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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

 

 

Spiritual Gifts: What Types Of Gifts Are There? Accrediting Gifts (Part 4)

SIH TOA ICONIntroduction:

“Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.”  (1 Corinthians 12:4)

 

After coming to an understanding of the basic definition of a “spiritual gift”, we now need to examine each of the different types of spiritual gifts that God has given to man.

There are three basic types of spiritual gifts given to the Lord’s local churches:

1. Gifted Men – These are men, used by God to serve the Lord as a part of the ministry of His local assemblies.

2. Accrediting Gifts – These are the gifts whose main purpose is to establish and accredit His Word and place of worship. A secondary purpose of these gifts is to minister to others within the context of local church ministries.

3. Ministering Gifts – These are the gifts whose main purpose is to testify of Christ and His Word through the ministries of His local  assemblies.

We will continue our study of the accrediting gifts by looking at begin studying the Accrediting Gifts that involve SUPERNATURAL PROCLAMATION OF THE TRUTH.

Lesson:

Accrediting Gifts (Sign Gifts)

In our last lesson we began to take a look at the gift of “diverse kinds of tongues” that are found in the division of accrediting gifts involving the SUPERNATURAL PROCLAMATION OF THE TRUTH.  In particular, we looked at the first time that the gift of tongues was exercised on the Day of Pentecost as recorded in Acts 2:1-24…

1.  The gift was given to the local church at Jerusalem, not to believers in general (vs 1)
2.  The gift was given following the local assembly being baptized IN the Spirit (not BY the Spirit) (vs 2)
3.  The gift was given following the Spirit filling the church members (vs 4)
4.  The gift had a visible manifestation: tongues of fire sitting on their heads (vs 3);
5.  The gift had an audible manifestation: speaking in other human languages that were unknown to the speakers but known to the hearers (vs 4-11)
6.  The Word of God was used to clearly explain what had taken place amid the confusion (vs 12-21)
7.  The message proclaimed through the gift of tongues was proclaiming the wonderful works of their God…. His message of salvation and all that He had done for them. (vs 11-24)

Following this event, when the Bible speaks of the gift of tongues, it simply mentions the gift without a lengthy description of what we have just learned.  This principle can be used with many different teachings of the Bible. This principle of Biblical interpretation is described as “The Law Of First Mention”.  This principle states that “the very first time a word, doctrine or other teaching is mentioned in the Bible, usually, the Scriptures gives that word, doctrine or teaching its most complete description and meaning.”  This is the case with the gift of tongues.  This first reference to it has given us the detailed description of the gift which is to be applied throughout all of the other Biblical mentions of the gift.

The “Gift Of Diverse Kinds Of Tongues” Resulting From Laying On Of Apostles’ Hands: The Church At Ephesus; The Samaritan Church

Not only did the gift of tongues take place following the baptism in the Spirit of the church at Jerusalem (Jewish local assembly) and the church in the house of Cornelius (Gentile local assembly), but it also given to local assemblies through the laying on of the apostles’ hands.  We can see this taking place in Acts 19:1-7 (Ephesus local assembly) and also it is implied to have taken place in Acts 8:14-25 (local assembly at Samaria).

This will be our study for this lesson (Acts 19:1-7 and 8:14-25)…

ACTS 19:

Vs 1 And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, 

During Paul’s travels, he arrives at Ephesus and finds those who were followers of Jesus.

 

Vs 2 He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.

Paul then asked them if they had “received the Holy Ghost” since they believed.  By this question, Paul was not asking them if they had been indwelled by the Holy Ghost.  Every believer in Christ receives the indwelling Spirit AT SALVATION (Romans 8:9, Ephesians 1:13-14).  Keep in mind, Paul said “since you believed”. This tells us Paul recognized them as true believers and, therefore, he recognized they had already received the indwelling Holy Spirit.

Paul’s question was referring to them receiving the empowering ministry of the Holy Ghost in the midst of their group.    They answered that they had not even heard of the existence of the Holy Ghost.  (The implied answer to Paul’s question was “No, we have not received the empowering ministry of the Holy Ghost among us.)  This implied to Paul that they had not yet been formed into a local assembly.

 

Vs 3 And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism.

Paul’s next question involved their baptism.  Keep in mind their baptism, would be the first step to them entering into a local assembly.  If their baptism was not Scriptural, or if it was non-existent, they would not be a legitimate local assembly.

They responded that their baptism was “unto John’s baptism”.  In other words, they had experienced a legitimate baptism that was administered by John the Baptist.  We know John’s baptism was a Scriptural baptism because we are told he was “sent by God” (John 1:6) and Jesus, Himself, submitted to his baptism (Matthew 3:13-17).  If John’s baptism was not valid, Christ would have never submitted to it.

Vs 4-5 Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.  When they heard [this], they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.

Paul then recounts for them the nature of the Scriptural baptism that they had received.  This would reinforce in their minds that they were legitimately baptized in the name of Christ.

Paul’s two sentence quote begins with “John verily baptized …” and ends with “…they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus”.  This is a very important point:

When we are told “When they heard [this], they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.”…

1.  IT IS NOT SAYING THAT THE BELIEVERS AT EPHESUS WERE RE-BAPTIZED BY PAUL.

2.  This sentence is continuation of the quotation of Paul.  In this second sentence of his teaching, he is recounting to the Ephesus believers that those who received John’s baptism were baptized in the name of Jesus.  In other words, he was reaffirming the validity of John’s baptism which they had previously received.

 

Vs 6-7  And when Paul had laid [his] hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.  And all the men were about twelve.

Once Paul had affirmed the validity of their baptism, he then recognized that they were prepared to become a local church.  He then forms them into a church by the laying on his hands.  This resulted in the Holy Ghost being given to empower their assembly. The receipt of the Holy Spirit by their assembly was shown by the exercise of the gift of tongues (both the visible and audible aspects as seen in Acts 2:) and the gift of prophesy.  Both of these not only enabled the local assembly to minister but it also accredited their assembly as an authorized assembly for worship and a container of divine truth.

 

In our next example of the laying on of the Apostles’ hands resulting in tongues speaking, the tongues speaking is implied not actually stated…

Acts 8:

Vs 14 Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John:

When the Apostles heard that Samaria had heard the Word and accepted the message by faith, they sent to Samaria two Apostles to continue their instruction and establish a local assembly there.

 

Vs 15-16 Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost:  (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)

The two visiting Apostles prayed for this group of believers that they might “receive the Holy Ghost” (empowered by the Spirit as an assembly) see Acts 19:2 for more details about this phrase.

(Up to this point in time, the Holy Spirit had not “fallen upon” their assembly (speaking of the Spirit coming upon them displayed by tongues of fire as in Acts 2:).

Why did they pray for this?  The Apostles recognized that these believers were properly prepared for church membership… they had been baptized in water in the name of Christ which, along with salvation, is the prerequisite needed for church formation and membership.   Once the Apostles established that these believers had been properly prepared for to become a local assembly, they prayed for the assembly to be established and empowered.

 

Vs 17 Then laid they [their] hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.

The Apostles then laid their hands upon the group of believers bringing the assembly into existence.  This resulted in the empowering of the assembly by the Holy Ghost which came upon them (implied is the indication of this coming by tongues of fire and speaking of tongues.)  Clearly, what took place in this assembly is the same type of manifestation as that of the Ephesian assembly that we have just seen in Acts 19:.   Both of these accounts (Acts 19: and Acts 8: align themselves with the demonstration of the Spirit’s presence and empowering as seen in the Acts 2: Pentecost event.)

 

Vs 18-19  And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money,  Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost.

When Simon visibly saw … the Greek word translated “ saw” speaks of visibly examining closely. In other words, Simon studied with his eyes the visible proof of the Spirit coming upon the members of the assembly (the tongues of fire).

When he saw this display of the Spirit’s power, he offered to pay money for the ability to bestow this miraculous gift upon others.

Simon desired the ability to bestow this gift upon others for his own personal benefit.  Perhaps he desired it to gain fame and recognition or, perhaps, for financial benefit.  Also his thinking that this ability could be purchased with money, demeaned the very spiritual nature and divine purpose of the gift, making it a simple carnal, business venture.

These two issues clearly showed the nature of his request and the intent of his heart in this matter.  It was obvious that Simon’s fleshly desire for the gift flowed from spiritual blindness, selfishness and greed.

 

Vs 20-23 But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.  Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God.  Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.  For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and [in] the bond of iniquity.

Peter then addresses this request made by Simon.  Based upon Simon’s request, through the gift of discerning of spirits, Peter perceived that:

1.  “Thy money perish with thee” – Simon was headed for total ruin and ultimate destruction

2.  “Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter:”  – Simon had no claim upon this ability for three reasons:
a. this ability was only possessed by those who held the office of Apostle.
b. Simon’s motives were sinful.
c. Simon as a lost individual who was not the servant of the Lord, nor member of his church.

3.  “for thy heart is not right in the sight of God.”  – His motives were sinful.

