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

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

 

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

 

Christ’s Life:

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

Our Lesson To Be Learned:

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

(Colossians 3:12-13)

 

 

 

 

 

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To Love As Jesus Loved: “Charity Thinketh No Evil”

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

 

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

Christ’s Life:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Our Lesson To Be Learned:

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

 

How is this type of anger a display of love?

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

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

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

 

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

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

SIH TOA ICONIntroduction:

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

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

 

 

 

Lesson:


A Description Of Spiritual Gifts For Today:

Gifted Men:

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

Spiritual Gifts:

 

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

This gift emphasizes the PROCLAMATION of the Truth.

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

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

 

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

This gift emphasizes HUMILITY based on the Truth.

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

 

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

This gift emphasizes the EXPLANATION of the Truth.

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

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

 

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

This gift emphasizes the ENCOURAGING to keep the Truth.

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

 

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

This gift emphasizes GIVING to display the Truth.

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

This gift emphasizes CARING FOR STRANGERS to communicate the Truth .

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

 

 

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

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

 

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

 

Additional Information:

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

Rom 12:4-8 KJV

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

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

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

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

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

 

Rom 8:38-39 KJV

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

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

 

1Co 7:7-9 KJV

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

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

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

 

1Co 12:27-31 KJV

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

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

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

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

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

 

Gal 5:22-25 KJV

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

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

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

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

 

Eph 4:11-15 KJV

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

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

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

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

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

 

Eph 5:8-10 KJV

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

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

(10) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.

 

1Pe 4:8-11 KJV

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

(9) Use hospitality one to another without grudging.

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

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

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

SIH TOA ICONIntroduction:

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

 

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

 

The Scriptures:

Texts that list gifts for today EXCLUSIVELY:

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Texts that list Spiritual Fruits :

 

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

 

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

 

 

Lesson:

A Listing Of Spiritual Gifts For Today:

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

 

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

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

 

 

A Listing Of Spiritual Fruits:

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

 

 

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

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

 

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

 

Notes on above chart:

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

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

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

 

 

Additional Information (Verses Used In This Study):

The Criteria For TheTesting Of The Spirits:

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

SIH’s Think On These Things: Ephesians 4:32

SIH TOTT ICON“Reflections Of His Grace”

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

The Grace Of Renewal: Ephesians 4:17-32

“This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind,  Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:  Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.  

But ye have not so learned Christ;  If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:  That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;  And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;  And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour:  for we are members one of another.    Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil.    Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.    Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.    And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.     Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

 

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

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

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

The next effect of God’s grace we will be looking at is the grace of RENEWAL (4:17-32).  The word translated “renewed” is a Greek word that carries with it the ideas of:
1. to reform
2. to make fresh
3. to restore youth

When these are viewed together we can see that the idea of renewal is “a renovation that restores to a previous condition which results in renewed power, refreshment and perception.”

In the context of this study, our mind is spoken of as being “renewed” with the receipt of the new nature given to us at our salvation.   Basically this is teaching us that our mind is changed to resemble our minds before the fall of man.  Some of these would include:
1.  a mind with a greater desire to think on things pleasing to God,
2.  a mind with an ability to more clearly perceive and apply God’s Word and will to the life
3.  a mind with an ability to perceive and oppose wickedness, temptation and other evil influences.

Keeping all this in mind, lets turn our attention to this is a very basic outline of this section of Scripture:
I.        The Walk Of Our Old Man (vs 17-22)
II.        Our New Man with a Renewed Mind (23-24)
III.        The Walk Of Our New Man (vs 25-32)

EXPOSITION:

(Eph 4:32)  And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

Paul now completes his look at the characteristics of the new man.  In today’s devotional, he centers upon characteristics that involve our treatment of others…

 

And be ye kind one to another,
The word “kind” is translated from a word that combines several ideas, “gracious”, “useful” and “beneficial”.  Based upon this, we can more clearly understand what Paul is teaching to us:
1.  We are to be “gracious” (willing to help those who have harmed us or done us wrong.)
2.  We are to be “useful” (willing to step in wherever we are needed)
3.  We are to be “beneficial” (willing to work unselfishly for the benefit others and not ourselves)

This type of kindness is also described as “brotherly love” in Romans 12:10:

[Be] kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;” 

 

tenderhearted,
To be tenderhearted is to be sympathetic towards the problems that others face in life. It is to possess desires that are softened towards those who are suffering and in need.  When a tenderhearted spirit is linked with the characteristic of “kindness” (see above)… great differences can be made in the lives of those around us.

This same word is translated “pitiful” in 1 Peter 3:8-9.  In this text, the core principles of being tenderhearted are clearly described:

Finally, [be ye] all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, [be] pitiful, [be] courteous:  Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.” 

 

forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
Forgiving others is removing deserved retribution from those who have wronged us.  It is saying “Although you have harmed me, I do not desire for harm to come upon you.  I release you from the punishment that you deserve”

This is the basic principle behind Scriptural forgiveness which is clearly illustrated for us by God the Father.

The Father has released His people from the punishment for their sin.  This was done based upon the Father’s acceptance of Christ’s work on the cross, when Christ took upon Himself the punishment for our sins…

By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once [for all].  And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins:  But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;  From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.  For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.  [Whereof] the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before,  This [is] the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;  And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.  Now where remission of these [is, there is] no more offering for sin.”  (Hebrews 10:10-18)

To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.”    (2 Corinthians 5:19)

 

The three characteristics we have looked at in this devotional are all presented again to us in Colossians 3:12-14…
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.

What a wonderful way to show Christ to the world around us through our actions!   Simply, live our lives loving others as we should …. This will lead us to be kind, tenderhearted and forgiving to one another.

 

APPLICATION:

These are the characteristics of those who live according to the “new man” by a renewed spirit of the mind:
1.  Truthfulness and Transparency
2.  Holding Anger Against Sin
3.  Prompt Cessation Of Ungodly Anger
4.  No Submission To Satan’s Use
5.  Laboring To Meet Physical Needs
6.  Good and Edifying Speech
7.  No Willful disobedience against our Heavenly Father and His desires for our lives.
8.  Letting Loose of bitterness, wrath, anger, clamour, evil speaking, and malice.
9.  Treat Others With Kindness and Love

May we all recognize these characteristics are all a result of the Lord’s direct intervention in our lives creating in us the “new man” and giving us the grace to live according to it.

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 4:31

SIH TOTT ICON“Reflections Of His Grace”

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

The Grace Of Renewal: Ephesians 4:17-32

 

“This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind,  Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:  Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. 

But ye have not so learned Christ;  If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:  That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;  And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;  And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour:  for we are members one of another.    Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil.    Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.    Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.    And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.     Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

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

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

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

The next effect of God’s grace we will be looking at is the grace of RENEWAL (4:17-32).  The word translated “renewed” is a Greek word that carries with it the ideas of:
1. to reform
2. to make fresh
3. to restore youth

When these are viewed together we can see that the idea of renewal is “a renovation that restores to a previous condition which results in renewed power, refreshment and perception.”

In the context of this study, our mind is spoken of as being “renewed” with the receipt of the new nature given to us at our salvation.   Basically this is teaching us that our mind is changed to resemble our minds before the fall of man.  Some of these would include:
1.  a mind with a greater desire to think on things pleasing to God,
2.  a mind with an ability to more clearly perceive and apply God’s Word and will to the life
3.  a mind with an ability to perceive and oppose wickedness, temptation and other evil influences.

Keeping all this in mind, lets turn our attention to this is a very basic outline of this section of Scripture:
I.        The Walk Of Our Old Man (vs 17-22)
II.        Our New Man with a Renewed Mind (23-24)
III.        The Walk Of Our New Man (vs 25-32)

EXPOSITION:

(Eph 4:31)  Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:

 

Paul continues to look at the characteristics of the new man.  In today’s devotional, he centers upon characteristics that must be excluded from our lives which involve our treatment of others…

Let all bitterness, – “bitterness” comes from the Greek word for “poison” or “acid”.

It points to something that is harmful, irritating and distasteful.  When we have a bitter attitude it certainly is irritating to those around us, but more importantly it can be very harmful as it can spread and cause discontentment and anger.

Follow peace with all [men], and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:  Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble [you], and thereby many be defiled;”  (Hebrews 12:14-15)

and wrath, – “wrath” originates from a Greek word that means “to breathe hard due to inflamed passions”.

It describes allowing our passions to get out of control, physically affecting our bodies, causing us to act foolishly and without restraint.

Self-control is a primary prerequisite for those who desire to lead a Godly Christian life…

Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.  And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they [do it] to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.”   (1 Corinthians 9:24-25)

and anger, – “anger” is translated from a word that means “passion that burns within” .

It refers to a burning desire within us for vengeance and wrath to fall against others (normally those who have wronged us).

Please note: “Anger” refers to the existence of these passions within us, while “wrath” describes our inability to control these desires once they come into existence in our lives.

Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;  Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also [do] ye.”  (Colossians 3:12-13)

and clamour, – “clamour” comes from a Greek word for “a raven’s scream”.

It describes making loud outcries causing upheaval and discord. It is describing verbal cries that cause fightings, wars, disunity and rebellion.   It is basically, “stirring up” trouble within a group of people.

Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.  For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.”   (Romans 16:17-18)

and evil speaking, – “evil speaking” comes from the Greek word for blaspheming.

This word describes finding fault with, complaining about, or attributing evil to the things of the Lord (Himself, His word, or His works).

If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, [even] the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness;  He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings,  Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.”   (1 Timothy 6:3-5)

be put away from you, – “be put away” carried with it the idea of “lifting up and away” or “to sail or drift away”

This is helping us to understand we are to no longer allow these to be burdensome to us.

We are to:
1.  take action and “lift them up” off of us
2.  then, passively, allow them to “drift away” out of our lives.

 

with all malice: “malice” is translated from a word that means “malignant”, “corruption”, “wickedness”.

This refers to the growth of something harmful that causes its victim to deteriorate.  It could be describing a decaying body, a person afflicted with cancer or a sinful individual turned over to his own lusts and wickedness…

But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.”  (Hebrews 3:13)

And the commandment, which [was ordained] to life, I found [to be] unto death.   For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew [me].”   (Romans 7:10-11)

 

APPLICATION:

Some of the characteristics of those who live according to the “new man” by a renewed spirit of the mind include:
1.  Truthfulness and Transparency
2.  Holding Anger Against Sin
3.  Prompt Cessation Of Ungodly Anger
4.  No Submission To Satan’s Use
5.  Laboring To Meet Physical Needs
6.  Good and Edifying Speech
7.  No Willful disobedience against our Heavenly Father and His desires for our lives.
8.  Letting Loose of bitterness, wrath, anger, clamour, evil speaking, and malice.

May we all recognize these characteristics are all a result of the Lord’s direct intervention in our lives creating in us the “new man” and giving us the grace to live according to it.

