etc)
    2. the group of people over which a king rules. (Rev 1:9, Col 1:13, 2 Pet 1:11, etc)

Based upon the above Scriptures we can see that these three titles are describing the same event and will be used as such in this study.

Although we cannot visibly see His authority, we certainly can see His authority at work in the world around us.  By His grace, He has displayed for us His authority, throughout the Scriptures, in many different ways.

Let’s take a look and see the God’s authority to rule displayed for all to see throughout the Bible…  

 

THE SCRIPTURES:

The Kingdom of Christ:

Eph 5:5,

 

The Kingdom of God:

Matt 6:33, 12:28, 19:24, 21:31, 21:43;

Mark 1:14, 1:15, 4:11, 4:26, 4:30, 9:1, 9:47, 10:14, 10:15, 10:23, 10:24, 10:25, 12:34, 14:25, 15:43;

Luke 4:43, 6:20, 7:28, 8:1, 8:10, 9:2, 9:11, 9:27, 9:60, 9:62, 10:9, 10:11, 10:20, 12:31, 13:18, 13:20, 13:28, 13:29, 14:15, 16:16, 17:20, 17:21, 18:16, 18:17, 18:24, 18:25, 18:29, 19:11, 21:31, 22:16, 22:18, 23:51;

John 3:3, 3:5;

Acts 1:3, 8:12, 14:22, 19:8, 20:25, 28:23, 28:31;

Roms 14:17;

1 Cor 4:20, 6:9, 6:10, 15:50;

Gal 5:21;

Col 4:11;

2 Thess 1:5.

 

The Kingdom of Heaven:

Matt 3:2, 4:17, 5:3, 5:10, 5:19, 5:20, 7:21, 8:11, 10:7, 11:11, 11:12, 13:11, 13:24, 13:31, 13:33, 13:44, 13:45, 13:47, 13:52, 16:19, 18:1, 18:3, 18:4, 18:23, 19:12, 19:14, 19:23, 20:1, 22:2, 23:13, 25:1, 25:14

 

In the NT the Bible describes the Kingdom of the Lord using three different descriptive phrases, “The Kingdom of Christ”, “the Kingdom Of God”, and “the Kingdom of Heaven”.  All three of these titles are describing the same Kingdom.

Please note:

The Kingdom of Christ is only used in Ephesians 5:5 and is clearly speaking of the perfect reign of Christ that will take place throughout eternity.  In this text, it is equated with the Kingdom of God because both Christ and the Father will be reigning throughout eternity. (Rev 22:3-5; see also Rev 21:7-8, Rev 21:24-27)

Also “the Kingdom of God” and “the Kingdom of Heaven” are equated as well.  Please note the following references which show that, in many cases, these titles are used synonymously…

Matt 4:17 – Mark 1:15;

Matt 5:3,10- Luke 6:20-22; Matt 8:11-Luke 13:28;

Matt 10:7-Luke 9:60;

Matt 11:11-Luke 7:28;

Matt 11:12-Luke 16:16;

Matt 13:11-Mark 4:11;

Matt 13:31-Mark 4:30-31; Matt 13:33 – Luke 13:20-21; Matt 19:14-Mark 10:14;

Matt 19:23-Mark 10:23;

Matt 25:14-Luke 19:11-13.

 

THE STUDY: 

It is important for us to understand that the Lord displays His authority to rule in different ways that will vary throughout time.

In the Old Testament, some of the major ways He displayed His authority to rule was in:

  1. His sovereign rulership over creation (including mankind)…

And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion [is] an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom [is] from generation to generation:  And all the inhabitants of the earth [are] reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and [among] the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?”   (Daniel 4:34-35)

 

  1. His rulership over the fledgling nation of physical Israel during the times of the judges…

Then all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together, and came to Samuel unto Ramah, 

And said unto him, Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways: now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.  But the thing displeased Samuel, when they said, Give us a king to judge us. And Samuel prayed unto the LORD. 

And the LORD said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them.  According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt even unto this day, wherewith they have forsaken me, and served other gods, so do they also unto thee.  Now therefore hearken unto their voice: howbeit yet protest solemnly unto them, and shew them the manner of the king that shall reign over them.”  (1 Samuel 8:4-9)

 

  1. His rulership over the unified and divided nation of physical Israel during the times of the Kings…

Wherefore David blessed the LORD before all the congregation: and David said, Blessed [be] thou, LORD God of Israel our father, for ever and ever.

Thine, O LORD, [is] the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all [that is] in the heaven and in the earth [is thine]; thine [is] the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all.  Both riches and honour [come] of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand [is] power and might; and in thine hand [it is] to make great, and to give strength unto all.

Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name.”  (1 Chronicles 29:10-13)

 

  1. His rulership in the heart of the Old Testament saints, which included both Jews and Gentiles (the spiritual nation of Israel)…

I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law [is] within my heart.”  (Psalms 40:8)

Then Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, with all the remnant of the people, obeyed the voice of the LORD their God, and the words of Haggai the prophet, as the LORD their God had sent him, and the people did fear before the LORD.”   (Haggai 1:12)

 

 

In New Testament times, He displayed His authority to rule in very similar ways….

  1. His sovereign rulership over His creation (including mankind)…

God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;  Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things;  And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;

That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:  For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.”  (Acts 17:24-28)

 

  1. His rulership in the heart of the lives of the New Testament saints, which included both Jews and Gentiles (the spiritual nation of Israel)…

For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. 

[Whereof] the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before,  This [is] the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. 

Now where remission of these [is, there is] no more offering for sin.”   (Hebrews 10:14-18)

 

  1. His rule over His local assemblies…

Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated [us] into the kingdom of his dear Son:  In whom we have redemption through his blood, [even] the forgiveness of sins:  Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:

For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether [they be] thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:  And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all [things] he might have the preeminence.

For it pleased [the Father] that in him should all fulness dwell;  And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, [I say], whether [they be] things in earth, or things in heaven.”   (Colossians 1:13-20)

 

Into eternity future, the Lord’s ruling authority will be shown. The following is an incomplete list of His sovereignty on display during the end-time events…

  1. His taking of His saints…

For since by man [came] death, by man [came] also the resurrection of the dead.  For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 

But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.  Then [cometh] the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.

For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.  The last enemy [that] shall be destroyed [is] death.  For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith, all things are put under [him, it is] manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him.

And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.”  (1 Corinthians 15:21-28)

 

  1. His punishment of the powers of darkness of this world…

And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God;  That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all [men, both] free and bond, both small and great.

And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army.  And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.  And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which [sword] proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.”  (Revelation 19:17-21)

 

  1. His millennial reign (the first part of His eternal reign)…

And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and [I saw] the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received [his] mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.”  (Revelation 20:4) 

 

  1. The final judgment…

And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is [the book] of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.  And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”  (Revelation 20:12-15)

 

 

  1. His rulership throughout eternity…

In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, [was there] the tree of life, which bare twelve [manner of] fruits, [and] yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree [were] for the healing of the nations.

And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:  And they shall see his face; and his name [shall be] in their foreheads.

And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.”   (Revelation 22:2-5)

 

As you can see, throughout history from eternity past and proceeding into eternity present, we find the Lord consistently revealing to mankind…

The LORD shall reign for ever and ever.”  (Exodus 15:18)

 

In the NT the Bible describes the Kingdom of the Lord using three different descriptive phrases, The Kingdom of Christ, the Kingdom Of God, and the Kingdom of Heaven.  All three of these titles are describing the same Kingdom.

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION: 

What a wonderful blessing it is to be able to know that our Lord truly reigns over all things.  Without His wondrous displays of sovereignty, we would live in doubt about His control over all, but because of His many displays of rulership we can say as the Psalmist…

“But our God [is] in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased.”   (Psalms 115:3)

Because of this, there is no reason for worry or fright… no matter what may take place in this life, OUR GOD IS IN CONTROL!  And we have a consistent source of proofs that this is so!

The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: “…there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.”

SIH TOTT ICONRev 7:4 KJV

And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.

The sealing of the “all the tribes of Israel” is symbolic of the protecting of all the saints of God at His second coming.  Why are the OT Israelites symbolic of Believers of all time?  What are some of the similarities between Israel and believers?  We can find some basic answers to these questions by looking at two texts…

 

Physical Israelites

Deu 7:6-8 KJV … “For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth.  The LORD did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people:  But because the LORD loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the LORD brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.”

 

All Believers (Spiritual Israelites)

Eph 1:4-6 KJV… “According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:  Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.”

 

Note these principles that apply to both OT Israelites and believers of all ages that are found in the above passages…
Principle #1 – Israel and believers are made up of people separated unto the Lord
Principle #2 – Israel and believers are selected by the Lord according to His good pleasure
Principle #3 – Israel and believers are separated from the world
Principle #4 – Israel and believers have a special love bestowed upon them from the Lord
Principle #5 – God has made a covenant with Israel and believers

 

Folks, what a wonderful blessing it is to know that we, as believers, are a part of the spiritual nation of Israel…

Gal 3:26-29  For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.  For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.  There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.  And if ye [be] Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”
(see also:  Rom 2:28-29; Gal 6:15-16; Gal 3:6-9)

As spiritual Israel, we can know assuredly that our Lord loved us, chose to bring us to a special relationship with Himself, desires for us to live holy lives for His glory, and has given us many eternal promises that will be fulfilled at His coming!

