Share This Episode
The Bible Study Hour James Boice Logo

All Good in Christ

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice
The Truth Network Radio
December 11, 2020 7:00 am

All Good in Christ

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice

On-Demand Podcasts NEW!

This broadcaster has 586 podcast archives available on-demand.

Broadcaster's Links

Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.

December 11, 2020 7:00 am

When we make a large purchase, were often asked to provide an initial deposit or downpayment. Did you know that when God bought and redeemed us out of our slavery to sin, he also made a sort of downpayment to guarantee our salvation? In this message from Dr. Boice, entitled, All Good In Christ, well find out what Scripture says about that deposit and the hope that it gives us.

Summit Life
J.D. Greear
Encouraging Word
Don Wilton
Leading the Way
Michael Youssef
Destined for Victory
Pastor Paul Sheppard
Fellowship in the Word
Bil Gebhardt
A New Beginning
Greg Laurie

When we make a large purchase were often asked to provide an initial down payment or deposit. Did you know that when God bought them redeemed us out of our slavery to sin. He also made a sort of down payment to guarantee our salvation in this message from Dr. James Boyce entitled all good in Christ will find out what Scripture says about that deposit in the hope that it gives us welcome to the Bible study hour with Dr. James Boyce preparing you to think and act quickly if we really understand what it means to be chosen, redeemed and justified by God and will live in a way that reflects how truly blessed we are as Christians we have in the eternal hope that the world is not.

Let's listen together to this message from Dr. Boyd says he reminds us of that very truth. I've been pastor in one place or another for nearly 2 decades now. I know I don't look that old. But I am I would be laughing if I were you and during those 20 or so years. I suppose I have put together between 1300 and 1400 worship services I discovered that as the years have gone by. I have come I supposed to appreciate as much if not more than other things, the hymn singing of God's people because in him singing the congregation itself together actually actively is involved in praising God doesn't mean that the sermon in the Scripture reading are not importantly, obviously, are we learn from God through those things. But if we have rightly learned from God in the sermon on the Scripture reading it follows that we will want to praise him as a simply a way of saying that doctrine should result in doxology.

The apostle Paul obviously knew this, we sometimes say rightly when we are giving brief outlines of Paul's letters that generally speaking, they fall into two parts. There's a teaching part that comes first, and an application part become second. In other words, there is faith in life. Doctrine and duty, we often miss the fact that one before. Paul ever gets to the section of his letters in which he's applying the doctrines of his heart. It would seem breaks forth spontaneously and praise to God for all of the great things God has done for him. We find that in the book of Romans.

For example, where many great doctrines are mentioned just the beginning. In the opening chapter in God's praise for those great truths, or in second Corinthians Philippians or Galatians briefly, or Colossians are in the other letters, however, of all those books in which Paul follows that format. I suppose there is none that does this at greater length and with greater depth than the letter to the Ephesians, Paul has a brief introduction and verses one and two, and then beginning with verse three and continuing all the way through verse 14 he literally pours out his heart and praise to God for his many blessings and then at that point, beginning in verse 15 he begins to pray on the basis of what he is already reminded himself and those to whom he is writing of an interesting section of the book. For one thing is all one sentence.

Most of our English versions verses 3 to 14 are divided up because we just can't read paragraphs that are that long and still maintain a sense of what it's talking about, you find that many of our versions are. Serve releasor; try to break it up. But in the Greek, which Paul was writing this is all one sentence which means that Paul simply begins in verse three to praise God and list as many blessings and then as he begins to list them.

They just come tumbling forth from his mouth, one after the other is the ads phrase upon phrasing doctrine. Upon doctrine in an attempt to express the wonders of this great salvation which is ours in Jesus Christ. The commentators himself seem to fall over each other in describing praise to this particular paragraph one commentator calls it a magnificent gateway to the epistle. Other calls of the golden chain of many links.