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 4:30b

SIH TOTT ICON“Reflections Of His Grace”

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

The Grace Of Renewal: Ephesians 4:17-32

 “This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind,  Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:  Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.  

 But ye have not so learned Christ;  If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:  That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;  And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;  And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour:  for we are members one of another.    Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil.    Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.    Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.    And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.     Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

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

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

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

The next effect of God’s grace we will be looking at is the grace of RENEWAL (4:17-32).  The word translated “renewed” is a Greek word that carries with it the ideas of:
1. to reform
2. to make fresh
3. to restore youth

When these are viewed together we can see that the idea of renewal is “a renovation that restores to a previous condition which results in renewed power, refreshment and perception.”

In the context of this study, our mind is spoken of as being “renewed” with the receipt of the new nature given to us at our salvation.   Basically this is teaching us that our mind is changed to resemble our minds before the fall of man.  Some of these would include:
1.  a mind with a greater desire to think on things pleasing to God,
2.  a mind with an ability to more clearly perceive and apply God’s Word and will to the life
3.  a mind with an ability to perceive and oppose wickedness, temptation and other evil influences.

Keeping all this in mind, lets turn our attention to this is a very basic outline of this section of Scripture:
I.        The Walk Of Our Old Man (vs 17-22)
II.        Our New Man with a Renewed Mind (23-24)
III.        The Walk Of Our New Man (vs 25-32)

EXPOSITION:

(Eph 4:30b)  whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

Paul continues to look at the characteristics of the new man, a blessing given to us by God’s grace…

whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
This same Spirit, whose leadings we actively reject, is the same Spirit that is used by our Heavenly Father to seal us until Christ comes again.

What does the Bible mean when it says we are sealed by the Spirit? To help us understand what is being spoken of in this verse, we need to understand the idea of sealing…

And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals.”   (Revelation 5:1)

In those days…
1.  Kings and other noblemen would write their laws, or other personal correspondence on leather or parchment
2.  then the leather or parchment would be rolled into a scroll
3.  the outer edge of the rolled up scroll would then be sealed using a wax-like substance
4.  the writer would then stamp his one-of-a-kind signet ring into the wax proving that the scroll had come from him.

For the scroll to be opened…
1.  the wax seals would have to be broken first
2.  then the scroll would be unrolled
3.  then it could be read.

So when something was sealed it accomplished two great purposes….
1.  Protection / Security – when sealed the writing in the scroll would be protected from the elements and from unauthorized readers.
2.  Authenticity – the seals (when the imprint of the writers ring) would prove this scroll was genuine and came from a specific writer

When we are saved through the grace of the Father we are sealed with the Holy Spirit.  In other words the Father “marks” us as being His possession and He keeps us secure from eternal harm.  It is through His sealing that we are proven to be genuinely saved and held secure in Christ with no chance of losing our salvation, nor facing eternal damnation for our sins.

In a sense, the Holy Spirit is the down payment, that we are given from the Father, which proves we will receive our promised eternal inheritance….

Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, [is] God;  Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.”   (2 Corinthians 1:21-22)

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)  (See also:  Ephesians 1:13-14)

 

 

APPLICATION:

Some of the characteristics of those who live according to the “new man” by a renewed spirit of the mind include:
1.  Truthfulness and Transparency
2.  Holding Anger Against Sin
3.  Prompt Cessation Of Ungodly Anger
4.  No Submission To Satan’s Use
5.  Laboring To Meet Physical Needs
6.  Good and Edifying Speech
7.  No Willful disobedience against our Heavenly Father and His desires for our lives.

May we all recognize these characteristics are all a result of the Lord’s direct intervention in our lives creating in us the “new man” and giving us the grace to live according to it.

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 4:30a

SIH TOTT ICON“Reflections Of His Grace”

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

The Grace Of Renewal: Ephesians 4:17-32

 

“This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind,  Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:  Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. 

But ye have not so learned Christ;  If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:  That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;  And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;  And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour:  for we are members one of another.    Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil.    Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.    Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.    And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.     Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

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

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

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

The next effect of God’s grace we will be looking at is the grace of RENEWAL (4:17-32).  The word translated “renewed” is a Greek word that carries with it the ideas of:
1. to reform
2. to make fresh
3. to restore youth

When these are viewed together we can see that the idea of renewal is “a renovation that restores to a previous condition which results in renewed power, refreshment and perception.”

In the context of this study, our mind is spoken of as being “renewed” with the receipt of the new nature given to us at our salvation.   Basically this is teaching us that our mind is changed to resemble our minds before the fall of man.  Some of these would include:
1.  a mind with a greater desire to think on things pleasing to God,
2.  a mind with an ability to more clearly perceive and apply God’s Word and will to the life
3.  a mind with an ability to perceive and oppose wickedness, temptation and other evil influences.

Keeping all this in mind, lets turn our attention to this is a very basic outline of this section of Scripture:
I.        The Walk Of Our Old Man (vs 17-22)
II.        Our New Man with a Renewed Mind (23-24)
III.        The Walk Of Our New Man (vs 25-32)

 

EXPOSITION:

(Eph 4:30a)  And grieve not the holy Spirit of God,…

 

Paul continues to look at the characteristics of the new man, a blessing given to us by God’s grace…

And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, 
Do not cause the Holy Spirit to be sad, angered or distressed.  What causes the Holy Spirit to be “grieved” in our life?   Because this is the only verse in the New Testament that mentions grieving the Spirit, we will have to look to the Old Testament to see if we can find any teaching on the subject…

Isaiah 63:10 clearly explains this for us…
But they rebelled, and vexed his holy Spirit: therefore he was turned to be their enemy, [and] he fought against them.”   

Rebellion (willful disobedience) against the Lord is what causes the Holy Spirit to be grieved.  This would include any WILLFUL act of sin.  As Paul gives us a listing of the characteristics of a new man, we can add another to the list.  When we live according to the new man, we will not willfully choose to disobey God and rebel against His authority and guidelines for our lives.

Why would rebellion against the commands of the Lord result in His Spirit being grieved?  In Acts 7, we read of the Lord’s great authority (vs 48-50) and the result of stubbornly resisting that authority (vs 51)…

Howbeit the most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands; as saith the prophet,  Heaven [is] my throne, and earth [is] my footstool: what house will ye build me? saith the Lord: or what [is] the place of my rest?  Hath not my hand made all these things?  Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers [did], so [do] ye.” 

Here, we read that when we resist the Lord’s authority, we are resisting the Holy Spirit as well.  This is because the indwelling Spirit testifies to us of God’s will, and convicts us of our rebellious spirit and actions.

When we rebel, we are refusing to listen to the Spirit’s leadings in our life and purposefully “shutting Him out” of our decision making process.  This is one of the main reasons why He is grieved when we rebelliously sin against our Heavenly Father.

 

APPLICATION:

Some of the characteristics of those who live according to the “new man” by a renewed spirit of the mind include:
1.  Truthfulness and Transparency
2.  Holding Anger Against Sin
3.  Prompt Cessation Of Ungodly Anger
4.  No Submission To Satan’s Use
5.  Laboring To Meet Physical Needs
6.  Good and Edifying Speech
7.  No willful disobedience against our Heavenly Father and His desires for our lives.

May we all recognize these characteristics are all a result of the Lord’s direct intervention in our lives creating in us the “new man” and giving us the grace to live according to it.

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 4:29

SIH TOTT ICON“Reflections Of His Grace”

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

The Grace Of Renewal: Ephesians 4:17-32

 “This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind,  Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:  Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.  

But ye have not so learned Christ;  If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:  That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;  And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;  And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour:  for we are members one of another.    Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil.    Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.    Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.    And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.     Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

 

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

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

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

The next effect of God’s grace we will be looking at is the grace of RENEWAL (4:17-32).  The word translated “renewed” is a Greek word that carries with it the ideas of:
1. to reform
2. to make fresh
3. to restore youth

When these are viewed together we can see that the idea of renewal is “a renovation that restores to a previous condition which results in renewed power, refreshment and perception.”

In the context of this study, our mind is spoken of as being “renewed” with the receipt of the new nature given to us at our salvation.   Basically this is teaching us that our mind is changed to resemble our minds before the fall of man.  Some of these would include:
1.  a mind with a greater desire to think on things pleasing to God,
2.  a mind with an ability to more clearly perceive and apply God’s Word and will to the life
3.  a mind with an ability to perceive and oppose wickedness, temptation and other evil influences.

Keeping all this in mind, lets turn our attention to this is a very basic outline of this section of Scripture:
I.        The Walk Of Our Old Man (vs 17-22)
II.        Our New Man with a Renewed Mind (23-24)
III.        The Walk Of Our New Man (vs 25-32)

EXPOSITION:

 

(Ephesians 4:29)  Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

Paul continues to look at the characteristics of the new man, a blessing given to us by God’s grace…

 

Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth,
Another area of our life that is affected by our walk as a “new man” is our speech.  The walk of the “new man” includes refraining from “corrupt communication”.
What is “corrupt communication”?  This term is translated from a phrase that means “rotten”, “worthless”, or “decayed” speech.  It describes sinful speech that flows from those who are spiritually dead, working death in the lives of all who live according to it.  As it proceeds from the mouth it is like a decaying rotted corpse that is putrefied and repulsive to all who follow Christ.
Their throat [is] an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps [is] under their lips:  Whose mouth [is] full of cursing and bitterness:”  (Romans 3:13-14)
But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.  Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;”  (Colossians 3:8-9)
In practical terms, it is any speech that contains error and spiritual foolishness, leads men astray from the truths of God’s Word and finds it origins in Satan “the father of lies” (John 8:44).

 

but that which is good to the use of edifying,
 
Instead, we are to be sure that our speech is filled with that which is “good” (beneficial to man and pleasing to God.)   It is to be motivated by the desire to “edify” (build up and strengthen) others spiritually.
Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.  Let your speech [be] alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.”  (Colossians 4:5-6)
 

In practical terms, edifying speech is Biblically sound speech that contains the appropriate message for any given situation.  It is always delivered with a gracious, kind humble attitude that flows from a heart of love and concern for others.

that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
This is the ultimate motivation behind the Godly speech of the new man.  It is to “hand over” grace to the hearer, much like a waiter would hand over food to their customer.  In other words, it is a type of speech that reveals God’s grace to all who will listen.
For those who are lost, through our words and acts we will reveal God’s gracious salvation, His love and kindness…
Dearly beloved, I beseech [you] as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;  Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by [your] good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.”  (1 Peter 2:11-12)
 

Likewise, ye wives, [be] in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;  While they behold your chaste conversation [coupled] with fear.”   (1 Peter 3:1-2)

 
For those who are saved, through our words and acts we will reveal God’s graciousness , helping others to spiritually grow and prosper…
Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things.”  (Galatians 6:6)

 
 “Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all [men].   See that none render evil for evil unto any [man]; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all [men].”   (1 Thessalonians 5:11-15)

 

APPLICATION:

Some of the characteristics of those who live according to the “new man” by a renewed spirit of the mind include:
1.  Truthfulness and Transparency
2.  Holding Anger Against Sin
3.  Prompt Cessation Of Ungodly Anger
4.  No Submission To Satan’s Use
5.  Laboring To Meet Physical Needs
6.  Good and Edifying Speech

May we all recognize these characteristics are all a result of the Lord’s direct intervention in our lives creating in us the “new man” and giving us the grace to live according to it.
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 4:28

SIH TOTT ICON“Reflections Of His Grace”

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

The Grace Of Renewal: Ephesians 4:17-32

 

“This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind,  Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:  Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. 

