Responsibility: Our Response His Ability No 4
Having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will,
Eph 1:12 to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory.
Why on earth would God call us to Himself? Why on earth would He send His Son and be so gracious?
We as humans are incredibly self-centered. When one points out to his or her partner that they don’t meet their needs, they are, on one hand, telling them they are selfish but on the other hand they are declaring their own selfishness.
We now want to live for His Glory. We want to praise Him for his gracious Gift of Grace.
Does than mean we are un-fulfilled? Actually the opposite is true. We rather become more fulfilled when we give our life to God and live for His glory.
Those who are living for their own pleasure miss real pleasure. What a paradox!
We give up what we cannot keep to gain what we cannot lose.
Will we find satisfaction in living for God’s glory?
John Piper said
“God created us so that he is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him. “
The Westminster shorter catechism says
Q. What is the chief end of man? Or what is our chief or most important purpose?
A. Man's chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.
Hymn 413. Jesus, priceless Treasure
Jesus, priceless Treasure,
Source of purest pleasure,
Truest Friend to me.
Ah, how long in anguish
Shall my spirit languish,
Yearning, Lord, for Thee?
Thou art mine, O Lamb divine!
That what we are seeking for aren’t we? We are looking for priceless treasure in riches. But it is found there.
We are looking for priceless treasure in friendship and friends fail us.
We are looking for priceless treasure in self worth.
Our problem is that it takes us forever to realize that real joy and pleasure comes from knowing God and living a life in agreement with His will.
We think that pleasure and money and status is what we really want. They really only bring us problems.
Real joy is getting God His proper place in our lives. Yet the author still knows there is more to know of Him. Be careful not new truth but a deeper understand of what we already know.
Then whatever comes our way can be handled and some of it even enjoyed.
Eph 1:15 For this reason I too, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which exists among you and your love for all the saints,
I wish we could be noted for just two things; faith and love.
If I am to walk the Christian walk, I must be grounded in the Faith. The faith which is about all we have been talking about these weeks.
How God sent His Son to be a substitution for my sin. The one who redeemed me, forgave me, gave me an inheritance, one who adopted me into His family with people from every nation tribe and tongue, show me this great mystery. Not just to be people who have the faith, but people who love because God first loved us.
And Paul is not going to ask anything of them until the 4th chapter. Because there are things they need to know and that knowing and that understanding will give them all that they need to know in their walk.
What is it that Paul prays for?
Eph 1:16 do not cease giving thanks for you, while making mention of you in my prayers;
Paul’s prayer has purpose: That God would give, not that they would strive to get but that God would give His chose children these things.
Eph 1:17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the (epi) knowledge of Him.
We started out with Paul blessing God then now he prays that we may grasp the fullness of this blessing not some new doctrine or special knowledge for the spiritually privileged but to us. That is Gnosticism.
We are really good at asking God for specially blessing but not very good at coming into a deeper understanding of these blessing we have been talking about.
We must balance prayer and praise if we are to keep from getting off balance in our walk.
1. Spirit of Wisdom Vs.17 Does this wisdom come from outside of the scripture, from a revelation direct from God? Is this a revelation to the heart?
I think that God will speak to your heart through the Spirit of truth, the Holy Spirit, He has given to us. But this age old question must be must be must be kept in mind.
Am I hearing my mind speak; are the thought coming from my enlighten mind or through a direct revelation from God?
There is no reason why cannot take the Word of God and with the aid of our changed mind and heart come up with some great ideas and thoughts.
Just make sure you test these thoughts from the scripture. It would be unwise to claim that everything from that inner voice is direct from God.
2. Revelation in the knowledge of Him. Does this wisdom come from outside of the scripture, from a revelation direct from God? Is this a revelation to the heart?
Be careful here. This can be a source of error. Well God told me thus and such. God led to do this? These so called revelations must be carefully scrutinized.
This wisdom and revelation are not new truth but they are a deeper insight into God and His Word
Growth in knowledge is indispensible for our growth in holiness. This knowledge is more than facts but is it not without them either. We need God to enlighten us.
But we need more than just enlightenment, we need knowledge as well. We are not asking God to give the Holy Sprit to those who already received Him and have been filled but that He should enlighten us from His Word.
Even Paul recognized the need to be careful. You got some preachers in the early church be brought under scrutiny of other. This is very wise. Other wise some men of God can run rampant with their flock and even destroy them buy their claiming everything from their mouth is from God.
1Co 14:29 Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others pass judgment.
1Co 14:30 But if a revelation is made to another who is seated, the first one must keep silent.
Picture this, the first godly man is speaking and first one must shut up and sit down.
1Co 14:31 For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all may be exhorted;
1Co 14:32 and the spirits of prophets are subject to prophets;
3. Open spiritual eyes Vs.18 Eph 1:18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,
2Ki 6:11 Now the heart of the king of Aram was enraged over this thing; and he called his servants and said to them, "Will you tell me which of us is for the king of Israel?"
2Ki 6:12 One of his servants said, "No, my lord, O king; but Elisha, the prophet who is in Israel, tells the king of Israel the words that you speak in your bedroom."
2Ki 6:13 So he said, "Go and see where he is, that I may send and take him." And it was told him, saying, "Behold, he is in Dothan."
2Ki 6:14 He sent horses and chariots and a great army there, and they came by night and surrounded the city.