The third calls of the kaleidoscope of dazzling lights, shifting colors, John Stott, who lists these and other descriptions of this great paragraph summarizes like this gateway golden chain. The kaleidoscope of a snowball array source of operatic overture. The flight of an eagle. All these metaphors in their different ways describe the impression of color movements and grandeur which this sentence makes on the reader's mind is not just color and movement that confront us in this paragraph. It's also these great doctrines which occur one after the other. These doctrines are all interrelated dramatically and also theologically and it makes it hard to analyze the paragraph commentators have done it in various ways.

Some have pointed out that in the first section versus 427 even involving verse three you have the work of God the father and that's true, and in verses seven through 10 you have a focus on the work of God the son that is the Lord Jesus Christ and then in verses 11 through 14 you have a focus on the Holy Spirit so they divide the paragraph along Trinitarian lines John Stott whom I mentioned a moment ago divides it up in a time sequence.

He says you have here verses that refer to things past. That is our election by God to things present. That is our adoption by God. So we become sons or daughters and thirdly to that which is future, namely the unification of all things in Christ and then he says verses 11 through 14 are a little cold and that's tacked onto that that shows the scope of these blessings. That is who they apply to the Gentiles as well. As the Jews. One commentator simply lists all the blessings he analyzes it that way. Martyn Lloyd Jones and what is so far as I know the most extensive commentary on Ephesians abandons all hope of trying to establish an outline and just goes through the paragraph significant phrase by significant phrase analyzing it for its meeting and applying it to our lives. I guess of all the outlines of the most obvious, and perhaps the most useful is the Trinitarian one because when you look at the paragraph it's evident that God is the source of everything God is the subject of literally or almost every verb in the paragraph and then the phrase in Jesus Christ through Jesus Christ him hers again and again. Now I said that in most of our English versions. This is divided up and that it doesn't reflect the situation in the Greek is all one sentence and great aunt. Although it is one sentence in Greek. His real meaning and I think wisdom and the fact that this is divided up, not merely to make it readable, but when we come to verse three, particularly in setting that burst off from everything that follows, because verse three is a title versus statements at the beginning of the section which rightly says what's going to follow. It says praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.

Paul wants to talk about these blessings that he wants to praise God for them. Here the beginning the other sprays and he says that although his paragraph is going to detail some of things he wants to point out that it is every spiritual blessing that we receive through God's work in Jesus Christ our Savior that were spiritual needs to be looked at because spiritual can be used in several different ways. In this particular context.

It can be used in two ways. It could mean that these blessings come to us by means of the Holy Spirit is the Holy Spirit is the vehicle or the agent that applies these spiritual blessings to our hearts and that of course is true when you look at verses 11 through 14, with the Holy Spirit. As mentioned, we sense that perhaps that's what Paul has in mind certainly goes versus talk about the application of these things to us by the Holy Spirit of God's likening the word spiritual could mean is that T has in mind that which is spiritual as opposed to that which is material or materialistic. I think as I read this because of the phrase in the heavenly realms, which also occurs in that verse that is really the second of these that Paul has in mind. The first is true, these blessings come to us by means of the Holy Spirit. I think when Paul says God has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing. What he saying is that we should be most thankful and praise God for that which is spiritual in nature doesn't mean that God is not also blessed materially. The dots more Jesus Christ in the sermon on the Mount and the great passage against worry and anxiety said that God will provide for all our needs.

He takes care of the flowers of the field and the birds of the air. Jesus said, looking God does that for the flowers and the birds.

He certainly able to take care of you. So don't worry. Don't fret about it.

God will provide for your material needs as well.

The apostle Paul said writing to the Philippians my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus certainly does provide material needs to see what Paul would have us know as C begins this great letter to the Ephesians is not important as these material things may be we have every right to make our requests to God for material things praying. Give us this day our daily bread is the Lord Jesus Christ taught us to pray important as those things may be, they are relatively insignificant when compared with our spiritual blessings you see in this life we all we know, which is what the world thinks, generally because he doesn't really know the life to come in this life are all well then to lose material things would be the ultimate tragedy because his older is an abuse that you lost everything, but if there is a spiritual realm.