But ye have not so learned Christ;  If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:  That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;  And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;  And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour:  for we are members one of another.    Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil.    Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.    Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.    And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.     Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

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

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

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

The next effect of God’s grace we will be looking at is the grace of RENEWAL (4:17-32).  The word translated “renewed” is a Greek word that carries with it the ideas of:
1. to reform
2. to make fresh
3. to restore youth

When these are viewed together we can see that the idea of renewal is “a renovation that restores to a previous condition which results in renewed power, refreshment and perception.”

In the context of this study, our mind is spoken of as being “renewed” with the receipt of the new nature given to us at our salvation.   Basically this is teaching us that our mind is changed to resemble our minds before the fall of man.  Some of these would include:
1.  a mind with a greater desire to think on things pleasing to God,
2.  a mind with an ability to more clearly perceive and apply God’s Word and will to the life
3.  a mind with an ability to perceive and oppose wickedness, temptation and other evil influences.

Keeping all this in mind, lets turn our attention to this is a very basic outline of this section of Scripture:
I.        The Walk Of Our Old Man (vs 17-22)
II.        Our New Man with a Renewed Mind (23-24)
III.        The Walk Of Our New Man (vs 25-32)

EXPOSITION:

 

(Eph 4:28)  Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.

 

Paul continues looking at several characteristics of the new man…

 

 

Principle #5 – Labor To Meet Our Physical Needs
 

Let him that stole steal no more:
We should no longer selfishly steal, taking from another for our personal gain…

Solomon in all his wisdom understood the dangers of excessive riches and extreme poverty.  Both can cause us to forsake the ways of the Lord…

Two [things] have I required of thee; deny me [them] not before I die: Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me:  Lest I be full, and deny [thee], and say, Who [is] the LORD? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God [in vain].”  (Proverbs 30:7-9)

 

In the above passage we come face to face with the need to be content with the necessities of life:
1.  For us to have excess leads to reliance upon ourselves instead of the Lord.
2.  For us to be in extreme poverty leads to stealing to meet our needs.

but rather let him labour,

“labour” comes for a greek word that means “tired”, “faint” or “weary”.
Instead of stealing for our needs, we are to work until we grow weary and faint.  This emphasizes to us that it is far better to work, even to exhaustion. to meet our needs than to resort to stealing.

 
The Word gives us many texts that encourage us to work for our living (Prov 13:11, 14:23, Acts 20:34-35, 2 Thess 3:6-8, 12-13 etc).

And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you;  That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and [that] ye may have lack of nothing.”   (1 Thessalonians 4:11-12)

 

working with his hands the thing which is good,
accomplishing with our hands that which is pleasing to God and beneficial to us.
 
Not only is it important that we labor to meet our needs, but it is also important that our labor pleases the Lord and is beneficial to our family and selves.

There are many types of labor which are motivated by greed are displeasing to the Lord.  Pornographers, sellers of illicit drugs, lusts for fame and power, and many, many, others produce tremendous profits for those who are opposing God’s will.
Because these profits are motivated by sinful lusts, they never bring satisfaction and contentment but only produce greater acts of evil…

From whence [come] wars and fightings among you? [come they] not hence, [even] of your lusts that war in your members?  Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.  Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume [it] upon your lusts.  Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.”  (James 4:1-4)

 

 

Not only does the Word emphasize the need for Godly labor to meet our physical needs, but it also recognizes that there are some people, due to their inability to work or make a viable living, are in need of help from others…

 

that he may have to give to him that needeth.
When we labor as we should, we can meet our own physical needs and also be a blessing to others who are in need.
 
I have coveted no man’s silver, or gold, or apparel.  Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me.   I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.”   (Acts 20:33-35)

 

APPLICATION:

Some of the characteristics of those who live according to the “new man” by a renewed spirit of the mind include:
1.  Truthfulness and Transparency
2.  Holding Anger Against Sin
3.  Prompt Cessation Of Ungodly Anger
4.  No Submission To Satan’s Use
5.  Labor To Meet Our Physical Needs

May we all recognize these characteristics are all a result of the Lord’s direct intervention in our lives creating in us the “new man” and giving us the grace to live according to it.

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 4:27

SIH TOTT ICON“Reflections Of His Grace”

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

The Grace Of Renewal: Ephesians 4:17-32

“This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind,  Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:  Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.  

But ye have not so learned Christ;  If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:  That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;  And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;  And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour:  for we are members one of another.    Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil.    Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.    Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.    And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.     Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

 

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

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

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

The next effect of God’s grace we will be looking at is the grace of RENEWAL (4:17-32).  The word translated “renewed” is a Greek word that carries with it the ideas of:
1. to reform
2. to make fresh
3. to restore youth

When these are viewed together we can see that the idea of renewal is “a renovation that restores to a previous condition which results in renewed power, refreshment and perception.”

In the context of this study, our mind is spoken of as being “renewed” with the receipt of the new nature given to us at our salvation.   Basically this is teaching us that our mind is changed to resemble our minds before the fall of man.  Some of these would include:
1.  a mind with a greater desire to think on things pleasing to God,
2.  a mind with an ability to more clearly perceive and apply God’s Word and will to the life
3.  a mind with an ability to perceive and oppose wickedness, temptation and other evil influences.
Keeping all this in mind, lets turn our attention to this is a very basic outline of this section of Scripture:
I.        The Walk Of Our Old Man (vs 17-22)
II.        Our New Man with a Renewed Mind (23-24)
III.        The Walk Of Our New Man (vs 25-32)

EXPOSITION:

 

(Eph 4:27)  Neither give place to the devil.

 
 
 
Paul continues looking at several characteristics of the new man…
 
 
 

Principle #4 – No Submission To Satan’s Use
 

Neither give place to the devil.
 
This is one of the clearest and easiest to understand of all the characteristics of the new man.  Another way to say this is “do not willingly turn over any area of your life for Satan’s use”.   The Word gives us several practical principles on how this can be done.
Perhaps the most fundamental, and practical, of all the Biblical instructions concerning the opposition of Satan is found in Revelation 12:10-11…
 
And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.

And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.
 (Revelation 12:10-11)

Here, we see three very fundamental principles that are absolutely necessary for success in resisting Satan…

1.  the blood of the Lamb – the blood of Jesus is the channel through which the blessings of God flow to man.
To be able to resist the workings of Satan we must be saved individuals.  It is only through the shed blood of Christ applied to our account that we can receive God’s intervention and gracious blessings.  Apart from God’s direct intervention and blessings in our lives we are the helpless captives of Satan (2 Tim 2:26, 1 John 4:4)

2.  the word of their testimony – an outward testimony of a changed life in Christ.
By always seeking to possess an unspotted testimony in the eyes of others, we will be motivated to stay away from many areas that Satan could use to tempt us.  Some of these areas would include ungodly friends, ungodly places, ungodly entertainment, ungodly life pursuits etc etc.  (Eph 5:1-16)

3.  they loved nor their lives unto the death – an attitude of willingness to submit ourselves entirely to the Lord.
It is only when we truly have Him as the first priority in our lives that we can begin to overcome the workings of Satan.  Anything we hold back from the Lord is fertile ground for Satan’s use.  By refusing to submit any area to Christ, we are actively inviting Satan to control it (Acts 5:1-5)

If the above three principles are at work in our lives, we will find ourselves following these specific principles that aid us to not “give place to the devil”:

1.  be sure to forgive others who offend us – 2 Cor 2:10-11
2.  be willingly submissive in every area of our lives to the will of the Lord – James 4:7
3.  be self-controlled and always on guard against Satan – 1 Peter 5:8
4.  be in prayer for God’s grace to oppose Satan – Luke 22:31-32
5.  (married couples) be in consistent intimacy unless agreed otherwise – 1 Cor 7:5
6.  be accepting of corrective instruction given to us by humble Christians – 2 Tim 2:24-26
7.  be certain we have put on the “whole armour of God” – Eph 6:11 (we look at this in more detail later in this devotional series)
…and others

On a daily basis do we find ourselves making certain we are saved;  making certain we have a Godly testimony in the eyes of those around us;  and making certain EVERY area of our lives are willfully submitted to the will of Christ?   If so, we can rest assured we are living according to the new man that has been graciously given to us.

APPLICATION:

Some of the characteristics of those who live according to the “new man” by a renewed spirit of the mind include:
1.  Truthfulness and Transparency
2.  Holding Anger Against Sin
3.  Prompt Cessation Of Ungodly Anger
4.  No Submission To Satan’s Use

May we all recognize these characteristics are all a result of the Lord’s direct intervention in our lives creating in us the “new man” and giving us the grace to live according to it.
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 4:26

SIH TOTT ICONReflections Of His Grace”

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

The Grace Of Renewal: Ephesians 4:17-32

“This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind,  Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:  Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.  

But ye have not so learned Christ;  If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:  That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;  And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;  And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour:  for we are members one of another.    Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil.    Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.    Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.    And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.     Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

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

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

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

The next effect of God’s grace we will be looking at is the grace of RENEWAL (4:17-32).  The word translated “renewed” is a Greek word that carries with it the ideas of:
1. to reform
2. to make fresh
3. to restore youth

When these are viewed together we can see that the idea of renewal is “a renovation that restores to a previous condition which results in renewed power, refreshment and perception.”

In the context of this study, our mind is spoken of as being “renewed” with the receipt of the new nature given to us at our salvation.   Basically this is teaching us that our mind is changed to resemble our minds before the fall of man.  Some of these would include:
1.  a mind with a greater desire to think on things pleasing to God,
2.  a mind with an ability to more clearly perceive and apply God’s Word and will to the life
3.  a mind with an ability to perceive and oppose wickedness, temptation and other evil influences.

Keeping all this in mind, lets turn our attention to this is a very basic outline of this section of Scripture:
I.        The Walk Of Our Old Man (vs 17-22)
II.        Our New Man with a Renewed Mind (23-24)
III.        The Walk Of Our New Man (vs 25-32)

EXPOSITION:

 

(Eph 4:26)  Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:

Paul continues looking at several characteristics of the new man…

 

Be ye angry, and sin not:

Characteristic #2 – Holding Anger Against Sin

Here, Paul clearly instructs the members of the church at Ephesus to “be angry”.  Folks, it is so important we understand that not all types of anger are sinful.  Paul is talking about holding anger against sin.  This is speaking of the sin that we see all around us which includes the sin that we see in our own lives.

