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September 30, 2020 7:05 am
What is Christ doing at this very moment. Chuck Swindoll when God gave Christ as head over the church but God seated him and exalted him. God gave him a position of ultimate overall authority so that he would ultimately be the judge.
Christ will be the king of kings and the Lord of Lord that day is coming.
The enemy will bow when faced with the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ. Have you ever paused to ask yourself what is Jesus doing right now at this very moment.
Most of us have mental images of him seated at the right hand of the father, but what is his throne look like and what activities consume his time today on Insight for living. Chuck Swindoll gives us a glimpse as we open our Bibles to Ephesians 1 in this passage Paul establishes that those who recognize the kingship of Jesus will have unconstrained access to his power to title today's message what is Christ doing now and why there is a presence there was a plan and there was a power available to every child of God.
But if were not careful will live our lives as though we have never met Christ and didn't need his power like to have some examples of that sort of power before I think I can tap into it good. There are four of them versus 20 through 23 provide them for us. The first example of God demonstrating this power was at the resurrection. Look at verse 20 which he brought about in Christ when he raised him from the dead. Christians today have become so familiar with the resurrection. It is easy to play down the power that it took to break the jaws of death. Remember when Christ was taken from across his body was limp. Five wounds had yielded blood and there was no blood left. He died leaving the scars of his hands, his feet and his side as visible reminders that death was his. He was wrapped in a moment like fashion, placed in a borrowed grave through the pity of a friend. The tomb was sealed as he was left to be forgotten by the Romans and the Jewish officials alike. What a surprise. They had a few hours later with the stone rolled away. The tomb was empty, that kind of power that broke the jaws of death that moved Christ from death back to life, and gave him the whole sense of an eternal existence on this earth in bodily form that kind of powers available to you if that isn't enough, look at the next statement. It was a kind of power when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly we have Ephesians to thank for the doctrine of session. Few other truths in the Scriptures are set forth more in a more limited fashion than the seating of Christ at the father's right hand.
Ephesians speaks of it not here only, but elsewhere as well. When Christ was on this earth after his resurrection 40 days past in which he ministered not only to his immediate well, but good times 500.
It wants, and others who came to know him. He then came to the place of appointment and was lifted up into the clouds and was returned in his ascension ported to go.
Ephesians tells us the father welcomed him into heaven and seated him at his own right hand.
Did you know that.
Did you know that he sat down at the place of authority. Now observe what he did when he said he met his right hand he gave him a place far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.
He put all things in subjection under his feet.
That's the third evidence of the surpassing power of God not only what he said about his right hand, but he said to the sun and affect all the things that you have been a part of on the earth. You are now and authority over all things all things in heaven and earth and under the earth, all things visible and invisible, all things present in all things future.
Observe all things. I have encircled in my Bible verse 22. He put all things in subjection under his feet. That means Jesus Christ ballasted no one, all things bow to him that isn't enough, look at the last one he gave him as head over all things to the church which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all that support evidence of surpassing power. He raised him from the dead, he seated at his right hand he gave him authority over all things, and then he placed him as head over all things in the church. The all things that he has authority over become the all things in the church over which he is head and they become for you in Christ and submission as well.
Now it's the third one that interest me and I want to focus on because that is in the realm where many of us encounter difficulty far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that his name not only in this age but also in the one to come.
He has put all things in subjection under his feet don't race to quickly pass those words. I think at the heart of them is the whole idea of the demonic forces turn to chapter 6 when we talk about being above all dominions and rulers and authorities and powers to show you something here. Look at verse 1010 through 12 of chapter 6 will come back to this in our study of Ephesians, but I want to jump ahead and show you something here. Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. There it is again. If you're disconnected, you become dysfunctional, you become defeated. If you're connected in the strength of his might. You can be strong in the Lord know why verse 11 so that you can put on the full armor of God, and be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil, for he explains our struggle is not against flesh and blood. It is against.