 

May we all be special people living our lives for His glory, knowing we are His spiritually chosen people making up the Spiritual Nation of Israel!

1Pe 2:9-10 KJV… “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:  Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.”

 

For an in depth look at these sections of the Revelation

http://wp.me/pU88A-3XK

 

 

To Love As Jesus Loved: Summary Of Our Study

SIH TOTT ICON“And though I bestow all my goods to feed [the poor], and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

Charity suffereth long, [and] is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

Charity never faileth: but whether [there be] prophecies, they shall fail; whether [there be] tongues, they shall cease; whether [there be] knowledge, it shall vanish away…  

And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these [is] charity.

(1 Corinthians 13:3-8, 13)

 

We have come to an end of our devotional series “To Love As Jesus Loved”. During this series, we have seen an incredible display of love in the life of Christ. Christ’s love for His Father, and for those who were given to Him by His Father, was put on display for all of us to recognize, learn of and imitate.

Keep in mind, the outstanding characteristic of Godly love is a willingness to sacrifice oneself for the beloved. The Apostle Paul reminds us of this basic principle in Galatians 2:19-20…

 

For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God.

Through the testimony of the law, the lost individual sees their need of a Savior. As the lost one comes to Christ, he is made dead to the law (no longer under the penalty of the law) and given a new life of service to God.

 

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me:

The newly saved individual has been transformed. They have been made dead to the old way of living under the domination of their fleshly desires.

They now are alive to Christ, living a new lifestyle of obedience to Christ. The new believer has been given a new standing before God, a new set of desires, new responsibilities and a new eternal home in the presence of God. This is what is meant by the believer being made “a new creature” in Him (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Paul reminds us that another aspect of our new lifestyle is the empowerment we receive through the sanctifying power of the indwelling Holy Spirit.  It is only by Christ’s grace shown to us through the indwelling Spirit that we can live transformed lifestyles of service to Him.

 

and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

Paul, now emphasizes that living obediently is trusting the Lord day by day. The faith that believers exercise on a daily basis is a gift that comes from Jesus Christ, the Son of God. The same Lord that gave us a new lifestyle and enabled us to serve is the same Lord that loved us and exhibited that love for us by giving His life for us.

 

 

Our Lesson To Be Learned:

May we all follow His great example of love by giving of ourselves for Him and those who are around us. be willing to give of ourselves for our Lord and those around us, motivated by the love of Christ in our hearts. In doing so, we will be living lives that are pleasing and acceptable to God…

“Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.” (Ephesians 5:1-2)

 

SIH Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org

SIH Text Blog: https://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/all-about-salvation/

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To Love As Jesus Loved: “Charity Endureth All Things”

SIH TOTT ICON“And though I bestow all my goods to feed [the poor], and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

Charity suffereth long, [and] is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

Charity never faileth: but whether [there be] prophecies, they shall fail; whether [there be] tongues, they shall cease; whether [there be] knowledge, it shall vanish away…  

And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these [is] charity.

(1 Corinthians 13:3-8, 13)

The Lord’s great love moved Him to willingly accept horrible false accusations, abuse and even death.

 

Christ’s Life:

 

The Characteristic of Scriptural Love: Perseveres Under A Heavy Burden

What great patience and perseverance is shown by our Lord as He withstood this abuse. Especially when we keep in mind that, at any time, He could have called legions of angels to come and rescue Him from this great burden of abuse that was placed upon Him…

Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?

In that same hour said Jesus to the multitudes, Are ye come out as against a thief with swords and staves for to take me? I sat daily with you teaching in the temple, and ye laid no hold on me.

But all this was done, that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled. Then all the disciples forsook him, and fled. (Matthew 26:52-56)

 

What was the motivating force behind Christ’s willingness to suffer long under this mistreatment? It was His love for His Heavenly Father and the people that His Father had given to Him:

 

1. His love for His Father – Christ was driven to fulfill His Father’s will for His life which included facing this horrible abuse.

But that the world may know that I love the Father; and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do. Arise, let us go hence.(John 14:31)

Christ declared His love for His Father through His obedience to His Father’s will.

But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of [things] in heaven, and [things] in earth, and [things] under the earth;And [that] every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ [is] Lord, to the glory of God the Father.(Philippians 2:7-11)

Christ’s submission to abuse and death did it as an act of obedience to the Father. This same faithful obedience resulted in His exaltation as Lord over all.

 

Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared;Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;(Hebrews 5:7-9)

It was through His sufferings that Christ learned of obedience. Likewise, it was through His suffering that He became the Savior of His people.

In Isaiah 53:1-12, we find a prophetic compilation of the many types of suffering that was borne by Christ as an act of love and obedience to His Father.

 

 

2. His love for the people given to Him by the Father – Christ’s great love for His people drove Him to willingly bear the horrible abuse, and in doing so, paid the price for their sins.

And from Jesus Christ, [who is] the faithful witness, [and] the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him [be] glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.(Revelation 1:5-6)

 

 

Our Lesson To Be Learned:

May we be willing to give of ourselves for our Lord and those around us, motivated by the love of Christ in our hearts…

“Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.” (Ephesians 5:1-2)

That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,May be able to comprehend with all saints what [is] the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.(Ephesians 3:16-19)

To Love As Jesus Loved: “Charity Hopeth All Things”

SIH TOTT ICON“And though I bestow all my goods to feed [the poor], and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.
Charity suffereth long, [and] is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
Charity never faileth: but whether [there be] prophecies, they shall fail; whether [there be] tongues, they shall cease; whether [there be] knowledge, it shall vanish away…  
And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these [is] charity.
(1 Corinthians 13:3-8, 13)

 

As we continue looking at events in the life of Christ that set a wonderful example for us of Scriptural love. In this devotional, Christ’s great love is shown to us as He sees beyond a woman’s sin and saw her repentant heart of submission and love…

 

Christ’s Life:

 

The Characteristic of Scriptural Love: Thinks And Sees The Best In Others

 

And one of the Pharisees desired him that he would eat with him. And he went into the Pharisee’s house, and sat down to meat.
And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that [Jesus] sat at meat in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster box of ointment,And stood at his feet behind [him] weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe [them] with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed [them] with the ointment.
Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw [it], he spake within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman [this is] that toucheth him: for she is a sinner.
And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he saith, Master, say on.
There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty.And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most?Simon answered and said, I suppose that [he], to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged.
And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped [them] with the hairs of her head.Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet.My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment.Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, [the same] loveth little.
And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven.
And they that sat at meat with him began to say within themselves, Who is this that forgiveth sins also?
And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace. (Luke 7:36-50)

 

In this event in the life of Christ, we have clearly displayed a tale of two opposites…

 

First of all, on the one extreme, we see the attitude of the Pharisee. It was a fault-finding critical attitude that centered on the past sinful acts of this woman… “This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman [this is] that toucheth him: for she is a sinner.

 

On the other hand, we find Christ who, looking beyond her past failures, responds to her heart that was filled with love for Him. Notice what He says… “Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much:

Christ, being God, could see the contents of her heart. We can see the depth of her submission and love to Christ through her outward actions…

 

1. brought an alabaster box of ointment,– she willingly gave to Him what she valued greatly
2. stood at his feet behind [him] weeping, – she was sorry for the sins she had committed against Him
3. began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe [them] with the hairs of her head,– she humbly served Him
4. and kissed his feet,– she loved Him and would do anything for Him
5. and anointed [them] with the ointment– she actively worked for His benefit

 

These all point to this woman’s possession of a true, deep love for her Lord and Savior.

 

Our Lesson To Be Learned:

 

The apostle Paul helps us to understand the great need for us to show our love for the Lord and others by having tender hearts of forgiveness, looking past the sins of others and showing kindness to them instead.

 

Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.(Ephesians 4:31-32)

 

This is another way that we can love others and follow the example Christ has set for us…

 

Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also [do] ye.

(Colossians 3:12-13)

 

 

 

 

 

SIH Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org
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To Love As Jesus Loved: “Charity Thinketh No Evil”

SIH TOTT ICON“And though I bestow all my goods to feed [the poor], and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.
Charity suffereth long, [and] is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
Charity never faileth: but whether [there be] prophecies, they shall fail; whether [there be] tongues, they shall cease; whether [there be] knowledge, it shall vanish away…  
And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these [is] charity.
(1 Corinthians 13:3-8, 13)

 

As we continue looking at events in the life of Christ that set a wonderful example for us of Scriptural love. In this devotional, we will see Christ’s hatred of sin on display…

Christ’s Life:

The Characteristic of Scriptural Love: Does Not Plan Or Desire Evil

Christ, the perfectly holy One, hated the commission of sin. We can clearly see this in the account of Christ cleansing the temple of those who were using the worship of His Father for personal monetary gain…

14) And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting:
15) And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables;
16) And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise.
17) And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.
(John 2:14-17)

What was the sin that was taking place in this account? “found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting:”  In other words, there were men who were making an unjust profit from the sale of animals to be used as sacrifices to Jehovah and from exchanging foreign money to that which was acceptable as an offering to Jehovah. Both of these “services” were being offered to those who had to travel long distances and in most cases came from outside of Israel.