4.  “Repent therefore of this thy wickedness,”  – He was in dire need of repentance – this sin that could easily snowball and grow worse

5.  “and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.” – He needed to pray for forgiveness from the Lord

6.  “I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness” – He was a lost man drowning in poisonous acid of sin

7.  “and [in] the bond of iniquity.” – He was a slave in servitude of injustice and wickedness

 

Vs 24 Then answered Simon, and said, Pray ye to the Lord for me, that none of these things which ye have spoken come upon me.

At this point, Simon appears to heed the warnings given to him by Peter and asks for Peter to prayerfully intervene on his behalf.  We are not told of his conversion, nor of any fruits of repentance being shown by him.

Perhaps he was genuinely saved and the Bible simply does not record the event, or perhaps he is only showing a worldly, carnal type of repentance that did not result in salvation nor a changed life (2 Corinthians 7:9-11).   One point that brings his desire for prayer to be questioned is the motive for his request… “that none of these things which ye have spoken come upon me.”  It appears that he only wanted to escape the punishment of his sin, with no sorrow that he has sinned against the Lord and His local church.  This would seem to imply a carnal type of repentance.

Vs 25 And they, when they had testified and preached the word of the Lord, returned to Jerusalem, and preached the gospel in many villages of the Samaritans.

The Apostles continue to teach the Word of the Lord to this newly formed church and then preached the Word to many villages on the way back to Jerusalem.

We now must take a quick look at Acts 9:10-19 …

10) And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I [am here], Lord.

11) And the Lord [said] unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for [one] called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth,

12) And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting [his] hand on him, that he might receive his sight.

13) Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem:

14) And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name.

15) But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:

16) For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.

17) And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, [even] Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.

18) And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized.

19) And when he had received meat, he was strengthened. Then was Saul certain days with the disciples which were at Damascus.

This event is not the same type of event as we were looking at in Acts 19: and Acts 8:.  Please note the following comparison:

TEXT THE BESTOWER THE RECIPIENT THE RESULT PURPOSE
NOTE  THE SIMILARITIES… APOSTLES… LOCAL ASSEMBLIES… RECEPTION AND MANIFESTATION… TO ESTABLISH AND EMPOWER…
Acts 19:1-7 Paul Church at Ephesus Reception: Of SpiritManifestation: Tongues & Prophecy To establish / empower local church
Acts 8:14-25 John and Peter Church at Samaria Reception: Of SpiritManifestation: Tongues To establish / empower local church
COMPARE TO… NOT APOSTLES… NOT LOCAL ASSEMBLIES… NO RECEPTION NOR MANIFESTATION… NO ESTABLISHING NOR EMPOWERING …
Acts 9:10-19 Ananias, a disciple Saul (Paul), an individual Restoration Of Health“Filling” Of The Spirit To physically heal & prepare Saul for great service and suffering.

(Notes On Above Table: 

1.  As you can clearly see, in every category there are distinct similarities between the events found in Acts 19: and Acts 8: and distinct differences with the event found in Acts 9:.   Acts 9: cannot be equated with the events of Acts 19: and 8:. 

2.  The meaning of the phrase “Filling of the Spirit” will be covered in great detail later in our study.  But for now, the basic idea of Spirit “filling” is the Lord taking control of every aspect of one’s being.  This is a far cry from a local assembly “receiving” the Spirit to establish and empower the assembly.)

3. Many times those “filled with the Spirit” did not speak in tongues – Lk 1:15, 1:67, 4:1, Acts 4:8, 4:31, 7:55, 11:24

Please notice with the completion of this study in Acts 19: and Acts 8:, we have now seen every time in the Bible that the gift of tongues is exercised…

Please notice that in both the above events (Acts 19: and Acts 8:)

1. The receipt of the Holy Spirit was to a local church to empower them for ministry, NOT TO AN INDIVIDUAL

2. The receipt of the Holy Spirit resulted from the laying on of the hands of the Apostles.

3. The 2 aspects (tongues of fire and speaking in unknown human tongues) of the gift of tongues were present in both cases, specifically mentioned in one and implied in the other.

When we put this together with our previous studies when tongues were exercised (Acts 2:, Acts 10:-11:) please notice that:

1.  The receipt of the Holy Spirit only applies to the local assemblies.  NEVER an individual.

2.  The receipt of the Holy Spirit can take place following:

a. the local assembly being baptized in the Holy Spirit or

b. the laying on of hands of the Apostles.

NEVER are they received by individuals, nor part from baptism in the Spirit or laying on of hands of Apostles.

3.  The gift of tongues always includes:

a. both the visual aspect (tongues of fire) and

b. the audible aspect (speaking in human tongues unknown to the speaker)

Is this the “gift” of tongues that we see being exercised in today’s time?  None of the above three basic principles are seen in today’s “tongues gift”.

In our next study, we will look at Paul’s instructions on how the gift of tongues should be exercised in the Lord’s local churches.

Additional Information:

Accrediting Gifts (Sign Gifts) 

Act 2:1-24

And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.  And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.  And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.  And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.  And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.   Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.   And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans?

And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?  Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia,  Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes,  Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.  And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this?  Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine.  But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:  For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.  But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;  And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:  And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:  And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke:  The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come:  And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.  Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:  Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:  Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.

The “Gift Of Diverse Kinds Of Tongues” Received By the laying on of the Apostles hands.

But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.  (Romans 8:9)

In whom ye also [trusted], after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,  Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.  (Ephesians 1:13-14)

Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him.  But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?  And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer [it to be so] now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him.  And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:  And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.  (Matthew 3:13-17)

There was a man sent from God, whose name [was] John.  (John 1:6)

Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing.  For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.  For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, [what] clearing of yourselves, yea, [what] indignation, yea, [what] fear, yea, [what] vehement desire, yea, [what] zeal, yea, [what] revenge! In all [things] ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter.  (2 Corinthians 7:9-11)

SIH’s Think On These Things: Ephesians 1:22b-23

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 Gracious Revelation Of The Truth To The Saints: Ephesians 1:15-23

 

Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints,  Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers;… 
That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:… 
The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,
And what [is] the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,  Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead,
and set [him] at his own right hand in the heavenly [places], Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:And hath put all [things] under his feet,
and gave him [to be] the head over all [things] to the church,  Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

 

Paul now shares with the church at Ephesus the content of his prayers on their behalf.  By doing this Paul is declaring his motivation for his great love, concern, and desire for their spiritual welfare and receipt of various blessings of God.  Please keep in mind, all of these blessings would be given to the believers at Ephesus only through the gracious intervention of the Lord.  They did not deserve these wonderful blessings nor could they earn them in any way.

A very basic outline of this section of Scripture:
I.        Paul’s motivation for desiring and praying for gracious blessings on behalf of the church – 15-16
II.        The gracious blessing of a knowledge of the person and work of the Lord – 17
III.        The gracious blessing of a understanding of their eternal blessings that await them – 18
IV.        The gracious blessing of awareness of the Lord’s power exhibited in in all aspects of salvation – 19-20a
V.        The gracious blessing of a comprehension of the exaltation of Christ – 20b-22a
VI.        The gracious blessing of the exaltation/Lordship of Christ – 22b-23

EXPOSITION:

In this morning’s devotional, Paul continues to explain the Lord’s person and work…

(Ephesians 1:22b-23) and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,  Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

In this text the Lord’ relationship to the local assembly is brought into view.

 

and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, 
God the Father handed to Christ the authority, and great responsibility, to be the “head” of His local assemblies.
What does it mean to be the “head” of His assembly?  He is the “Leader”, “Guide”, “Instructor”, “Protector” and “Supreme Authority” over every aspect of the church’s ministry.

(Just a quick note… if the Lord is speaking of local assemblies, why does He say “church” instead of “churches”.  The idea of “church” here is used in a generic sense.  What is being spoken of applies to every church.  For example if I say “The giraffe has a long neck”.  I am using the term “giraffe” generically, what I am actually saying is “any and all giraffes have a long neck”.   This is how the term “church” is used in this context.  Christ is the head of any and all local assemblies of the Lord.)
For more information on how we can know that the term “church” always speaks of a local assembly and never of an invisible universal body please see my 5 part series entitled “The Church: Local, Universal, Or Both”.  You can find part one here: http://wp.me/pU88A-32l

 

Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.
Each and every local assembly is an individual body with Christ as its head and each of its members making up the different parts of the body. (1 Corinthians 12:12-27)
The “fullness” (the completeness of His person and attributes) fills each and every local assembly in a very special way.  Some examples of these attributes include His love, mercy, grace, wisdom, justice, knowledge, strength, the list goes on and on.  Each and every one of these attributes Christ is displayed in the midst of the local assembly of believers in the form of His teachings and His workings in their individual lives and in the assembly proper.   Truly, His fullness is on display throughout the assembly, as we watch the Head of the assembly at work on behalf of His local church for His glory.

This is the very principle presented John’s vision of Christ and His attributes displayed in the midst of His local assemblies….

