THE PROMISES OF GOD
We return to the Psalms to seek out more treasure in the form of promises that we can enjoy in increasing measure as we seek to make progress up Gods holy hill.
Today Psalm 63 will open up before us
and we shall seek out the promises in scripture to see the terrific unity of scripture when we apply them to or life.
The phrase 'my soul' vs.1, 5 and 8 will form the frame for our study as we draw the promises out to fulfil the longing desire of the obedient saint.
We should look for a few minutes at the state of the writer longing for the Lord, he is in the middle of the battles of life, the Christian is not immuned from spiritual warfare.
The closer we get to the Lord the hotter the battle becomes, our loving heavenly Father uses the heat to refine His child preparing them for glory.
We are looking around us and wondering what is going on in the church because there is so much strife to be found amongst the saints.
In fact Satan is enjoying the lax living amongst the Christians because he knows that lax Christians will not be found seeking after the Lord their God.
The careless living has led to prayerless living and far too many Christians are living a hollow type of Christianity that revolves around church going and meeting attending instead of godly living.
The Psalmist is amongst those folk who are tired of that way of living and has now sought to become the person that God intended them to become.
We note the word 'early' v 1 because it points to the first and foremost desire in his heart is top seek the Lord at the break of day, not willing to hear about Him but to come to know Him.
'Early' means the awakening thought, to rise up to meet with the Lord and to begin the day alone with God, the apathy and lethargy that marred the old life has gone and the desire to meet with the Lord takes priority.
To 'seek' brings out the thought of before anything else we want to commune with the Lord, there is a longing to commune with the Living God and to enjoy His promises found in His word.
The Lord Jesus tells us 'seek you first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness' Matthew 6 v 33 and then in Colossians 3 v 1 'seek those things which are above'.
In seeking after the Living God there is a promised reward we shall find Him and soon realise that He was searching after us well before we searched after Him.
The word 'longeth' opens up the idea of a yearning desire, a fervent desire to find the truth that can only be found when we find the Living God and commune with Him.
It is nice to sit and listen to others proclaiming the truth of scripture as it has been opened up to them but a totally different thing for us to learn first hand from the Creator God.
'My soul thirsteth for Thee' and make no doubt about it the Lord is swift to give us a drink of the living water of His word, look up John 7 v 37 for the promise.
Have you read it? then turn to Revelation 22 v 17 there is an open fountain with fresh water that is free to drink and our Heavenly Father is longing to deal with the thirsty saints.
The second thought on 'My soul' v 5 reveals the satisfied soul that drinks from the water of life it sets their hearts rejoicing and their lips praising the Author of the Fountain of Life.
We find 'satisfaction' here, the word 'satisfied' points to overflowing, there is always an abundant supply that is fresh, free and fulfilling for everyone who participates.
What a blessing this reveals to the observant soul, to think that we can be fully satisfied spiritually so that effects every part of our life.
The thought here also points to 'My soul' waiting quietly upon the Lord, the desert or waterless waste is turned into the dessert the highly satisfying and delightful tasting sweet course at the end of a meal.
Now we come to a word that brings joy and gladness to the heart of every believer and one that we can dwell on for our constant benefit, 'accepted' v 6.
We are 'accepted in the beloved' and what a promise that is for us to rejoice in and to build our life upon so let us muse on the thoughts for a while.
'Accepted' first of all to begin with the Greek word is only found in scripture and post Christian writing, it literally means, to be acceptable for love or loving in another reference in Luke 1 v 28 Mary was made highly favourable by Gods grace to bear the Son of God.
The thought here is that we have received Gods grace and have been able to respond to it and have received the forgiveness of sins through our repentance of them.
The end of strife with the Creator God has come and we are now enjoying true and lasting peace with God as a result.
Gods grace has been freely bestowed on each of us as His children and the benefits and blessings abound on us as a result.
Then look at the verse again, 'accepted in the beloved' Gods grace is revealed by His love and the birth, life and death of the Lord Jesus Christ manifests this too us.
How our hearts leap for joy as the truth dawns on our heart and mind that He came literally to seek and to save us through His sacrifice on Calvary.
We are 'beloved' by the Living God who has brought us into His family into the close relationship that allows us to call Him 'Father' what a privilege.
It is in the light of these truths that we can walk along the path of righteousness seeking to live out the Christian life according to Gods word.
We are 'accepted', so that we can commune with our heavenly Father all along the journey
there is never a moment when we are out of His sight, even when we are doing things that are wrong according to His word.
Being accepted should help us want to live a godly and acceptable life so that we no longer live for our own things but live to the praise of Gods glory.
Our redemption is complete in Christ Jesus, we will never be turned away from our Fathers presence and the truth is we can be drawn closer to Him day by day in the words of 'accepted in the beloved'.
We continue with Psalm 63 and the theme of the 'Promises of God' I want to consider vs.1 – 5 today and glean from them treasures for us to seek after.
There some mighty promises that we can explore in these verses so let us start at the beginning, the seeking soul will always find the Lord and the earlier we seek Him the sooner we will find Him v 1.
In v 2 the Psalmist recognises that the Lord is a distant from Him and longs to be drawn back into a closer relationship with Him.
He remembers the Shekinah Glory of Gods presence witnessed at the Tabernacle and later on the Temple as the Living God drew near to His people.
It brought the Jewish nation to its knees and the surrounding nations were filled with terrifying fear at the very sight of the cloud.
The truth was David was equally conscious of the times when the cloud did not descend due to the peoples openly sinning in Gods sight.
He longs for the presence of the Lord irrespective of the mass of peoples rejection of Gods way of living and he cries out for the Living God to honour his simple faith.
Only those folk who have actually witnessed first hand spiritual revival know what it is to 'see' the Lord in His glory and power', to encounter the awesome presence of God.
To 'see' the glory of God in His majestic holiness dwelling in the cloud covering His presence, transforming them into a people of power for His glory.
We 'know' that one day we shall all see the glory of God manifested in the return of the Lord Jesus Christ because it is promised in the scriptures 'every eye shall see Him' as Matthew 24 v 7, Acts 1 v 11 along with Revelation 1 v 7.
Then look up John 17 v 24, Titus 2 v 12 and 2 Peter 3 v 12 for confirmation of the promise
the truth is crystal clear these promises will literally be worked out before our very eyes.
In John the record is of the Son communing with His Father longing for the reality to take place of John 14 v 1 the outset of the conversation.
The conclusion reveals a burning desire for unmolested fellowship and communion with His children who He died to save.
Faith will soon give way to sight and we have the complete assurance of scripture to build our faith on, we are going to be with the Lord at His return.
Titus gives food for thought that we should be using these days wisely preparing ourselves for that momentous event when not only we will be transformed but the whole universe.
The whole universe has been affected by sin and it will be restored to its full glory when the Lord returns in power and glory.
Peter reminds us of these facts 2 Peter 3 v 7 then opening up the theme in vs.10 – 14 and please note v 13 'the promise' being fulfilled here has long been in waiting.
The Lord Jesus is going to clean up the mess that sin and Satan has made vs.10 – 11 and as in the material universe so in the hearts of repentant sinners once and for all, He will make us 'blameless'.
Do you have a longing for these things to be brought to pass today, are you living in the expectancy of the Lords return and longing and willing to be made holy ready for His return?
Everything else will become superfluous and meaningless when the Lord returns to fulfil this promise and collect His redeemed Church to Him self.
Then to 'see' the power and glory of God alongside His 'lovingkindness' Psalm 63 v 3 that is better than life, 'better means pleasant, good or excellent, 'life' points to the experiences that fill us at the present time.
In this verse one detects the depth of spiritual life that we are enjoying, we can be in the ankle deep water or knee deep water or fully immersed in the water of Gods love.
Our commitment can be just enough to see us through or it can be a little deeper with a firm commitment to the Lord and the church.
It is the real total commitment that the Lord is looking for such as David displays here, the Living God displays His mercy, love and grace on us all but to those who are deeply committed He shows His favour.
These folk are like the Palm Tree in the oasis in the middle of the desert, thriving under inhospitable surroundings drawing their food from the unseen divine supply.
Now are you amongst the group praying for the Lords will to be done in you whilst other around you are playing and indulging in worldly pleasures?
The tragedy is that they will still be playing around when the Lord comes and all they produce for Him is ashes whereas they could be producing gold and silver.
1 Corinthians 3 gives us the back ground of our judgement day, our Lord is looking for a life that has produced the gold, silver and precious jewels but will He only find ashes?
We should be living in the light of the momentous second coming of Christ preparing daily for seeing our precious Saviour face to face.
Our life should be a godly one having effect on all that we meet and have dealings with producing the fruit of the Spirit for their benefit and Gods glory.
The promise in Jeremiah 29 vs.1- 2 alongside Proverbs 8 v 17 is given for us to seek the Lord as early as we can in life but also to seek Him early in the day so as to enjoy His company through out the day.
Psalm 62 vs.6 – 11 bring us into the deeper things of God beginning with the two words that stand our 'when I remember' and 'meditate' both words need looking at carefully.
The Greek and Hebrew words have similar meaning so let us ponder them now, the word
'Remember' has three points to ponder the first 'remember' meaning a looking back to events that have occurred and then to learn from them.
The second points us to the present scene that is unfolding around us so that we can walk diligently along the path of righteousness.
The third meaning points to the future events out lined in scripture as the plans and purposes of God that have yet to take place and be fulfilled.