Please note… Christ was not angered at making the animals and proper currency available to those who arrived to worship. His anger was pointed towards taking advantage of the faithful worshippers of Jehovah by making an unjust gain from these transactions. In other words, they had turned a place for true worship into a “house of merchandise”

How did Christ display His anger? It was through the exercise of physical force as He drove the exchangers out of the temple area… “And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables
 
This event had been prophesied in the Old Testament scriptures in Psalms 69:7-11. This Scripture is not only the historical account of the sufferings of King David, but it is also a prophetic Scripture revealing to us truths concerning the ministry of Christ during His first coming…

Because for thy sake I have borne reproach; shame hath covered my face.I am become a stranger unto my brethren, and an alien unto my mother’s children.For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up; and the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me.
When I wept, [and chastened] my soul with fasting, that was to my reproach.I made sackcloth also my garment; and I became a proverb to them. (Psalms 69:7-11)

 

 

Our Lesson To Be Learned:

What a tremendous display of Godly anger! Folks, don’t ever think (not even for a moment) that all anger is wrong. We are to consistently hold a Godly anger against the acts of sin that are taking place all around us. Then, we are to allow this anger to motivate us to stay away from these sins and take a stand against them. This is the principle Paul presented to us in Ephesians 4:26… Be ye angry, and sin not:…”

 

How is this type of anger a display of love?

1. It shows our love, and respect, towards our Lord as we recognize His attitude towards sin and the harm that sin does to His glory and the cause of Christ.
2. It shows our love for others, as we recognize the harmful effects of sin in the lives of those we love.

This anger should also motivate us to earnestly desire and fervently pray that “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as [it is] in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10)

What a day that will be, when we are dwelling in New Jerusalem with our Lord on the New Earth and know that sin, and its effects, will be permanently done away.

 

SIH Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org
SIH Text Blog: https://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/all-about-salvation/
SIH Video Blog: http://youtube.com/settledinheaven/
SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com

Spiritual Gifts: Gifts And Fruits For Use Today (Part #2)

SIH TOA ICONIntroduction:

In our previous studies, we have been looking at the “Accrediting” or “Sign” Gifts that were given to establish the New Testament Scriptures, the ministry of Christ and the Apostles, and the ministry of the local church as the newly created house of worship. We saw that these type of gifts are no longer needed, nor are they given to men, as we now have the historical record of the accrediting gifts found in the New Testament.

With this lesson, we will begin looking in detail at the “Spiritual Gifts For Today”…

 

 

 

Lesson:


A Description Of Spiritual Gifts For Today:

Gifted Men:

 

Evangelist – Ephesians 4:11 – “One who proclaims the gospel”

In other words, those whose main thrust is to minister to the lost giving them the gospel message. In today’s time this gifted man is best described as “a Missionary”.

 

Pastor/Teacher – Ephesians 4:11 – “a Shepherd / an Instructor”

He is described as a “Shepherd (or Pastor)” because his three responsibilities are to lead, feed and protect the local assembly over which he has been given oversight. He is described as a “Teacher” because one of the main thrusts of their ministry is to teach all aspects of God’s Word (doctrinal, practical, evangelistic) to the members of the local assembly.

 

Spiritual Gifts:

 

Prophecy – Romans 12:6, 1 Peter 4:11 – “to show forth the mind of God”.

This gift emphasizes the PROCLAMATION of the Truth.

How do we know God’s mind today? It is through the revelation of His Word. The gift of prophecy is the ability to proclaim God’s Word. This is clearly shown in the description “to speak as the oracles of God” in 1 Peter 4:11. This description is translated from a phrase meaning “to speak the logos (Word) of God”.

It is to be done “according to the proportion of faith” ie “according to the level of persuasion and conviction that he possesses.” In other words, a prophet is only to teach that which he is convinced is the truth. He is not to teach something because others teach it, but he is to study and be led by God to the truth of the Word and only then, proclaim it. (Romans 8:38-39)

 

Ministry or Helps – Romans 12:7, 1 Corinthians 12:28, 1 Peter 4:11 – “service, laboring to meet needs of others”.

This gift emphasizes HUMILITY based on the Truth.

This gift involves recognizing the needs of those around us and the ability to identify how to fulfill those needs. This gift also is closely associated to the exercise of several spiritual fruits including love, gentleness, and patience.

 

Teaching – Romans 12:7 – “to explain, to inform, to instruct”.

This gift emphasizes the EXPLANATION of the Truth.

The clear explanation of the principles of God’s Word is in view with this Spiritual gift. This gift enables a man to understand Biblical truths and then to clarify, illuminate and expound on them. Many times this gift is given in conjunction with the gift of Prophecy. While the gift of Prophecy’s greatest goal centers on the application of the truth to the life of their listeners, the gift of Teaching majors on their students coming to a clear understanding of the truths of the Word with the application of these truths a secondary goal.

Both of these ministries are of equal importance and rely upon each other. Truth cannot be applied to the life (goal of the prophet) until it is properly understood. Likewise understanding truth (goal of the teacher) without application to the life is of very little profit to the hearer.

 

Exhortation – Romans 12:8 – “to call near, to comfort, to stand with”

This gift emphasizes the ENCOURAGING to keep the Truth.

This gift involves encouraging others to keep the truth. This is done through strengthening and reassuring words, as well as actively supporting the actions of others in service to Christ. It involves standing with them in the midst of heartaches, testings, and temptations. Many times this gift is used along with the gift of ministry.

 

Giving – Romans 12:8 – “to give over, to share with others”.

This gift emphasizes GIVING to display the Truth.

This gift involves sacrificing of ourselves in order to illustrate what our Lord has done for us as recorded in His Word. This can involve the sharing of our finances, time, talents, possessions, or knowledge with others with no intention of restitution. It is handing over what we possess in an effort to display, on a very very small scale, the tremendous sacrifice that Christ has made on our behalf.

Note our text tells us this gift is to be exercised with “simplicity”. This relates to us the sincerity of motives and willingness to give of ourselves. Our giving should not be forced or manipulated but must be an act of our freewill, as we sincerely desire to share our blessings with others.

 

Ruling or Governments – Romans 12:8, 1 Corinthians 12:28 – “to stand before, to preside over”.

This gift emphasizes ORGANIZATION AND EXAMPLE SETTING to effectively reveal the Truth to others.

This gift involves the ability to effectively exercise directive authority over others. It involves organizing and delegating roles of service to most effectively serve the Lord. A part of this gift involves setting the proper example to those who are placed under their authority. Also, it involves a willingness to fulfill any role that is delegated to others.

Our text explains that this gift must be exercised “with diligence”. This helps us to understand that this gift must be exercised in a serious, eager, and careful manner. Many times the success of a ministry hinges upon the quality of leadership of that ministry.

 

Mercy – Romans 12:8 – “to show compassion to undeserving, to withhold deserved punishment”

This gift emphasizes the ability to EMPATHIZE WITH THE NEEDY to more effectively share the Truth.

This gift involves possessing a willingness to aid an inferior and/or forgive the guilty. This gift specifically involve the use of empathy (the ability to put ourselves in the “shoes” of others allowing us to emotionally share in the difficulties of others) as we minister to those who have wronged us or are suffering.

In the eyes of the world punishment is meted to the guilty and aid is to be given to those who are profitable to us.   This gift enables us to put ourselves in their place, share in their emotions and recognize their needs.   This then allows us to forgive instead of punish and to aid them in their suffering regardless of their social status.

 

Celibacy – 1 Corinthians 7:7-9 – “to live in unmarried state, to live a celibate lifestyle”

This gift emphasizes the ability to live WITHOUT PHYSICAL INTIMACY for the sake of the Truth.

This gift involves living a chaste lifestyle for the purpose of placing our full attention and efforts on service for Christ. This gift involves the ability to control our fleshly desires for sexual intimacy which allows us to concentrate solely on service to Christ. The exercise of this gift allows our service for Christ to be unfettered with the concerns of meeting the needs of a spouse or children.

 

Marriage – 1 Corinthians 7:7-9 – “to be a party in the Biblical marital covenant”

This gift emphasizes being FAITHFUL TO THE CONDITIONS OF THE BIBLICAL MARITAL COVENANT to show the Truth.

This gift involves receiving the God given ability to keep all the responsibilities of the Biblical marital covenant. The varied responsibilities of the husband and wife center upon the willingness to always working to meet the needs the other person while living in harmony between themselves and God. This gift involves the ability to recognize the needs of the spouse, sacrificially meet those needs, while yet placing the Lord first in the marriage.

 

Hospitality – 1 Peter 4:9 – “to be fond of aliens, foreigners”

This gift emphasizes CARING FOR STRANGERS to communicate the Truth .

This gift involves the ability to readily accept strangers as if they were long-time associates, friends, or family members.   It is having the ability to care for those we do not personally know by accepting them into our presence while sharing our blessings with them.

 

 

Please note the following gifts found in these texts are accrediting (sign) gifts that no longer exist and are covered in previous lessons:

  1. Office Of Apostle – 1 Corinthians 12:28, Ephesians 4:11
  2. Office Of Prophet – 1 Corinthians 12:28, Ephesians 4:11
  3. Gifts of Healings – 1 Corinthians 12:28
  4. Diversities of Tongues – 1 Corinthians 12:28

 

In our next lesson, we will look at how we can recognize which gifts we have received of the Lord

 

Additional Information:

A Description Of Spiritual Gifts For Today (Verses Used In This Study):

Rom 12:4-8 KJV

(4) For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:

(5) So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.

(6) Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;

(7) Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching;

(8) Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.

 

Rom 8:38-39 KJV

(38) For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,

(39) Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 

1Co 7:7-9 KJV

(7) For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that.

(8) I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I.

(9) But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.

 

1Co 12:27-31 KJV

(27) Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.