I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.  I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,  Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send [it] unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea. 
And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks;  And in the midst of the seven candlesticks [one] like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.  His head and [his] hairs [were] white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes [were] as a flame of fire;  And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.  And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance [was] as the sun shineth in his strength.
And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:  I [am] he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.  Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;  The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.    (Revelation 1:9-20)

APPLICATION:

I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee.”  (Psalms 22:22)

Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,  Unto him [be] glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.”   (Ephesians 3:20-21)

Folks, do we take membership in a local assembly seriously?  If we are negligent in serving in a church we are missing many great blessings and displays of Christ and His glory.  There is nothing like coming together with the people of God who are unified to honor the Lord and serve Him with their whole hearts.

May we all seek out one of the Lord’s assemblies which are characterized by the truth being taught, Christ being followed, and the spirit of love for the Lord and our fellow man being displayed.

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 1:20b-22a

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 Gracious Revelation Of The Truth To The Saints: Ephesians 1:15-23

 

Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints,  Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers;… 
That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:… 
The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,
And what [is] the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,  Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead,
and set [him] at his own right hand in the heavenly [places], Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:And hath put all [things] under his feet,
and gave him [to be] the head over all [things] to the church,  Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

Paul now shares with the church at Ephesus the content of his prayers on their behalf.  By doing this Paul is declaring his motivation for his great love, concern, and desire for their spiritual welfare and receipt of various blessings of God.  Please keep in mind, all of these blessings would be given to the believers at Ephesus only through the gracious intervention of the Lord.  They did not deserve these wonderful blessings nor could they earn them in any way.

A very basic outline of this section of Scripture:

I.        Paul’s motivation for desiring and praying for gracious blessings on behalf of the church – 15-16
II.        The gracious blessing of a knowledge of the person and work of the Lord – 17
III.        The gracious blessing of a understanding of their eternal blessings that await them – 18
IV.        The gracious blessing of awareness of the Lord’s power exhibited in in all aspects of salvation – 19-20a
V.        The gracious blessing of a comprehension of the exaltation of Christ – 20b-22a
VI.        The gracious blessing of the exaltation/Lordship of Christ – 22b-23

 

 

EXPOSITION:

In this morning’s devotional, Paul explains his desire for the church to come to a greater understanding of the Lord’s person and work on their behalf…

(Ephesians 1:20a-22a)  and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,  Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:  And hath put all things under his feet,
Paul continues to request that the Lord graciously reveals Himself to us.  In this case, he asks the Lord to show us truths about Christ exaltation and great authority…

 

and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,

Following the His obedience unto death and His victorious resurrection, God the Father exalts Christ to a high position of authority and rulership.  This is symbolically shown to us by Christ being given the seat of honor at the right hand of His Father…

This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.  Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.  For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand,  Until I make thy foes thy footstool.  Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.”  (Acts 2:32-36)

 

Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named,

The exaltation of Christ has given Him all authority over:

1.  principality – those who hold top rank in a spiritual body, governmental body, religious body or social body

2.  power – those who possesses authority over others

3.  might – those who possess physical strength

4.  dominion – those who control or rule others

5.  every name that is named – those who possess worldly titles, honor or reverence

In other words, all types of powerful, authoritative, and honored individuals both in the spiritual and physical realm.

Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.  For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.  And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:”   (Colossians 2:8-10)

 

 

not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: 

The Lord rules over all types of powers in both this temporal world and in the eternal world to come.

 

And hath put all things under his feet,

To be placed “under his feet” carries with it two ideas:

1.  to control – Psalm 8:6

2.  to gain victory over – 1 Corinthians 15:24-27

Our Lord Jesus has been exalted by the Father to possess absolute control over all things and to gain the ultimate victory over all His enemies.   None shall rule over Him, nor shall they be victorious over Him!

 

APPLICATION:

Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:  Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:  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 2:5-11)

Let’s praise the Lord for showing Himself to us as Ultimate Victor and Sovereign Lord Over All!

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 1:19-20a

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 Gracious Revelation Of The Truth To The Saints: Ephesians 1:15-23

 

Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints,  Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers;… 
That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:… 
The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,
And what [is] the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,  Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead,
and set [him] at his own right hand in the heavenly [places], Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:And hath put all [things] under his feet,
and gave him [to be] the head over all [things] to the church,  Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

Paul now shares with the church at Ephesus the content of his prayers on their behalf.  By doing this Paul is declaring his motivation for his great love, concern, and desire for their spiritual welfare and receipt of various blessings of God.  Please keep in mind, all of these blessings would be given to the believers at Ephesus only through the gracious intervention of the Lord.  They did not deserve these wonderful blessings nor could they earn them in any way.

A very basic outline of this section of Scripture:
I.        Paul’s motivation for desiring and praying for gracious blessings on behalf of the church – 15-16
II.        The gracious blessing of a knowledge of the person and work of the Lord – 17
III.        The gracious blessing of a understanding of their eternal blessings that await them – 18
IV.        The gracious blessing of awareness of the Lord’s power exhibited in in all aspects of salvation – 19-20a
V.        The gracious blessing of a comprehension of the exaltation of Christ – 20b-22a
VI.        The gracious blessing of the exaltation/Lordship of Christ – 22b-23

 

EXPOSITION:

In this morning’s devotional, Paul explains his desire for the church to come to a greater understanding of the Lord’s person and work on their behalf…

(Ephesians 1:19 -20)  And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,  Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead,

Paul continues to request that the Lord graciously reveals His work to us.  In this case he asks the Lord to show us His great power He exercises towards believers…
 
And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe,

Our gracious Lord reveals to us the magnitude of His overwhelming power that He exercised on behalf of those who have come to faith in Him.

The Greek word for “power” used here is the word “dunamis”, it is from this word that we get our English word “dynamite”.  The idea behind this word is the power that is necessary to accomplish the given task.  In other words, our verse is teaching us that the Lord has more power than is needed to accomplish any task at hand… in this case it is bringing the lost to a saving faith in Him.

This is why we say He is the Almighty …
I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.”  (Revelation 1:8)

 

according to the working of his mighty power, 

This great “dynamite power” at our salvation was exercised according to His “mighty power”.

Here, the word for “power” is a different Greek word.  It is the word “kratos”.  This word is commonly translated “dominion” and speaks of the ability to absolutely control and bring into submission.

In other words, because He is in absolute control of every aspect of salvation (His kratos power), He then worked overwhelmingly (His dynamite power) in the lives of men to bring to them that salvation.   Put another way, His reign as Sovereign over salvation (kratos), was the basis for His successful intervention in bringing men to faith in Him (dunamis).

 

Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead,

Proof of His possession of these great powers was proven to us when He raised Christ from the dead.  He not only has dominion over sin and death (kratos), but He also displayed that dominion for all to see when He actively intervened and raised Christ from the dead (dunamis).

And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:  In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:  Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with [him] through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. 

And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;  Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;  [And] having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.  (Colossians 2:10-15)

 

APPLICATION:

The greatest blessing that we receive from our gracious Lord is the blessing of salvation.  it is through this blessing that all other eternal blessings flow.  All of the work needed to secure our salvation was performed by the Lord and based upon His dominion over salvation.

May we all with thankful hearts bow before our Sovereign Lord as we think about His overwhelming powers He exercised on our behalf when He brought is to salvation and submission to His Lordship.

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 1:18

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 Gracious Revelation Of The Truth To The Saints: Ephesians 1:15-23

Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints,  Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers;… 
That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:… 
The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,
And what [is] the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,  Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead,
and set [him] at his own right hand in the heavenly [places], Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:And hath put all [things] under his feet,
and gave him [to be] the head over all [things] to the church,  Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

Paul now shares with the church at Ephesus the content of his prayers on their behalf.  By doing this Paul is declaring his motivation for his great love, concern, and desire for their spiritual welfare and receipt of various blessings of God.  Please keep in mind, all of these blessings would be given to the believers at Ephesus only through the gracious intervention of the Lord.  They did not deserve these wonderful blessings nor could they earn them in any way.

A very basic outline of this section of Scripture:
I.        Paul’s motivation for desiring and praying for gracious blessings on behalf of the church – 15-16
II.        The gracious blessing of a knowledge of the person and work of the Lord – 17
III.        The gracious blessing of a understanding of their eternal blessings that await them – 18
IV.        The gracious blessing of awareness of the Lord’s power exhibited in in all aspects of salvation – 19-20a
V.        The gracious blessing of a comprehension of the exaltation of Christ – 20b-22a
VI.        The gracious blessing of the exaltation/Lordship of Christ – 22b-23

 

EXPOSITION:

In this morning’s devotional, Paul explains his desire for the church to come to a greater understanding of the Lord’s person and work on their behalf…
(Eph 1:18)  The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,

In our study this morning, we will be looking at God’s grace as He gives us the ability to understand the blessings that await us throughout eternity.