2Ki 6:15 Now when the attendant of the man of God had risen early and gone out, behold, an army with horses and chariots was circling the city. And his servant said to him, "Alas, my master! What shall we do?"
2Ki 6:16 So he answered, "Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them."
2Ki 6:17 Then Elisha prayed and said, "O LORD, I pray, open his eyes that he may see." And the LORD opened the servant's eyes and he saw; and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.
2Ki 6:18 When they came down to him, Elisha prayed to the LORD and said, "Strike this people with blindness, I pray." So He struck them with blindness according to the word of Elisha.
2Ki 6:19 Then Elisha said to them, "This is not the way, nor is this the city; follow me and I will bring you to the man whom you seek." And he brought them to Samaria.
2Ki 6:20 When they had come into Samaria, Elisha said, "O LORD, open the eyes of these men, that they may see." So the LORD opened their eyes and they saw; and behold, they were in the midst of Samaria.
2Ki 6:21 Then the king of Israel when he saw them, said to Elisha, "My father, shall I kill them? Shall I kill them?"
2Ki 6:22 He answered, "You shall not kill them. Would you kill those you have taken captive with your sword and with your bow? Set bread and water before them, that they may eat and drink and go to their master."
2Ki 6:23 So he prepared a great feast for them; and when they had eaten and drunk he sent them away, and they went to their master. And the marauding bands of Arameans did not come again into the land of Israel.
There is wisdom in the blinding of the eyes of the enemy army because they saw the power and the grace of God both at the same time and never came back to bother Israel. What wisdom! Elisha did not need his eyes to be opened; he knew what God was already doing.
We need to see with our spiritual eyes opened to get wisdom of what God has already revealed in the Word to us but we must be careful to wisely discern the passages lest we misuse and pervert the intention of the Word of God.
Eph 1:18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,
Enlightened to see what, some new doctrine?
a. Hope of His calling. This call as we have seen is from the past. Vs 18
What is your calling and what are the reasons for this calling are there benefits to the caller and the callee.
b. The riches of glory of His inheritance This inheritance is for the future.
Is this in heritance going to be spectacular?
So what is left is what is in between the past and the future; it is now the present. This is tremendous.
c. The surpassing greatness of the power toward believers Vs.19
Eph 1:19 and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might
1. This power is for what?
For living the Christian life, for victory, for loving, for being fruitful.
2. How powerful is it?
A, There two things that we can never escape. Death and taxes? No death and evil.
1. Jesus conquered death. This means that those who trust in Him will never die as well.
Eph 1:20 which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead
2. Everything is under subjection to Christ He has power over all rule and authority. That means over all of creation including angels and demons. He put all things under His feet because He is the head. He also is the head of the church and fills the church.
And seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places,
Eph 1:21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name not only in this age but also in the one to come.
Eph 1:22 And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church,
Eph 1:23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.
So if the power over evil is there, how can I access it?
I know you want to overcome.
1Jn 5:4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world--our faith.
1Jn 5:5 Who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
The title of the message is responsibility. You see God has the ability, the power and we just need to trust Christ. Yeah nice Christian lingo but I need more than just a trite phrase.
Is there victory for those who cannot make up their mind where they want to do the will of God or not?
Here is a crude example.
Suppose you a want to be happy in marriage so you date this girl and she is pretty and nice and you get pretty heavy and you ask God to make your marriage a success. But you forgot to ask some pretty serious questions.
Is she a believer and not only that is she a committed believer? Has she become a believer just for you? Do you think that God will answer your prayer and give you the power to do the right thing when all along you were going to do really your desire? No!
God is gracious and compassionate to us even when we do stupid stuff. He is always ready to give power when we decide that we are going to do things His way as plainly revealed in the Word. When we make up our mind do to the will of God whether we like it or not, that is when the power comes.
In the temptations of life the power only comes after we make up our mind. Our faith response His power or ability.
Men, you cannot have power over lust if you are putting your self in the place of temptation by going to internet site or watch things that will not be helpful.
Does a prayer that says, God help me not to lust with nudity it, while you are watch a bad movie. If you want to have victory over lust in that situation you first must make up your mind to do the will of God and at that point turn it off. Then God see your single-minded heart and give power.
If you are a child of God then decide who you will obey the flesh and all it lusts and passions or that voice in you that inner man where the Holy Spirit resides.
I say to my whining flesh you are not getting your way. The God gives power.
Women I don’t know how to illustrate this for you. What ever you lust after the principle is the same.
There is a program on TV of larger women looking for a husband. They all want this guy buy they backstab the other women rather than being happy for the attention he give other they are terrible. If you want to have a husband and the otter shell is not fashionable in this culture; maybe you might working on being Godly.
God keep me from saying bad things about others. Once you have made up your mind to obey God. God give the ability to control that flesh organ the mouth.
Slide Jas 1:6 But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind.
Jas 1:7 For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord,
Jas 1:8 being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
What we really want is for some how for God to make us be single minded. What we want is for God to make us want Him.
Hasn’t He shown us enough? Hasn’t He chose us, redeemed us, adopted us, gave us His Spirit as a down payment. Hasn’t He shown us enough that the way of the lust, materialism and status doesn’t work? That should be enough to say, “I have made up my mind.” I believe and I trust you that your will is good perfect and totally acceptable”.
And as you succeed in the power of God, you will be building endurance and maturity...
Jas 1:4 And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.