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Favorably Disposed to Us #1

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green
The Truth Network Radio
May 9, 2022 8:00 am

Favorably Disposed to Us #1

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green

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May 9, 2022 8:00 am

Today as Pastor Don Green continues teaching God's People God's Word, he'll look at how sin can bubble up in the heart of even the most devout Christian and what our response when this happens says about our relationship with God. --thetruthpulpit.comClick the icon below to listen.

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What were going to do is use the first two chapters of Ephesians to see all that God has done to reconcile us to himself. All of the love, grace, mercy and kindness of patients that he is shown to us, despite our sinful condition hello and welcome back to the crew with John Green, founding pastor of truth Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio by Bill right and today is done continues teaching God's people. God's word you look at how sin can level up in the heart of even the most devout Christian and what our response. When this happens, says about our relationship with God.

If you're ready, let's get started.

Here's part one of a message called favorably disposed to us here on the truthful whenever we come to the table here at truth Community Church, there's always this nagging sense that I have inside that of the temptation to take it for granted. To take it as something that is routine to lose side of the majesty of what it is we are remembering here we are, remembering the fact that a holy God at his own expense intervened on behalf of guilty sinners like us in order to show grace to us and we did not deserve that we could never deserve.

If we had lived 10,000 lifetimes. We couldn't have earned a drop of the mercy that was showered upon us at the cross of Jesus Christ at our church try to take communion seriously.

Remembering that the symbol is pointing us to a greater spiritual reality of which none of us are worthy. I have a wonderful passage of Scripture to bring us to as we kind of pivoted now and I want to take you to a familiar Scripture to prepare your hearts for communion turn in your Bibles to the book of Ephesians with me. Turn to Ephesians and having addressed the rebellious hearts that might be in our midst here. I now turn to humble Christians to give you a word of encouragement as you come to the table and to realize that for those who have been born again for those that the Lord has done a work and you are responding to Christ. Even though without perfection. We understand that we don't respond to imperfectly but but the deepest longings of your heart are to love Christ to serve him to honor him, you love and appreciate him and and you know you you grieve over your sin, you don't boast any don't settle down and hardness Senate but you grieve over and repent and confess your sins. This message is for you in preparing your heart for the Lord's table as an act of appreciation and gratitude for all of the kindness that the Lord has shown to you for you I'm here to remind you today that our Lord God that this holy God. This this wonderful Lord Jesus Christ. He is favorably disposed to us is favorably disposed to his people. He saved us in order to sanctify us to set us apart that we might be a people that are devoted to his worship and praise. And what better time to be gathered together devoted to his worship and praise than when we remember how he laid down his righteous life in order to redeem us and for us Christians for repentant Christians. I understand because it's true for me to. It is easy to get discouraged. As we see the remaining sin in our lives. We see how easily we stumble know the book of James says we all stumble in many ways and in on it and we don't want to be like that and that and yet we do. Just yesterday I was out for the briefest of walks in our neighborhood and I noticed a house that I hadn't seen before had noticed it. There's this really big house in our neighborhood.

You know what I did in response to that I coveted after that house sincerely broke my heart to realize it said man I wish I had that house and I had just completing the preparation for the 10th commandment, which says you shall not covet many things seven things that are listed there and says you shall not covet your neighbor's house and the impulse of my heart. As soon as I saw something like that was to coveted the covet that which the Lord has not given to me to covet.

After that, and to forget the gratitude that I should have for all of the many blessings that he has given to me that struck me. So I spent the rest of my walk in a spirit of confession, realizing how quickly sin can bubble up in my own heart, and you know and were all in that boat and so we struggle with so many things we struggle with so many things in our heart. Discontentment, anxiety, and resentment and greed as well as what the apostle John describes in his first letter, the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh and the boastful pride of life, and if we had not the mercy of Christ.

If we had not the gospel set before us. You know, we would be we would be miserable men because we are so unworthy of him and yet, as Scripture says, Ephesians 24 but God, but God, for reasons known only to him for reasons prompted only within his own holy essence and nothing about us, not even our faith prompted God to love us God for his own reasons, has set his love on us in the Lord Jesus Christ. In such a way that we can come and enjoy fellowship with him that we can find joy in him that we can find rest and forgiveness in a cleansed conscience in him in a way that is totally undeserved, but which we received gratefully as a gift. So what were going to do is use the first two chapters of Ephesians. Obviously very much a panorama sense the first two chapters of Ephesians to see all that God has done to reconcile us to himself.

All of the love, grace, mercy, kindness, patients that he is shown to us, despite our sinful condition.

What is done in Christ shows us that he is favorably disposed to his people that he designs our blessing and our response to that is to praise him and to and to serve him and to repent of sin and into look to Christ alone for our righteousness. And so that's what we want to do here and were going to to start with a sense of the praise of God, and then move on to the power of God the praise to God starts in chapter 1 verse three.