Notice the definite articles. There are four of them identifying the ranks of the demonic forces the rulers, the powers the world forces of darkness the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places study that list. In fact, now that I have your attention, let me make several observations. First, there is a struggle going on. Verse 12 we struggle not against blood and flesh. This word means wrestling we wrestle not never seen wrestlers fight at a distance you grab you hold you push you use leverage in the ancient days the Greeks when they would win the wrestling match would gouge out the eyes of the loser was a pretty rugged word picture. The apostle uses this is not some distant theoretical struggle that seminaries study about and a few theologians talk about and write about. This is the struggle of your life and mine. This is hand-to-hand combat with an enemy that is not only insidious in nature. He is invisible.
You don't know where it's coming from next first. Remember there's a struggle. Notice, secondly, that the contest is human versus supernatural. We don't struggle against blood and flesh we mere mortals struggle against the supernatural forces that we cannot see against the strength that is beyond hours don't flirt with it and don't play with it is my warning here. Don't get around it, knowing that you're messing in the demonic realm don't go there. Our struggle is not with other flesh and blood creatures. We are struggling against supernaturally strong, insidious, invisible, who think themselves to be invincible powers.
They are not invincible. He is above all things, far above all things in power. The father subjected all things to the sun when he seated him at his right hand muesli.
Thirdly, there is a strategy going on. See the end of verse 11 stand firm against the schemes of the devil. The word translated schemes. This methyl died we get our word. Obviously method from it. The enemy has a method he's been using it for centuries. He's been studying Christians like us down through the ages. He knows the changes MR armor. He knows the weaknesses he knows the areas when we are quickly overwhelmed and overcome.
And he points attention to those like a boxer who sees blood on the opponents face.
That's where he punches and keeps punching and keeps punching until the bruise becomes an open wound. The enemy also knows the church. He knows how to get to the church. He knows the way into the workings of a church and he knows how to disrupt a church. It is a method that is been perfected through the centuries. Hear me on this. It is going on. It has been going on for centuries.
It will continue to go on, but the good news. It is not above the power of Jesus Christ. That is the power we need if we are disconnected from the power than the enemy will get his way.
The adversary will win the day.
He will win the wrestling match. Let me put this so forth observation and another set of words, we are coming against the supernatural Mafia. The best way I know to describe it. Harold Boehner at Dallas seminary suggested that idea in the book and in writing. He did on Ephesians and I borrow from it here.
It's a Mafia it's probably true that most of you have never encountered the Mafia. I've only encountered it indirectly on a couple of occasions and it was both ugly and in and was intimidating.
It captures those under its spell its insidious it is invisible. It has an organization that is deeper than the police force of any city, and it goes on consistently and continually and usually those who were victims find themselves helpless to fight and so they pay up or they suffer the consequences. The enemies Mafia is described as look at verse 12 rulers powers forces of darkness, and spiritual hosts of wickedness study the list. They all operate out of their habitat, which is called the heavenly places. Look at the last three words of verse 12, the heavenly places.
The word places is in italics, because the editor of our Bibles, the editors have added that to clarify, I like the word heavenly's heavenly realm.
Ephesians 22 refers to the prince of the power of the air just the air, there's a lower heaven below the third heaven where God dwells and I understood understand. Please, these are all terms that we use to describe the unfathomable God dwells in unapproachable glory of holiness in his third heaven. That's where the Savior reseated even the heavens above the authorities of the lower heavens. This lower heaven is above the stellar spaces. It is out there. Within that realm are the rank and file of the enemy forces who amass their attention and efforts against God's plan and God's people. Believe me, believe the Scriptures I am not some conspiracy freak looking for something to make interesting in a sermon. This is truth. You are under the attack of the forces whether you know it or not held that the keep you awake tonight, but you have nothing to fear because greater is he who is in you than he who is in the world. If you are connected, disconnected, you will become dysfunctional, and you will become.