This points expressly to the Coming of the Lord Jesus, in the Old Testament to His coming to earth as Messiah and in the New Testament to His coming again to take His Church home.
That return is promised as coming in 'the twinkling of an eye' or as a thief coming in the night when least expected 1 Corinthians 15 v 52.
When I think of the Greek word I automatically remember the' Remember Me' in 1 Corinthians 11 vs.24 – 25 the Master said 'Remember Me' as you break the bread and drink the cup.
'On the night He was betrayed' v 23, see Matthew 26 vs.26 – 30, Mark 14 vs.12 – 21, Luke 22 vs.7 – 14 and John 13 vs.21 – 30.
'He took the bread and the wine' as symbols of His flesh and blood to be offered very shortly as the sacrifice to cover our sins, reminding the disciples to do this as often as they met..
We remind ourselves that the Lord Jesus is our Great High Priest interceding for us and making it possible for us to walk up Gods holy hill.
It is because He stands before the Throne and us that we can commune with the Father and receive His word to us day by day.
We remind ourselves that 'this same Jesus' who ascended into heaven will come again in like manner' Acts 1 v 11, we should be looking up continually anticipating His return as a promise yet to be fulfilled.
'He who will come shall come and will not tarry' one moment longer than necessary Hebrews 10 v 37 what gems for us to claim.
'Remember' also reminds us that it is a vital word that unlocks all the promises of God, remember we are risen with Christ and our life is hid with God Colossians 3 v 1 and we are to set our affections on Him' v 2.
We remember that being dead to self we are very much alive unto God and we rest content in His tender loving care for the rest of our journey on earth.
Paul pleads with his hearers and readers to get their sights raised to the Throne of Grace that is where all our transactions should be done.
It is there that the promises of God are activated and where we receive the power to implement them in our daily living.
Holiness and righteousness are the obligations that will unlock the door to Gods promises
and will bring them alive in us.
We must deal with those areas that offend our Father putting to death the old nature, desires and habits so that we can put on the new nature of Christ likeness.
Suddenly the promises begin to shoot out of the scriptures, the old boring book becomes a treasure store that we cannot live without.
Look at v 4 and the terrific prospect that awaits us 'when Christ is our life shall appear you will appear with Him in glory.
What a promise not only shall we see Him but we shall be with and like Him for eternity, start looking up because His appearing is closer than we realise.
What a promise for us to realise in our heart and mind, how we need to treasure the word of God, He opens the treasure store for obedient disciples so that they will live on the higher standard that is set for them.
'Remember' is a fantastic word that we need to come to terms with, it appears every time we take Communion but it occurs consistently through out scripture from Genesis to Revelation.
This is not the end but the beginning of the word study 'remember' because we can 'remember' the Lord in the dark night hours when our sleep is disturbed.
What a promise to find 'He gives His beloved sleep' Psalm 127 v 2 then read Job 33 v 15 reminding ourselves that our Heavenly Father neither slumbers or sleeps' Psalm 121 vs.3 – 4.
There is so much to remember but it reveals to us how little we know and how easy it is to forget that is why we need regular promptings of the Lord.
Can you also see why the enemy wants to keep us active, over busy, over tired and over whelmed, it stops us remembering the Lord.
When he assaults us we need to 'remember Job 4 vs.12 – 13 we can look up as he did
continually from his bed of pain and suffering to look to the Lord who is longing for communion to give him help and comfort.
David also knew all about this during his long running battles with Saul and Absalom but he learned to commune with the Lord bringing all his fears and anxieties to the Throne of Grace.
Now here is a challenge for us today to learn to 'remember' to bring all of our trials and troubles to the Lord in prayer and to wait on Him for the answers.
It takes time but it is profitable time because we are dealing with eternal issues as well as earthly ones, remember Matthew 6 vs.19 – 21.
The closing verses of the Psalm bring out the solemn truth that those who seek the Lord they will find Him but those we reject Him will find themselves rejected when they really need Him.
The word is not a threat but a promise, if we reject His love, mercy and grace on earth then He will reject us in eternity.
David knew this full well and is burdened for his fellow country men that they would return in repentance to the Lord whilst they had time to do so.
I wonder if we have a burden like that for our countrymen, that they who are groping in the darkness may come to the light and their senses whilst the opportunity is available.
Oh that the Lord would melt our hearts and fill us with divine compassion to plead their cause at the Throne of Grace and then to go out to share the Gospel with them.
I am constrained to look at the Book of Ephesians for a while to look at the promises and hidden gems that the letter contains for our profit.
Ephesians is a treasure store waiting to be opened up to the observant Christian with gems to be found in virtually every verse.
We can treat the letter as a Love Letter from the Lord Jesus and we should read it with great anticipation that the Holy Spirit will open up its treasures to us with practical application.
We can look at it as 'a last will and testament' revealing the inheritance that has been given to us by our beloved Saviour with promises that we can employ and enjoy as we pilgrimage on earth.
The first promise that we shall look at is in 1 v 3 the 'spiritual blessings' only to be found in 'heavenly places', these are the benefits and blessings that we receive from our precious Saviour.
He is seated in the 'heavenly places' interceding for us right now, we should note the phrase is used five times in the Letter, 1 v 3, v 20, 2 v 6, 3 v 10 and 6 v 12.
First though we look at the 'spiritual blessings', these refer to the eternal life that we have been brought into and the blessings given to us as a result.
We are no longer a carnal being, living under sins domination, controlled by earthly appetites, fleshly instincts, with carnal desires and conforming to human natures pattern of living.
We have become a new creation in Christ Jesus and we now have a completely different pattern of living and a higher standard to live by.
We have new appetites and goals in life with holiness and righteousness becoming our standard of operations that will bring us into conformity with Christ Jesus.
We have begun a journey on earth that will end in His presence in eternity, as we walk we are brought under the Holy Spirit's control who will manifest the fruits of the Spirit through us.
The Christian life is not a Christmas tree with glittering baubles, decorations and pretty lights strewn across it taken down dusted and put away for another year.
The Christian is like a Cedar tree open to the elements that will make it the sturdy, strong and steadfast a treasure to the beholders.
Like the tree standing on the mountain side the Christian also has a hidden supply to draw from, the water of life given to us to drink from at our spiritual birth.
This divine supply is open for us to drink from all the time, there is a fresh supply for each day and like the introduction drink it is always free of charge.
It is being a diligent drinker of the water of life that beings us into the conformity with Christ
and that should be the aim of every Christian.
The 'spiritual blessings' then are for the Christian disciple who has turned from sin and rebellion to walk in harmony with the Living God.
Four facets of this gem are then brought before us in the next verses and what brilliant
facts these are, 'chosen' v 4, 'adopted' v 5 'accepted' v 6 and 'redeemed' v 7.
First we have been 'chosen' v 4 literally picked out or selected by God to become holy in His sight and made fit for His presence, once a rebel but now living in close relationship with the Creator God.
Secondly we have been 'adopted' v 5 into Gods family, we have become members of Gods eternal family, we are children of God living in the light of this desiring to be holy.
The Lord Jesus has welcomed me a total stranger into His family through His great love, turning a rebel sinner into a real son.
Thirdly we are now 'accepted' v 6 through the freely bestowed grace, mercy and love of God, He has graciously stooped down to lift me up then clean me and is keeping me up from falling now.
Fourthly we are 'redeemed' v 7 through the precious blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, He through His sacrifice on Calvary has covered our sin with His blood once and for all.
'Redemption' has at least three points for us to ponder and delight in, the first is the paying
of a ransom for release of a life Revelation 5 v 9 and 1 Corinthians 6 v 20.
Second there is the removal of the curse put on the human race Galatians 3 v 13 and 4 v 5, the thirdly there is the release from bondage that we are in through the fall of Adam and Eve as 1 Peter 1 v 18.
The promise of Gods word is that through the shedding of blood there is forgiveness of sin and we have come into that promise as we repent of the sin that broke the relationship with the Creator God.
We have been brought into the position of being perfect before God through the Lord Jesus Christ and how we should be seeking to praise and adore Him for His great love towards us.
What a transformation has taken place according to these promises that the Lord has showered us with all 'spiritual blessings' lavishly poured out on such folk as us.
Now the truth is that we should be living in the light of these truths holy, without blame v 4 'according to Gods good pleasure' v 5, 'to the praise and glory of God' v 6 now there is food for thought today.
We should be taking time each day to keep our selves pure by spending time in our Fathers presence confessing our faults and failings allowing the Holy Spirit time and room to make the adjustments that are necessary.
Can you not see that one of the reasons that we are kept so busy is to stop us having such times alone with our Father, Satan is actively keeping us from becoming the person that God wants us to become as a result.
'BUSY' can mean 'Being Under Satan's Yoke' something that we should seek never to be but in this age of filling every moment doing something else other than communing with the Lord it becomes a fact.
Oh that we may be moved by these tremendous promises ratified by the presence of the Holy Spirit dwelling within us to seek first Gods Kingdom and His righteousness.
Today we continue in Ephesians 1 at v 8 and looking at the promise of the word of God coming alive in us as we study and take it in.
Two gems are in the verse 'wisdom' and 'prudence' two very important words for us to get hold of because they are words that never stop growing.
Gods 'wisdom' is something tat we need every day as our situations and circumstances change we need divine 'wisdom' to steer us safely through the journey of life.
There is no substitute for knowing and acquiring divine 'wisdom' it brings us into the light of God and into a clear pathway of righteous living.