Please take note that this verse is preceded by the verse…
That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:”   

This verse reveals to us the Lord’s work in revealing Himself to man through the intervention of the Holy Spirit of God.  Our verse for this morning continues this idea by teaching us that the great blessings of God are also revealed to us through divine intervention…

 

The eyes of your understanding being enlightened;

The Lord, as He intervenes in our lives, graciously “turns on the light”.  This results in our ability to:
1.  recognize the blessings that await us
2.  comprehend much about that which we have yet to experience
3.  appreciate the great eternal value these blessings hold for us.

Left to himself, due to his sinful flesh, a saved man cannot begin to understand the eternal riches that God has prepared for His people.  He is in desperate need of the Lord to open his eyes to come to the truth about the great spiritual wealth that has already been given to him.  Think of it like this…

It is like a man is in a totally dark room that contains a chest full of gold. If no light is given to him, he will never see the wonderful treasure that awaits him.   It is only when the “light is turned on” (enlightening of the understanding), that he can:
1. see that a chest exists – recognize there is an eternal inheritance awaiting him
2. open the latch and raise the lid – revealing to him the nature of this inheritance
3. closely examining the contents – allowing him to fathom the great value of these wonderful eternal blessings

This enlightening begins at the initial salvation experience and then, by His grace, can continue on throughout the Christian’s life as he comes to a greater understanding of his eternal inheritance found only in Christ.

For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.”  (1 Corinthians 13:12)

Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away.  Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord [is], there [is] liberty.  But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, [even] as by the Spirit of the Lord.”  (2 Corinthians 3:16-18)

 

what ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what are the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,

The our future blessings in Christ are described as:
1.  “the hope of his calling” – The  great hope received when we were summoned to Him at our salvation.
An eternity with Christ separated from sin… this is the ultimate destination and motive for living given to His people.
2.  “the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints” –  The treasured possession of heaven.
Why is our eternal dwelling place (heaven) described as our “inheritance”?  It comes to us based upon:
a. His death – His death on the cross.
b. Our membership in His family – our spiritual adoption into the family of God.

Both of which are necessary for the inheritance to be received.

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen… 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 11:1, 13-16)

 

APPLICATION:

Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought:  But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, [even] the hidden [wisdom], which God ordained before the world unto our glory:  Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known [it], they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.  But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.  But God hath revealed [them] unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.  For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.  Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.”  (1 Corinthians 2:6-12)

 The grace of the Lord continues to amaze each and every one of us when we stop and consider that, it is only by His grace, that we are able to come to an understanding of the glorious eternity that we have awaiting us.  What would our life be like if we did not have this wonderful knowledge to comfort and motivate us as we serve the Lord in this sin darkened world?

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 1:17

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 Gracious Revelation Of The Truth To The Saints: Ephesians 1:15-23

 Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints,  Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers;… 
That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:… 
The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,
And what [is] the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,  Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead,
and set [him] at his own right hand in the heavenly [places], Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:And hath put all [things] under his feet,
and gave him [to be] the head over all [things] to the church,  Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

Paul now shares with the church at Ephesus the content of his prayers on their behalf.  By doing this Paul is declaring his motivation for his great love, concern, and desire for their spiritual welfare and receipt of various blessings of God.  Please keep in mind, all of these blessings would be given to the believers at Ephesus only through the gracious intervention of the Lord.  They did not deserve these wonderful blessings nor could they earn them in any way.

A very basic outline of this section of Scripture:
I.        Paul’s motivation for desiring and praying for gracious blessings on behalf of the church – 15-16
II.        The gracious blessing of a knowledge of the person and work of the Lord – 17
III.        The gracious blessing of a understanding of their eternal blessings that await them – 18
IV.        The gracious blessing of awareness of the Lord’s power exhibited in in all aspects of salvation – 19-20a
V.        The gracious blessing of a comprehension of the exaltation of Christ – 20b-22a
VI.        The gracious blessing of the exaltation/Lordship of Christ – 22b-23

 

EXPOSITION:

In this morning’s devotional, Paul explains his desire for the church to come to a greater understanding of the Lord’s person and work on their behalf…
(Eph 1:17)  That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:
 

This is the first request Paul makes on behalf of the church at Ephesus…

That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, 
Here, God the Father is given two different titles….
1.  God of our Lord Jesus Christ – the One that deserves our worship and submission.  We can clearly see how we are to honor God by looking at the Lord Jesus Christ.  It is Christ, alone, who has set the perfect example for us as He worshipped and honored His heavenly Father.
2.  the Father of glory – The One that was the Originator of all that is glorious, honorable and praiseworthy.

Folks, in these two titles we find several keys to giving our God the reverence that He deserves.  We are to …

1. Put Him first in our lives… by following the example of submission and worship that Christ graciously set for us.
Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am [he], and [that] I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things.  And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.  As he spake these words, many believed on him.   (John 8:28-30)

2. Appreciate Him… by always keeping in mind that our Heavenly Father is the Source of all that is good in our lives and the world.
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”   (James 1:17)

 

may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:
Paul’s desire for the church was that the Lord might grant to them a greater understanding of the Father and His works on their behalf.  He describes this as:

1.  give you the “spirit” – the idea of “spirit” carries with it two separate aspects:
a.  First, Paul desired God to give them the proper attitude, or “spirit”, concerning truths about God’s person and work.  A very important factor in our getting the most out of the teachings of the Word is a proper level of esteem and reverence for His Word.  The higher the value we place on the Word, the more we will learn from it and the more we will apply to our lives.  This, in turn, results in greater benefit from the Word.
b.  Secondly,  Paul recognized that men cannot understand truths about God apart from the Holy Spirit’s intervention in their lives.  In this phrase he is asking the Father to send the Spirit to this church to reveal more about Himself.

2.  of “wisdom and revelation” – Paul desired for the truths of God to be revealed (“revelation”)  to the church and also to be applied to their lives in a practical way (“wisdom”)…
a.  If we simply know the truth without applying it to our lives we become conceited and prideful, thinking we know much but do not need to make it a living part of our lives.
b.  If we lack knowledge of the truth and only live our lives according to error, we become false worshippers.

3.  in the “knowledge of Him”  – Paul desired for the church to come to a greater understanding of who God is and what He has done for us.  Both aspects of knowledge about God go hand in hand and are crucial to our greater knowledge of God.  For example, if we understand He is Eternal, we can come to a fuller understanding of His role as Creator of us all.  If we understand He is All-knowing, it helps us to understand how He can always work on our behalf, allowing only those things are benefit us.

APPLICATION:
In this section of Scripture, we have several acts of God’s grace bestowed upon us…
1. The perfect example set by Christ for us to follow.
2. All that is good and perfect being bestowed to us.
3. An attitude that recognizes the value and importance of the Word for our lives.
4. The Holy Spirit who reveals to us the truths of God.
5.  His enabling to learn and apply His truths to our lives.
6.  His Word that reveals to us many truths about our Lord.

 

 

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 1:15-16

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 Gracious Revelation Of The Truth To The Saints: Ephesians 1:15-23

 

Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints,  Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers;… 
That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:… 
The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,
And what [is] the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,  Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead,
and set [him] at his own right hand in the heavenly [places], Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:And hath put all [things] under his feet,
and gave him [to be] the head over all [things] to the church,  Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

Paul now shares with the church at Ephesus the content of his prayers on their behalf.  By doing this Paul is declaring his motivation for his great love, concern, and desire for their spiritual welfare and receipt of various blessings of God.  Please keep in mind, all of these blessings would be given to the believers at Ephesus only through the gracious intervention of the Lord.  They did not deserve these wonderful blessings nor could they earn them in any way.

A very basic outline of this section of Scripture:
I.        Paul’s motivation for desiring and praying for gracious blessings on behalf of the church – 15-16
II.        The gracious blessing of a knowledge of the person and work of the Lord – 17
III.        The gracious blessing of a understanding of their eternal blessings that await them – 18
IV.        The gracious blessing of awareness of the Lord’s power exhibited in in all aspects of salvation – 19-20a
V.        The gracious blessing of a comprehension of the exaltation of Christ – 20b-22a
VI.        The gracious blessing of the exaltation/Lordship of Christ – 22b-23

 

EXPOSITION:

In this morning’s devotional, Paul explains his motivation for the great desires he held on behalf of the church at Ephesus…
(Ephesians 1:15-16) – Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints,  Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers;

 

Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints,
Paul’s great desire for the spiritual prosperity of the church at Ephesus was based upon the church’s wonderful testimony of service to their Lord:
1.  “your faith in the Lord Jesus” – Paul had heard of the faith they had placed in Christ that was outwardly manifested by consistent obedience to their Lord through the bearing of spiritual fruits.  Even in the midst of rejection and opposition from idolaters, the body continued to trust in their Lord and live faithfully for Him.
2.  “love unto all saints” – Not only did they exhibit faithfulness to their Lord, but they also possessed a love for their spiritual family which was expressed through self-sacrifice for their brethren.

Both of these wonderful attributes should be exhibited by every local assembly (Col 1:4) and individual believer as well (Philemon 1:5).

Absolute trust and reliance upon the Lord in all areas of our lives and sacrificial love for our spiritual brethren are the hallmarks of a genuine living relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.   These two completely fulfill the responsibilities that have been placed upon us by our Lord Himself…

And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all?

