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November 26, 2020 3:00 am
You cannot live what you do not understand snow question is ever yet love the Christian life who didn't know what it was.
Christians all over the place are now trying to live that's never been my that is yours.
The unfathomable riches you can enjoy this side of heaven. It's part of his current study richer than you think.
Now before we get started John happy Thanksgiving day to you and Patricia and your whole family, you know, this year 2020. There is been a remarkable amount of trouble everywhere, and yet you and I've talked about this so I know we both believe there's far more for us to be thankful of. Then to be fearful of in these times, but for that man or woman who's listening right now who may be struggling to rejoice and be thankful.
Give us some encouragement. What can we be thankful for today. I know if you're a believer you don't want to doubt the love of God.
He loves you with a perfect love.
You don't want to doubt the promise of God that all things are working together for good to those love him and are called according to his purpose. You don't even want to doubt the plan of God.
Maybe you wonder wow did it have to be this you don't want to doubt the plan of God.
The Lord has a plan that you want to submit to, because that plan may involve suffering.
It may involve humiliation.
It may involve a time of the sort of bread breaking some of the things that you depended upon you don't want to doubt the process of God. The end result is to give you blessing and to glorify his name. So this is been a year were all probably glad that were getting close to the end of this year, but we haven't doubted the Lord's work at all. Through all of this and you know his best work is done in our hearts through hard times. His best work is done when we can't control all the circumstances and that's what Paul says, you know, he says I you know I'm content in everything.
I'm content to be based on the content to abound because he supplies all my needs through Christ Jesus and everything and Paul says I'm even content was suffering till the Corinthians. I'm content with the pain and affliction and all those things because when I'm weak. He said then I'm strong so just know this, that God is through all the struggles and all the issues and all the trials perfecting you. Peter says after you've suffered a while. The Lord make you perfect, and that's what he's in the process of doing so. Be thankful for what he has accomplished. Even through a difficult year.
Thanks John, that is a great reminder and friend. We are thankful you've made this broadcast part of your day.
I know you will be encouraged as John continues, is look at the blessings that are yours in Christ hears the message. You cannot live what you do, not what understand understand you can't live you cannot function on principles you don't know no Christian is ever yet live the Christian life who didn't know what it was you. I have Christians all over the place are frustrated know and trying to live a life that's never been defined for the and Paul knows is a man of God that it is not just a case of telling people you gotta pray that God will energize the information that I believe that that's why in acts six. The Bible says that the apostles said we will give ourselves continually to the ministry of the word and prayer. Why, because the ministry of the word must be energized by the spirit of God and that is sought in intercessory prayer on behalf of the people.
I don't think that the man of God's job is just to pray for the broken legs and the broken arms and the bad backs and the diseases of his people, I think, is to pray the day as it says in verse 17 would receive a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him that the eyes of their understanding would be enlightened that they would know what is the hope of their calling. It's not enough just to teach it must be taught and then pray as it were by the energy of the spirit of God released as a response to intercessory prayer now. What really is going on here is simply this, then Paul is describing our position and praying will understand it before he tells us how to live it.
In chapter 4. Know your position is important if you take a new job so usually at some point they give you a description of what you're supposed to do.
Sometimes it's called a portfolio. If you're an executive. If you're an assembly line, they tell you what to do. You don't have to know everything you just need to know what you do and you can't start the process until you know you're given an assignment. The parameters are defined and you are asked to fulfill number one you must hear the definition of it. Number two, you must understand it, then you can do it but you can't do without the first to say the history of the Christian you can just trying to get people to behave in a certain manner unless they understand the parameters and definition of what it is that there asked and yet you know it's a sad thing, but it's true church after church after church after church people will get up and they'll tell people what to do, but they never give them the parameters are an understanding of what it is that they're really doing you get when you exhort people live the Christian life and do what's right and live for God.
Get dedicated and consecrated, irrigated, whatever it is you know those on and try to get him to limit and you do Jews really are. You're working on them from the standpoint of sort of a halftime pep talk. Every Sunday to try to chat him up again to get them relevancy for us to put them under a guilt trip and they begin to feel like they're just really think God do this or God is good to be right on scene and so they get to feel guilty or you intimidate them with a certain Peer pressure exerted on them and if they don't function.
They're not one of the in group C and all this bypasses the real motive for living the Christian life.
The real guts of it. The real heart of it. The real base of it is simply understanding who you are in Christ. That's the base know your position.