To know experimentally the path that we should follow if we are walking in harmony with God is known by those who spend time being taught by the Spirit of God.
To learn of God is not an easy thing because human nature delights to have its say on all issues and likes to have the last say on everything.
We do not spend time with the Lord to be taught as we should and need to be usually because we are muddling through life without real daily communion with the Lord.
Human knowledge is a poor replica of the spiritual knowledge that can be gained by our spending time in fellowship with our beloved Lord Jesus.
There are dimensions of knowledge that the world and carnal person knows nothing about because it is out of touch with the source of all wisdom.
We note here the growth of wisdom. It is 'abounding', Gods grace towards us excels in abundance covering all the issues of life.
The knowledge on how to regulate your life in the relationship we are now brought into as His children is being brought before us, we are learning all the time as we listen and apply Gods word.
We can look back and praise Him for His grace and favours in making us know the truth about the issues of life.
'Prudence' is linked here with divine knowledge, this points to our relationship with others in the family of God and with the world around us.
We are in the world but no longer living according to the world standards there has been a massive change that needs working at to bring us into Christ likeness.
The change in life style should become apparent to those we live and work with as we grow in grace and knowledge of God great changes will take place.
'Prudence' points us to the skilful aspects of life where decisions and actions that are going to affect us and them are revealed, the truth as against the half truth, the openness as against being secretive.
Prudence brings out the light in us as against the once darkness that prevailed, honesty rules as against the dishonesty that we revelled in beforehand.
Prudence will skilfully operate to bring about what is good, right and proper on all the issues that confront us daily, that is why we need the quiet time with the Lord to keep us diligent in our walk.
The next verse opens up to us the mighty treasure trove of delightful things that are both practical and personal, 'the mystery of His will' v 9, it has become known by us.
'Mystery' what is closed or unknown by the majority has become known by the committed and diligent Christian disciple.
The simple saint in touch with the Throne can understand things that the learned and educated persons cannot take in, the reason being spiritual things are only understood by spiritual people.
One major reason why the church is in the mess it is today is because it is run by 'educated people' and not by spiritual people.
There is a massive difference between being educated in a worldly sense and to be spiritually taught, the former is limited to head knowledge whilst the latter is a growing experience in the Lord.
It is our heavenly Fathers will that we should be growing in the knowledge of His will, plan and purposes in all matters relating to the events and things taking place around us.
We can learn from the Holy Spirit things that are taking place and the motive behind them both in the world but in the church also.
So many decisions are made according to human understanding of scripture without ever seeking to know and grow by seeking first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness.
Now for our benefit the lessons being taught daily are given at our stage of learning, it is a progressive walk and the problems we face get bigger as we make progress but that is to prove the genuineness of our faith in God.
We are told in Ephesians 5 v 6 'to let no man deceive you' because even in the Church there are folk who are still relying on human attainment of knowledge taking control and command of the fellowship.
The godly wise learn to keep their mouth shut on issues that they have not had time to seek the Lord over.
Prudence and wisdom are two terrific qualities that only come with persistent seeking the Lord and by diligent application of the word to their lives.
Our heavenly Father is working out His plans and purposes every day and as we seek Him with all of our hearts He makes known to us the necessary details for us to work out.
What a mighty privilege it is to receive first hand the plan that our Father has for our life and to live in the light of it, it takes the struggle and striving out of it.
The treasure is stored in the word so that we can diligently seek it out and then to share it with those in the dark or those in the gloom of uncertainty.
'In whom' fills our study today vs.7, 11, and 13 as we look at the scriptures to see the wonderful relationship that we have been brought into, not as a theory but as a fact.
The first 'in whom' brings us to the heart of our relationship with the Living God, He has brought us into His eternal family.
He has brought us not into a church brick and mortar but into His Church to be built up on the solid foundation laid by the Lord Jesus Christ.
We are not living according to men and women's rules but we are disciples being taught the things of God revealed in His word.
The cost of our redemption was the sacrificial death of the Lord Jesus on Calvary, this is the foundation that we are building on, there is no other redemption found on earth than that of the Saviour Christ.
The claim of redemption is through forgiveness of sin, it is a personal relationship born out of our confession and turning from sin in repentance that brings us into Gods holy family.
The call for our redemption is based on the grace of God our heavenly Father, it was through His love, grace and mercy that our eyes were opened to the truth of eternal life.
We were born again through the unmerited favour of God and now we are walking in the favour of God day by day as we become diligent disciples.
These truths are enough to set us on our way rejoicing today to live out the Christ like life before a hostile and sceptical world.
The second 'in whom' is in v 11 and what a beautiful thought it provokes for us to ponder throughout the day 'in whom we have obtained an inheritance'.
Our inheritance is vast and varied according to our need as we travel on our earthly pilgrimage towards our eternal goal.
Our 'inheritance' first and foremost it points to the eternal life or salvation that we have obtained through the Lord Jesus Christ becoming our Lord and Saviour.
We have become Christ's heritage, a valuable possession that He claims for Himself so that we are to live as His disciples living and being obedient to His word.
One day He will own us before His Father who now calls us His own property, 'Mine are Thine and Thine are mine and I am glorified in them' John 17 v 10.
We are now members then of His body that will bring Him honour, praise and glory on earth as they will in heaven.
The truth is we are no longer just an earthly body of folk meeting in a church building but we are the Eternal Body of Christ's Church being prepared for the heavenly place.
There are adjustments that need making as we prepare for eternity so that Christ can be glorified in us as we make our journey home.
We should be growing into godly people not content to meander through life doing as we please but as disciples of Christ we need bringing into Christ likeness by the aid and operation of the Holy Spirit dwelling in us.
The third 'in whom' is in v 13 'in whom we trusted' the promised salvation is not based on our feelings but on the finished work of Christ on our behalf.
'Trusted' comes in v 12 pointing to our confidence in Christ Jesus to perform what He has promised to do for us and v 13 it ratifies the result of our faith in Him.
We no longer live an earthly life but we have obtained eternal life and are now living waiting for the moment when our faith will give way to sight.
Our relationship with the Creator God is built on the full assurance that He will accomplish in us all that He has promised to do and then take us to the heavenly place for eternity.
Now v 13 goes on to tell us that the guarantee of our salvation is based on Gods word and to show us the reality of this He has given us the Holy Spirit.
We have become the 'Temple of the Holy Spirit' 1 Corinthians 3 v 16 therefore we should be living a holy life in the light of this.
The promises of God are based on the fact that we will fulfil the conditions required to obtain them, they are open for all of us to prove but only the obedient disciples will actually translate them into action.
We can know experimentally the promised salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ without knowing that there are many promises waiting for us to take and prove ourselves.
We have become Gods purchased possession to allow Him access into every part of our being and yet we cling on to our life as if it were are to do with it what we want to.
So few today are looking to become the person that the Lord requires us to be, holy, pure and righteous because we are loving the world more than becoming Christ's disciple.
All the noise and enthusiasm of modern so called 'worship' does not cover the gaping holes of unholy living outside of the church.
The truth is human nature has formed 'two churches' in the world out of the one that Christ Jesus is preparing for eternity.
W are guilty of splitting His body into two parts, 'moving on' is the modern idiom a phrase that is meaningless as far as scripture is concerned.
That folk have moved away from the scriptures to do their own thing is nothing new, they have moved on alright but where too?
Today we need a Church day of repentance before the Living God when the saints are brought back to the Throne of God and to acknowledge their sin and then the Kingship of Christ.
We have such a tremendous heritage in Christ our life should be taken up with Him and not with earthly things that draw us away from His Lordship.
Satan is a master deceiver and he is working over time to split what should be perfect unity, the Church belongs to the Living God, to our Living Head and we should be gladly falling at their feet in adoration and worship.
Today we move to v 17 onwards to look at the treasure waiting to be uncovered and claimed by us today if we fulfil the conditions.
Those condition are easy really especially as we look at the promises that can be claimed, 'wisdom', 'revelation', 'knowledge', 'understanding' and 'hope' five precious jewels.
The depth of these individual words is terrific as they each lead us along the path of righteousness towards our heavenly goal.
They bring us into harmony with the Living God so that we can enjoy His company in increasing measure as we apply them to our life.
The 'wisdom' of God is a vast ocean of knowledge the depth of which we humans cannot measure, appreciate its scope or recognize its worth.
That does not stop us seeking out Gods wisdom to control our life in fact it should be a spur to us to plumb the depth of Gods wisdom and enjoy the precious moments that His wisdom is revealed to us.
There is a massive difference between human wisdom and spiritual wisdom the former is limited to earthly experience and knowledge whilst the latter views things from an eternal perspective.
We live in a natural sphere and see things in time with very little understanding of eternity whilst the Living God is operating from an eternal viewpoint.
His wisdom is the true insight into things with the ability to to discern every issue from every angle something that baffles our small thinking.
Our heavenly Father wants us to become disciplined in seeking to know true wisdom on the affairs of life and not to live on the small narrow one that we usually do.
We make judgements on others that may not be necessarily right because our motive in judging them is not with the right motive.
Now our Father operates in complete justice and His judgements are both right and fair to the situation involved.
How we need such wisdom today in this complicated age in which we live with so many speaking 'God told me' and being believed.
'Wisdom' is needed because it brings us into the knowledge of how to regulate our life in the light of our salvation and the path of righteousness that we are called to walk on.
We then come to 'revelation' v 17 we are coming to the unveiling or uncovering of issues so as to disclose truth, not merely seeing a thing but being able to interpret it.