Note he describes the result of anger against sin… “and sin not”.  A Godly anger against sin will result in sin decreasing.  How does this work? To answer this question we need to understand the meaning to the word “anger”…  The word for “anger” in this text is translated from a Greek word that means “to be enraged causing action to take place”.  In other words, it is a type of rage will cause us to actively oppose the sin that we see taking place in our lives and the lives of those around us.

The basis and motivation for our anger against sin is found in the proper understanding of the devastating effects of sin.  When we understand the truth about the pain, sorrow and death that results from sin, we will hold a proper anger against it…

By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD [men] depart from evil.”  (Proverbs 16:6)

One of the greatest hindrances to the cause of Christ is the lax attitudes that Christians hold concerning sin.  If we all held a Godly anger against sin, we would actively work to rid it from our lives and lawfully oppose it in the world around us. If only we all understood the importance of becoming angry at sin and actively working to oppose it!

 

let not the sun go down upon your wrath:

Characteristic #3 – Prompt Cessation Of Ungodly Anger

Here, Paul is emphasizing the need to quickly deal with any wrath that we see springing up in our lives.  What is meant by “wrath”?  This word is translated from the same root word as “angry”.  However, in this instance it is referring to a type of anger that is ungodly.  It is an anger that results in harboring grudges and desiring ill to fall upon others.  It is an anger that causes us to actively work to bring evil upon others.

This type of anger Paul tells us is to be dealt with quickly.  It is to be recognized, admitted, confessed, and repented as we see it enter our lives.   Although the basic principle of the phrase “let not sun go down upon your wrath” is teaching us to deal with wrath quickly when we see it enter our lives, taking this phrase literally holds some great advice for us all…

After a day spent fulfilling our many responsibilities, it is a good practice to take a few moments in the quiet of the evening and reflect upon our day.  If we see that any wrath (or other sin) that has slipped into our lives, we should deal with it at that time.  By being faithful to this practice we can guarantee to never harbor any sin in our lives for more than 24 hours.   This will be a great aid to stop sin from becoming habit and developing into a lifestyle that is displeasing to God.

Follow peace with all [men], and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:  Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble [you], and thereby many be defiled;

(Hebrews 12:14-15)

APPLICATION:

Some of the characteristics of those who live according to the “new man” by a renewed spirit of the mind include:
1.  Truthfulness and Transparency
2.  Holding Anger Against Sin
3.  Prompt Cessation Of Ungodly Anger

May we all recognize these characteristics are all a result of the Lord’s direct intervention in our lives creating in us the “new man” and giving us the grace to live according to it.

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

Spiritual Gifts: Gifted Men (Part #2)

Spiritual Gifts: What Types Of Gifts Are There? Gifted Men

SIH TOA ICON

Introduction:

“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 begin studying the differing types of spiritual gifts by studying the “Gifted Men” the Lord has given us.

Lesson:

Gifted Men

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

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

In the above texts, not only do we find a listing of the gifted men that the Lord has given to us (apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastor/teachers), but also we can learn several principles that apply to all of these gifted men…

1.  “God hath set some in the church  –  These men have been placed within local churches to exercise their gifts as a part of the church’s varied ministries.

2. “[Are] all apostles? [are] all prophets? [are] all teachers?  – Not all the members of the local assembly are these gifted men.  The gifts given to local church members vary based upon the individuals needs of the assembly.

3. “But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.” –  These gifted men are to be zealous to exercise their gifts appropriately, in a way that best benefits the local assembly.  They are to use their gifts for the benefit of the assembly not for their own selfish personal gain.

4. “For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:” – The three-fold purpose of the Lord giving these gifted men to His assemblies is….
a. To completely furnish the saints for spiritual warfare
b. To serve the Lord and meet the needs of the saved and lost alike
c. To build-up, strengthen and bring to spiritual maturity the saints

5. “Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:– The work of gifted men will be completed when…
a.  Every saint comes into an understanding and acceptance of the doctrinal truths found in the Word of God
b.  Every lost person comes to repentance and belief that Jesus is the True Messiah, Savior, and Son of God
c.  Every saint enters into spiritual maturity and is completely equipped for the service of Christ
d.  Every saint will perfectly conform to the image of Christ

In other words, when Christ returns and gives to us our new glorified bodies.  It is only then that we will become perfect in His sight and no longer be in the need of gifted men.

6.  “That we [henceforth] be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, [and] cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;  But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, [even] Christ:”  – The end result  of the gifted men’s ministry is…
a.   Every saint recognizes and rejects all false teaching
b.   Every saint overcomes the efforts of the powers of darkness to overtake them
c.   Every saint proclaims the truths of the Lord in a spirit of love and compassion
d.   Every saint is spiritually mature in every area being perfectly submitted to Christ

These are the basic principles that apply to the Lord’s giving gifted men to minister to His assembly and those without the assembly.

Let’s begin to look at each of these four types of gifted men.  As we will soon see, for each of these gifted men there is not simply a TYPE OF SERVICE (MINISTRY) but it can also describe a specific OFFICE that is associated with each gifted man.

Apostles

The word translated “apostle” in these texts is the Greek word “apostolos”.  This word carries with it the idea of…
1.  “to represent”
2.  “to be sent with authority”
3.  “to be an ambassador”
4.  “to be sent on a mission on behalf of another”

The Office of Apostle  – The qualifications of the office of Apostle are given to us in Acts 1:21-22.  To hold the office of Apostle a man must:

1.  Accompany Christ for His entire public ministry (His baptism by John the Baptist until His ascension to be with His Father) – Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us,  Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us,

2.  Must have been a personal witness to the resurrected Christ prior to His ascension – must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection.” 

The 14 men who are said to be holding the office of Apostle:

The Original 12 (Luke 6:13-16)…

1. Peter;  2. Andrew;  3. James;  4. John;  5. Philip;  6. Bartholomew;  7. Matthew;  8. Thomas;  9. James;  10. Simon;  11. Judas  12. Judas Iscariot.

The Chosen Replacement For Judas Iscariot (Acts 1:25-26)…

13. Matthias

Note: Matthias was chosen by the local church at Jerusalem to replace Judas Iscariot who had betrayed the Lord and then committed suicide.

The Apostle without the proper qualifications (1 Cor 15:8-10)…

14.  Paul

Note: In 1 Corinthians 15:8-10 – Paul describes himself as “one born out of due timeand “the least of the apostles”.  Both of these descriptions signify that the Lord had graciously placed him in the Office of Apostle without properly qualifying for the office. (He had not accompanied Christ during His earthly ministry, nor had he seen the resurrected Christ PRIOR TO HIS ASCENSION.  However, he did see the resurrected Christ following His ascension during the Damascus road experience (Acts 22:6-10).)

One born out of due time” (to be born prematurely) is a wonderful picture of him being born into the office of Apostle without the normal prerequisites, just like a baby who is born prematurely does not experience the normal 9 months in his mother’s womb. Likewise, the title “the least of the apostles reflects Paul’s acknowledgement that, although he held the office of Apostle, he looked upon himself as deficient based upon his past life of rebellion against the Lord and, perhaps, his lack of qualifications as well.

The two main missions of the Apostolic Office were

1. to hand down the inspired Scriptures to man which became the foundation of the teachings of the local assembly. (Ephesians 2:19-21)

2. to perform miracles and wonders used to accredit the New Testament Scriptures and the local assembly as the Lord’s place of worship. (Acts 5:12)

Those Who Performed The Ministry Of Apostle – These are men who were “sent with authority” but not holders of the office of Apostle

The men who performed this ministry:
1.  Christ – Hebrews 3:1, John 17:3;
2.  Barnabas – Acts 14:14;
3.  Andronicus – Romans 16:7;
4.  Junia – Romans 16:7;
5.  Apostles Of The Churches – 2 Corinthians 8:23;
6.  Epaphroditus – Philippians 2:25;
7.  Silas 1 Thessalonians 2:6;
8.  Timothy – 1 Thessalonians 2:6

The Office Of Apostle has come to an end at the completion of God’s Word.  We will look at this in much more detail in the section of our study entitled “When did gifts given to establish the Word and the Local Church come to an end?”

Prophets

The word translated “prophet” in these texts is the Greek word “prophetes”.  This word carries with it the idea of…
1.  “to tell beforehand”
2.  “to reveal the mind of”
3.  “an inspired speaker”

The Office of Prophet  – The most basic definition of a Prophetic office holder is “one who is inspired to speak forth the mind of God”.

The men who are said to be holding the Office of Prophet in the New Testament scriptures:

1. Christ – Acts 3:22, Matthew 21:11
2. John The Baptist – Luke 1:76
3. Zacharias – Luke 1:67
4. Anna – Luke 2:36
5. The Old Testament Prophets – Luke 24:27

The main mission of the Prophetic Office was

1. to hand down the inspired Scriptures to man which became the foundation of the teachings of the local assembly. (Ephesians 2:19-21)

 

Those Who Performed The Ministry Of Prophet – These were men who “spoke the mind of God” but not the inspired holders of the office of Apostle.  In other words, they taught the existing Word of God without being used to reveal new portions of the Word through divine inspiration.

The men who performed this ministry:

1.  OT Messengers of Word – Romans 11:3
2.  Daughters Of Philip – Acts 21:9
3.  Barnabus – Acts 13:1
4.  Simeon – Acts 13:1
5.  Lucius – Acts 13:1
6.  Manaen – Acts 13:1
7.  Judas – Acts 15:32
8.  Silas – Acts 15:32

The Office Of Prophet has come to an end at the completion of God’s Word.  We will look at this in much more detail in the section of our study entitled “When did gifts given to establish the Word and the Local Church come to an end?”

Evangelists

The word translated “evangelist” in these texts is the Greek word “euaggelistes”.  This word carries with it the idea of…
1.  “to bring the good news”
2.  “to proclaim the good news”
3.  “to share the gospel message”

The Office of Evangelist  – The Office Of Evangelist is commonly referred to as “Missionary”.  What is a missionary?  It is a person who shares the gospel with the lost and establishes local churches with those who are converted to Christ.

The men who are said to be holding the Office of Evangelist in the New Testament scriptures:

1. Philip – Acts 21:8

The main mission of the Evangelist is:

1. to share the gospel of Christ to a lost and dying world. Say not ye, There are yet four months, and [then] cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.”  (John 4:35)

 

Those Who Performed The Ministry Of Evangelist – Others who shared the gospel of Christ but did not hold the office of evangelist.

The men who performed this ministry:

1.  Timothy – 2 Timothy 4:1-5

Pastor/Teachers

In the phraseand some, pastors and teachers;there is no Greek article prior to “teachers” helping us to understand we are talking about one office and not two separate offices.  The office we will be looking at is the office of “Pastor/Teacher”.

