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SIH’s Think On These Things: Ephesians 6:2-3

SIH TOTT ICON“Reflections Of His Grace”

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

 

 

The Grace Of Authority/Submission (6:1-9)

 

Eph 6:1-9 KJV

Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.

And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men: Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free.

And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening: knowing that your Master also is in heaven; neither is there respect of persons with him.

 

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

 

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

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

 

The next effect of God’s grace we will be looking at is the grace of AUTHORITY/SUBMISSION (6:1-9)…

For those who are under the authority of another, there exists a great opportunity to follow the example of Christ, who was under the authority of His Father during His earthly ministry.

For those who hold authority over subordinates, there exists a great opportunity to reveal Christ, who was exalted as Head above all, to those who are around them. Also, keep in mind that those who are given authority over others remain under the authority of the Lord.

 

Keeping all this in mind, let’s turn our attention to this is a very basic outline of this section of Scripture:

I.        The Role Of Children (vs 1-3)

II.        The Role Of Fathers (vs 4)

III.        The Role Of Servants (vs 5 -8)

IV.        The Role Of Masters (vs 9)

 

 EXPOSITION:

 This section continues looking at the role of children in the family relationship…

 

(Ephesians 6:2-3) Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.

 

(Based upon our previous devotional, please keep in mind that a complete picture of this relationship cannot be received until we look in detail at verses 1-4 in their entirety. )

 

 

Honour thy father and mother;

Children, no matter what their age, are to highly value and appreciate their parents. This will result in:

1. the youthful child willingly submitting to their parents authority

2. while the adult child will properly respect and care for their aged parents.

 

Deu 27:16 KJV – Cursed be he that setteth light by his father or his mother. And all the people shall say, Amen.

In the above verse “setteth light” means to “shrug off”, “ignore” or “take lightly”

 

 

 (which is the first commandment with promise;) 

In the ten commandments, the command to honour parents was accompanied with a promise of long life in the promised land for the Israelite….

Exo 20:12 KJV – Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

 

The blessing following the command helps us to understand the importance of this command…. It is the first one that is mentioned to hold a special blessing for those who keep it. This emphasizes the need and gives a special motivation for the keeping of this command.

 

Also, please keep in mind, when a child learns to submit to the authority of his/her parents, they are also learning to submit to any higher authority (government, employer and most importantly the Lord Himself).

Submission to a higher authority can result in a myriad of blessings for the individual. Beginning with salvation as we submit to Christ, promotions and raises as we learn to faithfully serve employers,  and our freedoms intact  as we submit to governmental authorities and avoid being placed in governmental legal systems (court cases, jail, prison etc.)

There are great benefits to be had when a person learns to submit to those in authority over them.

 

How does this commandment apply to us today?

 That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.

Paul now applies this blessing to the Gentile believers at Ephesus, as he affirms that the promise of a long life is a blessing that will be also given to Gentiles as they honor their parents.

 

 

APPLICATION:

May we recognize the wonderful blessing and importance that is linked to our responsibility to honor our parents. For those of us who have parents that are yet living, may we take advantage of every opportunity to show them the proper respect and appreciation that they deserve. For those of us who are yet under their authority, may we live in submission to all of their desires which are in alignment with God’s revealed will for our lives.

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

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

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

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

SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com

SIH’s Think On These Things: Ephesians 6:1b

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 Authority/Submission (6:1-9)

 Eph 6:1-9 KJV

Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.

And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men: Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free.

And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening: knowing that your Master also is in heaven; neither is there respect of persons with him.

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

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

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

 

The next effect of God’s grace we will be looking at is the grace of AUTHORITY/SUBMISSION (6:1-9)…

For those who are under the authority of another, there exists a great opportunity to follow the example of Christ, who was under the authority of His Father during His earthly ministry.

For those who hold authority over subordinates, there exists a great opportunity to reveal Christ, who was exalted as Head above all, to those who are around them. Also, keep in mind that those who are given authority over others remain under the authority of the Lord.

Keeping all this in mind, let’s turn our attention to this is a very basic outline of this section of Scripture:
I.        The Role Of Children (vs 1-3)
II.        The Role Of Fathers (vs 4)
III.        The Role Of Servants (vs 5 -8)
IV.        The Role Of Masters (vs 9)

 

EXPOSITION:

This section begins by looking at the role of children in the family relationship…

 

(Eph 6:1) Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.