A simple test is to look at the Old Testament to see the many references pointing to Messiah coming to the Jews and to their rejection of Him.
Then to look at the many references that point to the second coming of Christ in both Old but particularly the New Testament.
There are clear scriptures for us to build our faith on so that we need not be moved when folk bring their earthly bit of knowledge on the scene.
'Revelation' here though refers primarily to the type of life that we should be living as Gods children as against how we are living our life day by day.
Our Father is communicating through others because we are not giving Him the opportunity to speak to us personally.
'Revelation' points to God communicating to the Church His will, plan and purposes for them whilst they travel life's pathway.
So to 'knowledge' the ability to understand or come to know the truth experimentally by coming into the light of what God has already revealed in His word.
I come to ponder something that I delight to meditate on, the knowledge revealed in Job 38 – 40 is breathtaking and yet 'out of the mouths of babes and suckling' Psalm 8 v 2 and Matthew 21 v 16 comes knowledge from those who seek after God.
Where did Job get all that knowledge from thousands of years before the telescope and microscope were invented?
This may be an extreme view but it points to the 'knowledge' that is available to the observant disciple of Christ way beyond the normal human knowledge.
When we seek the Lord there is a wealth of knowledge available to us and the promise that He will open it up to us when it is to be used correctly.
Our heavenly Father is longing to educate us spiritually so that we can begin to grasp on earth things that pertain to eternity.
Equally there are many issues pertaining to our earthly life that needs divine knowledge so that we can be conquerors over Satan, the world and the flesh life.
'Knowledge' gleaned in the quiet time alone with the Lord will never be wasted but in the fullness of time it will be used for His glory and for our benefit.
Understanding' is our next gem v 18 it involves the bringing together of Gods word and our perceiving of what it is meant to mean.
Often times we fail to understand what it says because we are not in tune with the Spirit to receive it, we look at things from a human standpoint instead of being led by the Holy Spirit into the spiritual realm.
'Understanding' can point to the things of the heart as against just things of the head, head knowledge is good but there is a deeper understanding that reaches into the heart and there changes are to be made as a result.
One area of 'understanding' that needs opening up with knowledge and true understanding is our 'hope' v 18, that expectation of Christ awaiting us in the end.
The object and goal of the Christian life is to be present with the Lord in His glory, the knowledge of this hope has been made available in Gods word.
Now 'revelation' in scripture reveals the truth that He will come again to collect His Bride the Church, such 'knowledge' should cause us to prepare ourselves for His coming.
'Hope' brings out the desire to be ready and waiting whilst still working on earth because it could be today when He comes.
'Hope' also points us to the truth of the many promises that are in Gods word for us to bring into operation by trusting Gods word and expectantly looking for the out working of those promises.
Not a blind hope but a very real anticipation of the Lord fulfilling His word in us today as we bring the promise to Him and for Him to activate in us by the Holy Spirit.
The theme of the last study leads us into the 'riches of glory' v 18 today and what a great base there is for us to build on here.
Now we venture out into the theme that is overwhelming in its scope the 'riches of glory' v 18 are followed by the 'riches of grace' 2 v 7 and these are sandwiched between 3 v 16 'the riches of glory'.
The 'riches' are the spiritual and moral blessings that we receive through the Lord Jesus Christ, the treasures that only the disciple of Christ can enter into.
These riches are beyond material price but are freely bestowed by the Living God on His people as they yield to His word.
The thought here in both references is to the liberality that our Father operates in, not in short or small measure but in abundant or exceeding measure beyond words.
The riches of 'glory' point us to the heavenly place where our Father and Saviour are right now in fact where our heavenly Father has always been.
The magnificence and splendour of His presence separates Him from revealing His literal presence from us, this old earthly shell cannot take Him.
The Lord Jesus understands our dilemma that is why He condescended to come down from the glory to live on earth He dwelt amongst us'.
He came to reveal the Godhead to us leaving His eternal home behind to step into our world, He became like us so as to save us from eternal separation from the Creator God.
Now the truth is He has now returned to the heavenly place to open the way for us to enter by faith to commune with the Living God and to call Him Father.
What a terrific privilege that is and it should make us stop to examine how much we are abusing the privilege bought to us by the death on Calvary of our Lord and Saviour.
That we can ascend to the Throne of Grace continually to spend as much time as we want to there: it is astonishing to see how little time we spend before the Throne but even more so the little desire we seem to show to want to do so.
In scripture we see the terrific army that is available to us to aid us in the strife that we are called to go through, we are never left on our own in the battle.
The grace of God is far greater than just meeting our need physically and mentally those in themselves are a mighty study to get stuck into.
The Grace of God has brought us into His family, into a living, lively relationship one that effects every part of our being, He is interested in all things pertaining to our well being.
Grace stoops down to lift the weary soul, it comes along side to restore the fallen, it feels for our failure and ministers to the heart that is broken raising them up to serve once more.
Grace does not run away when we make mistakes but grace is given for us to learn from those mistakes so as not to return to them again.
Grace is willing to teach souls that are not exactly willing to be taught seeing that they know so much in the first place, that is until grace begins to show us how little we know and how much there is to learn.
The riches of grace that ministers to our personal need and is meted out to s each and every day, grace in abundance and that never runs out.
Grace to face each situation that we face however big or small it maybe, there is the race of God reaching down to help us face and to conquer.
Now let us examine ourselves before we go any further because most of blame the Lord for our failing and faults seeing that He does not stop us doing the things that cause them.
The problem is not in the glory or grace of God but it is in our hard or cold hearts that are stubborn towards the prompting of the Holy Spirit.
We give little room for Him to minister to us, we show little desire to get to grips with the truth of Gods word and therefore spend very little time at the Throne of Grace seeking to listen and learn from Him
The Glory and the Grace of God is a tremendous fact that we can enjoy in the quiet time
that out flows into the daily routine where ever we go.
There are 'riches of glory' that we can certainly enjoy during our pilgrimage on earth that will lift us up over the obstacles of life if we are diligent enough to take the right route.
There is the 'riches of grace' manifested in us by the Holy Spirit in dwelling us that cause us to rejoice all the day long in the harmonious relationship that we have been brought into with the Living God.
'Grace' has saved us and will keep us safely through our earthly journey, grace can meet our every need in the battle of life, grace to see us through into the heavenly place.
'Glory' is the supreme presence of our beloved Lord Jesus, He stands out amongst us the human race as none had before or have since His coming to earth.
'Glory' will surround Him when He comes to reign on the earth when in His majestic glory the whole universe will bow and every human being will acknowledge Him for who He is.
The 'King of kings and Lord of lords' the supreme Son of the Living God who alone is worthy to be praised as He will be throughout eternity.
Now we are brought into the glory and grace of God through our Saviour and Lord and He wants us to delightfully come to draw from the divine supply of grace and glory.
It is a study on its own to go through Ephesians to see how many times the words appear
in the Letter, consistently and assuredly for our benefit.
Gods glory shines out in His Son and it should begin to shine out through us His children as we commune and converse with Him day by day.
His holiness and righteousness reveal His glory, magnificence and splendour such as causes the earth to tremble at His approaching see Exodus 19 vs.17 – 18 as an example.
Gods grace manifested in His great love and mercy 2 v 4 is poured out on His children daily, He delights to find His children coming to seek Him and to commune with Him.
He has opened the way for continuous access to His presence so no matter the situation or circumstance the Throne of Grace is always occupied to meet our coming.
Oh the wonder of the 'riches of glory and grace of God' they are truly beyond calculation, full understanding and yet they are available to the weakest child of God to enjoy.
Do not abuse these beautiful gifts bestowed up on us whilst we journey through life rather let us avail ourselves of them through our daily discourse with the Lord and prove the Lord ourselves.
Continuing in Ephesians 1 we look at the promise fulfilled by the Lord Jesus on our behalf in v 19 – 23 'He put all things under His feet' v 22 as 'Head of the Church'.
First we look at v 19 and the 'power' and 'mighty power' two different words are used for 'power' the first is the 'Dunamis' the existing and essential power that is an attribute of the Living God.
It stresses the factual ability to do as He pleases without hindrance or obstacle, when our God speaks it is done instantly.
Then the 'mighty power' of God points us to the manifested force, at the resurrection it was like a mighty earthquake signalling to the Jews and Roman guard but to the world at large that the Father had released the Son from the grave.
It was the Living God and our heavenly Father who brought back His beloved Son from the dead, when mankind had done its worst the Living God did His best.
Our God not only has the ability but He has the strength to do it, there is nothing to hard for our God to do and He delights to prove this to His children.
He who holds everything together is now looking to control our life, to bring us into the likeness of His Son and to manifest His strength through us.
This brings us to the thought that fills my heart and mind today, the promise that He will put us in positions that will bring out His power and strength in us.
We look at the difficulties and desperate situations and we look up at them as massive issues that God should never allow us to be put through.
We should be looking down on them as stepping stones that we are walking over bringing us closer to our Father and increasing the Christ likeness in us.
Our Father has put all things under the feet of His Son and Satan loses his power when we see where he is right now, 'under His feet'.
We fall down at those feet in worship and adoration then to bring our petitions and prayers to Him, we gaze at our beloved Saviour seated on the Throne of Grace.
We delight to look up into His lovely face to see the man once crowned with thorns on Calvary now crowned with glory on His Throne.
'All things are under His feet' v 22 and the list in v 21 is significant for us to grasp because they include all that are opposed to Him and us.