The word translated “pastor” in these texts is the Greek word “poimen”.  This word carries with it the idea of…
1.  “a shepherd”
2.  “one who cares for flock”

The word translated “teacher” in these texts is the Greek word “didaskalos”.  This word carries with it the idea of…
1.  “instructor”
2.  “master”
3.  “to teach students”

Please note: In the Bible this office is described by differing terms:

1. Bishop (1 Timothy 3:1)– Describes the position of the P/T – “An Overseer”, one who is given the watch care of the Lord’s local assembly

2. Elder (Acts 14:23) – Describes the character of the P/T – “An Aged One”, one who is spiritually mature, spiritually wise

3. Pastor/Teacher (Ephesians 4:11) – Describes the work of the P/T – “A Shepherd”, one who leads, feeds and protects the saints by instructing them in the Word of God.

The Office of Pastor/Teacher  – The qualifications of the office of Pastor/Teacher are given to us in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:6-9.  They include:

1. “blameless” – no public lawlessness

2. “the husband of one wife” – a “one woman man” ie faithful to his marital covenant
3. “vigilant” – watchful
4. “sober” – self-controlled
5. “of good behaviour” – orderly
6. “given to hospitality” – lover of guests
7. “apt to teach” – able to instruct clearly
8. “Not given to wine” – does not “stay near the wine”
9. “no striker” – does not strike others
10.”not greedy of filthy lucre” – does not get unlawful profit
11. “patient” – to bear under load without rebellion
12. “not a brawler” – does not love to argue or be disagreeable
13. “not covetous” – does not envy others
14. “one that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity” – leads house in way pleasing to the Lord and has submissive, honest children
15. “Not a novice” – experienced
16. “Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without” – possess a good testimony among lost acquaintances
17. “having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly.” – reliable children who are spoken of highly by others
18. “not selfwilled – not stubborn
19  “not soon angry  – patience and even tempered
20. “a lover of good men” – one who loves lawful men
21. “just” – keeps the laws of God
22. “holy” – separated from habitual, lifestyle of sin to service of God
23. “temperate”- keeping lusts under his control
24. “Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught” – Hold tightly the truths of the Word he had been previously taught.

The Men Who Are Said To Be Pastor/Teacher:

1.  Elders of Ephesian Church (Acts 20:17-28)
2.  Elders of Dispersed Jews (1 Peter 5:1-4)
3.  Peter (1 Peter 5:1)

Those Who Performed The Ministry Of Pastor/Teacher – Others who were “teachers” but not holders of the office of Pastor/Teacher

The men who performed this ministry:

1.  Nicodemus – John 3:10
2.  Teachers Of The Churches (Barnabas, Simeon, Lucius, Manaen) – Acts 13:1
3.  Paul – 1 Timothy 2:7

Note: Although the Pastor of the local church holds the singular office of Pastor/Teacher they can fulfill the ministry of all four types of men….

1.  Ministry of apostle – the pastor of the church, by their ordination, is sent out to be representative of Christ and the local church

2.  Ministry of prophet – the pastor of the church is to reveal the mind of God to the assembly by teaching from the completed Word

3.  Ministry of evangelist – the pastor of the church should always be ready to share the gospel message with the lost

4.  Ministry of pastor/teacher – the pastor is to lead, feed and protect the church of the Lord through the teaching of His Word

Likewise, as Christians, each one of us can do the work associated with these men without holding any specific office.  We can do this by:

1. We all can be an “apostle for Christ” by representing Christ by fulfilling the ministry He has given to us.

2. We all can be a “prophet of Christ” by teaching the completed Word to others

3. We all can be an “evangelist” by sharing the gospel message with the lost around us

4. We all can be an “shepherd” by caring for and watching over those who are spiritually weaker than ourselves.

In our next study we will continue to look at the spiritual gifts that God has given to His local churches.

Additional Information (Verses Referred To In This Study):

Gifted Men

Apostles

 “And when it was day, he called [unto him] his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles;  Simon, (whom he also named Peter,) and Andrew his brother, James and John, Philip and Bartholomew,  Matthew and Thomas, James the [son] of Alphaeus, and Simon called Zelotes,  And Judas [the brother] of James, and Judas Iscariot, which also was the traitor.”  (Luke 6:13-16)

 

And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.”   (John 17:3)

 

For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein: and his bishoprick let another take.  Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us,  Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection.  And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias.  And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all [men], shew whether of these two thou hast chosen,  That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place. And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.”  (Acts 1:20-26)

 

And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people;…”   (Acts 5:12)

 

[Which] when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard [of], they rent their clothes, and ran in among the people, crying out,”  (Acts 14:14)

 

Salute Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen, and my fellowprisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me.”   (Romans 16:7)

 

“And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.  For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.  But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace [which was bestowed] upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.”   (1 Corinthians 15:8-10)

 

Whether [any do enquire] of Titus, [he is] my partner and fellowhelper concerning you: or our brethren [be enquired of, they are] the messengers of the churches, [and] the glory of Christ.”  (2 Corinthians 8:23)

 

 “Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;  And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner [stone];  In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:”   (Ephesians 2:19-21)

 

Yet I supposed it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother, and companion in labour, and fellowsoldier, but your messenger, and he that ministered to my wants.”   (Philippians 2:25)

 

Nor of men sought we glory, neither of you, nor [yet] of others, when we might have been burdensome, as the apostles of Christ.”   (1 Thessalonians 2:6)

 

Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;”   (Hebrews 3:1)

 

Prophets

And the multitude said, This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee.”  (Matthew 21:11)

 

And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying,”  (Luke 1:67)

 

And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways;”  (Luke 1:76)       

 

And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity;”  (Luke 2:36)

 

And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.”  (Luke 24:27)

 

For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you.”  (Acts 3:22)

 

Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.”  (Acts 13:1)

 

And Judas and Silas, being prophets also themselves, exhorted the brethren with many words, and confirmed [them].”  (Acts 15:32)

 

And the same man had four daughters, virgins, which did prophesy.”  (Acts 21:9)

 

Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life.”   (Romans 11:3)

 

Evangelist

And the next [day] we that were of Paul’s company departed, and came unto Caesarea: and we entered into the house of Philip the evangelist, which was [one] of the seven; and abode with him.”   (Acts 21:8)

 

I charge [thee] therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;  Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.  For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;  And they shall turn away [their] ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.  But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.”   (2 Timothy 4:1-5)

 

Pastor/Teacher

Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be?  Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?”  (John 3:9-10)

 

Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.”   (Acts 13:1)

 

And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed.”   (Acts 14:23)

 

And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church.  And when they were come to him, he said unto them, Ye know, from the first day that I came into Asia, after what manner I have been with you at all seasons,  Serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations, which befell me by the lying in wait of the Jews:  [And] how I kept back nothing that was profitable [unto you], but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house,  Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.  And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there:  Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me.  But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.   And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, shall see my face no more.  Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I [am] pure from the blood of all [men].  For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.  Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.”  (Acts 20:17-28)

 

And it came to pass, that, as I made my journey, and was come nigh unto Damascus about noon, suddenly there shone from heaven a great light round about me.  And I fell unto the ground, and heard a voice saying unto me, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?

And I answered, Who art thou, Lord? And he said unto me, I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom thou persecutest.  And they that were with me saw indeed the light, and were afraid; but they heard not the voice of him that spake to me.  And I said, What shall I do, Lord? And the Lord said unto me, Arise, and go into Damascus; and there it shall be told thee of all things which are appointed for thee to do.”   (Acts 22:6-10)

 

Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, [and] lie not;) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity.”  (1 Timothy 2:7)

 

This [is] a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.  A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;  Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;  One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;  (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)  Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.  Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.”  (1 Timothy 3:1-7)

 

If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly.  For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre;  But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate;  Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.”  (Titus 1:6-9)

 

The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed:  Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight [thereof], not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;  Neither as being lords over [God’s] heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.  And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.”  (1 Peter 5:1-4)

 

SIH’s Think On These Things: Ephesians 4:25

SIH TOTT ICONReflections Of His Grace”

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

The Grace Of Renewal: Ephesians 4:17-32

“This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind,  Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:  Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.  

But ye have not so learned Christ;  If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:  That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;  And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;  And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour:  for we are members one of another.    Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil.    Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.    Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.    And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.     Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

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

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

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

 

The next effect of God’s grace we will be looking at is the grace of RENEWAL (4:17-32).  The word translated “renewed” is a Greek word that carries with it the ideas of:
1. to reform
2. to make fresh
3. to restore youth

When these are viewed together we can see that the idea of renewal is “a renovation that restores to a previous condition which results in renewed power, refreshment and perception.”

In the context of this study, our mind is spoken of as being “renewed” with the receipt of the new nature given to us at our salvation.   Basically this is teaching us that our mind is changed to resemble our minds before the fall of man.  Some of these would include:
1.  a mind with a greater desire to think on things pleasing to God,
2.  a mind with an ability to more clearly perceive and apply God’s Word and will to the life
3.  a mind with an ability to perceive and oppose wickedness, temptation and other evil influences.

 

Keeping all this in mind, lets turn our attention to this is a very basic outline of this section of Scripture:
I.        The Walk Of Our Old Man (vs 17-22)
II.        Our New Man with a Renewed Mind (23-24)
III.        The Walk Of Our New Man (vs 25-32)

 

 

EXPOSITION:

Beginning with this lesson, we will be looking at several characteristics of the new man…

 

(Ephesians 4:25)  Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.

 

 

 

Characteristic #1 – Truthfulness and Transparency
 

Wherefore putting away lying,
As those who are saved and exercising a renewed mind we are to lay down and walk away from all falsehood and misrepresentation.  Please notice that the sins of lying and misrepresentation are among a list of those sins that are greatly disgusting and abhorred by the Lord…

 
These six [things] doth the LORD hate: yea, seven [are] an abomination unto him:   A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,   An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,   A false witness [that] speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.”  (Proverbs 6:16-19)

 

Please note what is the difference between “a lying tongue” and “a false witness that speaketh lies”?
1.  “a lying tongue” speaks of those who use any type of speech used to mislead others
 

2.  “a false witness that speaketh lies”  speaks of those who commit a very specific type of lying.  It involves speaking lies, and swearing by them, motivated by a desire to harm others.  This is the exact sin spoken of in the ten commandments….  Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.”  (Exodus 20:16)

 

 

 

speak every man truth with his neighbour:
In opposition to lying, every man is to speak that which is factual, transparent and correct.  This is to be done to all who we may come into contact with.  Not just family or church members, but any who are “close by” are to receive this same honesty in our communications with them.
 