You gotta understand the foundation principles.
This is who I am.
This is my position this is. I my understanding of it and Paula spring oh God made they deeply understand who they are when they get a grip on this incredible reality that they are one with the eternal God through Christ that all of the blessings of the heavenly's are there that this is the standard of their existence forever and made a little. I can see that's what is after. So I tell pastors all the time man when you get into the pulpit teach positional truth. Teach people what their position in Christ is then tell him how to wax if they don't know who they are. They don't know why that way so important. If you're Christian. He loves you totally.
You couldn't be any better position but old man when you understand positionally what you have in Christ.
When you understand all these resources that you are chosen in him before the foundation of the world that you were redeemed and your sins are forgiven, and he is granted to you to be a part of his eternal plan to call you and that great unity with which the whole universe ultimately ends up when you realize that this inheritance is planned for you and corruptible undefiled.
The thing is not away, reserved in heaven for you when you realize that all these things are yours in Christ that you are blessed with all spiritual blessings in the heavenly's in Christ Jesus. When you realize that all that is yours and that's who you are, do something about how you wish.
And that's the bottom one, you cannot exhort people to a certain behavior unless they understand who they are and so Paul here is praying that we in the Ephesians will understand constant exhortation without theology just brings people under guilt doesn't motivate so the mature Christian understands his privileges as possessions checks out his resources lives consistent with who is now let's look at his prayer than wherefore I also after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and love unto all the saints, cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers stopped now in this, he just introduces to us the idea that he is praying wherefore takes us back on the basis of this tremendous inheritance that we have in Christ.
I pray for you and he says I pray for you because I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and love unto all saints.
How did Paul hear this well is been for years about since he had ministered in Ephesus but see travel was relatively easy in those days because of the ships and so forth and so there was great accessibility to that little small part of the world around the north and west part of the Mediterranean and additionally there was our liberty that Paul enjoyed even while he was a prisoner and that was that they allowed people to come and visit them so there was a constant flow of Christians, no doubt coming in and out of Paul's life and they would be bringing him reports and as I told you will be first studied the beginning of Ephesians. This letter was not only written to Ephesians, but no doubt all the churches of Asia minor and so it's probably that he has in his mind. He says all of you churches in Asia minor. I have been hearing about you people visiting coming by ship, perhaps walking on some of the great Roman highways that would give them access to Paul's location and so Paul's as I been hearing good things. In fact, I hear two things I hear about your faith in the Lord Jesus and love unto all the same, and those beloved of the cardinal things. Those are the basic aspects of a true Christian, a true Christian is marked by faith in the Lord Jesus which gives evidence of itself in love toward all St. fact in first John chapter 2 in verse 911 says there if you claim to have saving faith and hate your brother. You are a liar. Those two go together. By this will know you are my disciples. John 13 says of you love one for love as we define it so many times a sacrificial selflessness serving others and sacrificially unselfishly true faith always springs into love sources I heard about its genuine I see it now wants you to see these two things does a very important first of all, your faith in the Lord Jesus the Lord Jesus. You see, salvation begins with believing Jesus is Lord see that I was speaking in Miami pastors meant to me afterwards and he says well.
He said he was kind of I don't know what kind of on edge.
I think he said well he said I suppose you're one of those Lordship salvation rests. You probably believe that in order to be saved.
You have to receive Jesus as Lord, I said is a matter of fact, I don't know any other way. He said yeah I thought so I said you you know you're not Lordship salvationist. Like I said, he said no, no, I said to be asked the question, I said is Jesus Lord. Well, he didn't really want to answer. I guess because he said, well, well, there is a sense in which he is.
I said well is Jesus Lord yes or no yes well yes it's right is Lord. So if you receive him does he come as we yes need you have to write let me ask you this. I said this Philippians to say that every knee should bow and confess Jesus as Lord, to the glory of God. And I said is Romans 10 say that if thou shalt confess with thy mouth Jesus as Lord, thou shalt be saved. Well, he says, but it doesn't appear in the Gospel of John. I said what doesn't appear in the Gospel of John, Jesus is Lord Noyce is the idea Lordship salvation is. I said I don't know what you're saying. I said I don't know what you just tell me what you're going to do is Romans 10 nine if thou shalt confess Jesus as Lord, thou shalt be saved and that he just said yes well euros Lordship salvationist and he walked off.