If there is a life beyond the grave, that there is an eternity as well as a time. Then well be possible to lose these things rejoice. Nevertheless, because we have the salvation of our soul. So Paul here praising God for every spiritual blessing begins to list these things in which we should rejoice a little First thing Paul writes about his election.

Verse four for he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. Interesting is the first of all these great doctrines about which Paul speaks his election. And yet, that is one which as we know in American evangelical life today is often not spoken of least not much because it's well creates a difficulty in any people's minds and the preachers those who handle these textile want to deal with difficulties so the impression is allowed to stand that diff elections Truax God chooses some to salvation of salvation is of the Lord as it says in the book of Jonah. Even in the Old Testament, well then somehow human choices. Human will is destroyed or if not, we at least have an excuse for ungodly living because well about is going to save is going to say was, anyway, and it doesn't matter how we live, we can go on serving the devil.

Knowing that we'll get to heaven at last course is a great distortion of the documents. Not at all what election teaches you see when you talk about the first of those problems. The relationship of God's choice demands well but you have to understand is that in terms of our well even in an unsafe state. You and I certainly do make choices problem courses were not alive to God. We don't have the nature Jesus Christ within us of the choices we make are from being the choice from God always choices against it gospel is proclaimed that we don't want that gospel Jesus Christ is exalted, but we don't want Jesus Christ to be exalted. We want to be involved in ourselves.

And so in the free exercise of our fallen human. Well, we run away when actually happens in election is a by election than the result of that which is the regeneration of sinful men and women.

When we are made alive in Christ we actually get a capacity for choice that we never had before, so we can make choices but only in a limited area now for the first time because we have a new nature were able to choose God and that which before was undesirable for us. God who wanted to rule over us whose role we didn't want now becomes a loving heavenly father to Scripture portrays him as being in we say yes, that's what we want. That's what we need. That's the one we desire to serve and so we willingly choose him just as before, we willingly rejected his election makes that possible. God did not choose a God did not elect on the basis of that election regenerate. We would all willingly perish by our own free choices. The second thing has to do with ungodly living. This is the problem that Paul had often when he was preaching his gospel to the other churches because people would say well if that's true, if salvation is all of God, then nothing I can do about it. I'm saying I'm safe I'm lost I'm lost in the meantime, I might as well live myself in sin do everything I want. I would say that's what you feel to good proof that you're not elect because you see what it says here is that God, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms, chose us in him before the creation of the world want to be holy and blameless in his sight at same electing will of God that determines that we are going to be in Christ is also fixed upon our sanctification.

So you say well how do I know if I'm elect. Ultimately, the only answer is whether you're living a holy and blameless life you say well I profess the right things.

So to the devils you say well I attend church. So many unsafe people say the only way you ultimately know is whether God's choice of view is leading to that which is honoring to him mainly a life of holiness and that's what he chooses to do the second he mentions is in verse five adoption. Paul says in love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will adoption is one of the great blessings of the Christian life because it means that while before we were alienated from God.

Now by his grace we are brought into his own family and have all the privileges of that family relationship. One of the privileges of that relationship is to be as Paul says in the fifth chapter of Romans, heirs with God and coheirs with Jesus Christ.

Another blessing of that family relationship is to be able to bring all our requests before God in prayer as a child, a son or daughter will father and note not only did those prayers are heard that they will be answered in accordance with God's own perfect wisdom that's a great blessing when we praise God for all the spiritual blessings we have in heavenly places. We don't want to forget our adoption we become sons and daughters of the Almighty. The third thing Paul mentions is redemption you find it in verse seven in him we have redemption through his blood redemption of all the terms refer to our salvation is probably that one that is most dear to Christian minds and consciences because it refers to what the Lord Jesus Christ himself directly does for us.

When you talk about justification you're talking about a legal term how God as judge declares is right before the law. That's meaningful, but it doesn't touch us as redemption does. When you talk about propitiation you're talking about what Jesus does in relation to God the father, he turns aside God's wrath that's important doesn't speak so directly when you talk about redemption. Talk about Jesus Christ at the price of his own blood. By his death, setting us free from the bondage of sin and death, in order that we might serve him in antiquity. There were different ways in which a person could become a slave you could become slave by birth, your parents were slaves swell you automatically were a slave or you could become a slave by conquest. If you were a citizen of a particular city or nation in that city are nation was attacked by another nation over Commonwealth is quite possible generally.