And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments [is], Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:  And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this [is] the first commandment.  And the second [is] like, [namely] this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.
And the scribe said unto him, Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but he: And to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love [his] neighbour as himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.
And when Jesus saw that he answered discreetly, he said unto him, Thou art not far from the kingdom of God. And no man after that durst ask him [any question].
 (Mark 12:28-34)

 

Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers;

The church’s testimony of faithfulness and love drove Paul:
1.  give thanks for you – he highly valued the grace of God that was being shown to the church in the brilliant testimony they possessed.
2.  “making mention of you in my prayers”  – Paul’s prayer concerning the church consisted of:
a.  Paul expressed his thankfulness for this grace as he communed with the Lord during his prayers.
b.  Paul held up the church in prayer and requested even greater blessings because he saw God’s gracious hand at work in the church, and their faithfulness to follow His leading.

(Paul’s request for further blessings will be covered in detail in the following verses.)

 

APPLICATION:

Folks…

Does our local assembly possess a testimony of faithfulness and love?
Do our lives possess the same type of testimony?
When we see this type of testimony exhibited by others, do we take the time to appreciate them, pray for them and seek their spiritual benefit?

By God’s grace alone may we be able to answer all the above in the affirmative…

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 1:14

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 Gracious Works Of The Trinity In Salvation: Ephesians 1:3-14

 

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:  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. 

In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;   Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;  Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:  That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:  In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:  That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. 

In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,  Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

 

We now begin the first section of Paul’s explanation of the gracious works of the Lord in our lives.  In this section, he looks at the individual workings of the three persons of the Godhead in salvation.  This section can be broken up into three basic parts:
1.  The work of the God the Father   vs 3-6
2.  The work of the God the Son    vs 7-12
3.  The work of the God the Spirit  vs 13-14

 

EXPOSITION:

In this morning’s devotional, Paul continues to examine the work of God the Spirit in our salvation experience……
(Eph 1:14)  Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

 

Which is the earnest of our inheritance

The “Holy Spirit of Promise” which sealed us (vs 13), is also a down payment on our future inheritance from the Lord.   This same idea is brought to mind when we consider that the Spirit is described as the “firstfruits” of our inheritance. (Romans 8:22-25)

During our salvation experience, the Holy Spirit is given to indwell us (Romans 8:9-11).  This indwelling Spirit is:
1.  proof of our adoption into the family of God and
2.  a guarantee of our future receipt of the promised inheritance of God

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.   For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.  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. (Romans 8:14-17)

 

until the redemption of the purchased possession, 
The indwelling Spirit will continue with us until we receive our inheritance.  The event that will initiate our reception of our eternal inheritance will be the receipt of a glorified body.

When Christ died on the cross for our sins, we became His purchased possession… body, soul, and spirit.  As such, it is only reasonable that we should serve Him as a “living sacrifice” (Romans 12:1-2) The redemption of our body will not be complete until our body is glorified and removed from the presence of sin.  This is why our glorification is described as “the redemption of the purchased possession”

For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.  And not only [they], but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, [to wit], the redemption of our body.  For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?  But if we hope for that we see not, [then] do we with patience wait for [it].   (Romans 8:22-25)

 

unto the praise of his glory.
The Holy Spirit has intervened in our lives and brought us to Christ so that He might be glorified and honored.

 

APPLICATION:

We have seen several different aspects of the Spirit’s gracious intervention in our lives resulting in us coming to Christ…
1.  He brought us to Christ
2.  He created in us repentance and faith
3.  He secured us eternally
4.  He indwells us
5.  He gives us assurance of our adoption in the family of God
6.  He gives us assurance of the coming receipt of our eternal inheritance.

What a gracious Lord who has done great things on our behalf!

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 1:13

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 Gracious Works Of The Trinity In Salvation: Ephesians 1:3-14

 

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:  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. 

In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;   Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;  Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:  That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:  In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:  That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. 

In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,  Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

We now begin the first section of Paul’s explanation of the gracious works of the Lord in our lives.  In this section, he looks at the individual workings of the three persons of the Godhead in salvation.  This section can be broken up into three basic parts:
1.  The work of the God the Father   vs 3-6
2.  The work of the God the Son    vs 7-12
3.  The work of the God the Spirit  vs 13-14

 

EXPOSITION:

In this morning’s devotional, Paul now turns our attention to the work of God the Spirit in our salvation experience……

(Eph 1:13)  In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,

Our initial salvation experience is now described in detail…

In whom ye also trusted, 

The previous verse (vs 12) ended with “who first trusted in Christ.”   This same trust in Christ is now being mentioned again to begin our look at the Spirit’s work in our salvation.  Why?  Coming to faith in Christ is a result of the Holy Spirit’s workings in our lives:
1.  Drawing us to Christ (John 6:44-45)
2.  Revealing to us God’s Word (1 Corinthians 2:10)
3.  Convicting us of our sin (John 16:7-14)
4.  Giving us spiritual life (John 6:63-64)
5.  Giving us faith in Christ (John 6:29)

It is only through the grace of God, using the intervention of the Spirit in our lives, that we can come to a saving trust in Christ…  “… Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.”   (John 6:65)

after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation:

The faith we placed in Christ was the result of our hearing the truth of God’s Word…  “So then faith [cometh] by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”   (Romans 10:17)

Specifically, the truth we must hear for salvation is the gospel (good news of Christ and His work on our behalf).

Above and beyond His role in our trusting in Christ, think of the role of the Spirit in bringing the gospel to us…
1.  He laid it on the heart of someone to bring the gospel to us – (Luke 4:17-20)
2.  He prepared our heart to receive and understand the truth – (1 John 2:27)
3.  He granted us repentance to submit to the truth – (Ezek 36:26-27)

 

in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,

Finally, following our salvation experience we were made secure in Christ, never to lose our salvation.

Our salvation being made certain is described by the phrase “sealed with that holy Spirit”.  The ideas behind the meaning of the term “sealed” include:  “to stamp”, or “to set a seal upon”.  In those days, a king would set his seal upon a document for two reasons:
1.  to prove the document’s origin and ownership  – His seal upon the document proved that it had come from his hand and he authorized its contents.
2.  to keep the document secure until it was delivered to the addressee – Documents were rolled up and then sealed closed, the seal would have to be broken for the document to be read (Rev 5:1-4).  This insured the security of the documents contents.

Folks, an integral part of our salvation experience involves being sealed by the Holy Spirit.  This is God’s way of proving that the new believer is One of His chosen people and that the new believer is now eternally secure in Him…

“And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption (glorification of our bodies).”  (Ephesians 4:30)  see also 2 Corinthians 1:20-22

APPLICATION:

As we think about the awesome work of the Spirit in bringing us to Christ, working repentance and faith within us, and securing us eternally…  let us all praise and honor our Lord, who has graciously performed all of these wondrous works on our behalf.

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 1:11-12

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 Gracious Works Of The Trinity In Salvation: Ephesians 1:3-14

 

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:  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. 

In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;   Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;  Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:  That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:  In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:  That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. 

In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,  Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

We now begin the first section of Paul’s explanation of the gracious works of the Lord in our lives.  In this section, he looks at the individual workings of the three persons of the Godhead in salvation.  This section can be broken up into three basic parts:
1.  The work of the God the Father   vs 3-6
2.  The work of the God the Son    vs 7-12
3.  The work of the God the Spirit  vs 13-14

EXPOSITION:

In this morning’s devotional, Paul now turns our attention to the work of God the Son in our salvation experience……

(Eph 1:11)  In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:  
(Eph 1:12)  That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.

Paul now turns our attention to the eternal blessings that await us through the work of Christ….

 

In whom also we have obtained an inheritance
The same Lord through whom we receive our salvation is the same Lord that has assigned to us designated blessings that will be possessed throughout eternity.  Some of these include: forgiveness of our sins, eternal communion with our Lord, rewards for obedience,  citizenship in New Jerusalem, etc. etc. (see Revelation 21:-22: for great details on our inheritance)

 

being predestinated according to the purpose of him
“predestinated” is the same Greek word that we looked at in verse 5.  This phrase helps us to understand that God had determined in His eternal counsels, before time began, that we would obtain this magnificent inheritance in Him.

What an amazing truth, before the world existed…
1.  God knew of us,
2.  placed His love upon us,
3.  chose for us to receive our eternal inheritance.  This choice was not made from obligation but out of a loving and merciful heart choosing to grant to us that which we did not deserve.

who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:
The same Lord that chose for us to receive our inheritance is the same Lord that establishes all the events that take place throughout history.   It is these determined events that align themselves to secure the receipt of the divine inheritance by God’s people.

In other words, God controlled all the events necessary for us to receive our eternal inheritance, some of those include…
1.  the sustaining of our physical life (prior to our salvation experience)
2.  the gospel message being proclaimed to us
3.  our response to the gospel in repentance and belief
4.  our eternal security in Him

That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.
Why did the Lord do all of this for us?  That He might be glorified in the lives of His redeemed people.  The saved are described here as those “who first trusted in Christ”.