How you get salvation minus the Lordship of Jesus Christ is a problem. The point here is false as I know your genuine because your faith is in the what the Lord Jesus you don't receive him as Savior and then later as long are you getting little years now where the respondent was Lordship or not is another issue he's Lord knows secondly he says not only is your salvation, evident by the faith in the Lord Jesus, but your love unto all the safe you know is that this love is indiscriminate is a true Christian doesn't pick and choose.
He loves and by virtue that whoever gets in front gets loved we used to say is the phrase well.
I love them in the Lord, which means personally can't stand him. That one. Well I love them in the Lord's of yellow pipe coming out of you could squirt them. With God's love, you can't. You can't unscramble the egg folks. If you love them you love them, and the Lord loves him. And if you don't love them.
Then the Lord doesn't love me through. You're not loving you love them all. Say you can't discriminate the world picks and chooses Paul says in Philippians 2. I pray that you would have the same love.
What that means is to love everybody. What the say in first John three he says love in word not in word and time, but in deed and in truth.
Anybody who has a need and don't shut up your heart of mercy when you see them with the need. You can learn all the theology you want to spin off all the dogma you want, but if you don't love then you are nothing but sounding brass and tinkling cymbal and true salvation goes from the head to the heart reaches right out of touch other people. He says I'm so thankful to God that I've heard you that you have faith in the Lord Jesus, and that you love the saints you know some scam said that Ephesian churchman they started out right when you get to chapter 2 of Revelation. In verse four the Lord Jesus writes them a letter Lord Jesus says to the church at Ephesus.
I have something against you, because you have left your what first love.
Sad to think about it, but the history of the Ephesian church as they left their first love and they went out of existence as a church is gotta be faith and love and balance you know the monks and the hermits had a loyalty to Christ, which separated them from man to live and let alone in a desert place contemplating faith was loveless faith and never touched anybody the heresy hunters of the Spanish Inquisition and other ages had a loyalty to their faith, which caused them to literally persecute anybody with a difference, loveless faith.
I'm afraid there are some Christians in the churches today who are hateful and bitter and resentful of other Christians in its loveless faith and I question in as I would. The cases I just illustrated.
Whether it's even genuine saving faith genuine is marked by love and faculty. Some folks you can't love the Lord Jesus Christ put your faith in him without loving the people that he loves to get that letter forget my son once I was driving a car and healing over to me. It was about a certain person. He said to me I love so-and-so.
I did a double take and you know, I know I said to him what you mean you love so-and-so pieces.
I love so-and-so is a whiny love so-and-so. He said because I always hear you say you love and I love them to what's right.
If I love the Lord Jesus Christ. First John 512 says if I love the Lord Jesus Christ. I will love those begotten by the Lord Jesus Christ.
That's part of. So he says I commend you and I pray for you. Verse 16. I cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers and then his prayer of thanks turns to a petition and I pray he says, verse 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened. This outrider is as man I'm praying for you that you will understand your riches in Christ were and where is be spent little book called be rich and there he gives an interesting illustration about William Randolph Hearst was the late newspaper publisher Hearst at one point his wife decided to invest a veritable fortune in the collecting of great pieces of art and he was collecting them all over the world and storing them in warehouses in different places and one day he read a description in one of his art, books, magazines, whatever. A description of an incredibly valuable piece of art. And he determined that he had to have that piece of art, so he got his agent and he sent them all over the world to find it. No one knew where was that guy went all over the world to find that art treasured for William Randolph's months and months went by, and finally the man came back and reported Mr. Hearst I found great joy he said where.
Where was it. He said it was in your warehouse. You bought it years ago frantically searching for what he already possessed. Paul is praying here Lord deliver those Christians from frantically searching for what they already possess the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him, so that they will know what is theirs and that they'll be able to use it in the living of life must face the people we do spend a lot of time messing around chasing stuff. We've got with a lot I need strength of the Bible says you can do all things to Christ. Warty strength.
You will need love, the question abroad your heart learning.
My grace is sufficient for you, Lord, I need peace in the situation already left you all my peace that passes understanding what else is secrecy scrambled around big of what they've got. What a waste. In the Bible says you just asked for wisdom. If you lack was masculine.
Wisdom is the sense not to keep asking for what you got to the point is this.
Paul says God, the human mind cannot conceive of the riches of our position in Christ. So please God grant to them. This understanding only the Spirit can search the deep things and reveal them to us.