It was the case all of the People became slaves or you could become a slave by debt. If you got into such a great debt were unable to repay. It took all your possessions and sold them satisfy the debt that still wasn't paid. The last thing you had with yourself and you could be sold into slavery in the price of that would go toward the death. Three different ways strikingly, the Bible has versus an illusion one way or another to that kind of a situation as it takes that which was true in the secular realm and applies it spiritually. Can you become slave by being born a slave. Yes, well in terms of our slavery to sin. That is also true. David said, sin did my mother conceive me. In other words from my birth. I had a sinful nature and was unable unaided by the grace of God to shake myself free from you become a slave by conquest. Yes, that to David speaks of sin, ruling over him. We want to get free minutes.

I got iron taskmaster that doesn't let us go say well, and you become a slave by debt guests that to because Paul in Romans talks about the wages of sin which is death.

You see sin is something that requires a price and were unable to pay it. So were held under it by that kind of particular bonding the glory of the gospel is a Jesus Christ comes to set his people free, not merely that he satisfies the justice of God by dying in our place.

That is wonderful. That's the heart of what we mean when we talk about a substitutionary atonement is not just that means a Jesus by his death delivers us from sin gives us a new nature.

So now were able to live for him live a holy life, which is a life of great joy and happiness for thing he talks about his forgiveness feelings very closely to redemption saying in verse seven in him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, but forgiveness is not just the same thing as redemption.

Redemption means to be delivered from the slavery of sin by the death of Jesus Christ forgiveness means to have all of those sins that we have committed in the sight of God blotted out and removed from our records so that in a certain sense, God remembers them against us. No more says in Jeremiah.

I will forgive their sins, and I will remember their iniquities no more.

Many people go through life with the burden of unforgiven sin in their held down by that they feel guilty and rightly so.

I can't shake themselves free. We come this matter. Forgiveness is it's given to us by God. We have that which is in itself liberating because well if God doesn't hold us against us and God forgives, then who can raise anything against us. That's a great blessing this thing. Paul talks about is the revelation of God's purpose in Jesus Christ.

Verse nine he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times will reach their fulfillment, namely to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ. All the things he talks about here, Paul seems to reach the highest peaks of wonderment and praise when he speaks of the revelation of this great purpose. All things are going to be brought together in submission to Jesus Christ. One day I suppose that's because Paul was aware that he lived in a broken and fractured world. Paul knew all of the problems of the Roman Empire.

He lived in free cultures. He spoke Greek. He was a Jew and the functions in Roman society was aware in the midst of a society like that that Roman was pitted against Greek and Jew against Gentile and aristocrat against common or enriched man against poor manages all those difficulties and as so many in the secular world, even of our time recognize that without the grace of God there was no solution to those problems. And yet, here is the revelation of God's own solution, namely that one day God himself is going to bring together things in submission to Jesus Christ as God is going to get it back together and the way it was before the fall of man when sin entered into the world.

Back in those days everything was moaning us because it was one will the will of God the father and everyone rejoiced do God's will. The Angels send Adam and Eve as they were first created and sin entered in and divisions and fractions in fighting and warning and strife in all of those things we have in our time. Paul says God now reveals to us that one day's going to bring that all back together again in obedience to Christ. He wrote about it in Philippians 2 he said God has given him a name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow everything in heaven and on earth and under the earth that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the father we come to the end of the paragraph. The two more blessings. One is the seal of the Holy Spirit. Seal is something you put on a document to authenticate the document and Paul says the Holy Spirit is that since God's seal on his promises. God gives us promises here that we enjoy now, there promises a concern the like to comment. We do not enjoy now, but the Holy Spirit is God's seal to the effect those promises will be fulfilled on early completely in the life to come.