But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.  Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;”  (Colossians 3:8-9)

 

 

for we are members one of another.
One of the main reasons why we are to always be truthful to all men is because we are all a part of God’s human creation family.  Because we are all physically related to one another we have a responsibility to treat each other honestly…
Have we not all one father? hath not one God created us? why do we deal treacherously every man against his brother, by profaning the covenant of our fathers?”   (Malachi 2:10)

 

God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;   Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things;  And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;  That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.”   (Acts 17:24-28)

 

 

APPLICATION:

 
Some of the characteristics of those who live according to the “new man” by a renewed spirit of the mind include:
1.  Truthfulness and Transparency
 

May we all recognize these characteristics are all a result of the Lord’s direct intervention in our lives creating in us the “new man” and giving us the grace to live according to it.
 

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 4:22-24

SIH TOTT ICON“Reflections Of His Grace”

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

The Grace Of Renewal: Ephesians 4:17-32

 “This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind,  Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:  Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.  

But ye have not so learned Christ;  If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:  That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;  And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;  And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour:  for we are members one of another.    Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil.    Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.    Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.    And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.     Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

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

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

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

The next effect of God’s grace we will be looking at is the grace of RENEWAL (4:17-32).  The word translated “renewed” is a Greek word that carries with it the ideas of:
1. to reform
2. to make fresh
3. to restore youth

When these are viewed together we can see that the idea of renewal is “a renovation that restores to a previous condition which results in renewed power, refreshment and perception.”

In the context of this study, our mind is spoken of as being “renewed” with the receipt of the new nature given to us at our salvation.   Basically this is teaching us that our mind is changed to resemble our minds before the fall of man.  Some of these would include:
1.  a mind with a greater desire to think on things pleasing to God,
2.  a mind with an ability to more clearly perceive and apply God’s Word and will to the life
3.  a mind with an ability to perceive and oppose wickedness, temptation and other evil influences.

Keeping all this in mind, lets turn our attention to this is a very basic outline of this section of Scripture:
I.        The Walk Of Our Old Man (vs 17-22)
II.        Our New Man with a Renewed Mind (23-24)
III.        The Walk Of Our New Man (vs 25-32)

EXPOSITION:

In this section we have looked at several characteristics of the old man (one who possesses an unrenewed mind).  We then saw that the natural fallen mind of the lost individual cannot come to an understanding of the things of the Lord, apart from His gracious intervention.  This intervention results in the person coming to recognition of:
1. the darkness of this world
2. their personal sin
3. their impending doom
4. the wonders of Christ and His work
5. the need of belief
6. the need of repentance (a turning from sin to live changed lives for His glory).
7. the need to grow in grace and spiritual maturity

In our text for today, we begin looking at some of the truths the Lord reveals to man concerning the great change produced through the Lord’s gracious creation of a new man within the believer…

That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;   And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;  And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.    (Ephesians 4:22-24)

 

That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man,

As recipients of the Lord’s new nature (at our spiritual birth), we have the responsibility to “put off” our old conversation (sinful lifestyle) that was characteristic of our old nature (the old man).

But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.  Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;”    (Colossians 3:8-9)

 

which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;   

Why is it so important for the saved individual to “put off” their old sinful lifestyle?   Because it is “corrupt” (rotted, withered or ruined) much like a dead body that is decaying.   What caused such great decay and ruin?  It is the fleshly sinful lusts producing all manner of sin in our lives.

Truly “the wages of sin is death”.  This death is followed by the decay of our lifestyles!

Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.   For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.”   (Galatians 6:7-8)

And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;  

To be renewed means “a renovation that restores to a previous condition which results in renewed power, refreshment and perception”

The key for a Christian to put off their old, rotted lifestyle is to be “renewed” in the attitude (spirit) of their mind.  This means the Christian is to allow their mind to be renovated causing a change in attitude.

If we have a renewed mind we will look at things differently:

1.  Before we saw sin as being a source of happiness and satisfaction, after renewal we see it as a source of pain, sorrow and harm.

2.  Before we saw Christ as a good man, a wise man or perhaps simply a myth, after renewal we see Him as our God, Lord and sinless Savior.  Etc etc

This change in attitudes (renewal of the mind) will result in a radical transformation of the lifestyle of the Christian…

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”   (Romans 12:2)

And that ye put on the new man, 

As recipients of the Lord’s new nature (at our spiritual birth), we not only have the responsibility to “put off” our old conversation (sinful lifestyle) but we also have the responsibility to “put on” the lifestyle that is characteristic of the new nature that recognizes Christ as Lord and Savior (new man).

And have put on the new [man], which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:

 (Colossians 3:10)

 

It is important to note the meaning of the phrase “put off” (vs 22) and it’s corresponding phrase in (vs 24) “put on”:
1.  “put off” is a phrase that is translated from a word that means “to take off and lay aside”.
2.  “put on” is a phrase that is translated from a word that means “to wrap in clothing”.

If we look at these two phrases together we can see that basic idea is this…. As saved individuals, we are to take off our sinful lifestyle and put on a new lifestyle of Godly living.  The process is symbolized as “changing our clothes”:
a.  We are to take off our old lifestyle and leave it behind (like taking off clothes and laying them aside)
b.  Then we are to “clothe” ourselves with a new lifestyle that is Godly in nature.

Why are our old and new lifestyles symbolized by clothing in this text?  Our lifestyle is much like the clothes that we wear.   People can learn much about us through the clothing that we wear.  Likewise, our lifestyles should reveal our spiritual condition to those around us.

 

which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

The Lord Himself is the Creator of the new nature that is received by every Christian.  This new nature is characterized by:
1.  being “right” with God (acceptance by God based upon the work of Christ)
2.  a life of genuine separation from sin to God for His use.

The lifestyle that is associated with this new nature is a lifestyle of Godly living…

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.”   (Colossians 3:12-14)

This is the lifestyle with which we are to be clothed, as those who are the chosen servants of Christ.  In our next devotional, we will begin looking in detail at this new lifestyle that we are to live.

APPLICATION:

May we come to more fully understand His great grace in giving us a new nature that is characterized by acceptance, forgiveness and holiness.  May we all seek to develop a renewed mind that looks at things differently understanding that we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us!

Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.”   (1 John 4:4)

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 4:20-21

SIH TOTT ICON“Reflections Of His Grace”

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

The Grace Of Renewal: Ephesians 4:17-32

 

“This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind,  Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:  Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.  

But ye have not so learned Christ;  If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:  That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;  And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;  And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. 

Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour:  for we are members one of another.    Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil.    Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.    Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.    And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.     Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

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

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

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

The next effect of God’s grace we will be looking at is the grace of RENEWAL (4:17-32).  The word translated “renewed” is a Greek word that carries with it the ideas of:
1. to reform
2. to make fresh
3. to restore youth

When these are viewed together we can see that the idea of renewal is “a renovation that restores to a previous condition which results in renewed power, refreshment and perception.”

In the context of this study, our mind is spoken of as being “renewed” with the receipt of the new nature given to us at our salvation.   Basically this is teaching us that our mind is changed to resemble our minds before the fall of man.  Some of these would include:
1.  a mind with a greater desire to think on things pleasing to God,
2.  a mind with an ability to more clearly perceive and apply God’s Word and will to the life
3.  a mind with an ability to perceive and oppose wickedness, temptation and other evil influences.

Keeping all this in mind, lets turn our attention to this is a very basic outline of this section of Scripture:
I.        The Walk Of Our Old Man (vs 17-22)
II.        Our New Man with a Renewed Mind (23-24)
III.        The Walk Of Our New Man (vs 25-32)

EXPOSITION:

 

In our previous devotion we saw several characteristics of the old man (one who possesses an unrenewed mind)…
1.  A Valueless Thought Life
2.  An Obscured Discernment
3.  A Naive Forsaking Of Spiritual Life
4.  A Loss Of Perception Within Their Passions
5.  A Dull Conscience
6.  A Surrender to Uncontrolled Behavior
7.  A Selfish Attitude Leading To Acts Of Wickedness

In our text for today, the thought continues…

(Ephesians 4:20-21)  But ye have not so learned Christ;  If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:

 

 

But ye have not so learned Christ; 
The characteristics of the unrenewed mind do not lend themselves to understanding the truth about Jesus.  These originate from a mind that is blinded to the truth and unable to come to an understanding of the person and work of Jesus…

But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:  In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them…”    (2 Corinthians 4:3-4)

 

 

If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him,
If we have been blessed to come to an understanding of the person and work of Jesus it is only because of His gracious intervention in our lives:
He must speak to us for us to hear His testimony.
He must teach us for us to come to an understanding of Him.

“… For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.   For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to [give] the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”   (2 Corinthians 4:5-6)

 

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],”  (Ephesians 1:17-20)

 

as the truth is in Jesus:
The truth about the sin, sorrow, the darkness of this world, and their remedy can only be found through the gracious intervention of the Lord into our lives.

Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?  Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.  If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.  Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us.”   (John 14:5-8)

Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Murmur not among yourselves.  No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.”  (John 6:43-44)

APPLICATION:

What a wonderful blessing to know that our Lord has graciously intervened in our lives, overcoming our fallen nature, revealing Himself to us, and drawing us to Himself.  He did all this to save us from our sins and to begin to bring us to spiritual maturity and a close relationship with 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 4:19

SIH TOTT ICON“Reflections Of His Grace”

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

The Grace Of Renewal: Ephesians 4:17-32

 
“This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind,  Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:  Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. 
 

But ye have not so learned Christ;  If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:  That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;  And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;  And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
 

Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour:  for we are members one of another.    Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil.    Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.    Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.    And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.     Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

 

With this devotional, we are beginning the second division of the book of Ephesians.  Previously, we have looked at “Reflections Of His Grace Revealed” (chaps 1-3).  It that section, Paul revealed to us the gracious works of the Lord in the lives of His chosen people.
In this new section “Reflections Of His Grace Applied” (chaps 4-6) Paul will be explaining to us the practical effects of God’s grace in the lives of His people.

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

The next effect of God’s grace we will be looking at is the grace of RENEWAL (4:17-32).  The word translated “renewed” is a Greek word that carries with it the ideas of:
1. to reform
2. to make fresh
3. to restore youth

When these are viewed together we can see that the idea of renewal is “a renovation that restores to a previous condition which results in renewed power, refreshment and perception.”

In the context of this study, our mind is spoken of as being “renewed” with the receipt of the new nature given to us at our salvation.   Basically this is teaching us that our mind is changed to resemble our minds before the fall of man.  Some of these would include:
1.  a mind with a greater desire to think on things pleasing to God,
2.  a mind with an ability to more clearly perceive and apply God’s Word and will to the life
3.  a mind with an ability to perceive and oppose wickedness, temptation and other evil influences.

Keeping all this in mind, lets turn our attention to this is a very basic outline of this section of Scripture:
I.        The Walk Of Our Old Man (vs 17-22)
II.        Our New Man with a Renewed Mind (23-24)
III.        The Walk Of Our New Man (vs 25-32)

EXPOSITION:

 

In our previous devotion we saw several characteristics of the old man (one who possesses an unrenewed mind)…
1.  A Valueless Thought Life
2.  An Obscured Discernment
3.  A Naive Forsaking Of Spiritual Life
4.  A Loss Of Perception Within Their Passions

In our text for today, Paul continues to describe our walk of life prior to the spiritual renewal of our mind…
(Eph 4:19)  Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.