(28) And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.

(29) Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?

(30) Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?

(31) But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.

 

Gal 5:22-25 KJV

(22) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

(23) Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

(24) And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

(25) If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

 

Eph 4:11-15 KJV

(11) And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;

(12) For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

(13) Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

(14) That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

(15) But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:

 

Eph 5:8-10 KJV

(8) For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:

(9) (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)

(10) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.

 

1Pe 4:8-11 KJV

(8) And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.

(9) Use hospitality one to another without grudging.

(10) As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

(11) If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

Spiritual Gifts: Gifts And Fruits For Use Today (Part #1)

SIH TOA ICONIntroduction:

In our previous studies, we have been looking at the “Accrediting” or “Sign” Gifts that were given to establish the New Testament Scriptures, the ministry of Christ and the Apostles, and the ministry of the local church as the newly created house of worship. We saw that these type of gifts are no longer needed, nor are they given to men, as we now have the historical record of the accrediting gifts found in the New Testament.

 

With this lesson, we begin the second major division of our study as we will take a look at the gifts and the fruits of the Spirit that are given for use in the local assemblies in today’s time.

 

The Scriptures:

Texts that list gifts for today EXCLUSIVELY:

Rom 12:4-8 KJV
(4) For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:
(5) So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.
(6) Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;
(7) Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching;
(8) Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.

 

1Co 7:7-9 KJV
(7) For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that.
(8) I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I.
(9) But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.

 

1Pe 4:8-11 KJV
(8) And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.
(9) Use hospitality one to another without grudging.
(10) As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
(11) If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

 

 

Texts that list gifts for today along with some of the accrediting gifts:

 

1Co 12:27-31 KJV
(27) Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.
(28) And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.
(29) Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?
(30) Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?
(31) But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.

 

Eph 4:11-15 KJV
(11) And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
(12) For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
(13) Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
(14) That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
(15) But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:

 

Texts that list Spiritual Fruits :

 

Gal 5:22-25 KJV
(22) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
(23) Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
(24) And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
(25) If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

 

Eph 5:8-10 KJV
(8) For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:
(9) (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)
(10) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.

 

 

Lesson:

A Listing Of Spiritual Gifts For Today:

  1. Gifted Men:
    1. Evangelist – Ephesians 4:11
    2. Pastor/Teacher – Ephesians 4:11
  2. Spiritual Gifts:
    1. Prophecy – Romans 12:6, 1 Peter 4:11
    2. Ministry – Romans 12:7, 1 Peter 4:11
    3. Teaching – Romans 12:7
    4. Exhortation – Romans 12:8
    5. Giving – Romans 12:8
    6. Ruling – Romans 12:8
    7. Mercy – Romans 12:8
    8. Celibacy – 1 Corinthians 7:7-9
    9. Marriage – 1 Corinthians 7:7-9
    10. Helps – 1 Corinthians 12:28
    11. Governments – 1 Corinthians 12:28
    12. Hospitality – 1 Peter 4:9

 

(Please note the following gifts found in these texts are accrediting (sign) gifts that no longer exist and are covered in previous lessons:

  1. Office Of Apostle – 1 Corinthians 12:28, Ephesians 4:11
  2. Office Of Prophet – 1 Corinthians 12:28, Ephesians 4:11
  3. Gifts of Healings – 1 Corinthians 12:28
  4. Diversities of Tongues – 1 Corinthians 12:28)

 

 

A Listing Of Spiritual Fruits:

  1. Fruits Of The Spirit:
    1. Love – Galatians 5:22
    2. Joy – Galatians 5:22
    3. Peace – Galatians 5:22
    4. Longsuffering – Galatians 5:22
    5. Gentleness – Galatians 5:22
    6. Goodness – Galatians 5:22
    7. Faith – Galatians 5:22
    8. Meekness – Galatians 5:23
    9. Temperance – Galatians 5:23

 

 

The Difference Between Talents, Fruits and Gifts Of The Spirit:

The following table helps us to understand the difference between the talents, fruits and gifts we are given by God through the Spirit’s intervention…

 

Type Of Gift Texts Gifted Person Evidenced From Nature Of Gift Types Received
Physical Talent Matthew 4:18-20 Mankind Physical Birth Natural (Physical) Various(Lord’s Discretion)
Fruit Of The Spirit Galatians 5:22-24 Saved Spiritual Birth Natural (Spiritual) All
Spiritual Gift (Charisma) Romans 12:4-81 Corinthians 12:8-11Ephesians 4:11-121 Peter 4:8-9   etc. Saved Lord’s Intervention Supernatural (Spiritual) Various(Lord’s Discretion)

 

Notes on above chart:

1. This chart is given to quickly illustrate there is a distinct difference between the “Spiritual Gifts”, the “Fruits of the Spirit” and “Physical Talents” all of which are given by God to man. Please understand that when we speak of the “Spiritual Gifts” they differ greatly in many areas from “Fruits of The Spirit”. These are not to be confused.

2. (One area of similarity between the three is that all three are given through God’s grace and all three are to be used in our service to Him.)

In our next study, we will be looking at “Spiritual Gifts For Today” in detail. Later in this study we will look at the “Fruits of the Spirit” in greater detail.

 

 

Additional Information (Verses Used In This Study):

The Criteria For TheTesting Of The Spirits:

Rom 12:4-8 KJV
(4) For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:
(5) So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.
(6) Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;
(7) Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching;
(8) Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.

 

1Co 7:7-9 KJV
(7) For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that.
(8) I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I.
(9) But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.

 

1Co 12:27-31 KJV
(27) Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.
(28) And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.
(29) Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?
(30) Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?
(31) But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.

 

Gal 5:22-25 KJV
(22) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
(23) Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
(24) And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
(25) If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

 

 

Eph 4:11-15 KJV
(11) And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
(12) For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
(13) Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
(14) That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
(15) But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:

 

Eph 5:8-10 KJV
(8) For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:
(9) (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)
(10) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.

 

 

1Pe 4:8-11 KJV
(8) And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.
(9) Use hospitality one to another without grudging.
(10) As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
(11) If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

To Love As Jesus Loved: “The Imitation Of Love”

SIH TOTT ICONAs we continue our look at the many displays of love in Christ’s life through His teachings and our actions, we now continue our brief look at a few of His teachings concerning love…

 

 

 

 

 


Christ’s Teaching:

 

Another of the subjects Christ addressed during His earthly ministry was “The Imitation Of Love”…

Following Christ’s example of love is a new commandment given to us by Christ…

A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another;as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. (John 13:34-35)

 

The commandment to “love one another” was given to the people of God long before Christ gives us this teaching (Leviticus 19:18).   Therefore, this command is not new in the sense of being taught for the first time.

 

If this is the case, why did Christ say He was giving them a new commandment? It is important we keep in mind that Christ’s entire statement is…

“A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.

 

The “new” aspect of this command was that, now, they had a perfect example of love set before them. Never before had they been given the privilege of seeing a perfect, unconditional, eternal love on display.   They were to follow the example of Christ that was set before them and, in doing so, they would find themselves loving one another.  This truly was a new command they had never previously received.

 

 

Loving others with the love of Christ is proof positive of a genuine salvation experience…

 

By this shall all [men] know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

Christ emphasizes that loving others as ourselves is an unquestionable mark of genuine followers of Christ. Our love for our spiritual family, our physical family, our friends, our acquaintances, strangers, and even our enemies tells the world that we are the recipients of Christ’s love and saving grace.

 

 

The apostle Paul describes it in this way in Ephesians 5:1-2…

 

Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.

 

During His earthly ministry, Christ showed His great love when He offered His life to the Father as payment for the sins of His people. In doing so, He displayed His great love for all to see.  Following His ascension to be with the Father, when His people consistently demonstrate this same type of self-sacrificial love, it is also put on display for the world to see.

 

 

Our Lesson To Be Learned:

 

Following Christ’s earthly ministry, His people have the special privilege of following His example of love and self-sacrifice as we seek to love others as He has loved us. May we all look to Christ as our perfect example of love, and in doing so give of ourselves to others as He gave Himself to us.

 

 

SIH Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org

SIH Text Blog: https://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/all-about-salvation/

SIH Video Blog: http://youtube.com/settledinheaven/

SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com

SIH’s Think On These Things: Ephesians 6:23-24

SIH TOTT ICON“Reflections Of His Grace”

“That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in [his] kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.”

 

 

The Closing Of Ephesians (6:21-24)

 

But that ye also may know my affairs, and how I do, Tychicus, a beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord, shall make known to you all things: Whom I have sent unto you for the same purpose, that ye might know our affairs, and that he might comfort your hearts.

Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen.

To the Ephesians written from Rome, by Tychicus.

 

In this devotional, we continue to look at the book of Ephesians, Paul’s personal letter to the church at Ephesus. We have already looked at the two main divisions of the book… “Reflections Of His Grace Revealed” (chaps 1-3) and “Reflections Of His Grace Applied” (chaps 4-6).   As we draw this study to a close we will be looking at Paul’s closing to this letter found in 6:21-24…

 

 

EXPOSITION:

(Ephesians 6:23-24) Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.   Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen. To the Ephesians written from Rome, by Tychicus.

 

Paul’s final wishes to his Christian brethren at Ephesus…

 

Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith,

Paul wishes upon his brethren:

1. peace – harmony, unity, quietness, rest

 

Paul desired for the church to have unity within the body and peace towards Christ, their brethren and others around them.