I'm going to read this this long section through verse 14, which in the Greek text is 202 Greek words and it is one single sentence is an amazing piece of Greek literature and it's divided up in English. They break it up into sentences, but in Greek it's only one sentence showing that they the apostle Paul once he started on this topic. He couldn't stop he had so much that he had to get out but his words just tumble upon one another. In recognition of the greatness of God and the greatness of his salvation. It's a passage that is triune in nature, father, son and Holy Spirit. It's a passage that tells us so much about the different works that the Trinity is done on our behalf.

And it comes from the full heart of an apostle writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, so will begin in verse three, where the apostle Paul says, Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world that we would be holy and blameless before him in love he predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to himself, according to the kind intention of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace, which he freely bestowed on us in the beloved in him that is in Christ, we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished on us in all wisdom and insight. He made known to us the mystery of his will according to his kind intention, which he purposed in him with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times.

That is the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth in him. Also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to his purpose who works all things after the counsel of his will to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of his glory in him you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation having also believed, you were sealed in him with the Holy Spirit of promise was given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God's own possession to the praise of his glory now throughout this passage.

There's two things that I just want to say by way of overview statements throughout this passage you see the sovereignty of God in salvation being emphasized salvation was God's idea, it was God's gift and it was a gift that he determined to accomplish before the foundation of the world and he determined before the foundation of the world who the recipients of that gift would be without regard to anything good or bad that anyone had done. That's what it means.

You know the we need he did it. He did it before the foundation of the world and so you see the term predestination being used.

God determined beforehand what the destiny of men would be and this is his sovereign prerogative. God is holy and and those of us that ascend and violated against him. We have nothing to say against that.

It is a mark of the sinful, rebellious heart of men that they would object to God's sovereign prerogative to save, whom he wishes. According to his own desires and so we need to keep that in mind as we go through this with. Secondly, as we consider these matters of salvation.

I want to draw out before, is we don't often hear from this pulpit. The fact that all of salvation is to the praise of the glory of the grace of God and and just as just as there is a a reference to the threefold person of the of the one Godhead there is a threefold recognition of the praise that is given to father son and Holy Spirit. In this passage.

Look at verse six, you must see this. To understand this passage at all.

Paul opens with praise. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ there in verse three.

Then in verse six as he's walking through this majesty, he says, to the praise of the glory of his grace, which he freely bestowed on us in the beloved. He freely bestowed it, meaning that we didn't deserve it. We had done nothing to prompted in him. Verse 12 he says to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of his glory and verse 14. It's a view to the redemption of God's own possession to the praise of his glory. So verse six to the praise of his glory. Verse 12, to the praise of his glory. Verse 14 to the praise of his glory.

One of the things that we do here at truth community churches. We try to keep things simple.

We try to keep things focused on the word of God and we don't dilute things with a lot of references to human events or in 022 different things that might be happening in the lives of individuals. We do that for a reason. We do that so that we would not detract from the glory of God as we gather together for corporate worship, that our eyes are looking up vertically as we as we examine his word. There's a reason why we do that it is because we want everything to be devoted to the praise of the glory of this holy God, and what this means. What this passage means for us as we see that God the father chose us before the foundation of the world that Christ redeemed us with his own blood, that the spirits sealed us for salvation. What this means is this kind of the overarching.

The overarching point that were making as we come to the communion table.

Is that true Christians, not simply those who profess Christ, but true Christians who have been born again by the spirit of God. True Christians have no fear of final judgment. We have no fear of going to hell. We certainly have no fear of going to purgatory because that's a place that doesn't even exist. That's a place that was made up by Catholics that has no basis in Scripture whatsoever were not afraid of death were not afraid of what comes after death.

Because we understand what God has done for us in Christ and how he has secured us in the Lord Jesus Christ and so we want to just walk through a few highlights here three or four highlights in this first section of verses three through 14 of why we praise God why we come to the table with gratitude why we come with a sense of serene confidence that it is well with our souls, why, why can we be like that. Why do we praise God will first of all that. So this is like a sub point if you're taking notes first point the praise to God and then some subpoints of the grounds for the praise. The reason for the praise. Why do we praise God as we gather together as believers we praise him because he chose us he chose us for salvation in the Lord Jesus Christ and he is blessed us in measure that cannot be counted.

Verse three through five.

Look at there with me again.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ right there should be the remedy for a covetous heart. If you're in Christ God is given you every spiritual blessing in him and so our hearts if if they were right and pure would would be filled with nothing but gratitude and praise to God because he is given us. Every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ he's been good to us on what grounds do we resent not having different things that we might desire.

After this is just a mark of the.

The remnants of sin within us that we would be ungrateful for every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ because of something we see that we don't want this is convicting to me as I expressed earlier. So is blessed us in every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ and then he goes on to say this in verse four he says, just as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world that we would be holy and blameless before him in love he predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to himself, according to the kind intention of his will beloved God said his purpose of salvation before the beginning of time and God having set his purpose and having chosen whom would be saved.