'Principalities' that is the superior powers on earth, those people who raise themselves up in leadership to exercise their rule over all others.
Emperors, dictators, presidents, kings and queens have come and gone leaving their legacy behind much of which disappears under the new regime of power.
The truth is our God rules over them all and they will all bow before Him on the great judgement day no matter who they are.
'Power' a third word us used here as it points to what is permissible or allowed but has the restrictions placed on it as to how far it can go.
It reveals the right or permission that the person has or is given to do what the want to do having the ability and power to achieve it.
'Might' we are moving down the ladder of authority here to those who have authority invested on them, they have the ability to complete what is allotted to them.
These folk have been invested with over seeing the out working of the plans determined by those over seeing them, an ambassador is such a person as is an inspector.
'Dominion' points to magistrates power, the authority invested on a person to over see the legal system but it can point to anyone who has been delegated to positions of authority.
The receive the power to rule by force if need be, they display their superior lordship over the inferior public with dominion power.
We note here that the angels are brought into the scene providing evidence that the angelic beings operate under such an order.
What is of greater importance here in Ephesians for us to glean is that all of these orders are still under the Supreme authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, they are 'under His feet'.
They are under Him on earth and they will be in eternity where the godless will be in eternal darkness under His feet and the godly in eternal light at His feet.
The promise will be completed then but right now the various forms of leadership rule over us human beings but we can look down upon them seeing things from a divine point of view and not just a miserable human one.
Our God reigns supreme and manifests His power over them all through His beloved Son now there is the stand point that we need to come to.
To see our Lord Jesus in complete control of the absolute mess that human nature has brought on to the planet, it may seem out of control but when you look down from our Saviours point of view all is well.
He says 'so far and no further' and like the tide the limits are there in place: laws are made and changed by human beings but our God determines the limits that cannot or will not be changed.
This is an area that people do not like talking about because it shows us our frailty and the fact that our God is an unchanging God.
He has put 'all things under His feet' under His complete control and as 'Head of the Church' He is seeking to control us and what resistance He finds in us.
He is the Sovereign Lord but what a difficult job the church is giving Him split and splintered by doctrines and personalities.
The truth is the Church is under direct control of the Lord Jesus and the body is where the problems lie as we do not like the changes that haver to b e made in us.
He is gradually working on us preparing us for the great day of His return but what a tragedy that when He finally comes He will find so many of us sleeping, unprepared.
The mound of ashes from lives called Christians will b e staggering, well may scripture reveal to us 'scarcely will the righteous be saved' 1 Peter 4 v 18
Peter calls to the Church to stand up and be counted, 'judgement must begin at the House of the Lord' that is amongst those confessing conversion.
We know so little of the 'power and the mighty power of the Risen Christ amongst His people, let use so part of today in repentance before the Lord.
Today we continue our studies turning to Ephesians 2 vs.1 – 10 to look at the promises contained in it regarding our standing in the Lord Jesus alongside our spiritual state now.
The first thought is our standing in Christ Jesus, we worship a Risen Saviour and Lord who has brought us out of spiritual death into spiritual eternal life v 1.
'Quickened' means brought into spiritual life so that we can now commune and communicate with the Living God and Living Lord Jesus Christ.
We have the eternal life flowing through us that is imparted to every true believer at their new birth or conversion, we have eternal life now.
What a promise to enjoy, coming from the heart of the Living God through the beloved Son by the Holy Spirit might and power to simple believes such as us..
There is now no distance between us and the Lord because He dwells inside us, but it is true to say that we may not be aware of His presence due to our own will full and deliberate manner of living.
Our state does not portray the presence of the Living God within us by the actions and activities that we pursue in our daily living.
The thoughts in the v 2 are an abrupt awakening to Christians who are spiritually asleep or half awake, look at what you have been brought out off.
'Walking to the course of the world' and two words need looking at 'course' and the 'world', the first the 'course' points to the spirit of the age in which we live.
It brings out the things we did, thought and said that brought us into line with the world standard but out of line with Gods standard of living.
There was no difference between us and any other person on the planet with the exception of the repentant sinners who left the old behind to walk on the new higher standard of living of righteousness.
The 'world' brings us to view the material universe and our little planet earth in it, a very small place in a massive universe of space.
We are a little dot on that little dot earth, oblivious to the Creator and living in defiance to Him, sin literally means rebellion and brings out the lower standard that we grope on.
That is seen against the much higher standard of holiness, godliness and righteousness that human nature fights against.
Our standing was 'according to the prince of the power of the air' we think that we control ourselves but we are under the authority of Satan who fell from the heavenly place through rebellion against God Luke 10 v 18.
We should take note that it was the Lord Jesus who made that statement ratifying Isaiah 14 vs.12 – 17, what Isaiah saw in vision the Lord Jesus saw in fact.
Satan inhabits this little earth and the inhabitants sing to his tune unless they come to their senses and repent of their sin and surrender to the Lord Jesus.
It has pleased to Lord to open our eyes to the truth and now we are walking not according to the prince of the power of the air but according to the Prince of Peace.
The rebellion is over and righteousness reign in our heart and life we are now living on the upper slopes of Gods holy hill and righteousness is that standard.
Our standing was as 'children of disobedience', 'children' points to being an off spring of natural human parents that followed the standard of disobedience towards the Creator God.
The word 'disobedient' brings out the opposition that we had against what was right, true and proper as revealed by God in His word.
'Disobedience' is a much stronger word than 'unbelief', the former is the failure or refusal to accept Gods rules and word with our opposition to what God has said.
The latter brings out the thought of lacking religious belief or being unpersuadable due to sins domination and control over us.
That is what we were before Gods love, mercy and grace v 4 stooped down to lift us up and to clean us up that is what we are now ransomed, healed, restored forgiven.
Now as a result of the transformation that Christ has brought to us and the Holy Spirit is working in us we should be living as markedly changed people.
Look at our standing v 13 and then at our state right now to see where things are out of order, it is not that the promises of God have failed but rather we have failed to live in the inheritance given to us.
We were 'aliens' v 12 that is estranged from God living as if He did not exist but now we are members of His eternal family in Christ Jesus.
We were 'strangers' living as foreigners living outside of the promises of God wandering around with no goal insight except death.
Now we are His children walk in the light of His word and making progress along the holy hill towards our Fathers eternal presence.
We were 'without hope' we could not stop death, we could not stop the Great Judgement Day and we had no desire to seek the Lord in repentance to change things around.
Now in Christ we are being transformed into His likeness and are walking forward towards that glorious day when the Lord Jesus will come to take us home.
What a mighty 'but now' in v 13 the Lord Jesus has transformed our life, He turns death to sleep, He transformed death into life and He transforms our future from hopeless to hopeful.
These alone are reasons why we should be seeking to walk in the light of Gods word and not according to the power of the world, age or people.
We were afar off but have been brought near to God through the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus precious blood, He has redeemed us back to the Creator God.
Now in Christ the treasure chest of heaven has been opened up to us so that we can walk in newness of life with the Lord Jesus.
Look at what He offers us 'peace' v 14 in this world of struggle and strife, 'peace' that starts with Gods offer of salvation and ends in the company of God eternally.
'Peace' is the rest enjoyed when the rebellion is over, it is the untroubled state in the midst of troubled waters, it is the object of the divine promise given to repentant sinners.
We have ' rich Mercy' v 4 to enjoy, that is an immediate lifting of the misery that covered us and the effect of being set free from the bonds of sin that held us.
Gods mercy has removed the burden that breaks us and restores us to His presence to walk free from the guilt and power of sin over us.
We note the word 'rich' as it points us our Fathers abounding wealth that He is bestowing on us now, there is no end in sight to His mercy.
We have 'Love' v 4 that is beyond compare, undying, undiluted, unmovable, it is beyond words to describe but it is experienced by all who seek after the Lord.
He turns none away only the unrepentant soul, He looks and pleads with them in Calvary love and to the repentant soul He pours out His love upon them.
Then we have 'Hope' v 6 because He has raised us up together with Him self so that we can sit together in the heavenly place with Him, there to commune and communicate with Him daily.
We have His 'Grace' v 7 we enjoy the unmerited favours of God on our life day by day our salvation leads to our sanctification, the transforming work of the Holy Spirit is operating daily on and in us.
Look at His 'Kindness' v 7 He does not cut us off because we fall to sleep spiritually nor does He deal harshly with us when we offend Him but He does chastise us and corrects us in His kindness.
Now all of this unfolds the mighty promises of God to us and it should stir us into action to open ourselves up to the Lord for His refining work.
We will enjoy more fully and deeply the blessings that we have outlined today as each one will lead us to a deeper understanding of the treasure the Lord has opened for us to enjoy.
Oh the wonder of our salvation and of our Fathers gracious dealings with us as we pilgrim We can look at the part that we will play in the raising up of the Temple of God in the heavenly place not as a good idea but with the assured reality of it.
Our Father is looking on His building site on earth working on the individual bricks that will form His spiritual Temple that He will inhabit in eternity.
What a picture opens up to us in Ephesians 2 vs.19 – 22, the building site on earth under the divine supervision of the Creator.
The Divine Creator of Genesis 1 – 2 along with Job 38 – 40 is still creating in Revelation 21 with the New Temple that He will reveal on the Great Day of the Lord.
The important thought for us to grapple with is the fact that He is working on the stones now, it is on earth that the giant building site is to be found.
It is of great importance that we look at the whole scene because the truth is 'nothing that is defiled will enter' Revelation 21 v 27.