(Based upon our previous devotional, please keep in mind that a complete picture of this relationship cannot be received until we look in detail at verses 1-4 in their entirety. )

 

 

Children, obey your parents

The word “children” in this verse is translated from a word that simply means “that which is produced” or “an offspring”. It does not refer to any specific age range, but can describe mature, adult offspring as well as those who are babies, infants or immature youth.

It is very important we understand the meaning of the term “obey” to grasp the meaning of this verse…

“Obey” (hupakouo) which comes from a fusion of two Greek words:

1. hupa – to be under
2. kouo – to listen attentively, to hear with desire

This helps us to understand that:

1. Literally, “obey” means “to listen attentively to a higher authority”. This is why it is translated “hearken” many times in the New Testament.

2. However, based upon its context, it can also imply “compliance to that which is heard”. That is why it is also translated “obey” and “to be obedient” in the New Testament.

 

Based upon the above 2 aspects of this word’s definition we can see from our text that:

1. No matter how old the child may be, if they properly respect their parents they will listen attentively (and seriously consider) any advice their parents may give to them. (Pro 1:8, 23:22)

After we have become adults, and begun a family of our own, we are to remove ourselves from under the authority of our parents (Gen 2:24), while still showing them respect and honor. One way to accomplish this is by listening and considering any counsel they may give to us.

 

2. However, it is also obvious that a child (who is still under their parent’s authority) must not only listen attentively to their parents Godly instructions, but also must be compliant to their wishes (Deut 21:18, Prov 30:17). This will gender a peaceful and harmonious household which glorifies the Lord in the sight of others.

 

in the Lord:

The obedience that is given to the parents is to be done with the correct motive of heart, desiring to please the Lord and glorify Him…

1Co 10:31 KJV – Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.

Col 3:17 KJV – And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

 

for this is right.

When we show our respect of our parents through obedience, our actions are aligned with God’s laws and pleasing in His sight….

1Ti 5:4b KJV – … and to requite their parents: for that is good and acceptable before God.

 

APPLICATION:

May we all seek to properly obey our parents, giving to them the honor and respect that we owe to them. As we do this, may we be motivated by a knowledge that we are pleasing our Lord and keeping His commands for our lives.

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

 

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

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

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

SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com

SIH’s Think On These Things: Ephesians 6:1

Reflections Of His Grace”SIH TOTT ICON

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

 

 

The Grace Of Authority/Submission (6:1-9)

Eph 6:1-9 KJV

Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.

And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men: Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free.

And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening: knowing that your Master also is in heaven; neither is there respect of persons with him.

 

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

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

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

 

The next effect of God’s grace we will be looking at is the grace of AUTHORITY/SUBMISSION (6:1-9)…

For those who are under the authority of another, there exists a great opportunity to follow the example of Christ, who was under the authority of His Father during His earthly ministry.

For those who hold authority over subordinates, there exists a great opportunity to reveal Christ, who was exalted as Head above all, to those who are around them. Also, keep in mind that those who are given authority over others remain under the authority of the Lord.

 

Keeping all this in mind, let’s turn our attention to this is a very basic outline of this section of Scripture:

I.        The Role Of Children (vs 1-3)
II.        The Role Of Fathers (vs 4)
III.        The Role Of Servants (vs 5 -8)
IV.        The Role Of Masters (vs 9)

 

 

EXPOSITION:

This section begins by looking at the role of children in the family relationship…

 

(Eph 6:1) Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.

Much like the interdependence of the husband/wife relationship, the relationship between the child and father are interdependent on one another…

 

Eph 6:1-4 KJV

Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;)   That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth…

And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

In this case, the child’s obedience to the father is directly related to the father’s need to properly train up the child without provoking them in the process (vs 4). If the father provokes the child to wrath, it becomes extremely difficult for the child to be submissive and give honor to his parents as he should…

 

Col 3:20-21 KJV – “Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord. Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.”

 

But the same holds true of the child’s obeying of his parents. Any attempts by the Father to bring up the child in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, will be greatly hindered if the child does not accept his correction, obey and honor their parents as they should.

 

Heb 12:5-11 KJV – “And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.

If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.

Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?   For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.

Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.”

 

So as we begin this study, let us please keep in mind that a complete picture of this relationship cannot be received until we look in detail at verses 1-4 in their entirety.

 

In our next devotional, we will begin to look at Ephesians 6:1.

 

 

APPLICATION:

May we all recognize the Lord’s grace in our lives as He gives to us our loving children and our loving parents. May we all want to treat both our parents and our children in a way that pleases the Lord and brings honor and glory 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

Spirits Among Us – What Are They?