2. love with faith – self-sacrificial love with persuasion and conviction

 

Two of the greatest needs for servants of Christ is to possess a love towards others and assurance of salvation and conviction of the truths of God’s Word.

Paul’s wishes for them centered upon helping them to be better servants of the Lord. Instead of wishing for increased material possessions or physical health, his greatest concerns for them involved that which would be of spiritual benefit.

 

from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Paul understood that all spiritual blessings originate with God the Father and flow through Christ and His work, which is the channel for all blessings for mankind. As he prayed for the Ephesian saints, he was going ot the source of these great benefits for them.

 

Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity.

3. grace – the giving of that which is beneficial and undeserved

Apart from the specific needs that Paul requested for the Ephesian church, he now requests the very general gift of God’s grace. It is through God’s grace that all of our needs are supplied. Here, Paul is basically saying… “Lord, please graciously give those who love you whatever they may need to serve you”.

He desires these blessings to come upon those who genuinely love Christ sacrificially.

 

Amen.

Paul finishes his letter with “Amen” which means “so be it”.

In other words, “ I have said all I know to say, may it accomplish what it was meant to accomplish”… “May the Lord’s will be done”.

 

To the Ephesians written from Rome, by Tychicus.

This is a notation, probably not in the originals, clarifies the place of writing (Rome) and the recipient (the Ephesians).

When it says “by Tychicus” it could be saying that Tychicus delivered the message to the Ephesians, or Tychicus was the scribe that wrote this letter for the Apostle Paul.

Our next devotional series… “To Love As Jesus Loved” will begin, Lord willing on Monday July 7th, 2014.

Until then we will be presenting individual devotional lessons.

 

 

APPLICATION:

With this devotional, we come to the end of our Ephesians devotional series. I wanted to thank everyone who has so graciously given of your time to follow this series. My prayer for you mimics that of the Apostle Paul for the Ephesians:

May the Lord bless you with His grace and grant to you overflowing grace and peace as you seek to serve Him as His chosen, called and faithful.

May we all get a clearer picture of our Lord and Savior, and the great grace He has shown to us. Let us be always watchful to keep His great acts of grace on our behalf in the center of our attention… In doing so, may we be motivated to LOVE Him more, APPRECIATE Him more and SERVE Him more! 

 

SIH Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org

SIH Text Blog: https://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/all-about-salvation/

SIH Video Blog: http://youtube.com/settledinheaven/

SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SIH’s Think On These Things: Ephesians 6:21-22

SIH TOTT ICON“Reflections Of His Grace”

“That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in [his] kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.”

 

 

 

The Closing Of Ephesians (6:21-24)

 But that ye also may know my affairs, and how I do, Tychicus, a beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord, shall make known to you all things: Whom I have sent unto you for the same purpose, that ye might know our affairs, and that he might comfort your hearts.
Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen.
To the Ephesians written from Rome, by Tychicus.

 

In this devotional, we continue to look at the book of Ephesians, Paul’s personal letter to the church at Ephesus. We have already looked at the two main divisions of the book… “Reflections Of His Grace Revealed” (chaps 1-3) and “Reflections Of His Grace Applied” (chaps 4-6).   As we draw this study to a close we will be looking at Paul’s closing to this letter found in 6:21-24…

 

EXPOSITION:

(Ephesians 6:21-22) But that ye also may know my affairs, and how I do, Tychicus, a beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord, shall make known to you all things:

Whom I have sent unto you for the same purpose, that ye might know our affairs, and that he might comfort your hearts.

 

Paul’s concern for the Ephesian believers was a reciprocal one. Here, Paul acknowledges their concern for his wellbeing …

But that ye also may know my affairs, and how I do, Tychicus, a beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord, shall make known to you all things:

Because the Ephesian believers were concerned about his welfare, in the imprisoned Paul’s absence, Tychicus would go to them. He would be delivering this letter to them as well as informing them of Paul’s current condition. In doing so, both Paul and the Ephesians were treating each other with the love, respect and appreciation they deserved.

[Be] kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;(Romans 12:10)

But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another.And indeed ye do it toward all the brethren which are in all Macedonia: but we beseech you, brethren, that ye increase more and more;(1 Thessalonians 4:9-10)

 

Are we concerned about the welfare of those who care for us? Or do we take them for granted and do not appreciate them as we should?

Also, please notice that Paul described Tychicus as:

1. a beloved brother – Tychicus was loved by Paul with a self-sacrificial love. Paul looked upon him as a member of his family… a spiritual brother in Christ.

2. a faithful minister in the Lord – Tychicus was a trustworthy, reliable servant in the service of Christ

What a wonderful testimony to be had by anyone who is called by the name of “Christian”!

He was loved greatly loved by other servants of Christ (to the point of being considered a member of their family), he was known as a person who was reliable, and also as one who was ministering for Christ… what better testimony could we possess?

By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.(Hebrews 11:5)

 

Whom I have sent unto you for the same purpose, that ye might know our affairs,

Paul recognized their desire to know of his welfare and sent Tychicus to inform them. Although Paul could simply write of his current condition, he knew that it would be more easily understood if he sent a witness to confirm his words and answer any questions they might have.

 

and that he might comfort your hearts.

Paul’s motivation to inform them was not from a prideful selfishness, but he was doing it for their welfare that their loving concern for them might be eased.

 

APPLICATION:

In this first part to Paul’s closing, we can see both the need to reciprocally hold concern for those who care about us and to make a loving effort to ease their concerns and keep them informed of our wellbeing.

How often have we asked others to pray for us without keeping them informed of changes in our circumstances?

How often do we not notice others’ concern for us, slight them and ignore their attempts to show concern?

How often do we have opportunity to meet the needs of our spiritual brethren but pay no attention to their needs and “pass by on the other side”?

May we all love, and return love that is shown to us, in our pursuit to become more like Christ, our wonderfully kind, forgiving and loving Savior!

May we all get a clearer picture of our Lord and Savior, and the great grace He has shown to us. Let us be always watchful to keep His great acts of grace on our behalf in the center of our attention… In doing so, may we be motivated to LOVE Him more, APPRECIATE Him more and SERVE Him more! 

 

SIH Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org

SIH Text Blog: https://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/all-about-salvation/

SIH Video Blog: http://youtube.com/settledinheaven/

SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SIH’s Think On These Things: Ephesians 6:19-20

SIH TOTT ICON“Reflections Of His Grace”

“That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in [his] kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.”

 

The Grace Of Preparedness (6:10-20)

 

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.   

Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

 

This devotional, continues to look at the second main division of the book of Ephesians. Previously, we have looked at “Reflections Of His Grace Revealed” (chaps 1-3). It that section, Paul revealed to us the gracious works of the Lord in the lives of His chosen people.

In this new section “Reflections Of His Grace Applied” (chaps 4-6) Paul will be explaining to us the practical effects of God’s grace in the lives of His people.

  1. The Grace Of Unity (4:1-6)
  2. The Grace Of Maturity (4:7-16)
  3. The Grace Of Renewal (4:17-32)
  4. The Grace Of Imitation (5:1-14)
  5. The Grace Of Wisdom (5:15-21)
  6. The Grace Of Relationships (5:22-33)
  7. The Grace Of Authority/Submission (6:1-9)
  8. The Grace Of Preparedness (6:10-20)

 

The next effect of God’s grace we will be looking at is the grace of PREPAREDNESS (6:1-10-20)…

One of the greatest needs for Christians is to prepare beforehand for the spiritual warfare in which they face. The Bible clearly speaks of the need to recognize our enemy, the devil, and properly prepare for his attacks upon us …

 1Pe 5:8-9 KJV – “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:   Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.”

Keeping all this in mind, let’s turn our attention to this is a very basic outline of this section of Scripture:
I.        The Need For The Armour Of God (vs 10-13)
II.        The Identity Of The Armour Of God (vs 14-17)
III.        The Empowerment Of The Armour Of God (vs 18)
IV.        The Ministry Enabled By The Armour Of God (vs 19-20)

 

 

EXPOSITION:

Just as, our prayer and ministry to others is a very important aspect of our Christian service, so too others ministering on our behalf is of great importance.

 

(Ephesians 6:19-20) And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

 

Paul now requests prayer on his behalf for the enhancement of his ministry…

And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, 

Paul now requests for prayer for:

1. utterance – the proper words to be given to him
a. the proper words are used to clearly express the truths of God’s Word
b. the proper words are used to present the Word in a kind, loving way

 

2. boldness – an attitude of confidence and courage
a. the message of truth being presented with a confident attitude, knowing it is the truth from God’s Word and that it will accomplish that which the Lord pleases.
b. the message of truth being presented with a courageous attitude, willing to share it with those who oppose the Word and publically teach error.

 

to make known the mystery of the gospel, 

The “bottom line” to Paul’s request is that the gospel be proclaimed to those who are around us at every opportunity that is opened to us. It is only through receipt of the utterance and boldness that this can take place.

Why does Paul describe the message of the gospel as a mystery? The word translated “mystery” does not mean “that which is unknown”. In actuality it means “that which is unknown to the uninitiated”.  In other words, the gospel is a mystery to those to whom it has not been revealed.

Paul, by using this term, is saying that his desire was to share the gospel with the lost, especially to the lost who have never heard the gospel message. This is Paul’s ministry in a nut-shell. He took the gospel of Christ to a Gentile world that, in many cases, had never heard the gospel message before.

