Blog Archives

25 Oct 2018 Ephesians (Program #12)

Ephesians (Program #12) – Sealed with the Holy Spirit

Of the three in the Godhead, the Holy Spirit is the most mysterious and the least known. Yet the Bible tells us that the Spirit functions in many definite ways. For example, it is the Spirit that broods over us before we’re saved; it’s the Spirit that convicts us, bringing us to salvation; the Spirit gives life; the Spirit also teaches and guides us into all the reality. But Ephesians gives us at least two additional functions of the Spirit in 1:13-14 “In whom you also, having heard the word of the truth, the gospel of your salvation, in Him also believing, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of the promise, Who is the pledge of our inheritance unto the redemption of the acquired possession, to the praise of His glory.” These verses tell us that the Spirit seals us and also that the Spirit becomes the pledge of our inheritance.  The sealing and pledging Spirit is our subject today and in the next program on this life study from Ephesians.

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25 Oct 2018 Jeremiah (Program #16)

Jeremiah (Program #16) – A Full Picture of God’s Economy by His Dispensing

The book of Jeremiah reveals God’s righteous judgment upon His people, Israel, for their many sins and the idolatry that had overtaken them. But if we look carefully and consider this book in the light of the entire Bible, we see that in the midst of all this negative history, God’s economy – that is His desire to dispense Himself and His riches into His chosen people that they might be reconstituted with Him and become His very corporate expression, is also revealed. In the first pages of Jeremiah’s account, God commissions him to tell all the people that their greatest evil is that they have forsaken Him not as their Creator nor even as their God, but as the fountain of living waters.

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24 Oct 2018 Ephesians (Program #11)

Ephesians (Program #11) – The New Testament Believers to the Praise of God’s Glory

Three times in the first chapter of Ephesians, the apostle Paul uses an expression like “to the praise of His glory”. The first time in verse 6, the praise is offered by us – the believers – as the issue of our sonship. The second mention, however, in verse 12 also deals with our sonship but the praise is not offered by us but rather it is the angels even the creation itself that joins in praise to God because of what He has accomplished in us – His sons. Now, not just sons in name and position but sons of God in life and nature.

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24 Oct 2018 Ephesians (Program #10)

Ephesians (Program #10) – To Head Up All Things in Christ (2)

The notion or idea of an eternal struggle in the universe is certainly not new or novel.  Most societies, even most religion makes reference to the struggle of good versus evil that is larger than our world.  But what the Bible actually reveals is that the struggle is not directly good versus evil; rather it is God versus His enemy, Satan – the source of all evil and the source of death.  Actually, if our eyes are open, we realize that God in His wisdom allowed this archangel to rebel.  With one possible reason being the  tremendous opportunity that afforded God to manifest His wisdom through the church by heading up all things in Christ.  This is the view in Ephesians.

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24 Oct 2018 Jeremiah (Program #15)

Jeremiah (Program #15) – Jehovah’s further Commission to Jeremiah (2)

When we read a verse from the Bible, particularly from an Old Testament book like Jeremiah, there’s usually a fairly clear and straightforward meaning. For example, Jeremiah 17:7-8, “Blessed is the man who trusts in Jehovah And whose trust Jehovah is. And he will be like a tree transplanted beside water, Which sends out its roots by a stream, And will not be afraid when heat comes; For its leaves remain flourishing;” On the surface we read and come away with a thought that if we trust in the Lord, He surely will bless us. Wonderful and certainly accurate according to the truth of this verse. But there is another equally accurate and yet far more profound understanding that can gleaned from such verses. It is this deeper and more intrinsic aspect that beckons our consideration and fellowship on this life study program.

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23 Oct 2018 Ephesians (Program #9)

Ephesians (Program #9) – To Head Up All Things in Christ (1)

The book of Ephesians presents the highest view in the entire New Testament. The apostle Paul identifies the focus of this book in the very first chapter when he says, “Making known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, Unto to the economy of the fullness of the times, to head up all things in Christ, the things in the heavens and the things on the earth, in Him;” (Ephesians 1:9-10) This is not a book about improved behavior, how to raise our children or even how to have a successful marriage; yet in one sense, it’s on all these things. But fundamentally this book is altogether dealing with God’s eternal purpose which is according to His good pleasure and on how He is working in the world situation without and more specifically on how He is working within us to bring this purpose into reality.

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23 Oct 2018 Ephesians (Program #8)

Ephesians (Program #8) – The Mystery of God’s Will

Ephesians opens with some of the highest speaking in the entire Bible. Our selection, our predestination and our redemption are all mentioned but not as isolated items rather as indispensable steps in the accomplishment of God’s plan which is the great mystery of the universe through the ages. So, we have been chosen, predestinated, and redeemed for what? Ephesians 1:9 says, “Making known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself.” What is God’s will, His purpose, His plan?

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23 Oct 2018 Jeremiah (Program #14)

Jeremiah (Program #14) – Jehovah’s further Commission to Jeremiah (1)

The prophet Jeremiah was one with the Lord in many regards. So much so that during the troubling and tumultuous time in which Jeremiah lived, God used him as His own mouth. Bringing Jehovah’s direct speaking to the apostate and rebellious people of Israel. Yet despite being the Lord’s called and anointed prophet, Jeremiah also suffered greatly, sharing in Israel’s judgment. It’s understandable then at times he was given to complaining and bitterness. Yet the Lord was continually with him, comforting him and encouraging him not to speak “worthless things” as the people did. But to speak words that matched the preciousness of Jehovah and all that He had revealed to Jeremiah.

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22 Oct 2018 Ephesians (Program #7)

Ephesians (Program #7) – The Mystery of God’s Will

In the first chapters of Romans, the apostle Paul begins by establishing man’s pitiful and sinful condition; almost as though, he is proving to all mankind the need for redemption. Ephesians, however, another letter written by the apostle Paul, also speaks of redemption in the first chapter but from an entirely different perspective. This time it’s from the perspective of God and how He sees us and our need for redemption from the heavenlies. Listen to the marvelous way in which it’s presented in Ephesians chapter 1 “Even as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world to be holy and without blemish before Him in love, Predestinating us unto sonship through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, To the praise of the glory of His grace, with which He graced us in the Beloved; In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of offenses according to the riches of His grace,” What an uplifted view of this matter of redemption we have in Ephesians.

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22 Oct 2018 Ephesians (Program #6)

Ephesians (Program #6) – Redemption in the Son

If we take three simple words from the New Testament like ‘praise, glory and grace’, we may feel quite comfortable that we understand what they mean. But the apostle Paul in Ephesians 1 links them together in one verse, verse 6 “To the praise of the glory of His grace, with which He graced us in the Beloved;” How about now? Do you feel that your understanding is adequate according to the divine revelation especially when you put this verse in it’s context; that is, as the issue of our being predestinated unto sonship in verse 5?  Well, Ephesians is rich, high and mysterious because it is written from the viewpoint of God in the heavenlies. And from that point of view, ‘praise, glory and grace’ flowing out of our sonship are not simple at all but marvelous.

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