The outworking of time since Genesis 11 has just been an unfolding of his purpose to redeem a people for his son the Lord Jesus Christ. God chose us individually so that we would one day be in his kingdom. If you are a Christian you have this blessed this blessed knowledge.

This blessed privilege of knowing that before time began. Godhead you in mind and God created you and appointed your lifespan with a purpose that you would enjoy fellowship with him forever you by name. It's not that God sent Christ into the world on a kind of a blind mission, hoping that whoever would respond later would come in and on out God's kind of anxiously watching to see how it would work out and see who will come or not know, God knows the end from the beginning Scripture is very clear about this. So this means that if you are a Christian, despite all of your sins, God purpose for you to be in Christ, and that you would be with him forever.

God shows you by name before time began. This is transcendent. This is eternal. This is magnificent. And you say will that's that's a marvelous thing to contemplate ending when you start to think that what you're starting to enter into the spirit of the passage you mean I'm a Christian.

Even though I don't deserve to be and I'm a Christian because God determined that for me. God determined that for my life before time began before he created the earth.

Yes, that is, the words of Scripture, that is the teaching of Scripture that he has blessed you like that from eternity past you were in the mind of God to be redeemed by Christ during the course of your lifetime, and as a result of that, there was never any danger that you would not be in Christ. In the end because it's what God had chosen for you before the foundation of the world.

He chose us, so that one day we would be in Christ he chose us, so that one day we would be in his kingdom.

He chose us knowing in advance how sinful and rebellious. We would be. He chose us in advance, knowing that even after we would were saved and walking through this life that we would be that we would be sinful and rebellious against him and that we would not live perfectly. He knew all of that in advance and still chose you anyway to receive an inheritance in his kingdom to be with the Lord Jesus Christ throughout all of eternity. Beloved, that's glorious that that is unspeakably great and it is an expression of the great kindness of God toward us. This shows us that he must be favorably disposed to us if he chose us before the foundation of time in order to belong to him and look there in verse five as well. This is not simply a an accounting transaction in the mind of God.

At the end of verse four. He said he did this in love. He did this out of out of love person you know seeking the highest good for us and it goes on and he says he predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to himself, God purpose for you in Christ to be a child of God. He determined to bring you into his family that he would be you would be adopted in with with full rights of in the inheritance of all of the all the belong to Christ would one day belong to you is deity accepted to start to understand something of this is to be staggered at the magnificence of it all. He chose us. He adopted us into his family so that we can say that we are children of God. For this reason Scripture says in first John three for this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know him but beloved Scripture says. First John 31 beloved, behold what manner of love the Father has given to us that we should be called the children of God, and we are in for that. We praise his name and go further, go further and take it and work it out into what it means for your daily life here today as you're walking through difficulties. Struggling with temptation dealing with difficult family are different matters that you know all of us.

All of us face step back from all of that. You can't begin to understand the that the that the purposes of God in those difficulties until you remember the big picture of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

You must view all of that through the lens of the fact that God cites chose you and saved you in order to deliver you into the his heavenly kingdom and as a result of that when you see that overarching eternal perspective, you realize that in the midst of your difficulties. It must be true that God is favorably disposed toward you, even though it seems like your circumstances are set hard against you don't interpret the goodness of God through the lens of the difficulty of your circumstances rather reverse it. Start with the eternal purpose of God. Understand your security and blessing in Christ.

My Christian brother, my Christian sister and do everything through that prism so that you say what ever else is happening in these relational or financial or physical reversals that I'm facing, whatever else it, I might think about them.

It has to be that God is favorably disposed to me in the midst of them, because he chose me and adopted me into his family and he had prepared that blessing for me before the beginning of time we have to go back to that again and again and again.

Paul goes on and you know if you're new to our church. You can go find you know I did a number of sermons on this passage and so were just doing a little bit a summary of this insight, your interests, then you go and look for those sermons online to where we discuss in greater detail. It's not just that God chose us in Christ.

Secondly, he redeemed us, he redeemed us in Christ. Paul open talking about our God and father in verse three, and then he moves and he brings the Lord Jesus Christ into it that's done green and your listing to the truth. Pulpit, our teacher will continue in our series called reflections on our Lord. Next time may well if you'd like to find out more about this ministry, we invite you to visit the truth. Pulpit.com. While you're there you'll find all of Don's teachings along with a host of other great free study resources. That's all it the truth. Pulpit.com now before we go here again is done with the closing thought all thanks Bill and my friend. I just want to encourage you as we close the broadcast today to to make your local church a priority in the scheduling of your life.

Scripture tells us not to forsake the assembling together of the saints, and I know for some of you. It's hard to find a good church but seek out the fellowship of other believers.

They can encourage you and you can be an encouragement to them.

God bless you as you serve him in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Thanks, Don and friend that's all the time we have for today.

I'm Bill Wright. See you next time on the truth pulpit, where we teach God's people. God's word


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