 

 

For which I am an ambassador in bonds:

It was this same ministry of this gospel message that had resulted in the imprisonment of Paul. Paul was willing to be in prison for the sake of the gospel being proclaimed.

Another description of Paul’s ministry is found in the title “ambassador”. In other words, Paul is describing himself as “a senior representative” for Christ and the gospel message.

 

 

that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

Paul here, simply relates to us that due to the importance of his ministry (taking the gospel to those who had not received it) and his calling of God (a senior representative for the gospel), he greatly desired boldness to enable him to speak the truths of God as he should (in an understandable, loving way).

 

 

APPLICATION:

May we all be greatly concerned about our personal ministry for Christ as was the Apostle Paul. May we all see the need to be graced of God with the proper words and attitudes to be Godly representatives of His gospel. And finally, may we be encouraged to share the gospel message in every opportunity that is opened to us. Understanding that the gospel, His enabling, and the opportunities that are opened to us are all divine acts of grace and love that He has bestowed upon us.

May we all get a clearer picture of our Lord and Savior, and the great grace He has shown to us. Let us be always watchful to keep His great acts of grace on our behalf in the center of our attention… In doing so, may we be motivated to LOVE Him more, APPRECIATE Him more and SERVE Him more! 

SIH Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org

SIH Text Blog: https://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/all-about-salvation/

SIH Video Blog: http://youtube.com/settledinheaven/

SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SIH’s Think On These Things: Ephesians 6:18

SIH TOTT ICON“Reflections Of His Grace”

“That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in [his] kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.”

 

 

The Grace Of Preparedness (6:10-20)

 Ephesians 6:10-20

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.  

Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

 

This devotional, continues to look at the second main division of the book of Ephesians. Previously, we have looked at “Reflections Of His Grace Revealed” (chaps 1-3). It that section, Paul revealed to us the gracious works of the Lord in the lives of His chosen people.

In this new section “Reflections Of His Grace Applied” (chaps 4-6) Paul will be explaining to us the practical effects of God’s grace in the lives of His people.

  1. The Grace Of Unity (4:1-6)
  2. The Grace Of Maturity (4:7-16)
  3. The Grace Of Renewal (4:17-32)
  4. The Grace Of Imitation (5:1-14)
  5. The Grace Of Wisdom (5:15-21)
  6. The Grace Of Relationships (5:22-33)
  7. The Grace Of Authority/Submission (6:1-9)
  8. The Grace Of Preparedness (6:10-20)

 

The next effect of God’s grace we will be looking at is the grace of PREPAREDNESS (6:1-10-20)…

One of the greatest needs for Christians is to prepare beforehand for the spiritual warfare in which they face. The Bible clearly speaks of the need to recognize our enemy, the devil, and properly prepare for his attacks upon us …

 1Pe 5:8-9 KJV – “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:   Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.”

 

Keeping all this in mind, let’s turn our attention to this is a very basic outline of this section of Scripture:
I.        The Need For The Armour Of God (vs 10-13)
II.        The Identity Of The Armour Of God (vs 14-17)
III.        The Empowerment Of The Armour Of God (vs 18)
IV.        The Ministry Enabled By The Armour Of God (vs 19-20)

 

 

EXPOSITION:

Previously, we have looked at all 6 pieces of God’s armour: the Girdle of Truth, the Breastplate of Righteousness, The Shoes Of The Gospel Of Peace, Shield Of Faith, the Helmet Of Salvation, and the Sword of The Spirit. If we are equipped with all six pieces of armour what can we still be lacking? Prayer and a concern for others…

 

(Eph 6:18) Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

Once we are equipped with the complete armour of God, our next step is to minister to the needs of others. Please notice this ministry has two aspects to it: prayer and watching over others…

 

 1. Prayer… 

 

Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit,

Here, the words “praying” and “prayer” comes from a fusion of two Greek words that mean:
1. wishes or desires
2. towards or alongside

 

In other words, we are being told to send away our wishes and desires towards God. We are to verbally take them to the Lord using “supplications” (requests or petitions). As we take our requests to the Lord, we are to be led by the Holy Spirit.

 

When we are being led by the Spirit:
1. He will intercede on our behalf (Romans 8:26-28)
2. He will lead us to make requests that are pleasing to the Lord based upon His revealed will for us (Ephesians 5:15-20)
3. He will give us a spirit of submission to the Lord’s will concerning the requests we have made. (Psa 143:10)

 

 

2. Watching Over Others…

 

and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

Besides prayer, we are to also begin specifically looking for opportunities to help others in need. We are to be actively “watching” to recognize others in need.

 

The word “watching” is really interesting and helps us to understand the importance of this area of ministry for others… the word “watching” means “to keep awake” or “to lie awake” and can be understood in at least three different ways:
1. we are to be always vigilant, never “falling asleep at the switch” as we seek ways to help others.
2. we are to lie awake at night, out of concern for other’s needs.
3. we are to lie awake at night, reflecting on our day and those we have met, making sure we have not missed the opportunity to help those who have come our way.

 

This watching is to be done in association with “perseverance”, in other words with persistence and carefulness. Also, we are to watch with “supplication”, making a request to the Lord for guidance and the ability to recognize the opportunities open to us.

 

APPLICATION:

 

The basic principle is this, once we have properly protected ourselves through the putting on of God’s armour, we are to then work to serve the Lord by meeting others needs. The Christian life is not a selfish one, solely concerned about taking care of our needs only. A Christian is to care about being well equipped for the service of Christ for their own benefit, as well as for the benefit of others.

 

By being protected and strong spiritually the Christians is able to best serve Christ in serving the needs of others.

 

Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.
Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of [this] life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.
And if a man also strive for masteries, [yet] is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully.
The husbandman that laboureth must be first partaker of the fruits.Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things.
Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel:Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, [even] unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound.Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.(2 Timothy 2:1-10)

 

May we all get a clearer picture of our Lord and Savior, and the great grace He has shown to us. Let us be always watchful to keep His great acts of grace on our behalf in the center of our attention… In doing so, may we be motivated to LOVE Him more, APPRECIATE Him more and SERVE Him more!

 

SIH Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org
SIH Text Blog: https://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/all-about-salvation/
SIH Video Blog: http://youtube.com/settledinheaven/
SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SIH’s Think On These Things: Ephesians 6:17b

SIH TOTT ICON“Reflections Of His Grace”

“That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in [his] kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.”

 

 

The Grace Of Preparedness (6:10-20)

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.   

Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

 

This devotional, continues to look at the second main division of the book of Ephesians. Previously, we have looked at “Reflections Of His Grace Revealed” (chaps 1-3). It that section, Paul revealed to us the gracious works of the Lord in the lives of His chosen people.

In this new section “Reflections Of His Grace Applied” (chaps 4-6) Paul will be explaining to us the practical effects of God’s grace in the lives of His people.

  1. The Grace Of Unity (4:1-6)
  2. The Grace Of Maturity (4:7-16)
  3. The Grace Of Renewal (4:17-32)
  4. The Grace Of Imitation (5:1-14)
  5. The Grace Of Wisdom (5:15-21)
  6. The Grace Of Relationships (5:22-33)
  7. The Grace Of Authority/Submission (6:1-9)
  8. The Grace Of Preparedness (6:10-20)

The next effect of God’s grace we will be looking at is the grace of PREPAREDNESS (6:1-10-20)…

One of the greatest needs for Christians is to prepare beforehand for the spiritual warfare in which they face. The Bible clearly speaks of the need to recognize our enemy, the devil, and properly prepare for his attacks upon us …

1Pe 5:8-9 KJV – “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:   Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.”

Keeping all this in mind, let’s turn our attention to this is a very basic outline of this section of Scripture:
I.        The Need For The Armour Of God (vs 10-13)
II.        The Identity Of The Armour Of God (vs 14-17)
III.        The Empowerment Of The Armour Of God (vs 18)
IV.        The Ministry Enabled By The Armour Of God (vs 19-20)

 

 EXPOSITION:

Previously, we have seen 5 pieces of God’s armour: the Girdle of Truth, the Breastplate of Righteousness, The Shoes Of The Gospel Of Peace, Shield Of Faith, and the Helmet Of Salvation . Now, Paul looks at the final piece of armour… the Sword of The Spirit…

(Eph 6:17) And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

 

The Sword Of The Spirit:

1. It is called the “Sword Of The Spirit, which is the Word of God” – Here we find that our piece of armour given to us is clearly defined for us as “the Word of God”.

The symbolism used to picture the Word is that of a sword:

a. It is symbolized by a sword… due to its effectiveness against our spiritual foes. A sword is a very sharp piece of equipment that can be very effective when used properly.

The Word throughout the Scriptures is pictured as powerful tool used to perform great deeds, a few of those include:
the creation of the world (Psa 33:6, Heb 11:3)
the salvation of lost individuals (Romans 10:13-17)
the perfect basis of judgment (Hebrews 4:12)
always accomplishes its chosen purpose (Isaiah 55:11)

and most importantly for our study…
the perfect equipment for living a spiritual life (2 Timothy 3:16)
the defeat of Satan during times of temptation (Matthew 4:1-11)
the final defeat of the powers of darkness (Revelation 19:15-21)

 

b. It is described as being “of the Spirit”… to emphasize that the Holy Spirit reveals the Word and produces its effectiveness and power:
the Spirit reveals God’s Word to us (John 14:16-17, John 16:13, 1 John 2:27)
the Spirit empowers the ministry of the Word (Acts 1:8, Col 3:16, Eph 3:20)
2. The sword is used to protect our entire being – Any temptation we face uses one of three areas of our fallen nature… the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life (1 John 2:16). The Bible emphasizes these three areas on temptation in the historical accounts of the two most important temptations we find in God’s Word:

a. the temptation of Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden, which produced the fall of all mankind (Genesis 3:1-7);

b. the temptation of Christ in the wilderness, that resulted in the public declaration of the sinlessness of Christ (Luke 4:1-13).