What is meant by the phrase “first trusted”?  The Greek word translated “first trusted” is a word that is made up of two parts that are fused together:
1.  “pro” – in front of, prior to, to precede
2.  “elpizo”  – to expect, to anticipate, to be confident

In other words… “to confidently expect prior to receipt”
This helps us to understand that those who are saved by God’s grace come to Him confidently, in an attitude of trust, believing He has secured our salvation and our promised eternal inheritance.  A true saving faith is “the substance of THINGS HOPED FOR the evidence of THINGS NOT SEEN”! (Hebs 11:1)

When we are saved, we are exercising saving faith we have “first trusted in Christ” before we experience our eternity in His presence.

 

APPLICATION:

In this devotion we have seen that through our Lord, He has:
1.  given us an inheritance
2.  predetermined that we would receive this inheritance
3.  controlled all events in our life to bring us to salvation and our eternal rewards
4.  chose to do all of this for us because He loved us and is pleased in doing so.

All of this was done so that He might be honored and glorified by His people!

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 1:10

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 Gracious Works Of The Trinity In Salvation: Ephesians 1:3-14

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:  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.  

In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;   Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;  Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:  That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:  In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:  That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. 

In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,  Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

We now begin the first section of Paul’s explanation of the gracious works of the Lord in our lives.  In this section, he looks at the individual workings of the three persons of the Godhead in salvation.  This section can be broken up into three basic parts:
1.  The work of the God the Father   vs 3-6
2.  The work of the God the Son    vs 7-12
3.  The work of the God the Spirit  vs 13-14

EXPOSITION:

In this morning’s devotional, Paul now turns our attention to the work of God the Son in our salvation experience……

Paul now explains to us more about this “mystery” that is revealed to us by God’s grace….

(Eph 1:10)  That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:

That in the dispensation of the fulness of times

The idea behind the word “dispensation” is the idea of steward or controlling manager.  This teaches us that God has absolute control over the whole period known as “time” (the period that extends from eternity past to eternity future).  (Psalms 22:28, Psalms 115:3, 1 Chronicles 29:11)

he might gather together in one all things in Christ,

As the Steward (manager) over “time”, God then uses the events in time to gather and take full account for the whole group of people He has chosen to save.

During this period under the management of the Father, through the work of Christ as Savior and Lord, He:
1.  secured payment for the sins of His people,  (John 10:15-16, John 11:51-52)
2.  summoned them to salvation  (John 11:51-52, Acts 2:38-40)
3.  adopted them into His family.  (Galatians 4:4-6)
4.  sealed them with the Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 1:20-22)

…and many others.

This secures His chosen people eternally so that none of His chosen would be lost…

All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.  For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.  And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.  And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.”  (John 6:37-40)

both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:

Of these who are eternally secure in Christ, some of them are found in heaven (those Old Testament saints who died prior to Paul’s writing of Ephesians) and those found on earth (New Testament saints who are living in Paul’s day and would be born following his death.)   Everyone who is brought to a saving faith in Jesus (looking ahead to the coming Messiah, or looking back at the crucified Savior) are secure in Him.  (John 10:25-29, Romans 8:29-30, Romans 33-39)

 

APPLICATION:

God found great delight in making plans in eternity past that included the providing of salvation for mankind and the gracing man with manifold wisdom and prudence.    May we all come to appreciate His great grace in revealing to us these riches of His grace.

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 1:8-9

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 Gracious Works Of The Trinity In Salvation: Ephesians 1:3-14

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:  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.  

In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;   Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;  Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:  That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:  In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:  That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. 

In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,  Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

We now begin the first section of Paul’s explanation of the gracious works of the Lord in our lives.  In this section, he looks at the individual workings of the three persons of the Godhead in salvation.  This section can be broken up into three basic parts:
1.  The work of the God the Father   vs 3-6
2.  The work of the God the Son    vs 7-12
3.  The work of the God the Spirit  vs 13-14

 

EXPOSITION:

In this morning’s devotional, Paul now turns our attention to the results of work of God the Son in our salvation experience……

(Ephesians 1:8-9)  Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;  Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:

Wherein

“Wherein” refers us back to the “riches of His grace” in verse 7.

God has given to us overflowing amounts of wisdom and prudence which comes from the wondrous riches of His grace.  We do not deserve these things, nor can we attain them through our efforts.

he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;

What do we mean by wisdom and prudence? (Proverbs 8:12-14)
1. “wisdom” – Receipt of the practical truths of the Word and the ability to apply them.
2. “prudence”-  The ability to discern the true nature and results of life circumstances and decisions.

Having made known unto us the mystery of his will,

The beginning of our receipt of this wisdom and prudence took place when He gave to us the greatest type of wisdom and prudence of all…. “the mystery of his will”.   What was this mystery?  It was His plan of gracious salvation for mankind (both Jew and Gentile) that is shown to us through His Word and the illumination of the Holy Spirit (vs 10).   (Romans 16:25, 1 Corinthians 2:6-8, Colossians 1:25-29, 1 Timothy 3:16)

Why is God’s plan of salvation called a “mystery”?  The message of salvation is unknowable to fallen mankind who possess sin-blinded eyes.  The only members of mankind who come to an understanding of the gospel are those whose spiritual eyes have been opened by the Holy Spirit of the Lord. (1 Corinthians 2:6-16)

It is only after we are given the wisdom and prudence concerning our need of salvation and His work on our behalf, that we can then begin to receive this overflowing wisdom and prudence for other areas of our lives.

according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:

His gracious revelation of His plan of salvation (and the other types of wisdom and prudence that follows), brought to Him great delight and satisfaction.   This was all a part of His eternal plan for mankind.

 

APPLICATION:

God found great delight in making plans in eternity past that included the providing of salvation for mankind and the gracing man with manifold wisdom and prudence.    May we all come to appreciate His great grace in revealing to us these riches of His grace.

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 1:7

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 Gracious Works Of The Trinity In Salvation: Ephesians 1:3-14

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:  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.  

In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;   Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;  Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:  That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:  In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:  That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. 

In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,  Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

We now begin the first section of Paul’s explanation of the gracious works of the Lord in our lives.  In this section, he looks at the individual workings of the three persons of the Godhead in salvation.  This section can be broken up into three basic parts:
1.  The work of the God the Father   vs 3-6
2.  The work of the God the Son    vs 7-12
3.  The work of the God the Spirit  vs 13-14

EXPOSITION:

In this morning’s devotional, Paul now turns our attention to the work of God the Son in our salvation experience……

(Ephesians 1:7)  In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

In whom we have redemption through his blood, 
It is in Christ Jesus, God the Son that we find redemption through His blood.
What does redemption mean?  It is formed from two Greek words:
1. “apo” which means “away from” or “to separate from”
2. “lutrosis” which means “to loosen” or “to dissolve”

In the context of Christ’s work being our redemption, the idea is that it is through the shed blood of Christ that we can receive a loosening of sin’s grip upon us and a parting from those sin’s penalty, power, and, eventually, presence.   In other words, Christ paid the ransom price for us removing us from sin’s enslavement and separating us from our sin’s punishment, and we will be separated from the occurrence of sin in eternity.  (Titus 2:14)

All of this was accomplished through His shed blood. (Revelation 1:5-6)

the forgiveness of sins, 
As His people, the judgment of our sins is “laid aside” and “left behind” by God, this is the concept behind forgiveness in this verse.
Please keep in mind the context of this passage… the redemption that we receive through Christ’s shed blood.  It is this shed blood that secures our forgiveness at the hands of a just, holy God.  The justice of God obligates Him to punish sin.  Christ took upon Himself the penalty of our sins which allowed a just God to grant us forgiveness.  This was done by applying the blood of Christ to our sins, and in effect, accepting Christ’s payment on our behalf.  (1 Peter 2:21-25, 1 Peter 3:18)

 according to the riches of his grace;
What allowed the Lord to send His Son on our behalf, and what allowed His Son to come and given Himself for us?  It was His ever so valuable grace!   (Romans 3:22-26)

 

APPLICATION:

It is through our redemption that comes to us through the finished work of Christ in the cross that we can find forgiveness of our sins and escape sin’s penalty, power and presence.  All of these wonderful blessings came to us through a gracious, merciful and loving Lord who was willing to sacrifice Himself on our behalf.

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.  And above all these things [put on] charity, which is the bond of perfectness.  And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.  (Colossians 3:12-15)

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 1:6

“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 Gracious Works Of The Trinity In Salvation: Ephesians 1:3-14

 

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:  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. 

In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;   Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;  Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:  That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:  In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:  That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. 

