Confident Assurance

Ephesians 1:15-23 ESV

For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.

The hope to which he has called you

What is the hope to which He has called those of us who are his saints, his faithful followers of Jesus Christ? Well, first of all this hope is not wishful thinking. It is confident assurance that what we expect to happen will indeed happen. We are certain of it, because God said it, and we believe him.

But, what is the hope? What all does it entail? I mean, what has he called us to?

Well, first of all, he has called us to belong to Christ (Rom. 1:6). This means that, through faith in Jesus Christ, we are now God’s possession. For, when Jesus gave his life up for us on that cross, he bought us back for God. We are no longer our own to do with our lives whatever we want, but now we are to honor God with our lives. Jesus is now our Lord (master) and we are his workmanship, “created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Eph. 2:10).

We are also called to be saints, and the word “saint” is synonymous with the word “holy” (Rom. 1:7; 2 Tim. 1:9; 1 Thess. 4:7). And, that means to be set apart (unlike, different) from the world because we are being made to be like Christ. This means that we don’t act or think like the world. We don’t live like we did before we believed in Jesus Christ. We do not engage ourselves in what is unholy, ungodly, impure and dishonest. Instead, we are being conformed to the image of Christ in all that we do, and he is holy, pure, righteous, faithful, truthful, loving, kind and forgiving.

We are also called according to his purpose (Rom. 8:28). And, his purpose for us is that we die with him to sin and live with him to righteousness. His purpose is that we walk in fellowship with him and no longer in darkness. His intention for us is that we walk in freedom from the control of sin over our lives. And, his objective in saving us from our sins is that our lives, i.e. how we live them, would be for his glory and praise (2 Pet. 1:3; 1 Co. 1:9; Gal. 5:13; 1 Pet. 2:24; 1 Jn. 1:5-9).

Lastly, we are called out of darkness into his marvelous light (1 Pet. 2:9; cf. Acts 26:16-18). We were not called merely to be forgiven our sins so that when we die we can go to heaven and not to hell. We were called to come out of our lifestyles of living to sin and self to walk in his light, in his purity and righteousness and holiness, becoming like Jesus in all that we are and do and think and say. This is the hope to which we are called, that we no longer have to live in sin, but now we can live holy lives, pleasing to God.

The riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints

So, what is our inheritance? Some people think it is merely that we get to go to heaven when we die. But, is that all there is to it? No!

Our inheritance first and foremost is God himself. For, when we believe in Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior of our lives, we are no longer separated from God, but now we have become a member of his household. God the Father is now our heavenly Father, and we are his children.

God/Jesus Christ, in the person of the Holy Spirit, now comes to live within us, so we are now his temple, his body, his church. Now we can come directly into God’s presence. We don’t need any human mediators between us and God. We now live in him and him in us, and thus we are in relationship with Almighty God. And, he counsels, leads, encourages, convicts, urges, and comforts us, and he shows us the way that is right for us to go. And, then he strengthens and empowers us to go the right way.

Our inheritance also is our salvation and eternal life with God. We have been delivered from the pit of despair and we have been given a new lease on life. Praise his holy name! Amen!

Sin no longer has dominion over us. Our chains are gone. We have been set free! Amen! We no longer must “struggle” with sinful addictions. Jesus’ blood already paid the price for our sin so that we could be free of sin’s grip on our lives. Now, in the power of the Spirit of God living within us, we must walk in that freedom which he provided for us.

The eternal life we have with God, as well, begins at the moment when we trust in Jesus Christ to be Lord of our lives. We don’t have to wait until we get to heaven to experience this abundant life God has for us in Christ Jesus. We can walk in freedom from sin while we still live on this earth. We can have an awesome relationship with our Lord where we sit each day at his feet drinking in his words, and then we go out and do what they say. Sin no longer has mastery over our lives, for Jesus set us free! Amen!

The immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe

This is what so many people who call themselves Christians totally miss. They are convinced that becoming a Christian is not much different than when they were not Christians. The only real difference for them now is that they feel that they have the assurance of a home in heaven when they die.

How do I know this? Because it seems the vast majority of Christians (or professing Christians) in America talk as though Jesus never did set them free from sin. They behave as though they are still bound in the chains of sin with no way out. They continually live in defeat, addicted to porn and movies and entertainment, etc., and they find it peculiar if you speak with them about holiness and living lives separate from the world of sin.

They are convinced that “struggling” with sinful addictions, meaning that they regularly and consistently give in to defeat, that it is the norm, and so they must try harder if they want to experience true freedom. But, “trying harder” sounds a whole lot like operating in the flesh, and not in the Spirit. For, where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom! Amen!

It isn’t that we need to try harder to stop doing stuff we shouldn’t be doing and to do stuff that we should be doing instead. It is that we need to yield our hearts and lives over to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, and we need to surrender to his will for our lives and do what he says to do or don’t do. But, we don’t do this in our own strength, for if we try, we will keep failing. We are only able to defeat sin because of the “immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe.”

We just have to tap into that power, and we have to do what the Word says to do, and we have to cut out of our lives the things which are leading us into sin, first of all, and then stop doing what we know is wrong and start doing what we know is right, in God’s strength within us. It is possible to walk in freedom. It does not mean we will never sin, but that sin will no longer be what controls or defeats us.

We just have to believe it, and to be assured (confident) of it, and then, in the power of God’s Spirit living with us, act on what we so confidently believe. And, God will give us all the power we need to be free from slavery to sin and to now become slaves (servants) of his righteousness. Amen!

For Our Nation
An Original Work / September 11, 2012

Bombs are bursting. Night is falling.
Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.
Trust Him with your life today.
Make Him your Lord and your Savior.
Turn from your sin. Follow Jesus.
He will forgive you of your sin;
Cleanse your heart, made new within.

Men betraying: Our trust fraying.
On our knees to God we’re praying,
Seeking God to give us answers
That are only found in Him.
God is sovereign over all things.
Nothing from His mind escaping.
He has all things under His command,
And will work all for good.

Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.

Men deceiving: we’re believing
In our Lord, and interceding
For our nation and its people
To obey their God today.
He is our hope for our future.
For our wounds He offers suture.
He is all we need for this life.
Trust Him with your life today.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018 – Thank You, Jesus, for the “immeasurable greatness of his (your) power toward us who believe.”

 

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