Fleshly Nature 1 John 2:16 “Lust Of The Flesh” “Lust Of The Eyes” “Pride of Life”
Temptation Adam & Eve In Eden Genesis 3:1-7 Saw Tree Good For Food Pleasant To The Eyes Tree Desired To Make Men Wise
Temptation Christ In Wilderness Luke 4:1-13 To Make Stones To Bread To Gain Kingdoms Of World and Their Glory Cast Thyself Down / Angels to Protect Him

It is very important for us to notice the example Christ set for us in the temptation that He faced (Luke 4:1-13). In that temptation, he used His Word to combat Satan’s temptations in all three of these areas…

And the devil said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread.And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.

And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it.If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.

And he brought him to Jerusalem, and set him on a pinnacle of the temple, and said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down from hence:For it is written, He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee:And in [their] hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.And Jesus answering said unto him, It is said, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.

And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season.

In this text, the Lord clearly showed to us that His Word is able to attack Satan in the midst of any type of temptation, bringing the temptation to a halt and working his eventual departure. Hence, the Sword of the Spirit is represented to us as the key to effectively attacking Satan and gaining the spiritual victory in every area of our life.

 

3. It is the ONLY offensive weapon that is spoken of in our Ephesians text. All the other pieces of armour we have studied were defensive in nature, able to protect us against the attacks of the powers of darkness only. However, it is through the Sword of the Spirit, that we are able to not only defend against Satanic temptations, but to actually drive Satan away, which is shown in the temptation of Christ in the wilderness.

Keep in mind, in the origin temptation (Adam and Eve in the wilderness), Satan is shown perverting the Word of God that had been received by Adam and Eve. In doing so, Satan was attempting to mislead and “beguile” (totally confuse) Eve (2 Cor 11:3), while taking away her only means of driving him away.

 

APPLICATION:

May we always highly value the Word of God and make it the central part of our day to day walk with Christ (Provs 4:20-22). May we thank and praise Him for His Word and the many benefits that it brings into our lives (Psalms 119:11-16).

For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received [it] not [as] the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.(1 Thessalonians 2:13)

May we all get a clearer picture of our Lord and Savior, and the great grace He has shown to us. Let us be always watchful to keep His great acts of grace on our behalf in the center of our attention… In doing so, may we be motivated to LOVE Him more, APPRECIATE Him more and SERVE Him more! 

SIH Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org

SIH Text Blog: https://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/all-about-salvation/

SIH Video Blog: http://youtube.com/settledinheaven/

SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SIH’s Think On These Things: Ephesians 6:17a

SIH TOTT ICON“Reflections Of His Grace”

“That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in [his] kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.”

 

 

The Grace Of Preparedness (6:10-20)

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.   

Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

 

This devotional, continues to look at the second main division of the book of Ephesians. Previously, we have looked at “Reflections Of His Grace Revealed” (chaps 1-3). It that section, Paul revealed to us the gracious works of the Lord in the lives of His chosen people.

In this new section “Reflections Of His Grace Applied” (chaps 4-6) Paul will be explaining to us the practical effects of God’s grace in the lives of His people.

  1. The Grace Of Unity (4:1-6)
  2. The Grace Of Maturity (4:7-16)
  3. The Grace Of Renewal (4:17-32)
  4. The Grace Of Imitation (5:1-14)
  5. The Grace Of Wisdom (5:15-21)
  6. The Grace Of Relationships (5:22-33)
  7. The Grace Of Authority/Submission (6:1-9)
  8. The Grace Of Preparedness (6:10-20)

The next effect of God’s grace we will be looking at is the grace of PREPAREDNESS (6:1-10-20)…

One of the greatest needs for Christians is to prepare beforehand for the spiritual warfare in which they face. The Bible clearly speaks of the need to recognize our enemy, the devil, and properly prepare for his attacks upon us …

1Pe 5:8-9 KJV – “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:   Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.”

 

Keeping all this in mind, let’s turn our attention to this is a very basic outline of this section of Scripture:
I.        The Need For The Armour Of God (vs 10-13)
II.        The Identity Of The Armour Of God (vs 14-17)
III.        The Empowerment Of The Armour Of God (vs 18)
IV.        The Ministry Enabled By The Armour Of God (vs 19-20)

 

 

EXPOSITION:

Previously, we have seen 4 pieces of God’s armour: the Girdle of Truth, the Breastplate of Righteousness, The Shoes Of The Gospel Of Peace, Shield Of Faith . Now, Paul continues to give us a description of this armour. In this devotional we will be looking at …

(Eph 6:17) And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

 

The Helmet of Salvation:

1. It is called the “Helmet Of Salvation” – What is “salvation”? Salvation, in its most basic definition, means “deliverance” or “defense”.  Not only does “salvation” refer to our initial experience of deliverance from the penalty of sin (justification) and power of sin (progressive sanctification), but also it can refer to our FUTURE deliverance from the presence of sin (glorification).

Which phase, or aspect, of our salvation does this text speak? To help us come to a clear understanding of this text, we need to look at another reference to this “helmet” spoken of by Paul …

But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.”   (1 Thessalonians 5:8-10)

When Paul speaks of “the hope of salvation” he is clearly speaking of the final stage of our salvation experience which is the future glorification of our bodies and the complete deliverance from God’s eternal wrath and deliverance from a sinful fallen world. This is the salvation, yet to be received, that the Christian hopes for in this life (1 Pet 1:3-5, 1 Pet 1:13, 1 John 3:1-3).

This is the “salvation”, I believe, Paul is speaking of in our Ephesians text.

 

2. This helmet protects our head – the head is a symbolic representation of the thought processes that we possess. It is our head (brain) that is the container of our knowledge, desires and will. Our knowledge of our coming glorification, along with our strong desires and appreciation for it, will motivate us to make the proper choices as we fight the spiritual battle place before us.   It is the motivating force behind us as we “keep on keeping on” in the midst of very difficult trying times that we may face.

It was the source of strength and endurance for those declared to be the most faithful of God’s servants we find in the Bible….

These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of [them], and embraced [them], and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.
For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country.And truly, if they had been mindful of that [country] from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned.
But now they desire a better [country], that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.”  (Hebrews 11:13-16)

 

3. It is a defensive piece of armour, and as such is an effective tool in thwarting the attacks of Satan. When we control our thought life (dwelling upon the many wonderful promises of God) and make choices based upon this great hope, we will find ourselves rejecting this sinful world’s offerings and temptations placed before us. We will confidently choose to remain faithful to Christ, knowing we will obtain far greater eternal riches in eternity.

(For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, [that they are] the enemies of the cross of Christ:Whose end [is] destruction, whose God [is their] belly, and [whose] glory [is] in their shame, who mind earthly things.)
For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself. (Philippians 3:18-21)

 

APPLICATION:

May we always hold the future promises of eternal blessings in the center of our minds. In doing so, may we allow them to motivate us to always choose the Lord’s will over the temporary riches of this world .

The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with [him], that we may be also glorified together.
For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time [are] not worthy [to be compared] with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”   (Romans 8:16-18)

 

May we all get a clearer picture of our Lord and Savior, and the great grace He has shown to us. Let us be always watchful to keep His great acts of grace on our behalf in the center of our attention… In doing so, may we be motivated to LOVE Him more, APPRECIATE Him more and SERVE Him more!

 

SIH Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org
SIH Text Blog: https://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/all-about-salvation/
SIH Video Blog: http://youtube.com/settledinheaven/
SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SIH’s Think On These Things: Ephesians 6:16

“Reflections Of His Grace”

SIH TOTT ICON“That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in [his] kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.”

 

 

The Grace Of Preparedness (6:10-20)

 

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.  

Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

This devotional, continues to look at the second main division of the book of Ephesians. Previously, we have looked at “Reflections Of His Grace Revealed” (chaps 1-3). It that section, Paul revealed to us the gracious works of the Lord in the lives of His chosen people.

In this new section “Reflections Of His Grace Applied” (chaps 4-6) Paul will be explaining to us the practical effects of God’s grace in the lives of His people.

  1. The Grace Of Unity (4:1-6)
  2. The Grace Of Maturity (4:7-16)
  3. The Grace Of Renewal (4:17-32)
  4. The Grace Of Imitation (5:1-14)
  5. The Grace Of Wisdom (5:15-21)
  6. The Grace Of Relationships (5:22-33)
  7. The Grace Of Authority/Submission (6:1-9)
  8. The Grace Of Preparedness (6:10-20)

 

The next effect of God’s grace we will be looking at is the grace of PREPAREDNESS (6:1-10-20)…

One of the greatest needs for Christians is to prepare beforehand for the spiritual warfare in which they face. The Bible clearly speaks of the need to recognize our enemy, the devil, and properly prepare for his attacks upon us …

1Pe 5:8-9 KJV – “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:   Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.”