In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,  Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

We now begin the first section of Paul’s explanation of the gracious works of the Lord in our lives.  In this section, he looks at the individual workings of the three persons of the Godhead in salvation.  This section can be broken up into three basic parts:
1.  The work of the God the Father   vs 3-6
2.  The work of the God the Son    vs 7-12
3.  The work of the God the Spirit  vs 13-14

 

EXPOSITION:

In this morning’s devotional, Paul finishes His explanation of the work of the Father in our salvation experience……

(Eph 1:6)  To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

Paul now answers the question…. “Why did the Lord bless us with all spiritual blessings; chose us in Him before the world began; predestinate us to be His adopted children?”

His answer is quite clear for all of us to understand….

To the praise of the glory of his grace

The Lord does all of these things so that our attention might be drawn towards Him and He might receive our honor, appreciation and respect…
1.  “praise” carries with it the idea of “to make shine”, “to bring attention to” or “to take seriously”.
2.  “glory”  has the idea of “valued” or “prized”

His gracious works are very valuable for all mankind.  Because His grace is so valuable to us, His works of grace cause us to place great attention and honor upon Him.  The more we know about what He did for us, the more we will focus upon Him and give Him the appreciation, honor and submission that He deserves.  (2 Corinthians 4:15)

What is interesting to notice is that ALL of the Godhead’s workings that bring salvation to us are performed for the same reason.  We will see as our devotions progress through Ephesians 1:…

1.  (vs 6) The work of the Father in our salvation “To the praise of the glory of his grace”
2.  ( vs 12) The work of the Son in our salvation “That we should be to the praise of his glory”
3.  (vs 14)  The work of the Spirit in our salvation “unto the praise of his glory.”

wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

These great acts of His saving grace has worked within us resulting in our acceptance by Him.

1.  “accepted” – He accepted us in two ways…
a.  He has received us into His presence;  (Revelation 22:14-15)
b.  He has placed us in a high position of honor as an adopted heir.  (Revelation 21:6-8)

2. “in the beloved” – This phrase can mean two different things…
a.  if we are “the beloved”…The Lord has included us among all those that He has loved. (Psalm 60:4-5)
b.  if Christ is “the beloved”… The Lord’s acceptance of us is based upon Christ’s work (Acts 4:10-12)

I believe both meanings are implied in this passage.

 

APPLICATION:

Our magnificent Lord has accepted us into His presence although we are fallen rebellious sinners.  He has included us among those He loves with a self-sacrificial love.  He did all of this through the work of His beloved Son who died for us.

He did all of this to bring to Himself our attention, our honor and our submission to His desires for our lives.  Let us all praise and serve Him for His wonderfully gracious works among us!

This people have I formed for myself; they shall shew forth my praise.(Isaiah 43:21)

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 1:5

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 Gracious Works Of The Trinity In Salvation: Ephesians 1:3-14

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:  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.  

In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;   Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;  Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:  That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:  In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:  That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. 

In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,  Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

 

We now begin the first section of Paul’s explanation of the gracious works of the Lord in our lives.  In this section, he looks at the individual workings of the three persons of the Godhead in salvation.  This section can be broken up into three basic parts:

1.  The work of the God the Father   vs 3-6
2.  The work of the God the Son    vs 7-12
3.  The work of the God the Spirit  vs 13-14

EXPOSITION:

In this morning’s devotional, Paul continues to explain the work of the Father in our salvation experience……

(Ephesians 1:5)  Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,

Having predestinated us unto 
God the Father “predestinates” us.  What does this mean?  “Predestinated” comes from the Greek words:
1. “pro” meaning “to go before” or “to precede”
2. “horizo” – “to limit”, “to determine”, or “to place boundary”

In other words, when the Father “predestined” us, He “determined beforehand” the….

 

the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself,
The Lord determined that all those He decreed would receive salvation (Ephesians 1:4), and would also be adopted in His family (John 1:12).   The basis of our adoption into the family of God is the completed work of Christ on the cross (Galatians 3:26).

What a blessing it is to be adopted into God’s family, for with that adoption, we become joint heirs of glory with Christ…

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.  For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.   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 8:14-18)

These verses help us to understand that actively following the Holy Spirit’s leading, is an indicator of our membership in God’s family.  Specifically, the benefits of our adoption include:
1. no longer fearing the judgment of the Lord against our sins
2. the indwelling Holy Spirit that testifies of our membership in the family of God
3. possession of a Father/child relationship with the Father, based upon love, mercy and kindness towards us.
4. and the promise of an eternity in the presence of the Father and Son in glory

What a blessing it is to be a part of the family of God!

 

according to the good pleasure of his will,
Why did the Lord predetermine our adoption?  Because He wanted to.  It is truly, as simple as that.  This reminds us that our salvation and all the benefits associated with it were given to us based upon HIS DESIRES.  Our good works could not purchase these blessings, nor were we inherently good and, thereby, deserving them.

 

APPLICATION:

For those who have been adopted into the family of God by faith, may we recognize the wonderful inheritance awaiting us and be appreciative and encouraged to continue on in service for Him…

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 1:4

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 Gracious Works Of The Trinity In Salvation: Ephesians 1:3-14

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:  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.  
In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;   Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;  Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:  That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:  In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:  That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. 
In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,  Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

 

We now begin the first section of Paul’s explanation of the gracious works of the Lord in our lives.  In this section, he looks at the individual workings of the three persons of the Godhead in salvation.  This section can be broken up into three basic parts:
1.  The work of the God the Father   vs 3-6
2.  The work of the God the Son    vs 7-12
3.  The work of the God the Spirit  vs 13-14

 

EXPOSITION:

In this morning’s devotional, Paul begins to explain the work of the Father in our salvation experience……

(Ephesians 1:4)   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:

According as he hath chosen us 
God the Father issued a personal decree that separated us from the lost world to Himself!

The Greek word translated “chosen” are actually two Greek words fused together…
1.  “ek”  which means “out of” or “from”
2.  “lego” which means “to lay forth”, “to reveal”, “to decree” , “to call by name”

Our wonderful Heavenly Father issued a decree, calling us out by name from among all of fallen sinful mankind.   Folks, think about it, our salvation was not an “accident” or something that was generic and impersonal.  It finds its initiation in our Heavenly Father who worked specifically on our behalf.  (Acts 13:48)

Let’s answer a few questions about this wonderful personal call that resulted in our release from sin’s bondage and penalty, setting us apart from all of lost mankind…

What is this decree based upon?
in him

“Him” is speaking of Christ.  This decree of God is founded upon the work of Christ on the cross.  This decree finds it power, substance and validity in what Christ has done for us.  If Christ did not redeem us on the cross, this decree of God must be deemed invalid because no one can be removed from sin’s bondage apart from the work of Christ.  (Romans 3:23-27)

When was this decree made?
before the foundation of the world,

Our gracious Heavenly Father issued this wondrous decree before the foundations of the world were laid.  Before the world’s conception, our Father knew of sin and its dreaded effects on mankind.   He knew that we, as individuals, would enter into spiritual death, enslavement and eternal condemnation. This is the “election of grace”  (Romans 11:5-6).  Yet, He mercifully chose to remove us from sin’s dreaded results.  This was done before we existed, proving to us that our salvation is based entirely on Him and His grace, apart from any personal merit on our behalf (Revelation 13:8).

[Please note:  For some, the idea of the Father decreeing salvation on behalf of a personal, select people is looked upon as unjust.  The key to us understanding these things is to remember… NONE OF US DESERVE TO BE SAVED FROM OUR SINS, WE ALL DESERVE ETERNAL PUNISHMENT.

We are all, justly, condemned to death.  When the Lord chooses to save us from our sins, He is not being unjust to those who are not chosen.  Those who are not the recipients of His grace simply receive what is just and fair in the   punishment of their sins.

A very simplistic, human example of this is a governor that pardons a murderer who is on death row.  Is the governor being unfair to all the other murderers who remain on death row, ready to receive the just penalty for their murder?]

What is the result of that decree?
that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:

The result of the Father’s gracious decree is two-fold:
1.  “we should be holy” – “holy” means to “to be set apart from God’s use” .
2.  “we should be without blame before Him” – “blame” carries the idea of “blot”, “blemish” or “fault”

These ideas are referring to the threefold aspect of the salvation experience of those the Father had chosen:
1.  (PAST) At salvation – our initial receipt of salvation –
a.  “holy”  refers to when we are separated from sin’s PENALTY and enter into COMMUNION with the Lord
b.  “without blame before Him” refers to our sins BEING COVERED by Christ’s blood

2.  (PRESENT) Following salvation – our lifestyle of service for Him
a.  “holy”  refers to when we are separated from sin’s power and enter into service for the Lord
b.  “without blame before Him” refers to our sins CONTINUALLY  FORGIVEN through Christ’s intercession

3.  (FUTURE) Throughout eternity – our future in His presence
a.  “holy”  refers to when we are separated from sin’s presence and enter into Lord’s eternal presence
b.  “without blame before Him” refers to our sins COVERED BY WHITE ROBES of Christ’s righteousness in the eternal state.

Based on the above, we can easily see that this wonderful decree of our Father brings about all three stages of our salvation experience.  Simply put, this decree brings about all three stages of the chosen one’s salvation experience… past, present and future.   Its main goal is to separate us from the bondage of sin to the service of our heavenly Father bringing about honor and glory To the Father.

Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;
Who hath saved us, and called [us] with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,
But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:  (2 Timothy 1:8-10)

APPLICATION:

For those who have been chosen by His grace and summoned to salvation, let us all never forget what our Father has accomplished for us before eternity began… 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 1:3

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 Gracious Works Of The Trinity In Salvation: Ephesians 1:3-14

 

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:  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. 

In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;   Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;  Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:  That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:  In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:  That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. 

In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,  Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

We now begin the first section of Paul’s explanation of the gracious works of the Lord in our lives.  In this section, he looks at the individual workings of the three persons of the Godhead in salvation.  This section can be broken up into three basic parts:

1.  The work of the God the Father   vs 3-6
2.  The work of the God the Son    vs 7-12
3.  The work of the God the Spirit  vs 13-14

 

EXPOSITION:

We turn our view to the gracious work of God the Father in the blessing of His people.  In this morning’s devotional, Paul reminds us that all of our spiritual blessings originate in the Father……

(Ephesians 1:3)  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:

 

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ

The Father deserves to be “blessed” for His great work on our behalf.  The Greek word translated “blessed” is the word from which we get our English word “eulogy” .

What is a eulogy?  It is when we speak well of a person as an act of remembrance and honor.  Because God the Father is the Originator of all of the spiritual blessings that we receive in life, we are to praise and honor Him through our actions and words.  In this way, we can “eulogize” Him (speak well of Him to others).   (Psa 72:18-19)

This is the concept behind the Father being “blessed”.

 

who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings

Paul now helps us to understand that it is the work of the Father that brings all spiritual blessings to us.

What is a “spiritual blessing”?   When the Bible speaks of spiritual blessings it is speaking of blessings that have eternal significance for us.

These blessings can be categorized in two very basic divisions:
1.  blessings involving our RELATIONSHIP with the Lord. (forgiveness, repentance, prayer, mediation etc )
2.  blessings involving our SERVICE to the Lord.  (spiritual fruits, gifts, growth, rewards, fellow laborers etc)

Spiritual blessings stand in stark comparison to the temporal physical blessings that come from the Father (food, clothing, shelter, health, possessions etc).  Although our physical blessings are greatly needed, they cannot begin to compare to the spiritual blessings that will bring eternal benefit to His people.  (2 Cor 4:16-18)

These eternal, spiritual, blessings are what the blessings to which Paul directs our attention.  (In the following verses, he will be giving to us a detailed list of many of these blessings)

 

in heavenly places in Christ:

The Father’s spiritual blessings find their basis in:

1.  heavenly places – These blessings are entirely acts of God’s grace.
They were planned, produced, sent from, and brought to eternal completion in HEAVEN.   Man can take absolutely no credit for laboring nor meriting any of these great blessings. They are not blessings of the earth.  They are truly “heavenly” blessings given to us solely through the grace of God! (Heb 9:23)

2.  Christ – All of these blessings are produced through the work of Jesus Christ.
Christ, in submission to the plans and purposes of the Father, completed the work necessary to secure these blessings for the people of God.  It is only through the application of Christ’s work on the cross that these great blessings can be attained.  (Rom 8:39)

APPLICATION:

As we think of God’s grace, may we remember this core principle that applies universally to the blessings of God…

Every spiritual blessing is an act of grace motivated by the Father’s love for His people.  As such, they are not deserved, nor are they gained by any effort of man.

This is why we are to always think of the God in terms of being a“blessed” God. In other words… Because of His gracious works on our behalf, He is a God that deserves for us to speak well of Him at all times.  Through both our speech and actions, we are to bring honor and glory to Him for His great works of grace that will accompany His people throughout eternity.  (1 Cor 1:28-31)

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 1:2

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.”

 

Paul’s Introduction To His Letter: Ephesians 1:1-2

Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus:  Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

Please note:  As we study the Book of Ephesians, 2 terms will be used over and over again, God’s grace and God’s mercy.  What do these two terms mean?

A very basic definition of both of these terms would be:

1. Grace is God’s love being shown to us by GIVING TO us BENEFITS we DO NOT DESERVE.
One example of His grace is forgiving us of our sins.

2. Mercy is God’s love being shown to us by KEEPING FROM us HARM we DO DESERVE.
One example of His mercy is withholding from us eternal punishment for our sins.

Keeping these definitions in mind, let’s continue our look at the “Reflections of His Grace”.

 

EXPOSITION:

(Ephesians 1:2)  Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

In preparation of their receipt of his teachings, Paul desires for the church at Ephesus to receive two very particular graces from the Father and Christ…
1.  Grace – Paul desired for them to receive undeserved gifts that would be beneficial to them.

This would include giving to them:
1.  a will to receive these truths  (Eph 2:13)
2.  an understanding of their meaning  (1 John 5:20)
3.  the application of them to their hearts and lives.  (Hebs 10:16)

This would be a gracious enabling that would result in their spiritual growth and strengthening which would result from the receipt of the writings of Paul.

 

2.  Peace – Paul wanted them to be given undeserved rest and serenity within the assembly and their own hearts.

This would include a peace knowing that:
1.  Paul’s message was the truth
2.  the Lord was pleased with the receipt and application of it.

It would be possessing a conscience filled with peace knowing they were doing what was right in the sight of their God.

 

It would be these same works of grace and peace that would enable the church to hold fast to these teachings of Paul.  In the midst of persecution and Satanic opposition that would give them the strength to continue on faithful to Christ and His Word. (2 Cor 4:7-10)

APPLICATION:

In this we can see the great concern of Paul for the welfare of the Christians at Ephesus.  He was asking the Lord to intervene in their lives before he began to present God’s message to the church.  He recognized their great need of the Lord’s grace to embrace the Word and then live according to it.

So too, with us all.  May we all seek the Lord’s gracious intervention in our lives every time we open the Word of the Lord.  May we recognize our need of grace to not only come to an understanding of the Word, but also to apply it to our lives and live consistently in the midst of a sinful, fallen world.  It is this same fallen world that so desperately needs to see our Savior on exhibit in everything we do.

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 1:1

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.”

Paul’s Introduction To His Letter: Ephesians 1:1-2

 

Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus:  Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

Please note:  As we study the Book of Ephesians, 2 terms will be used over and over again, God’s grace and God’s mercy.  What do these two terms mean?

A very basic definition of both of these terms would be:

1. Grace is God’s love being shown to us by GIVING TO us BENEFITS we DO NOT DESERVE.   One example of His grace is forgiving us of our sins.

2. Mercy is God’s love being shown to us by KEEPING FROM us HARM we DO DESERVE.   One example of His mercy is withholding from us eternal punishment for our sins.

Keeping these definitions in mind, let’s continue our look at the “Reflections of His Grace”.

EXPOSITION:

(Ephesians 1:1)  Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus:

Paul begins his letter by reminding the members of the church at Ephesus, the ministry to which He had been called…
1.  Apostle of Jesus Christ – Paul was given divine authority to be an ambassador for the Lord Jesus.
Paul’s was acting as a representative of Jesus with Christ’s approval behind his message. (Eph 6:19-20)

2.  by the will of God – God, Himself, called Paul to this ministry.  Paul did not choose this ministry for himself, he was chosen to perform this ministry by God. God had given to him the responsibility of oversight of the Lord’s churches.  (2 Cor 11:28).  It was in his place to teach the church at Ephesus these truths.  He wasn’t “stepping out of line” by exercising authority over them.

Paul then reminds his readers of their position before Almighty God… 

1.  to the saints at Ephesus – this is describing the gracious work that the Lord has performed on their behalf… They are now “separated ones”, they have been separated FROM sin’s bondage and separated TO His service. (1 Pet 2:9)

2.  to the faithful in Christ Jesus – this is describing the response to His gracious workings in their heart… They now live lives of faithfulness to Him, seeking to place the Lord and His will first in their lives. (Matt 22:37-38)

Why did Paul take such lengths to describe both himself and the members of the church at Ephesus?  After all, he could have simply said “From Paul to the members of the church at Ephesus”.  I believe, in part, it was to motivate them to pay great attention to his writings and apply them to their hearts and lives.  Stop and think about it, basically, Paul was giving four motivating truths…

They were to take careful heed of his instructions because…
1.  The content of his teachings – He had the authority of Christ supporting his teachings.
2.  The ministry he had been given – He had been given the responsibility to watch over them from God, Himself.
3.  They owed Him their all – The Lord separated the Ephesus church  from sin to His service although they were undeserving.
4.  They were given everything they needed for service – The Lord was graciously enabling and accompanying the Ephesus church.

APPLICATION:

Folks, these same four reasons to heed these teachings of God apply to us as the children of our Lord. These should all be motivations for us to apply the truths of Ephesians (and the truth found in all of His Word) to our lives.

Let us always begin our daily study by asking the Lord to grace us by… opening our eyes to the many aspects of His grace; giving us the ability to understand and carefully examine these graces;  and applying them to our hearts, minds and lives.

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