SIH STSTA ICONThe belief in the existence of ghosts is on the rise, and no wonder… in today’s world the subject of ghosts has flooded the TV screen. A few of the TV shows that have ghosts as a central theme are: “Ghost Whisperer”, “Ghost Hunters”, “Ghost Stories”, “Ghosts Lab”, “American Paranormal”, “A Haunting”, “Celebrity Ghost Stories”, “Being Human” the list goes on and on.  One list I found said there are 50 shows currently on TV centering on ghosts.  If you would like to see the list just click here: http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20110628172308AA4hkzC

With the existence of ghosts a major subject in today’s entertainment world, I thought it would be good to look at the truth about ghosts.  The Word of God is the final authority on all issues of life here on earth and in the spirit world.  Let’s take some time to examine the truth about ghosts.

THE SCRIPTURES:

Eph 6:10-12; Rom 8:38; 2 Cor 4:3-4; Acts 26:17-18; Mark 1:23-27; 1 Sam 28:11-20; 2 Cor 11:13-15; Mat 17:1-9;

THE STUDY:

In part #1 of our study we have seen that the Bible clearly tells us that the spirits of those who have died DO NOT return to earth and live among us.   If this is the case, does this mean that the only living beings on earth are human, embodied beings?  Absolutely not!

The Word of God tells us that there is a spirit realm that does exist on earth.  This spirit realm includes Satan and others who oppose the things of God. Also, there are angels that exist to aid and protect God’s people.

First let’s look at those spirit beings that oppose the cause of Christ….

(Eph 6:10-12) – Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

(Rom 8:38) – For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,  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.

(2Co 4:3-4) – 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.

(Act 26:17-18) – Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee, To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.

(Job 1:7) – And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.

(1 Peter 1:5) – Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

 As we can see, it is obvious that Satan and other fallen angels are present among us seeking to hinder the Christian’s walk with Christ and keep blinded the eyes of the lost world.

Keep in mind angels are spirit beings (do not have fleshly bodies)…

(Heb 1:13-14) – But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool?  Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?

(Psa 104:4) – Who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire:

(Job 4:15-21)  Then a spirit passed before my face; the hair of my flesh stood up:  It stood still, but I could not discern the form thereof: an image was before mine eyes, there was silence, and I heard a voice, saying,  Shall mortal man be more just than God? shall a man be more pure than his maker?  Behold, he put no trust in his servants; and his angels he charged with folly:  How much less in them that dwell in houses of clay, whose foundation is in the dust, which are crushed before the moth?  They are destroyed from morning to evening: they perish for ever without any regarding it.  Doth not their excellency which is in them go away? they die, even without wisdom.

Based on the above we can see that elect and fallen angels (including Satan himself) are spirits that are present on the earth with us.  The existence and ministry of these beings explain many of the references to “angels”, “spirits”, “ghosts” and “demons” that we find in the Bible….

(Mat 14:24-27) – But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary.  And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea.  And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear.  But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.

(Luk 24:36-40) – And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit.  And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts?  Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have. And when he had thus spoken, he shewed them his hands and his feet.

Note in the above references, the followers of Christ understand that spirit beings (fallen angels) do exist on the earth… Christ Himself affirms it by saying “for a spirit has not flesh and bones” .  he did not say, “there is no such things as spirits on the earth.”

Here are a few other, among many, verses that speak of fallen angels being active among mankind on earth…

(Jdg 9:23) – Then God sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the men of Shechem; and the men of Shechem dealt treacherously with Abimelech:

(Mat 10:1) – And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.

(Mar 1:23-27) – And there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit; and he cried out, Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God.  And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him.  And when the unclean spirit had torn him, and cried with a loud voice, he came out of him.  And they were all amazed, insomuch that they questioned among themselves, saying, What thing is this? what new doctrine is this? for with authority commandeth he even the unclean spirits, and they do obey him.