In fact, the victim of the wrestling match your power will be taken from you.
Your hope will be removed and your reason for existence will dissolve. Frankly that's the way most people live without Christ by Frank probably surprise you when I say I'm some amazing art more suicide. I'm amazed at any marriage outside of Christ will last. I'm amazed at the love that the divorce rate is just about 50% or so on surprises and 90, 95% remarkable. The forces against the godly marriage are unspeakable in their undeniable justice morning and our first morning service at a brokenhearted mother told me a grandmother told me that her daughter and son in law after 13 years of marriage. Three precious children one just born the husband seven got another woman any any split, she's gone another marriage Christian quote unquote marriage. How is it all from the Satan room.
No, it's not all from there, but more there than we would give a credit. John MacArthur, a good friend of mine writes some interesting things about this passage that I think is worth quoting.
Listen to his words rulers powers world forces of this darkness spiritual forces of wickedness describe the different strata and rankings of those demons, and the evil supernatural Empire in which they operate human beings to promote paganism. The occult, and various other ungodly and immoral movements and programs are but dupes of Satan and his demons trapped by sin into unwittingly helping to fulfill his schemes. He continues Satan's forces of darkness are highly organized and structured for the most destructive warfare possible.
The demonic categories are not explained, but rulers notice in the text, rulers no doubt reflects a high order of demon powers are another rank mentioned in first Peter 322. The world forces of this darkness, perhaps refers to demons who have infiltrated various political systems of the world attempting to pattern them after Satan's realm of darkness. We have no way of absolutely identifying the networking of the various schemes of Satan and should be wary of those who claim to do so, but we can be certain that he is acting behind the scenes of Christ's lists, human endeavors, listen to this, both the overt obviously evil works of man as well as the many covert and seemingly innocent and good works of humanistic endeavors. The spiritual forces of wickedness.
The last category listed here are possibly those demons who are involved in the most wretched and vile and moralities such as extremely perverse sexual practices. The occult Satan worship and the like.
Paul's purpose is not to explain the details of the demonic hierarchy, but to give us some kind of its some idea of its sophistication and power. We are pitted against an incredibly evil and potent enemy, but our need is not to specifically recognize every feature of our adversary but to turn to God, our powerful and trustworthy source of protection and victory couldn't agree more with you John, we have a formidable foe because he is invisible.
We don't know where to turn to find him because he is insidious and deceptive in nature. We are not able to expect the next surprise attack. Some of you don't even realize that you are under such an attack at this time you have been so disconnected from the source of power within you. Some of you have turned sin into a habit and you have now scolded by other names, thinking that there's no way you can find a whole poor way of getting past this long-standing addiction. If that's true then the Scriptures don't mean far above all things, but the Scriptures state more than once all things. When Georg backed Ephesians 1 when God gave Christ as head over the church when God decided not to keep Christ to himself, as we would've done when God seated him and exalted him. God gave him a position of ultimate overall authority so that he would ultimately be the judge of the rest that lay before us in the future. Christ will be the king of kings and the Lord of lords. That day is coming, he operates now in the invisible realm fighting on our behalf serving the cause of the father fulfilling the father's desire.
His power pervades the enemy will bow when faced with the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ. Does this mean it means I begin my day, not as a strong person but a weak one, I say to the Lord. I I don't know what today holds, but I know this, there are tests in front of me. I know there are trials I'm going to face. I know there's a sense of heaviness and pressure on me right now. And Lord I'm not able even to rid myself of such pressure and then the shadow of my past is is haunting me and I remember Sam's, and I've committed, and I know you forgiven I ask you take away the things that that would plague me and drained my energy and give me the kind of motivating force and authority and power that can come only through your son Jesus Christ made the Holy Spirit, fill me in such a way that he lives out his victorious conquering skills through me use my voice. Use my hands use my mind use my will. Today, as tools of your deliver me from the trap of thinking I'm a victim living in a world that is intimidating and overwhelming, and remind me the greater is he who lives in me than he who lives in the world.