Who being past feeling
5.  A Dull Conscience
The unchanged mind of the lost man is characterized by a hardened conscience that struggles with the recognition of sin.  The extreme of this condition is a seared conscience that can no longer discern good from evil…
Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:  Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.”  (Ephesians 4:18-19)

 
have given themselves over unto lasciviousness,
6.  A Surrender to Uncontrolled Behavior
It is willfully choosing to offer no resistance to their sinful desires.  In other words, they are “running headlong” into the fulfillment of their fleshly desires with no consideration of God’s will for their lives.
For the time past of [our] life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries:  Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with [them] to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of [you]:  Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead.”   (1 Peter 4:3-5)

 

to work all uncleanness with greediness.
7.  A Selfish Attitude Leading To Acts Of Wickedness
The mind of the lost man will lead him down a path that will lead to all manner of sin and acts that bring harm to himself and others.  All of these acts will be done in an effort to satisfy their fleshly desires and bring them fleshly enjoyment.
Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are [these]; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,  Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,  Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told [you] in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”  (Galatians 5:19-21)

APPLICATION:
We have just seen seven of the natural characteristics of the unrenewed minds of fallen men…
1.  A Valueless Thought Life
2.  An Obscured Discernment
3.  A Naive Forsaking Of Spiritual Life
4.  A Loss Of Perception Within Their Passions
5.  A Dull Conscience
6.  A Surrender to Uncontrolled Behavior
7.  A Selfish Attitude Leading To Acts Of Wickedness
Keep in mind, this renewed mind is an act of the miraculous grace that flows to us through the work of our Lord Jesus.
Now would be a good time for each of us to examine ourselves and ask these two questions “Have I ever turned from my sins and trusted in Christ as my Lord and Savior?  If so, “Do I possess a renewed mind that leads me to put off the sinful works of the old man and put on the Godly works of the new man?”
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 4:17-18

SIH TOTT ICON“Reflections Of His Grace”

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

The Grace Of Renewal: Ephesians 4:17-32

 “This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind,  Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:  Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.  

 But ye have not so learned Christ;  If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:  That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;  And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;  And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour:  for we are members one of another.    Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil.    Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.    Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.    And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.     Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

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

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

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

The next effect of God’s grace we will be looking at is the grace of RENEWAL (4:17-32).  The word translated “renewed” is a Greek word that carries with it the ideas of:
1. to reform
2. to make fresh
3. to restore youth

When these are viewed together we can see that the idea of renewal is “a renovation that restores to a previous condition which results in renewed power, refreshment and perception.”

In the context of this study, our mind is spoken of as being “renewed” with the receipt of the new nature given to us at our salvation.   Basically this is teaching us that our mind is changed to resemble our minds before the fall of man.  Some of these would include:
1.  a mind with a greater desire to think on things pleasing to God,
2.  a mind with an ability to more clearly perceive and apply God’s Word and will to the life
3. a mind with an ability to perceive and oppose wickedness, temptation and other evil influences.

Keeping all this in mind, lets turn our attention to this is a very basic outline of this section of Scripture:
I.        The Walk Of Our Old Man (vs 17-22)
II.        Our New Man with a Renewed Mind (23-24)
III.        The Walk Of Our New Man (vs 25-32)

EXPOSITION:

In our text for today, Paul begins to tell us of the wonderful act of God’s grace of RENEWAL.  Here he is describing our walk of life prior to the spiritual renewal of our mind…

(Ephesians 4:17-18)  This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind,  Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:

This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, 

Paul now reminds the Ephesian believers that he will:

1.  “say” – this word comes from a Greek word that means “to lay out in plain view” or “to relate in understandable fashion”

2.  “testify” – this word means “to speak as a personal witness”
Paul is reminding the Ephesian church members that he is going to clearly present to them the truth of God.  It is this same truth that to which he can personally attest because he has experienced these things in his own life.  He has experienced life before and after spiritual renewal.

 

that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk,
Paul now is explaining their need to not follow in the ways of the Gentiles (who live as lost men).  The path that they walk is a path that exhibits their spiritual blindness in 4 ways:

in the vanity of their mind,  

1.  A Valueless Thought Life
Their mind is devoid of valuable, worthwhile thoughts.  They exercise their minds on worldly selfish pursuits that hold no eternal value.

Understand, ye brutish among the people: and [ye] fools, when will ye be wise?  He that planted the ear, shall he not hear? he that formed the eye, shall he not see?  He that chastiseth the heathen, shall not he correct? he that teacheth man knowledge, [shall not he know]?  The LORD knoweth the thoughts of man, that they [are] vanity.”   (Psalms 94:8-11)

 

Having the understanding darkened,

2.  An Obscured Discernment
Their ability to understand the true nature of sin, righteousness and the events that take place around them has been clouded to the point of absolute inability to see things for what they truly are.

They have not known nor understood: for he hath shut their eyes, that they cannot see; [and] their hearts, that they cannot understand.   And none considereth in his heart, neither [is there] knowledge nor understanding to say, I have burned part of it in the fire; yea, also I have baked bread upon the coals thereof; I have roasted flesh, and eaten [it]: and shall I make the residue thereof an abomination? shall I fall down to the stock of a tree?   He feedeth on ashes: a deceived heart hath turned him aside, that he cannot deliver his soul, nor say, [Is there] not a lie in my right hand?”   (Isaiah 44:18-20)

being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, 

3.  A Naive Forsaking Of Spiritual Life
Despite being presented with the gospel message, they ignore its value and remain estranged from God and eternal life that He offers to them.

And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in [your] mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled”   (Colossians 1:21)

 

 because of the blindness of their heart:

4.  A Loss Of Perception Within Their Passions
Their desires are pointed toward that which cannot satisfy.  This takes place because they lack the ability to perceive spiritually valuable pursuits.   Instead, they place their desires on that which appeals to their flesh, working self-ruin and rebellion against the Lord.

And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive:   For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and [their] ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with [their] eyes, and hear with [their] ears, and should understand with [their] heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.”    (Matthew 13:14-15)

APPLICATION:

If it were not for our Lord’s wondrous grace, we too would still be in this condition.  But thanks be to God, He has  given us spiritual sight, eternal life and everlasting glory with Him.   In response to this great grace, let us walk as Spiritual Jews, whose spiritual eyes are enlightened and exercised in service to 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

Spiritual Gifts: What Is A Spiritual Gift? (Part #1)

SIH TOA ICONThe Spirit’s Workings Among Men

Spiritual Gifts: What Is A Spiritual Gift? (Part #1)

Introduction:

“Now concerning spiritual [gifts], brethren, I would not have you ignorant.”  (1 Corinthians 12:1)

This verse is the beginning of a three chapter section of Scripture that addresses the subject of “spiritual gifts”.  Why does Paul write at such length concerning this subject?  It is obvious from what is written that the church at Corinth had many misunderstandings about spiritual gifts which led to their misuse.

In spite of these many misunderstandings, Paul’s clearly explains that concerning spiritual [gifts], brethren, I would not have you ignorant.  He was determined to give the church at Corinth much needed information clearly explaining the identity, purpose and longevity of these gifts.  In doing so, he was giving to the Corinth church the opportunity to be educated in these gifts which would allow them to exercise their God-given gifts in a way that would be pleasing to the Lord.

There can be much fault found with the church at Corinth which was, probably, the most carnal church in existence at that time.  But one thing we must always remember…  It is because of the church’s ignorant abuse of these gifts that we have these wonderful teachings concerning spiritual gifts which can be used for our edification.  Our Lord is so great He was able to turn their ignorance and misuse of gifts for our good and His glory.

Much, but not all, of our study on spiritual gifts will be derived from these three chapters in the book of 1 Corinthians.  Not only will we be sharing the teachings of Paul and others on this subject, but we will also share his motive for this study…. Now concerning spiritual [gifts], brethren, I would not have you ignorant.   Our greatest desire for this study is that we all may come to a better understanding of spiritual gifts and their proper place in the local assembly before, and after, the completion of the Word of God.

 

Lesson:

A Spiritual Gift Defined

Throughout this study the word commonly translated “gift” is the Greek word “charisma”.  It is from this word that we get the phrase “charismatic”.  So what is the definition of “charisma”?

“Charisma” refers to:

1.  a “free gift”

2. an “undeserved gift”

3.  a “gift of grace”

4.  a “gift given out of kindness and mercy”

The idea behind “charisma” is God giving us a gift that we DO NOT DESERVE, and WE CANNOT GAIN OF OUR OWN MERIT OR EFFORTS.  It is given to us as a favor, or as an act of mercy done on behalf of the unworthy.

n 2 Corinthians 8:4-6, we find a clear reference to this principle…

Praying us with much intreaty that we would receive the gift, and [take upon us] the fellowship of the ministering to the saints.  And [this they did], not as we hoped, but first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God.  Insomuch that we desired Titus, that as he had begun, so he would also finish in you the same grace also.”  (2 Corinthians 8:4-6)

 Here, we find the word “charis” (the root of charisma) translated in two different ways.  In verse 4, we find it translated by the word “gift”, while in vs 6, we find it translated by the word “grace”.   In the context of these passages, we find Paul speaking of love offerings received from the churches at Macedonia to be distributed by the Apostles to the poor of Jerusalem.  These love offerings were gifts given as an act of grace.  The churches at Macedonia were not obligated to give them, and the poor of Jerusalem did not deserve them.  They truly were “gifts of grace” bestowed upon the poor from the churches of Macedonia.

We Are Not To Seek To Obtain A Specific Spiritual Gift

Please note in 1 Corinthians 12:4-11:

1.  The Lord exercises His power in many different ways –

And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.  (“operations” – mighty workings)

2.  The Lord has different areas of service in which we are to serve Him –

And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.”  (“administrations” – service, waiting on tables)

3.  The Lord sovereignly dispenses to His servants differing gifts to enable them to fulfill their calling –

Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.

But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.(to profit withal” –  to benefit collectively – to profit entire local church not just gifted person)

But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will. (“severally as he will” – individually as he decides.)

From all of this, we learn that a spiritual gift is nothing that can be earned, nor gained by our efforts.  It is not a matter of “becoming good enough” to receive any specific gift.  They are sovereignly distributed by the Lord for the good of the local assembly in which they were to be exercised.    These gifts are given by grace to those who do not deserve them, nor can be gained through any effort of man.  It is not in our place to attempt to dictate to the Lord what gift is best for us to possess.  It is totally up to Him based upon the needs of the assembly.  Therefore we are not to seek to obtain any specific gift.  We are to be content with whatever gift(s) He chooses to graciously bestow upon us.

