Ephesians 3:7-13 ESV
Of this gospel I was made a minister according to the gift of God’s grace, which was given me by the working of his power. To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God, who created all things, so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. This was according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him. So I ask you not to lose heart over what I am suffering for you, which is your glory.
Although some of us may be called to be ministers of the gospel full time, all of us who have trusted in Jesus Christ as Lord and as Savior of our lives are to be his ministers of his gospel of salvation from sin. For we are all to be the light of the world and the salt of the earth. We are all to share the excellencies of him who called us out of darkness into his wonderful light. We are all to be his witnesses in taking the gospel message throughout the world and in making disciples of Christ of all people, teaching them to obey whatever Christ has commanded us. And, we should all want to, too!
[1 Pet. 2:9; 1 Pet. 2:21; Matt. 5:13-16; Matt. 28:18-20; Acts 1:8; Rom. 10:14-15; Jn. 4:31-38; Jn. 13:13-17; Jn. 14:12; 1 Jn. 2:6]
And, we are all called to suffer for the sake of the name of Jesus and for the sake of his gospel, too. For, we are told in scripture that, if we are followers of Jesus Christ, we will be hated, rejected, persecuted, abandoned, falsely accused, falsely imprisoned, and even killed for our faith in Jesus Christ. Jesus said the world would not love us as its own, because he has called us out of the world. Therefore, the world should hate us, and this includes the worldly church, too, for Jesus was persecuted by the religious, not by the non-religious. The ones who called for his death were leaders and rulers in the temple of God, and they were teachers of the scriptures.
[Matt. 10:22; Matt. 24:9; Lu. 6:22; Lu. 21:17; Jn. 15:18-20; Jn. 17:14; 1 Jn. 3:13; Matt. 5:10-12; Lu. 21:12; 2 Tim. 3:12]
Also, if we are to be ministers of the gospel of Jesus Christ, we need to understand what that gospel is, too, and what it is not. It is not a one-time experience in our lives where we “get saved,” and then we go about our normal everyday lives, living however we want, primarily, with giving God some of our time, and then one day we get to go to heaven when we die. It is not a prayer that we pray and then we are “in,” and now we can sin as much as we want without guilt because God’s grace covers it all. And, it is not just forgiveness of sins and our ticket into heaven when we die.
The gospel of Jesus Christ is that Jesus died that we might die with him to sin and that we might live with him to his righteousness. It is not the professer of faith in Christ who has eternal life with God, but it is those who now walk (in lifestyle) according to the Spirit, and no longer according to the flesh. For, when we believe in Jesus with God-given faith, we are crucified with him in death to sin, and we are resurrected with him to newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Yet, if we walk (in lifestyle) according to the flesh, then we will die in our sins.
[1 Pet. 2:24; 2 Co. 5:15, 21; Lu. 9:23-25; Rom. 6:1-23; Rom. 8:1-17; Eph. 4:17-24; 1 Jn. 1:5-9; Gal. 5:19-21; Gal. 6:7-8; Tit. 2:11-14; Jn. 6:35-66]
Ephesians 3:14-19 ESV
For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Amen! Too many people these days are minimizing and are diluting the gospel of our salvation to some one-time experience in our lives which guarantees us heaven when we die no matter how we live our lives while we are still on this earth. So, this prayer is for those who hear the gospel message, that they might fully comprehend what all that gospel and our salvation entail, so that they may experience the fullness of God’s love, grace, and mercy to us in saving us from our slavery to sin and in giving us eternal life in Jesus Christ, our Lord.
And, it is a prayer, too, for those who have truly trusted in Jesus Christ as Lord and as Savior of their lives, that they might be able to comprehend all that God has for us in Christ, for this is not just a get-out-of-jail-free-card. This is a completely new life in Christ Jesus, not at all like our old lives. This new life in Christ Jesus is a transformed life of the Spirit of God away from living for sin and self to following Jesus Christ with our lives in surrender to his will for our lives, in submission to his Lordship over our lives, and in walks of obedience to his commands and to his ways.
Also, this faith to believe in Jesus Christ is not something generated of our own flesh. This faith is God-given and it is divinely persuaded as to God’s holiness and righteousness and of our need to submit to Jesus as Lord, and to forsake our sinful lifestyles to follow our Lord in obedience. Thus, it submits to Christ, and in the power of God’s Spirit, it walks according to the Spirit and no longer according to the flesh, by God’s grace.
Thus, it is also empowered of the Spirit of God. And, this is how we are able to walk in holiness and righteousness and in obedience to Christ and his commands, because God’s Spirit empowers and strengthens and equips us to do so. So, this is not works-based salvation, for it is God working in us, changing us, transforming us, making us like Christ, and purifying us and making us holy, as we yield control of our lives over to him.
Therefore, we can be filled with the fullness of God, and we can be rooted and grounded in love, and we can walk according to the Spirit and no longer according to the flesh, because the power to do so comes from God and not from ourselves. We just have to surrender our lives to Christ, submit to his purposes, and then follow him in the ways he would have us to go. And, he gives us all that we need to live godly and holy lives, pleasing to him.
Ephesians 3:20-21 ESV
Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
Yes! He is able! He is able to deliver us from our bondage (slavery, addiction) to sin, and He is able to purify our hearts and to make us holy, and He is able to strengthen us to walk in his righteousness and to no longer live according to the ways of our sinful flesh. For, in his death on the cross he put sin to death, and he conquered sin when he rose from the dead.
We just need to believe that, and to act on that belief by surrendering our lives to Christ and by allowing him to change us and to make us into new creatures in Christ Jesus, our Lord, truly free from our addiction to sin, and now free to walk with him daily in purity of devotion to him. For, in Christ, sin no longer has mastery over our lives. Now Jesus Christ is our only Lord and master, and we now submit to him and no longer to the flesh.
Mighty in Power
An Original Work / June 17, 2019
Jesus, our Savior, reigneth forever;
Mighty in power, His name we honor.
He’s our refuge from all evil.
God our righteous, He’s our fill.
He satisfies us with all His blessings.
We magnify Him. Our praise to Him sing.
Glory and honor, praise to the Father,
Perfect in wisdom, He is our vision.
He delivered us from all sin
So, in Christ, we’d be forgiven.
He purifies us. His love will guide us.
He is beside us, holy and righteous.
Our Holy Spirit, comfort in sorrow,
Strength in our weakness, hope for tomorrow.
He gives courage to be bold in
Witnessing for Jesus Christ.
He teaches all things about our Savior.
New life in Jesus, we found His favor.
Tuesday, July 9, 2019