The power is there if he's been given as head over all things to the church and that that means we're in that group were among the all things and we are part of his body so he becomes for us the fullness who fills all in all and I plead with you, not to approach the day as though you were strong but approach it, knowing that you are weak and saying so quit acting to the contrary.
Now, does this mean we all shove our hands in our pockets and kicked our toes in the dirt and learn to say aw shucks all through the day is is that what God's plan is of course not. I never saw Christ doing that is the most humble who ever lived in look at his life by the way, and he showed his strength and his humility in his dependence on the father and he model for us with this Christian life is about. He stayed connected connected. That's the term disconnections lead to dysfunctions connections in the victory. Melanie apply all of that is so I haven't been doing so missing a couple of things. The greatest evidence of power is change. If you want to know whether you are connected or not look back. Any major changes.
Any major victories any major alterations that happened in your past. Some of you would say you know I look back on it I don't believe I can.
I can, I could name a half-dozen my entire Christian life. You're not connected is just as simple as that.
The greatest evidence of power is change seminar family were watching a Discovery Channel not long ago, and they were showing how they built Hoover dam. I don't know if you watched it is rather amazing alike. Stuff like that and I watched imploring these hundreds of thousands of tons of concrete and I watched as they put concrete plants right there by this damn, I've watched as they built this labyrinth of pipes and valves and measuring devices in rooms and as a whole series of tunnels so that they could harness the power of the water would be built up behind this dam and pour through it at given time, so that the power could be put to use in the homes and in the structures around that would draw their electricity from the dam and I think if we were to visit the dam today. We would stand on the bottom of it and look up and say wow look at that hour. That's not power that is not the best evidence of the power of the dam you want to know the best evidence getting your car, drive to the home that derives its electricity from that day, late at night walk inside to the darkened room turn on the light and the light that envelops the darkness of the room is the greatest evidence of the power. Hoover dam changing darkness to light.
Those who belong to God's family have access to this power, turning darkness into light. You're listening to Insight for living in the Bible teaching of pastor and author Chuck Swindoll to learn more about this ministry. Visit us email@example.com. On this program and again on the next message Chuck is answering the question what is Christ doing now and why it's part of Chuck's comprehensive study through the book of Ephesians called becoming a people of grace. In addition to the daily study notes for each message posted on our website. You'll be glad to hear that Chuck wrote a commentary on Ephesians affect this particular volume in the collection of Swindoll's living insights is paired with Galatians as well.
When digging deeper into God's word. Any student of the Bible can benefit from a trustworthy commentary in the format Chuck developed is filled with helpful cultural context cross-references suggested, prayers, and of course plenty of opportunity to apply what you've learned to purchase Swindoll's living insights commentary on Galatians and Ephesians. Call us if you're listening in the United States. The number is 1-800-772-8888 or go online to Insight.org/store. In closing, let me say a word of thanks to our monthly companions and all those who give generously. You're accomplishing far more than you'll ever know because your gift not only allows us to provide these daily visits with Chuck, a small portion is multiplied overseas in our ongoing pursuit of vision 195 vision 195 is our stated mission to reach 195 countries of the world in order to make disciples of Jesus Christ. Just as he commanded and spread the word about God's amazing grace to give a one time donation today. Call listening in the US dial 1-800-772-8880 or step up your level of support by becoming a monthly companions. Call 1-800-772-8888 or go online Insight.org/monthly companions tomorrow. Chuck Swindoll continues lightning message titled what is Christ doing now and why join us Thursday to hear Insight for living. The preceding message. What is Christ doing now and wanting was copyrighted in 2000 2001 and 2009 and the sound recording was copyrighted in 2009 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. all rights are reserved worldwide. Duplication of copyrighted material for commercial use is strictly prohibited