Keeping all this in mind, let’s turn our attention to this is a very basic outline of this section of Scripture:
I.        The Need For The Armour Of God (vs 10-13)
II.        The Identity Of The Armour Of God (vs 14-17)
III.        The Empowerment Of The Armour Of God (vs 18)
IV.        The Ministry Enabled By The Armour Of God (vs 19-20)

 

 

EXPOSITION:

Previously, we have seen 3 pieces of God’s armour: the Girdle of Truth, the Breastplate of Righteousness, The Shoes Of The Gospel Of Peace. Now, Paul continues to give us a description of this armour. In this devotional we will be looking at …

 (Eph 6:16) Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

  

Above all, taking the shield of faith,

 

The Shield Of Faith:

1. It is called the “Shield Of Faith” – What is “faith”? This idea is expressed Biblically with several different terms: belief, trust, assurance and fidelity. Put very simply faith describes reliance, conviction or trust.

Biblically, faith is to be exercised in Christ in several aspects. Four of the main areas of faith in Christ for the spiritual warrior are….

a. We are to have faith in Christ as our Savior – relying upon Him to pay our sin debt and grant us deliverance from our sin through His work on the cross.
b. We are to have faith in Christ as our Leader/Lord – willfully following His teachings and example without hesitation.
c. We are to have faith in Christ as our Protector – trusting in Him to only allow what is beneficial into our lives, while keeping away from us all that is detrimental.
d. We are to have faith in Christ as our Enabler – trusting Him to supply all that is necessary to serve Him in any ministry to which we are called.

All of these aspects of faith in Him are necessary as we enter spiritual warfare for Him.

 

During times of warfare,…
a. we can find encouragement and peace knowing our sins have been paid for and forgiven through Christ.
b. we can look to Him for leadership and guidance
c. we can know that He will be our protector during this war, controlling all aspects of it and using it for His glory
d. we can rely upon Him to supply our every need and enable us to fight “the good fight” and be victorious.

For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.(1 Timothy 4:10)

 But the salvation of the righteous [is] of the LORD: [he is] their strength in the time of trouble.And the LORD shall help them, and deliver them: he shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in him. (Psalms 37:39-40)

 

 

2. It covers all areas of the body – the shield was a door sized shield that allowed the warrior to hide his entire body behind it. This helps us to understand that our reliance upon the Lord should be exercised in EVERY area of our life.  Every area is touched by sin, unable to serve the Lord, and rendered useless in this battle. Apart from the enabling grace of the Lord, we would be totally open to attack and destined for great defeat.

Because of this inherent disability, we must be constantly trusting in Christ for every spiritual battle that we face. It is only through the eyes of faith and the enabling of Christ given to us through the Holy Spirit, that we can find strength, ability and peace as we war against Satan and the darkness of this world.

Blessed [be] the LORD, because he hath heard the voice of my supplications.   The LORD [is] my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.The LORD [is] their strength, and he [is] the saving strength of his anointed. (Psalms 28:6-8)

 

 

3. It is a defensive piece of spiritual armour – When we fight in this battle, we are to trust in Christ alone as our enabler and defender. We are not to trust in other men, for they will fail; nor are we to trust in ourselves for we are impotent and defenseless apart from Him.

If this man were not of God, he could do nothing.”   (John 9:33)

 I am the vine, ye [are] the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.”   (John 15:5)

 

wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

How is this shield to be used? It is designed to “quench all the fiery darts” that proceed from Satan and his minions. The idea of “quenching” involves extinguishing, or putting out a fire.

“Fiery darts” back then were used as weapons of warfare to send flames into combustible areas of the opposing army.  Satan does the same in our lives. He sees openings and vulnerabilities and aims directly at those areas of our lives that are the weakest and most susceptible to temptation.

However, through Christ’s intervention in our lives, as we place our faith in Him, He will supply all the protection that we need. He does this by “putting out” the fiery darts that are being sent to harm and destroy us. This protection can only be had by placing our reliance upon Him to deliver us.

Divine intervention in spiritual battle based upon the faith of His people is perfectly pictured in the physical war of the Israelites as they defeated of the Hagarites…

 The sons of Reuben, and the Gadites, and half the tribe of Manasseh, of valiant men, men able to bear buckler and sword, and to shoot with bow, and skilful in war, [were] four and forty thousand seven hundred and threescore, that went out to the war.And they made war with the Hagarites, with Jetur, and Nephish, and Nodab.
And they were helped against them, and the Hagarites were delivered into their hand, and all that [were] with them: for they cried to God in the battle, and he was intreated of them; because they put their trust in him.And they took away their cattle; of their camels fifty thousand, and of sheep two hundred and fifty thousand, and of asses two thousand, and of men an hundred thousand.
For there fell down many slain, because the war [was] of God. And they dwelt in their steads until the captivity.”   (1 Chronicles 5:18-22)

 

 

APPLICATION:

May we always enter into spiritual battle placing our trust in Christ as our Savior, Lord, Protector and Enabler. It is just as Paul told the church at Corinth….

“…for by faith ye stand”.(2 Corinthians 1:24)

May we all get a clearer picture of our Lord and Savior, and the great grace He has shown to us. Let us be always watchful to keep His great acts of grace on our behalf in the center of our attention… In doing so, may we be motivated to LOVE Him more, APPRECIATE Him more and SERVE Him more! 

 

SIH Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org

SIH Text Blog: https://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/all-about-salvation/

SIH Video Blog: http://youtube.com/settledinheaven/

SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SIH’s Think On These Things: Ephesians 6:15

SIH TOTT ICONReflections Of His Grace”

“That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in [his] kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.”

 

 

The Grace Of Preparedness (6:10-20)

 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.   

Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

 

This devotional, continues to look at the second main division of the book of Ephesians. Previously, we have looked at “Reflections Of His Grace Revealed” (chaps 1-3). It that section, Paul revealed to us the gracious works of the Lord in the lives of His chosen people.

In this new section “Reflections Of His Grace Applied” (chaps 4-6) Paul will be explaining to us the practical effects of God’s grace in the lives of His people.

  1. The Grace Of Unity (4:1-6)
  2. The Grace Of Maturity (4:7-16)
  3. The Grace Of Renewal (4:17-32)
  4. The Grace Of Imitation (5:1-14)
  5. The Grace Of Wisdom (5:15-21)
  6. The Grace Of Relationships (5:22-33)
  7. The Grace Of Authority/Submission (6:1-9)
  8. The Grace Of Preparedness (6:10-20)

 

The next effect of God’s grace we will be looking at is the grace of PREPAREDNESS (6:1-10-20)…

One of the greatest needs for Christians is to prepare beforehand for the spiritual warfare in which they face. The Bible clearly speaks of the need to recognize our enemy, the devil, and properly prepare for his attacks upon us …

1Pe 5:8-9 KJV – “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:   Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.”

Keeping all this in mind, let’s turn our attention to this is a very basic outline of this section of Scripture:
I.        The Need For The Armour Of God (vs 10-13)
II.        The Identity Of The Armour Of God (vs 14-17)
III.        The Empowerment Of The Armour Of God (vs 18)
IV.        The Ministry Enabled By The Armour Of God (vs 19-20)

 

EXPOSITION:

Previously, we have seen 2 pieces of God’s armour: the Girdle of Truth and the Breastplate of Righteousness. Now, Paul continues to give us a description of this armour. In this devotional we will be looking at …

(Eph 6:15) And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

 

The Shoes Of The Gospel Of Peace:

1. It is called the “Shoes of the Gospel of Peace” – What is the “gospel of peace”? It is the good news of Christ and His work for us that brings temporal, and eternal, peace to all mankind (Isa 9:6-7).

And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, [I say], whether [they be] things in earth, or things in heaven.And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in [your] mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciledIn the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: (Colossians 1:20-22)

 

2. It covers the feet – the feet are used by messengers to take their message to the recipient. So much more the feet of God’s people should be used to deliver the gospel message to those around us. We are to take the gospel into a lost and dying world and share with them the message of peace that can be had through Christ…

For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!(Isaiah 52:7, Romans 10:12-15)

 

3. It is a defensive piece of spiritual armour – When we minister to the Lord, we are to proclaim Christ and His work alone. Our message is not to include man’s wisdom, psychology or motivational methods…. It is to simply reveal Christ and His work to those who face such great need in their lives.

By limiting our message to Christ and His work, we are being defensive against the many false gospels, teachings and carnal methods that Satan desires to be included in our ministry. Satan may try as hard as he can to corrupt the truth of the Word, but by keeping our eyes on Christ and His work alone, we will find defense against that temptation that Satan will bring before us.

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:(For the weapons of our warfare [are] not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; (2 Corinthians 10:3-5)

For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.  
Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward.Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.
If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into [your] house, neither bid him God speed:For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.(2 John 1:7-11)

 

 

 

APPLICATION:

 

May we all be equipped with the genuine, scriptural “gospel of peace” as we enter into spiritual warfare.

May we NEVER take our eyes off Christ and His work and begin replacing His message with the message that centers on sinful man and the false gods of this world

May we NEVER forget the instructions the Lord has given to us and begin ministering using the carnal methods of this fallen world in the hopes of manipulation the lost to make a false profession in Christ.

 

May we all get a clearer picture of our Lord and Savior, and the great grace He has shown to us. Let us be always watchful to keep His great acts of grace on our behalf in the center of our attention… In doing so, may we be motivated to LOVE Him more, APPRECIATE Him more and SERVE Him more!

 

SIH Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org

SIH Text Blog: https://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/all-about-salvation/

SIH Video Blog: http://youtube.com/settledinheaven/

SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com