Such understanding is beyond the human mind, and God must enable us to understand choices that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the father of glory. I love those titles, the God of our Lord Jesus Christ that identifies it with him. After all, we are in Christ right and if we are in Christ, then he's our God to shed is the father of glory. That means the one who possesses all things, all glory is his and so he prays to that God that he may give us the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him not notice the word spirit, God grants us a spirit.
It is in in an arthroscope structure in the Greek no article, a spirit of wisdom and revelation people of discuss what spirit is. Some people say it's the Holy Spirit that God would grant us the Holy Spirit, but I don't think that's Paul's prayer because every Christian already has a Holy Spirit right. I don't think that's it. And besides that it's not the Holy Spirit it's a spirit so I don't think it's the Holy Spirit will need to ask for the Holy Spirit. We arty have the Holy Spirit. Our bodies temple of the Holy Spirit.
First Corinthians 6 says in Romans 89 says all Christians have a Holy Spirit so that wouldn't be it, and others have said no, it's the human spirit that he would give us a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the talk about the human spirit.
I don't think that's right, either because we already have a human spirit. The word Numa which we get breath in error, pneumatic pneumonia, it's the Greek word can be transit a lot of ways and I think the way it should be translated here is as a disposition and influence or an attitude which governs the soul of someone illustrate this does not to be the Holy Spirit. All human spirit can just be an attitude. For example, Jesus in the summer on amounts of Blessed are the poor in what spirit he wasn't talking about the Holy Spirit on the human spirit. He was talking about an attitude.
Those were humble people.
Now when we see somebody you sadly say there are spirits sad. What we see somebody really playing hard at some game.
We say that is spirit play or we see something really happy with a boy. He's in high spirits and all we mean is an attitude and attitude. A disposition and influence in thinking and I believe that what Paul is saying is this, give them the fullness of an attitude of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him while goddesses let them know in their mind how much they possess in Christ. Give them a deep, rich, keen, strong, full understanding now I would add to that that I think the Holy Spirit and the human spirit are also both imply and what Paul is praying. Is this what God sends the Holy Spirit to work on the human spirit to create the right spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of his it's the work of the spirit, only the spirit can search the deep things of God and by the way, the word revelation deals with the imparting of knowledge and the word wisdom deals with the use of it so I saying God, I'm just praying at the Holy Spirit to work on the human spirit to produce the spirit of wisdom and revelation. That is, that they will need all their position in the resource and that they will use it. See step out and using joy wants to believe it of a full deep knowledge of God, not intellectual but something deeper than that.
Something far deeper and I'm telling you people. I said this for years and years and I'll say it till I drop over the Christian life is predicated on what you know it's gotta be here before you can love it.
It's got to be revelation before it can be wisdom.
You gotta receive it before you can use it and that's why we spent our time teaching the word of God. So Paul prays God.
It's not enough. It's not enough that I just on the facts. I pray for them, but they will understand the imparting of truth in the use of it in the knowledge of him. You know you have Christ you know Christ, if you know Christ you really have this this attitude of wisdom and revelation this deep sense of knowing God's heart in God's mind was pretty good. So great father to know that all the resources it are in Christ are granted to us by faith. Thank you father for every person here everyone a special life. Everyone especially beloved of you, everyone uniquely designed and made in father for those who have come to faith in Jesus Christ. For those who know and love him. Everyone a part of your eternal plan. Some father who haven't yet said yes what you're calling and by your spirit their part of the plan to their some of your people. Yet unborn.
Bring them to yourself today for those who are in the family. Father, help us to have a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him spirit produced as the Holy Spirit works on our human spirit to give us comprehension beyond what is possible in the normal human mind to know the deep things of God and knowing them to be able to use our position may be known and understood and lived at and will thank you. In Jesus name. This is grace to you with John MacArthur. Thanks for being with us along with teaching here on the radio. John pastors Grace Community Church and he serves as chancellor of the Masters University in seminary in Southern California. Today's special Thanksgiving broadcast was part of John's current study richer than you think and friend as you celebrate Thanksgiving today know how thankful we are for you and would love to hear how John's verse by verse.
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The sermons Grace stream and much more are firstname.lastname@example.org now for John MacArthur and all of us here at Grace to you. I'm Phil Johnson. Wishing you and your family a happy Thanksgiving and join us tomorrow when John digs deeper into the power and blessings God has given you. Don't miss the next half hour of unleashing God's truth one verse at a time on wasting