The last thing he mentions is an inheritance laid up for us, of which the Holy Spirit is a deposit to see the Holy Spirit was given to us as not only are sealants not only God authenticating that his promises are true and will be fulfilled. The Holy Spirit is also the down payment on those promises. It's like a down payment on a house of deposit thing which guarantees later payment which is itself part of the payment toys is the fact that we possess the Holy Spirit. Now the Holy Spirit possesses us as a foretaste of that complete glory which is yet to come. Leisure survey also praises God because he is blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing, and these are seven that he mentions but notice that sentence in verse three, which were studying says not only did God has blessed us in the heavenly places with every spiritual blessing that sentence also says that he is blessed us in Christ and that's to say in Jesus only. That's where these blessings are to be found. Though it is true that God out of his great grace and love has what in theology is called common grace is a kind of blessing, especially in material things like help in all of that applies to men and women at large.

In this fallen world. Jesus himself spoke of it when he said God sends his rain on the just of the unjust alike. It is true or common blessings. There is a general universal experience of the beneficence of God.

That's not what he's talking about here. Here Paul is talking about spiritual things that which pertains to salvation, which has the do with our relationship to God and Paul here says that is not a general thing is a blessings that come in Christ and in Jesus Christ alone see in Christ we have all things outside of Christ. Well, we may gain the whole world, we lose. Ultimately, because we lose our souls, what is it mean to be without Christ. Paul speaks about it just a chapter later he says remember that when you were without Christ, you were excluded from citizenship in Israel you were foreigners to the covenants of promise, you are without hope and without God in the world without Jesus Christ. We are not in him all his misery, but on the other hand, if we are in Christ, then all is blessing here and in eternity. Besides, John Calvin summed it up wisely. Calvin said whatever happens to us, but as always assure ourselves that we have good cause to praise our God, and that even if we are poor and miserable in this world, the happiness of heaven is enough to appease us to sweeten all our afflictions and sorrows, and to give us such content.

We may nevertheless have our mouths open to blessed God for showing himself so kindhearted and liberal toward us as even to adopt us as his children, and to show us that the heritage which has been purchased for us by the blood of his only son is ready for us and that we cannot miss it. Seeing that we go to it with true and invincible constancy of faith and then Calvin concludes, I think wisely, may it please God to grant this grace not only to us but to all peoples.

Let us pray our father we think at times that our prayers to you is ample and great and then we read a section of your word in which your blessings to us or suggested.

Even as slightly as this, and we recognize that our praise such as it is falls woefully short of what we owe you for all your provision of blessings in Christ the Savior, or father, as we reflect on these things now and in the weeks to come as we continue our studies. So this first chapter of Paul's great letter to the Ephesians grant that there might be awakened in us a new sense of wonder and awe.

All that is been done for us in Jesus Christ and that our mouse might be opened to show forth the praises of him who has led us out of darkness into such marvelous light and has laid up treasures in the life to come. We pray it for Jesus. You are listening to the Bible study hour with the Bible teaching of Dr. James Boyce listener supported ministry of the alliance of confessing Evangelicals.

The alliance exists to promote a biblical understanding and worldview. Drawing upon the insight and wisdom of reformed theologians from decades and even centuries gone by. We seek to provide Christian teaching that will equip believers to understand and meet the challenges and opportunities of our time and place.

Alliance broadcasting includes the Bible study hour with Dr. James Boyce every last word with Bible teacher, Dr. Philip Reich and Dr. Barnhouse in the Bible featuring Donald Barnhouse. For more information on the alliance including a free introductory package for first-time callers or to make a contribution. Please call toll-free 1-800-488-1888. Again, that's 1-800-488-1888. You can also write the alliance at Box 2000, Philadelphia PA 19103 or you can visit us online alliance for Canadian gifts mail those 2237 Rouge Hills Dr., Scarborough, ON, and 1C, two line 9 ask for your free resource catalog featuring books, audio commentaries, booklets, videos, and a wealth of other materials from outstanding reformed teachers and theologian. Thank you again for your continued support and for listening to Bible study

Get The Truth Mobile App and Listen to your Favorite Station Anytime