So that we should be looking at our lives in the light of scripture because we are to be tested at the end of our life on earth and everything defiled will be stripped away and burnt in the fire as 1 Corinthians 3 vs.13 – 17.
Will it be said of us that we were reduced to ashes after all that the Lord Jesus as done for us, will we be a poor replica of what we should have been?
Well the prophets and our Saviour shout out to us to awake out of our spiritual sleep and become active in the application of the word because the time is short before His building work is complete.
He is working on us bringing us into holy people and the sad truth is we are far from what we should be in His holy sight.
He has done so much for us and longs to complete the work on us so that we can enter His presence with joy and thanksgiving.
Alas we must face the truth there bis a lot of hammer and chiselling to be done as yet, He wants to get rid of the old desires and habits of the flesh live so that He can bring us into the deeper things of God.
There is a lot of flesh life that needs refining before we can come up to the blueprint object, and ' fellow citizens with the saints' v 19 is what He calls us, one set apart for God
Note this is not an ideal goal but the state of the present life on earth as it will be in eternity submitted to God to walk in the light of His word.
'Saints' v 19 as well as 'saved' v 5, 'saints' are not a designated people who have lived exceptional saintly lives but it is the title for every believer, those redeemed through the blood of the Lamb.
Remember we are not looking at things through earthly lives but we are looking at true wisdom, the scene from Gods point of view.
'He who is holy has called us to be holy' and that involves every one of us and the Holy Spirit uses the hammer of adversity, the saw of tragedy, the chisel of trials to make us into holy people.
The day will come when we will praise the Lord for His hammer, chisel and saw for the pressures, problems and pain that we have passed through to bring us into the image of His Son.
Then we are here called the 'household of God v 19 we are members of His holy and royal family, we are accepted in Christ right into the presence of the Creator God.
We can draw as close as we want to His Throne to bow at His foot stool and present our self and requests to Him our loving heavenly Father.
What a terrific privilege this is that we poor material on His giant building site can commune with the Divine Architect who is working out His final creation on the earth today.
To think that we are going to inhabit eternity in the company of the Creator God, with our beloved Lord Jesus and the mighty Holy Spirit then there is the rest of us, His household.
Now we turn for a while to look at the construction that is taking place as our Father creates the 'holy Temple' v 21 the building referred to in Revelation 21 in detail.
We are bricks in the building, a practical and positive view on life on earth as well as our eternal position in the heavenly place.
We can study the word of God and let is go straight through us retaining it in our mind or we can study the scriptures with a view of us coming the best brick that we can become.
That involves the open access to the Holy Spirit to correct and change as He will the material in His hand, to often we are found telling Him what to do.
It is usually the touch of the Masters hand that transforms our failure into features of beauty for His holy Temple as we yield to His inner working.
It takes the Masters hands to change a self centred person like us into a spirit controlled person that is beneficial for the Lord, His Church and to the world.
We need to recognise that we are not the foundation but a part of the building v 20 the Lord Jesus laid the foundation stone and the prophets and apostles are part of it.
The prophets are those in both Old and New Testament who walked closely to the Lord instantly and obediently shared the word with the world.
The apostles were set apart to proclaim the word given to them and thus laid the foundations on which we build our life.
The whole scripture is given to us so that we can build our life according to the Divine Constructors plans so that we will fill our niche in eternity perfectly.
We should be aware of the fact that our heavenly Father is calling folk from every clime on the planet, this unnumbered crowd come out of every tongue, tribe and nation Revelation 7 v 9.
All are washed in the blood of the Lamb v 14 and they are no strangers to the Throne of God seeing they are found there night and day v 15.
Now here is the challenge are we found regularly amongst that great host at the Throne of the Living God, the Throne of Grace?
Are you living in the light of these scenes becoming reality very shortly or are we found asleep with our lamps going out
Now let us be stirred today and begin to live as we were meant to live when we were first converted, as people truly brought back from the dead.
We are living bricks being worked on and the preparations on earth are similar to the building of Solomon's Temple where all the hammering and chiselling was done in the quarry before it was brought to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
It is recorded in 1 Kings 6 v 7 that neither hammer or axe or any tool was heard as the stones were placed in order to erect that great edifice.
The quarrying was the place of preparation and Solomon's mines are legendary the building site is still there for all to see, but the truth is this present building site is going to be wrapped up when Gods work is finished.
Our Living God is working to His timetable and nothing will be left undone or partially completed, the whole work will be completed when the Lord Jesus returns.
We listen to the grumbling folk in the church moaning about their lot, their troubles and trials that cause so much unrest.
When the Day of the Lord comes all of this will be forgotten as we take our place amongst the great throng in eternity worshipping the Lamb on His Throne.
The doubts, despair, disappointments will be blown away as we stand in awe of our heavenly Father and our blessed Saviour.
So let us settle things once for all, that we will endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ allowing Him to do as He will, with us on earth.
Let us be diligent and vigilant in our walk on the path of righteousness so that we will be welcomed with His 'well done thou good and faithful servant' as we enter our eternal home Matthew 25 v 21.
Looking afresh at the Letter to Ephesians each chapter has a significant word for the Christian disciple to take hold of so that in the storms of life we can hold on to these promises.
In chapter 1 we find the Christians sight v 18, seeing that the Lord Jesus has brought us into the light we now are enlightened and can walk in the truth.
'The eyes of your understanding being enlightened' what a miracle takes place at our conversion, not only does the rebellion cease towards God, not only does He forgive us but He enlightens us as well.
'Enlightened' means to give light or knowledge, to give instruction on spiritual issues so that we can walk in the truth and live in the truth.
To receive light is a terrific thought because beforehand all we knew was the darkness of human living, we had no spiritual understanding at all.
We invented a god who we could manipulate, we constructed idols to worship that fitted our taste in living but most of us had no concept of the Living Creator God at all.
Our spiritual darkness was getting greater and death held us victim to its terror the grave was an awful prospect so we tried hard not to talk about it or face it.
Then the glorious gospel message came across our pathway and Calvary, the resurrection and ascension were presented to us as facts and not theories.
The light beamed from the Living God revealing peace, hope, joy and love we had a job trying to take it all in, the light dawned on us and now it is increasing day by day.
Such knowledge of sins forgiven through Christ Jesus sacrifice, the mighty Holy Spirit coming to reside in us and the relationship with the Living God that enables us to call Him Father is overwhelming.
The dawning on our heart and mind brought the light into our inner man and the Christian message flooded our thinking as we began to praise the Triune God.
This letter to Ephesus contains so much knowledge or light that we can spend hours pouring over its pages and verses because it is full of light.
We no longer need to walk in darkness as the 'light' is increasing daily, the closer we walk to the Lord the greater the light becomes, we walk by faith in the Son but in the light to enable us to see where we are going.
'Who is he that walketh in darkness let him come to the light' none of us need walk or stumble in the worlds darkness because we can come to the light.
Have you had your spiritual eyesight tested recently?
We need to beware of those people who have knowledge and enjoy peddling it around the churches but are not presenting the truth as from the Living God.
Many say God told me without ever recognising that truth that they are to give account of every word they speak before His Throne.
Every disciple of Jesus Christ has access to the light and there are privileges given to those who diligently seek to know and apply the light to their life.
The Master told us 'the light of the body is the eye if therefore thine eye be single thy whole body shall be full of light' Matthew 6 v 22
The truth is that we do not always seek the Lord we rely on our own bit of knowledge and we stumble around like a drunken man reeling from post to post.
We could be walking in the light our self being fed, led and held by he Holy Spirit who will bring us into all light, He brings us to the source of light, wisdom, knowledge and understanding.
Now here is a promise sent from the Father, the Holy Spirit came to not only introduce to the light but to instruct us in it.
Have you had your spiritual eyesight tested recently?
Are you walking in the light as you should and could be, being more reliant on the Holy Spirit instructing and teaching you more than relying on human teachers.
There is a second picture given in the letter in chapter 2 that grips my thoughts today and that is the Christians right v 13, we talk about our rights but the Lord introduces us here to a right that has responsibility.
The right 'but now we who were afar off are made nigh by the blood of the Lamb' what a promise we have presented to us here.
Look at the truth we were 'afar off' but are now 'brought near' two facts that need opening up, do not forget what you were and always remember whose you are now.
The former points to our natural birth whilst the latter reveals the rights of the new birth, the truth was we were far away from God no matter how we lived but equally now we are as close to our Father as we want to be.
We once were incommunicado but now we hold daily communion with the Creator God, we need to sit back for awhile today and take in this massive truth that I can draw near to God who will lovingly draw near to me.
The right of access comes the Lord Jesus, He unblocked the way so that we could enter Gods presence and be accepted.
We not have to struggle to enter, we not have to strive to enter but by faith we can enter in the covering of the Lord Jesus sacrifice on our behalf.
We must look again at that word 'strive' because the Master actually used the word in Luke 13 v 24 telling us to 'strive to enter the narrow gate' that brings us to conversion.
But now the repentant sinner has access to the Father and they can come as often as they want to and for as long as the want to and commune with the Father and the Son.
We have the right of access presented here in v 13 and we should appropriate it with awe and wonder as we remember whose presence we are coming into.
Never forget that we are entering the presence of the Almighty God, the Creator and sustainer of all things, we enter through Christ Jesus to commune with Him and He with us.
Our access is a result of the Saviour of the world leaving heavens glory to come into the world to abolish the barrier that holds us back and to open the door that was closed tight beforehand.