However, in 1 Corinthians 12:31, 1 Corinthians 14:1, and 1 Corinthians 14:12 the terms “covet earnestly”, “desire” and “zealous” are used to describe the attitude Christians should possess concerning spiritual gifts. Each of these phrases/words are translated from the same Greek root word “zelos”.   What does “zelos’ mean in these passages?  To understand one of the usages of “zelos” in God’s Word we need to look at two other passages where its meaning is made clear…

 This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John.”   (Acts 18:25)

Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;”   (Romans 12:11)

In these verses, “zelos” is translated by the term “fervent” and, in both cases, it is not speaking of a desire to OBTAIN but it is speaking of a desire to USE what is previously received from the Lord.

We can see that the word “zelos” can be describing what our attitude should be concerning a gift we have already received.  It is a desire to use the best gift to profit the local assembly for any given situation.

For example:

1.  But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.”  (1 Corinthians 12:31)

We are being told that when the local church has a specific spiritual need, we are to look at the gifts we have been given by God and seek to use the gift that will meet the current needs of the assembly.   All of God’s gifts are equally good but each is “best” to be exercised when it is the gift needed the most by the local assembly.

2.  “Follow after charity, and desire spiritual [gifts], but rather that ye may prophesy.”  (1 Corinthians 14:1)… 

1 Corinthians 14:1, in the current condition of the Corinth church, they could best benefit from the gift of prophecy to  instruct them more fully in the ways of the Lord.  In this instance, the use of the other spiritual gifts would not be as much of a benefit to them  (1 Corinthians 14:1-5).  Therefore, they were to desire for the proper gift to be exercised in the assembly, which, in this case, was the gift of prophecy.

3.  Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual [gifts], seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church.”  (1 Corinthians 14:12)

This verse clearly explains that the gift they should desire to exercise should be the gift that will give the most benefit to the local church at Corinth.  These gifts are not given to bring attention to oneself, nor for other personal gain. The Christian is to always exercise his God-given gifts with a spirit of selflessness exercising his gifts for the good of the assembly.

Every Gift is Meant To Be Exercised Within A Local Assembly

Various gifts of the Spirit were included in the context of the Great Commission, which is a set of responsibilities that the Lord has given to His local assemblies…

And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.  He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.  And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;  They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.”   (Mark 16:15-18)

This helps us to understand that the exercise of these gifts were a responsibility of members of the local assembly and were given to them for their benefit.  All of the spiritual gifts are given to us for the purpose of use and edification of the local assemblies which are, individually, the body of Christ…

…  But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.  And if they were all one member, where [were] the body?  But now [are they] many members, yet but one body.  And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.  Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary:  And those [members] of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely [parts] have more abundant comeliness.  For our comely [parts] have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that [part] which lacked:  That there should be no schism in the body; but [that] the members should have the same care one for another… And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.  [Are] all apostles? [are] all prophets? [are] all teachers? [are] all workers of miracles?  Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?  But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.”   (1 Corinthians 12:12-31; see also Romans 12:3-8 and Ephesians 4:10-16)

If we do not recognize the needs of our local assembly (and therefore do not exercise our gifts when needed) or, if we are not a member of the assembly that the Lord would have us to join, the assembly is harmed through our lack of action.  Also, if we selfishly exercise gifts that are not needed by the assembly, the assembly is harmed as well.

Possession of our gift(s) is a great blessing, but along with it comes a great responsibility of stewardship as well.

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

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

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

Notes on above chart:

This chart is given to quickly illustrate there is a distinct difference between the “Spiritual Gifts”, which is the theme of this Bible study, and the “Fruits of the Spirit” and “Physical Talents” all of which are given by God to man.  The individual points in this outline will be covered in much greater detail during the course of our studies.

At this stage of our study, please simply understand that when we speak of the “Spiritual Gifts” they differ greatly in many areas from “Fruits of The Spirit” or “Talents”.  These three are not to be confused.  (Note: One area of similarity between the three is that all three are given through God’s grace and all three are to be used in our service to Him.)

In our next study, we will begin to look at the different types of Spiritual Gifts given to man.

Additional Information (Verses Referred To In This Study):

 

 

A Spiritual Gift Defined

We Are Not To Seek To Obtain A Specific Spiritual Gift

Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.  And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.  But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.  For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another [divers] kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:  But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.  (1 Corinthians 12:4-11)

“Follow after charity, and desire spiritual [gifts], but rather that ye may prophesy.  For he that speaketh in an [unknown] tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth [him]; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries.  But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men [to] edification, and exhortation, and comfort.  He that speaketh in an [unknown] tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church.  I would that ye all spake with tongues, but rather that ye prophesied: for greater [is] he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying.”  (1 Corinthians 14:1-5)

 

Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual [gifts], seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church.”   (1 Corinthians 14:12)

Every Gift is Meant To Be Exercised Within A Local Assembly

For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also [is] Christ.  For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether [we be] Jews or Gentiles, whether [we be] bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.  For the body is not one member, but many.  If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?   And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?  If the whole body [were] an eye, where [were] the hearing? If the whole [were] hearing, where [were] the smelling?  But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.  And if they were all one member, where [were] the body?  But now [are they] many members, yet but one body.  And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.  Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary:  And those [members] of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely [parts] have more abundant comeliness.  For our comely [parts] have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that [part] which lacked:  That there should be no schism in the body; but [that] the members should have the same care one for another. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.  Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.  And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.  [Are] all apostles? [are] all prophets? [are] all teachers? [are] all workers of miracles?  Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?  But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.” (1 Corinthians 12:12-31)

 

 

 

For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think [of himself] more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.  For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:  So we, [being] many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.  Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, [let us prophesy] according to the proportion of faith;  Or ministry, [let us wait] on [our] ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching;  Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, [let him do it] with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.

(Romans 12:3-8)

 

But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.  Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.  (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?  He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)   And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;  For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:  Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:  That we [henceforth] be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, [and] cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;  But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, [even] Christ:  From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.”   (Ephesians 4:7-16)

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

And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.  And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.  And they straightway left [their] nets, and followed him.”   (Matthew 4:18-20)

 

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,  Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.  And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.”   (Galatians 5:22-24)

 

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

 

For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;  To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;  To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another [divers] kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:  But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.”   (1 Corinthians 12:8-11)

 

And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;  For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:”  (Ephesians 4:11-12)

 

As every man hath received the gift, [even so] minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.   If any man speak, [let him speak] as the oracles of God; if any man minister, [let him do it] as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.”  (1 Peter 4:10-11)

 

SIH’s Think On These Things: Ephesians 4:16

SIH TOTT ICON“Reflections Of His Grace”

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

The Grace Of Maturity: Ephesians 4:7-16

 

“But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. 

Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.  (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?  He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.) 

And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;  For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 

Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:  That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;  But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:  From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.”

 

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

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

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

The next effect of God’s grace we will be looking at is the grace of MATURITY (4:7-16).  This is a very basic outline of this section of Scripture:
I.        The Gift Of Christ… The Origin Of God’s Gifts (including Spiritual Maturity) (vs 7-10)
II.        Spiritual Gifts Given To Aid Spiritual Maturity (vs 11-12)
III.        Characteristics of Spiritual Maturity (vs 13-16)

EXPOSITION:

(Eph 4:16)  From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

Paul describes 5 aspects of the spiritual maturity of a Christian takes place within the confines of a local assembly (the body of Christ) …

From whom

1.  The assembly’s source of maturity – Christ’s gracious intervention

“From Whom” refers back to “Christ” in verse 15.  It is “from Christ” that the local assembly’s unity is gotten. It is His work within the assembly that separates her to the work she has been given and cleanses her from sin  (Eph 5:25-27)

 

 

the whole body fitly joined together and compacted

2.  The sign of our maturity – order (“fitly joined together”) and unity (“compacted”)

Within the local assembly, mature Christians will work together as one unit, fulfilling the needs of the assembly through the organized exercise of their spiritual gifts.  This type of order/unity is being pictured as a building that is built from various materials and pieces that are cut and shaped to fit together as one unit.

On the opposite extreme, it is the immature Christians that will cause disharmony and strife in the midst of the assembly.  Because they are immature, they do not recognize their spiritual gifts, and therefore, are not able to exercise them appropriately.  (1 Corinthians 12:12-28)

 

by that which every joint supplieth,

3.  The importance of maturity – EVERY Christian should be spiritually mature.

For the local assembly to be as strong as possible, every member must be contributing to its order and unity.  It is like the construction of a building… EVERY joint must be formed and joined properly for the building to be void of weak areas.

When just one joint is deformed causing an ill-fitting joint in its construction a building will have an area of weakness which will make the building vulnerable to ruin.  (1 Corinthians 5:1-8)

 

 

according to the effectual working in the measure of every part,

4.  The Christian’s source of maturity – Christ’s gracious intervention

It is through Christ “effectively working” within us that will produce spiritual maturity.  Just as Christ is the source of the spiritual maturity of the local assembly (vs 16a), so too, He is the source of spiritual maturity in the life of individual Christians.

We cannot credit our wisdom, or any other ability, to make ourselves spiritually mature. It is only gotten through His gracious intervention.   (1 Peter 2:1-3).

 

maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

5.  The end result of spiritual maturity  –  the strengthening of the assembly

When Christ produces spiritual maturity in the members of an assembly, it results in the assembly experiencing growth and increased strength.  However, notice that this strengthening of the assembly is the result of each spiritually mature member producing order and unity within their assembly.  In this sense, the assembly is strengthening itself.

In the beginning of this text, we saw that Christ’s gracious intervention was the assembly’s source of maturity.  Now, we see in this part of the text that the mature members of the assembly are credited with bringing about its maturity.  There are at least two ideas for us to see in this seeming contradiction….

1.  The Lord is the ultimate source of an assembly’s maturity. However, He brings this maturity to pass through the USE OF EACH MATURE MEMBER.

How true is this basic principle!  Many times, the Lord will bring about His will on earth by using His people!

Because of this…

2.  Each Christian has a great responsibility to use the blessings of God in the proper way.  Many times, it is through the faithfulness of God’s people that He sovereignly brings His will to pass.  This text is one great example of this truth.

APPLICATION:

In our text for this morning we have seen five basic principles concerning spiritual maturity:
1.  The assembly’s source of maturity – Christ’s gracious intervention
2.  The sign of our maturity – order (“fitly joined together”) and unity (“compacted”)
3.  The importance of maturity – EVERY Christian should be spiritually mature.
4.  The Christian’s source of maturity – Christ’s gracious intervention
5.  The end result of spiritual maturity  –  the strengthening of the assembly

Oh how important maturity is for each and every one of God’s people.  It is only through the maturity of His people that the local assemblies on earth can be strong pillars of the Truths of His Word!

May we bow before our Lord and thank Him for the great grace of maturity that He has promised to make available to His people.  May we all seek that maturity and then seek to use it for His honor and glory within His assemblies as faithful members.

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! 

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