There are two events in the Bible that seem to teach that the spirits of dead men did appear to those still living on the earth…

(1Sa 28:11-20) – Then said the woman, Whom shall I bring up unto thee? And he said, Bring me up Samuel.  And when the woman saw Samuel, she cried with a loud voice: and the woman spake to Saul, saying, Why hast thou deceived me? for thou art Saul.  And the king said unto her, Be not afraid: for what sawest thou? And the woman said unto Saul, I saw gods ascending out of the earth.  And he said unto her, What form is he of? And she said, An old man cometh up; and he is covered with a mantle. And Saul perceived that it was Samuel, and he stooped with his face to the ground, and bowed himself.  And Samuel said to Saul, Why hast thou disquieted me, to bring me up? And Saul answered, I am sore distressed; for the Philistines make war against me, and God is departed from me, and answereth me no more, neither by prophets, nor by dreams: therefore I have called thee, that thou mayest make known unto me what I shall do.  Then said Samuel, Wherefore then dost thou ask of me, seeing the LORD is departed from thee, and is become thine enemy?  And the LORD hath done to him, as he spake by me: for the LORD hath rent the kingdom out of thine hand, and given it to thy neighbour, even to David:  Because thou obeyedst not the voice of the LORD, nor executedst his fierce wrath upon Amalek, therefore hath the LORD done this thing unto thee this day.  Moreover the LORD will also deliver Israel with thee into the hand of the Philistines: and to morrow shalt thou and thy sons be with me: the LORD also shall deliver the host of Israel into the hand of the Philistines.  Then Saul fell straightway all along on the earth, and was sore afraid, because of the words of Samuel: and there was no strength in him; for he had eaten no bread all the day, nor all the night.

Did Saul actually see Samuel or a demon masquerading as Samuel?  To answer this question we should turn to ….

(2Co 11:13-15) – For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.  And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.  Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

The Lord would not have blessed the sinful efforts of King Saul by sending the genuine Samuel to deliver the message from the Lord.  This is simply a demon masquerading as Samuel to deceive Saul.  For an in-depth study of this Biblical event please look at my blog entry located at: https://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/2010/10/17/halloween-part-4-%e2%80%93-the-necromancy-symbols/

Finally, the transfiguration of Christ is brought up as proof that spirits of dead men live among us…

(Mat 17:1-9) – And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him.  Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.  And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid.  And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid.  And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only.  And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying, Tell the vision to no man, until the Son of man be risen again from the dead.

The appearance of Moses and Elijah was a “vision” that Peter, James and John saw.   The spirits of Moses and Elijah were not on earth in actuality… they were simply a part of a vision that helped Peter, James and John see:

1. the importance of the OT law and prophets

2. Christ was the fulfillment of the law and prophets (ie He was the True Messiah)

3. a glimpse into what eternity will be like for all who have trusted in Christ.

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

For those who have trusted in Christ.

We must realize that those who have died do not return and live among mankind on earth.  We should also understand that spirit beings do exist among us in the persons of elect and fallen angels (called spirits, demons, angels etc.)  We are in a spiritual war and must be certain we are prepared on a daily basis wearing the armor of God that He has graciously given to us. (Eph 6:11-18)

For those who have never trusted in Christ.

There are spiritual powers that exist in this world that incredibly dangerous to man.  To dabble in the spirit realm through channelers, Ouija boards, Satanism, Spiritism etc. is incredibly dangerous for Christian and non-Christian alike.

It is only through looking to the Lord Jesus Christ can we find protection and safety from the spiritual powers of darkness that are around us.  Look to Christ for salvation, protection and eternal security in Him.  (1 John 4:4)

If you have any questions concerning the way of salvation please feel free to visit or call a Bible teaching church in your area.  They will be happy to speak to you about the Lord Jesus and the salvation He graciously gives.

Or, if you would rather, feel welcome to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.  I’ll be more than happy to answer any question you may have.

Also, if you look at my blog page “How To Have A Relationship With God”.  On this page you will find several blog entries explaining the way of salvation.

Please visit the “Settled In Heaven Ministries” homepage –

http://www.settledinheaven.org

My Main Blog “Settled In Heaven” (updated twice weekly) – https://settledinheaven.wordpress.com

The following are other places you can find “Settled In Heaven” blog (updated once per month):

www.settledinheavenbibleblog.posterous.com

www.settledinheavenblog.blogspot.com

To see this lesson taught on video please go to my Video Blog at  http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

If you have any questions concerning this blog, or if you have a subject you would like discussed, please feel free to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.    I will answer all emails via my blog, email, or both.

Take A Look At My Wife’s Artistic/Scriptural Devotion Blog http://alivewithchristart.blogspot.com

Follow my Squidoo Instructional Lens “Presenting God’s Grace” “The Solemn Obligation To Present the Doctrines of Grace to the Lost and Saved Alike” http://www.squidoo.com/presenting-gods-grace

May the Lord bless your study of His Word.  Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”

Finding God’s Will For Our Lives – What Is God’s Will? (Part #1)

Prov 3:6 – “In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”

 In this short 12 word verse, we find one of the most precious promises of the Bible… the promise for the Lord’s leadership and guidance in our lives.   But in this same verse, we find one of the most difficult aspects of the Christians life… following the path the Lord desires for our life.