Then we have the joy of access as we fall at His footstool before the Throne of Grace, our access we come not as foreigners or aliens but we come as His children to our heavenly Father.
We come with delight to commune with our Father and to share the day with Him, in the morning we present ourselves for the day for His service at night we come to praise Him
for His great faithfulness during the day to us.
Now we have the opportunity to praise and then to worship our Father through our access to His Throne, we bow in humble adoration before Him and yet with joy and gladness.
We will close our study with the thought of the right of access in the light of our access, we now have our spiritual eyes open and we come in the light of this to enter the courts of the Living God with thanksgiving in our heart.
The Lord has opened our eyes so that we can live our life on earth in close communion with the Father and Son in the heavenly place.
We are not a distance from God at any time because the Holy Spirit is dwelling within us to give us access v 18 it is instant contact any time and anywhere.
We can stop at any time of the day or night to commune with our heavenly Father, He longs to draw near to us and to help us on our pilgrimage through life.
We are no longer at a distance from Him but it is possible for us to become at a distance from Him through our careless living and He does not answer our prayers as He would if we were in close communion with Him.
So we thank the Lord for the light that He has brought us into and the increasing light that He gives to us as we avail ourselves of the right of access to His presence.
Have you had your spiritual eyesight tested recently and what about your access?
We continue through Ephesians looking at the promises opened up for us in the light of our conversion and there are two more for us to look at today.
The Christians might 3 vs.16 and 21 and height 4 vs.11 – 13 so we have a real banquet awaiting us today and we rejoice in these truths.
'That you maybe strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man' what a prayer this is for those struggling Christians at Ephesus.
First that they maybe 'strengthened' meaning to be made strong, to be empowered by resurrection power turns the coward into a conqueror.
Here we could look at the early disciples who were locked away in the Upper Room wondering about their Saviour and what they were now going to do.
It was the sister who moved first and they were in great need of strength and courage but they ventured out into the dark to go to the tomb.
What a transformation took place it took just one word 'Mary; and history was changed and the disciples transformed as a result.
The empowering came forty days later but from that moment onwards the Christian Church has produced conquerors over adversity in their thousands,
The cowards sitting in their holy huddles not wanting to venture out into the world have been completely changed into conquerors going out into all the world to preach the gospel of their Lord and Saviour.
Not talking about a dead Saviour but sharing their living experience they enjoy with Him, He is not in a tomb 'why seek you the living amongst the dead' Luke 24 v 6 or 'why weepest thou' John 20 v 15.
'He is risen' Mark 16 v 6 'come and see the place where He lay', the glorious truth is we serve a risen Saviour who will die no more.
The same power that brought Him back from the dead now works in us seeking to bring us into full fellowship with the Risen Son and with His Father.
The amazing fact is that we are so resistant to His working and prompting in us, we all need the power of His might in our daily living.
The enemy will seek to cut of the power supply as often as he can because the Holy Spirit turns cowards into conquerors, people who will stand firm in the faith against the foe.
The word 'might' points us to the very life that we are brought into when the Lord Jesus brings us into spiritual life, the very breath of life comes from Him into us.
The Holy Spirit works alongside the Father and the Son in perfect harmony with their will and purposes bringing them to fruition.
So that we can say what the Father has planned the Spirit performs so that we can know experimentally 'that He who has begun the work in us will perform or complete it' Philippians 1 v 6.
We are not left to our own devices to work out the Christian life or bible principles we are empowered with the mighty Holy Spirit to fulfil them. In us.
The next phrase is an interesting one 'in the inner man' there are three lines of thought that come from it and are worth pondering over.
The first is it points us to the reason of things, the area where decisions are made of right or wrong, the unseen inward part of us, the 'spirit' that dwells within the outward shell.
We do not have to use the outer shell in making decisions in life but the inward pat of us is manifested outwardly in the shell in daily living.
The second issue in the phrase is that it points us to the will, that part of us that expresses our habitual behaviour that is seen by all around us for good or ill.
The third point is that it points us to our conscience, the area where our behaviour is controlled or guided to do what is right before the Lord, the Church and the world.
The 'inner man' is controlled by the Holy Spirit so that we should become a holy person, one who can be trusted and relied on all the time.
In Ephesians 3 v 20 we see the same word for 'might' translated as 'power' and here it reveals to us the abundant supply that is available to us.
There is far more power for us to draw from than we will ever use as the Church, the supply is guaranteed it is our refusal to draw continually from the supply that is at fault.
We can enjoy not only communion with the Lord but communication as well and the supply available covers every aspect of our life.
We can draw the strength for the days activities from the Holy Spirit, we can draw the might from Him to turn us from being cowards into conquering ability.
We can draw of the divine supply the wisdom, knowledge and understanding that will confound the educated and the influential.
We can draw from the Holy Spirit the power that can transform stammering lips and shaking knees mighty spiritual warriors.
Now we turn our attention to the fourth area of thought the Christians height as we see in Ephesians 4 vs.11 – 13 and this is very telling.
The lead inverses are revealing the gifts that our Father has given to the Church so as to bring the saints through to spiritual maturity.
We should be always learning, there are new lessons in life that we should be learning every day because the Holy Spirit has not made us perfect as yet.
Christian leaders should note this, we are all learning new or fresh lessons with the Lord and we can only lead the flock of God as far as we have gone ourselves with the Great Shepherd.
I have a shirt on which is printed in bold letters 'I'm still learning', I seek to be taught by the Lord every day some new facet of life that will draw me closer to our beloved Saviour and Lord.
It is not just intellectual learning from the bible and books but the spiritual application of what is revealed that comes into light here.
We should be so living in the Spirit of God that others can see our spiritual height growth as the days go by, we should be increasing not only in knowledge but inexperience.
We can see here that our height is personal but it is being bound together collectively so that the fellowship can come into the fullness of what it was created for to portray the characteristics of Christ.
We note that our spiritual height is transferred into 'edifying' one another, we should be building each other up in the faith and teaching of the word with application is part of the whole purpose of the body of Christ.
Then we note 'unity' is another issue that our spiritual height effects, so many of the splits and splinters in the Church are caused by both human and spiritual immaturity.
The human desires can clog up the spiritual desires of a fellowship because an individual must have his or her say on issues that are fleshly and not spiritual motivated.
The spiritual height is seen by the way the fellowship moves in unity not just with each other but far more importantly with the Lord.
He is longing to bring us into a deeper unity with each other but in closer harmony with the Fathers will and purposes in the saints.
There is a third thought here in v 13 the word 'perfect' it points us the aim or goal of life, seeking to come into spiritual maturity and not remaining as little children.
Paul uses this idea when writing to Corinth in the first letter he tells them that they should be taking strong meat by now but they are still only taking milk.
These folk like a multitude in the western church today are wrangling about spiritual issues that should have been nailed along time ago.
Still content to listen to the gospel message rather than getting down to real study of the scriptures that will increase our height in spiritual things.
The measuring stick is not pastors, preachers or gifted people but it is the Lord Jesus, we should be measuring our height against His revealed will and purpose for us personally.
So we turn to the last of the six issues that have filled our thinking over the past few days in Ephesians the Christians light 5 v 8 and fight 6 vs.14 – 17.
In one aspect we have looked at the 'light' in the opening chapter where we looked at the Christians 'sight' and the revelation of the Lord Jesus taking away the darkness and flooding our heart and mind with light.
In Ephesians 5 we are going to take a deeper look at the word 'light' with the thought of 'light' being our 'life' revealing the knowledge that is given so that we can walk in the light.
We do not receive all wisdom, knowledge and understanding in one short period of time,
our spiritual education is a daily experience.
Light in 5 v 2 reveals how we should be walking 'in love', then light reveals what we should be producing v 9 and then light reveals when we should be receiving to bring us to full understanding v 17.
The light of the Christian is the same light for the whole Church universal, there is no room for private interpretation 2 Peter 1 v 20, that is some special knowledge given to one person alone.
The thought is of private interpretation, explanation or application that is for one group to the exclusion of the rest of the body of Christ.
The fact is we are all involved in the scriptures and we should be seeking light for guidance each day so that we become not acquainted with God but actively involved in His with Him through His word.
Now the first effect of walking in the light of Gods word is that as obedient children we learn 'to love one another' in the light that the Lord Jesus loves us personally.
We are to walk in Gods love, in Calvary love the self giving love that has been poured out on us is to activate that new kind of love one towards another.
Far to many western Christians are picking and choosing who they love and it is usually motivated by what we receive from them as a result.
Gods self giving love is showered upon us even when we are not as quick on the up take as we should be, we love our heavenly Father because He first loved us.
The Lord Jesus talked a good deal about this new kind of love that is new to human beings and points out to us that there is no greater love than this.
His love literally enabled Him die in our place on Calvary to save us, it is in the light of this that He tells us to love one another, to give ourselves without looking for reward from one another.
Now displaying this love in the fellowship brought many seeking to know what this new faith was all about because the saw how much folk loved each other.
The attraction was how much they loved each other, the rich and poor, the illiterate the literate, the Jew and the Gentile barriers were knocked down through Calvary love.
We need to get hold of this truth today and love each other as Christ has and does love us
and to live in the light of it.
In v 9 we are pointed by the light to look at the fruit the light produces, as children of darkness we did not have any fruit but as children of the light we produce the fruit of the Spirit.
Three fruits are given to us that should be produced in every child of God without exception and our Father is looking for them in us.
Firstly the fruit of 'goodness' a mellowing of character that produces moral goodness, a life producing the qualities of Christ in daily living.
This fruit displays the new life in Christ that is not experienced out side of God's regeneration, there is now the desire to do what is good not only to think good but to do it.
There is a kindness that is manifested in our life even when dealing with difficult people or difficulties in life and this points folk to Christ operating in us.
The second fruit is 'righteousness' the thinking and the doing of what is right and just, here we should look long and hard at many of the judgements made in fellowships where personal judgements are influenced by past experience.
Where decisions are made in the light of a persons reactions towards the leadership of the fellowship and not in the light of scripture, remember the Master said forgive not seven times but seventy times seven.
We should be walking righteously according to Gods word ourselves before ever we start passing judgement on others.
The third fruit is 'truth' and here we are looking not only at the word of God that is truth but also at our own words that we speak to one another and then our speech to the world.
So often today I hear folk say they say one thing but do another, 'do as I say but not what I do' a double minded speech.
The truth is we should be walking and talking the truth in love with each other so that we can be relied upon when we speak to do so in truth.
The word 'truth' points us to aligning what we say with the truth of what they see, there is an agreement with the facts and with the presentation of it.
The challenge for us is clear cut do the words we speak match up to the facts that we are presenting in our conversation?
These three fruits of the Spirit are not debatable but they are to be expected to be found in us as Gods children and they need presenting at regular intervals amongst Gods people to keep us on our guard.
The third thought about the light brings us to the issue of being brought by the Holy Spirit into spiritual maturity v 17, the knowledge of Gods word brings us into spiritual adulthood.
We should be aiming to become a spiritually grown up person rather than remain a spiritual baby being spoon fed.
We can come in the light and seek the Lord to feed us with the deeper things of the word that sharpen the edge of the soul and give us a keener eager walk of faith.
Spiritual maturity will bring out our faith in normal conversations and we will be able to answer many a question by using the word of God that has been implanted in us during our study times.
The Light of Gods word will enable us to make progress along the path of righteousness without doing to many U turns or spending time in spiritual cul de sac's of our own making.
We turn to chapter 6 and to our Christian 'fight' something that we do not like facing, we would rather be left alone in our little world rather than to withstand the enemy of our soul.
Do you realise that our enemy is very happy when we stay in our little world because he does not haver to do anything but leave us sleeping.
The Christian is at war from the very moment the rebellion ceases towards God, when 'goodness, righteousness and truth' begin to take hold of us.
They in themselves are evidence of a higher standard of living than we previously thought
the moment they become activated in us we recognise something of the rebellion that we once lived in.
Now the spiritual battle begins, the flesh is at war with the Spirit, the Christian is at war with Satan, the world is at war with the Church.
The light of Gods word shines brilliantly on the battle ground revealing the enemies strategy and positions so that we can be made well aware of their opposition to us.
The truth is the Lord has provided us with an armour that covers our whole being with the exception of our back, He does not expect us to turn round and run away.
These verses in chapter 6 vs.10 – 17 need examining but they need wearing, when was the last time you checked your armour to see that it was fitting correctly?
We should be making sure every day before ever we go out to face the days activities, to commune with our Lord and to know His conscious presence with us.
Take time today and then get into the habit of checking your armour daily, it is a good way to make sure you are walking on the right pathway in harmony with the Lord.
We cannot leave the studies where we left them in the last one we must take a hard look at the armour in Ephesians 6 and help make the adjustments necessary.
We can help each other but it is far better to keep checking ourselves that each piece fits us correctly to enable us to become conquerors in Christ Jesus.
We are told clearly 'to put on the WHOLE armour of God' 6 v 11, the word 'whole' means the entire armour, every part of it, not leaving one piece behind.
It is vital for the Christian disciple to get hold of the truth outlined here because without it we are open to the enemy and his under hand strategy to over throw us.
It is not that he cannot because we are Gods children but it is a fact he can and does so many of us because we resist wearing the armour provided for us by our Commander.
The image that Paul uses is tat of the full infantry armour of the Roman Legion, it was heavy and cumbersome and used in siege situations or in fierce war scenes.
We are in a terrific war as v 12 reveals to us standing against the wicked spiritual host arrayed against the Living God, His Son and the Church.
They are highly organized by a master strategist who is blinded by his own strength and the possibility of over throwing the Lord Jesus in the final battle.
This army is encamped in the heavens and are a spirit one being able to move at lightening speed on errands for their master who is an absolute tyrant.
The object set out for them to claim is to rule over the earth in darkness, deceit and delusion and any over throw of a Christian is a mighty triumph.
The Spiritual darkness that pervades the earth is terrific and the tragedy is few Christians realise the depth of this darkness.
We are not told to fight the darkness but we are told to stand upright in it, to be on our guard continually so that ware not moved by it.
'Stand' vs.11, 13 and 14 point to activity and not passivity, is to be and to remain steadfast in the Christian faith at all times, 'withstand' v 13 means to resist or stand against firmly.
We are appointed to a place by the Lord and we remain there until He orders us to move elsewhere, we are more than conquerors in the Lord Jesus and He is looking to us to hold the ground that we stand on.
We are on guard in the Church as Christ's representatives or ambassadors standing against the evil forces that pervade the earth.
'Truth' is the first piece of armour that we wear, our talk matches our walk, 'truth' denotes the true preaching of the gospel in contrast to the perversion of it that is displayed by the enemy.
This is not merely ethical truth but it is the full embodiment of the life and teaching of Christ Jesus, we stand in all that He is and stands for the perfect expression of truth.
We then look at 'righteousness' the word has come through out our studies consistently because this is what we are called to be and it is a missing word in the Christian vocabulary today.
As I have said many times righteousness is not an option but it is the object of our faith, to be like the Lord Jesus in thought, word and deed.
We are called to be a faithful witness for Christ Jesus in every part of our being, we should be living examples of living a just and righteous life.
We should be living a life according to the will and purpose of God, obeying His word and living it out in the world around us.
We do not grow into righteousness we are made righteous by our Lord Jesus Christ sacrifice but we do seek after righteousness in our daily living seeking to produce the right actions all the time.
Whatever the demands we should seek to live in the correct relationship with God so that our life manifests the true nature of things in this evil society that we live in.
'Peace is the third part of our equipment and this is a delightful thing to walk in as Christians because it begins by being at peace with the Living God when our rebellion against Him ceases.
Then there is peace that we enjoy in seeking to walk in harmony with His will and purposes for us, a delightful experience where tranquillity over rides the tempest roaring around us.
What an amazing difference there was between the tempest of Jonah and the tempest of Paul, both knew the presence of God but Jonah saw His wrath whilst Paul knew His peace.
Jonah was running away in the storm far from standing firm but Paul was standing firm in the faith as he is buffeted by the wind, sea and tempest.
There is a place of quiet rest near to the heart of God and we can know that place experimentally in the tempests of life that assail us if we stand firm in the faith.
There is a peace in standing firm on the scriptures that demands a silent witness, the Saviour 'answered not a word' John 19 v 9, when bigoted people do not want the truth it is better to remain silent.
Then there is peace to be enjoyed in the Church, we are instructed to live at peace as far as is humanly possible with all men let Hebrews 12 v 14 alone those in the body of Christ.
We are instructed in 1 Corinthians 14 v 33 to know that our God is not for confusion but for peace, 'confusion' the word means tumult or commotion, causing folk to become unsettled.
Our Father is for harmony and peace in the Church, He is looking for peace amongst us and the Holy Spirit works in us to bring that peace into experience.
The next article of the armour is 'faith' v 16 and here we can look at several aspects of 'faith' that are included in the thought here.
'Faith' is what we place in the Lord Jesus when we recognise that we are the sinner for whom He died, we did not deserve the forgiveness that He brought into being through His sacrifice on Calvary.
We are fully persuaded that we are ransomed and released from sins power, guilt and penalty through accepting what Christ has done for us.
We exercise faith in Christ to forgive us and accept His cleansing for eternity based on the promises of His word, reminding ourselves that He cannot lie.
We then exercise faith in His word as we begin to study and apply the word to our life, faith believes what God has said even though it seems impossible.
Faith stretches out in obedience to Gods word and the out come is that we find that He is always true to His word.
Faith is revealed in scripture as being little for many Matthew 6 v 30, 8 v 26 and 16 v 8 then much for some Mark 11 vs.22 – 23 and great for a few Matthew 8 v 10 and 15 v 28 who really exercise their faith in God.
We are reminded that 'the just shall live by faith' Habakkuk 2 v 4, Romans 1 v 17, Galatians 3 v 11 and Hebrews 10 v 38, faith is active for all of us in the Christian Church.
We are also reminded to 'stand fast in the faith' 1 Corinthians 16 v 13 as fighting soldiers not being moved by the things going on around us.
Then we are instructed to be 'steadfast in the faith in Christ' Colossians 2 v 5 we are confronted by an enemy that knows no boundary in deceit and delusion.
We need to recognise that not every preacher is a preacher sent by God there are many abounding in the church who like the sound of their own voice.
Now we should not only be aware of intruders in the church but we need 'full assurance of faith' Hebrews 10 v 22 ready to exercise our faith day by day..
The helmet of salvation covers our head and we need to be clear headed in our walk of faith so that we apply the full orbit of salvation in our life.
Finally our 'sword' is the word of God and as our Saviour faced and conquered our enemy by using the scriptures so should we, that is the reason why we need to gain a good working knowledge of the word.