One of the most frequently asked questions posed to me during my ministry has been “How can I find God’s will for my life?”   In the next 6 blog entries we will be seeing what God’s word teaches us about this important subject…

  1. What is God’s will?
  2. Not my will, but thine be done.
  3. Thus saith the Lord
  4. Oh what a feeling
  5. Open and shut doors
  6. Summary of the study

In part number 1 of our study lets answer the question… What is God’s will?

THE SCRIPTURE:

 God’s Sovereign Will:

 Prov 16:9 – A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps.

Prov 16:33 -The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof [is] of the LORD.

Dan 4:35 -And all the inhabitants of the earth [are] reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and [among] the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?

Acts 2:23-24 -Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.

Acts 4:27-28 – For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together,For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.

Rom 9:17-24 – For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will [have mercy], and whom he will he hardeneth.Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will?Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed [it], Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?[What] if God, willing to shew [his] wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?

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

And many, many more….

God’s Revealed Will:

Ps 119:1-12 – ALEPH. Blessed [are] the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD.Blessed [are] they that keep his testimonies, [and that] seek him with the whole heart.They also do no iniquity: they walk in his ways. Thou hast commanded [us] to keep thy precepts diligently.O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes! Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments. I will praise thee with uprightness of heart, when I shall have learned thy righteous judgments.I will keep thy statutes: O forsake me not utterly. BETH. Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed [thereto] according to thy word. With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments. Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. Blessed [art] thou, O LORD: teach me thy statutes.

Matt 28:20 -Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, [even] unto the end of the world. Amen.

John 14:21 -He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

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

Eph 6:5-7 – Servants, be obedient to them that are [your] masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ;Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart;With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men:

Heb 8:10 – For this [is] the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:

1John 5:3 – For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.

And many, many more….

God’s Individual Will:

Prov 3:6 – In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

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

Jer 10:23 –  O LORD, I know that the way of man [is] not in himself: [it is] not in man that walketh to direct his steps.

Acts 11:12  – And the Spirit bade me go with them, nothing doubting. Moreover these six brethren accompanied me, and we entered into the man’s house:

Acts 16:6-8 – Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia,After they were come to Mysia, they assayed to go into Bithynia: but the Spirit suffered them not.And they passing by Mysia came down to Troas.

Gal 6:10 – As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all [men], especially unto them who are of the household of faith.

Phil 4:10 – But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity.

And many, many more….

THE STUDY:

  1. God’s Sovereign Will – This is the “secret’ will of God that has been determined before the foundation of the world.   This will includes EVERY event that actually takes place throughout history. (Deut 29:29)
    1. Prov 16:9 – Here we find that mankind makes many plans concerning his future, but the Lord is the One that controls all the future events in one’s life.
    2. Prov 16:33 – Here, we find that although the casting of lots from man’s standpoint is a random occurance… it is actually predetermined and under God’s total control.
    3. Dan 4:35 – It is clearly declared that His sovereign will is done both in heaven and on earth. No one can hinder it
    4. Acts 2:23-24, 4:27-28 – Even the crucifixtion of Christ was a part of His “determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God”
    5. Rom 9:17-24 – Pharoah, his rebellion and his defeat, was all a part of God’s plan, which ultimately resulted in glorification of God. We cannot question His will, He knows the end from the beginning, but we do not.
    6. Eph 1:11-12 – Even our salvation and our inheritance are a part of His eternal plan.  All of this is why we are to thank and glorify Him for all things.  He is the One in ultimate control of all.
  1. God’s Revealed Will – This is God’s desires for our lives as revealed in His will.  Commands like “be ye holy” and “thou shalt not lie”, as well as “think on these things” etc. are all a part of God’s will for all His people.  These are all revealed to us in the Bible.
    1. Ps 119:1-12 – In the entire Psalm 119:, we find the importance of God’s Word for our lives stressed.  The Word of God in Psa 119: is given the titles “Law”, “Ways” , “Precepts”, “Statutes”, “Commandments”, “Judgments”, “Word”… the list goes on and on. And yet, the basic principle is that we are responsible to be in submission to His Word for our own good.
    2. Matt 28:20 – The Lord’s churches are to teach new believers to observe all of His commands (which are found in His Word)
    3. John 14:21, 1 John 5:3 – Keeping His Word is a sign of our love for Him.
    4. Eph 5:15-17 – By understanding the principles of His Word, and applying them to our lives, we can wisely walk in this world, using our time on earth to the greatest spiritual benefit.
    5. Eph 6:5-7 – We are to sincerely obey His Word with the right motives in our hearts.  This is an act of service to the Lord.
    6. Heb 8:10 – The Word is placed in our hearts, minds and consciences.  As we study and learn more of His Word we carry it with us and, hopefully, live according to it.  (Psa 119:11)
  1. God’s Individual Will – This is God’s desires for each one of us as individuals.  Throughout the Scriptures, we find followers of Christ being directed in their lives.  This direction normally takes the form of open and closed doors of opportunity.
    1. Prov 3:6  – Here we find that if we recognize His Lordship and submit to it in our lives then He will supply the direction we need to choose the correct life paths.
    2. Eccl 9:10 – “whatever thy hand findeth to do” – this can be describing the opportunities we have open to us.  Our responsibility is to take advantage of the opportunities we have in God honoring ways.  He is the One that controls what opportunities open to us.
    3. Jer 10:23 – We do not have the ability in and of ourselves to control the future events and opportunities of our lives.  This is all in the Lord’s hands.
    4. Acts 11:12, Acts 16:6-8 – Here is one example where the Lord used His Spirit to lead Peter to accompany men to a house where Peter received the call to Joppa.  Also the Lord led Paul in his ministry to forego preaching the Word in Asia and Bithynia.  In both of these cases the Lord used His Spirit to lead His servants to areas of ministry.  This Spirit leading could have been received as a combination of open/closed doors, the Word in conjunction with the human conscience, or even supernatural revelation (prior to the completion of His Word).  Neither Peter, nor Paul, explicitly details how the leading came about in their lives.
    5. Gal 6:10 – Paul clearly declares that we are to minister for the Lord based on the opportunities that are open to us.
    6. Phil 4:10 – Paul as he was writing to the church at Philippi made it plain that the church had faithfully supplied their support of Paul when they had opportunity.  But for an unspecified length of time, they lacked the opportunity to support him.  Note, that Paul was not critical of them and their lack of support during the inopportune times.  He only praised them for continuing to support him when they had the opportunity.

The above outline helps us to understand that there are three aspects to the will of God.

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION

For those who are saved…

Here are the beginning principles we must understand as we begin our study of finding God’s will for our lives:

  1. The Sovereign Will of God cannot be changed by man.  This will of God will always be done.  Every event in history that has taken place, and will take place is a part of this sovereign controlling will of God. (Dan 4:35).  We have no need to be concerned about following this will of God.  It will always take place.
  1. Please notice that the Word of God (His Revealed Will) is the basis of the future judgment of the believer’s life. (Roms 14:10, 2 Cor 5:10)   It is this same Word that was given to us to lead us and guide us along life’s pathways. (Psa 119:105, Psa 119:11)

Therefore, all of our life’s decisions are to be made based upon our knowledge and understanding of His Word. The revealed will of God for each of our lives is regulated by the Spirit’s inner witness through the use of His Word (1 Pet 1:22, Ezek 36:27) and in our conscience (1 Tim 1:19, Heb 13:18)

  1. The individual will of God is regulated based upon the Spirit’s intervention in each of our lives normally through open or closed doors of opportunity (Gals 6:10)

In our search for God’s Will to be shown to us in our lives….

Prayer Principle #1 –  We must pray for the Lord’s leadership in our lives.

For those who are not saved….

The Lord’s will for the life of those who have never trusted in Christ is clearly declared in 1Tim 2:3-6 …

For this [is] good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.For [there is] one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

For more information about salvation and the forgiveness of sins, please refer to my blog page found here: https://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/all-about-salvation/

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To see this lesson taught on video please go to my Video Blog at  http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

If you have any questions concerning this blog, or if you have a subject you would like discussed, please feel free to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.    I will answer all emails via my blog, email, or both.

Take A Look At My Wife’s Artistic/Scriptural Devotion Blog http://alivewithchristart.blogspot.com

Follow my Squidoo Instructional Lens “Presenting God’s Grace” “The Solemn Obligation To Present the Doctrines of Grace to the Lost and Saved Alike” http://www.squidoo.com/presenting-gods-grace

May the Lord bless your study of His Word.  Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”

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