Called to Obedience
- Date: April 10, 2017
- Teacher: Pastor Star R. Scott
- Scripture: “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)
- From Put On Christ
We delight in the finished work in Jesus and that revelation that's coming to us. The realization of our sonship and the exaltation of where we're seated with Him in the heavenlies. Paul brings that great revelation to the Ephesians church, to us. This wasn't just for Ephesus; this is for us! Then he talks about the condition of man. He said, "…in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, [under Satan's rule and power, he says. And that same] spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:" You see, that dominion of Satan still expresses itself, and even to points of victory, to those who are children of disobedience. Redemption and justification "just as though I'd always obeyed," does not manifest itself practically when you're willfully disobeying. "But you just said justification is 'just as though I'd always obeyed!'" Amen, but you have to obey to receive the benefit of eternal obedience. What does that mean? When you sin it must be acknowledged. It must be despised. It must be rejected so that I can confess my sin and He's faithful and just to forgive me! You can't live in habitual, unconfessed sin, willfully, and be the justified, the redeemed.
So he says that for the children of disobedience there's going to be wrath. There's going to be judgment. And he says that same spirit that was dominant before your justification will work in the children of disobedience. "[A people that we had our living among them, verse three goes on to say] in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others." What's he saying? Don't forget where you came from! That's a good way to paraphrase that. As we go on in the study we're going to see this is a conflict in a church like ours, where we have second and third generation believers. The fact of the matter is some of you just don't think you're that bad! You need to come to grips with the holiness of God and see that the slightest sin is a despising the holiness of God, is a rejection of the sovereignty of God. The slightest sin is to choose your will and your position over the authority of God. Hence the term, "Sin is missing the mark." What mark are we missing? We're missing the fact of how holy He is and how we're not!
So Paul is bringing kind of a little reminder to them saying, "This is where we had our lives before, but He's made us alive. We were dead in trespasses and sin, but He's made us alive. But don't allow yourself to get back into that kind of an environment. Don't forget who you were and how desperate you were and how helpless you were without the blood of Jesus by wanting to just take back certain parts of your life. Those of us who fulfilled the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desire of our flesh and our minds." See your minds, also: ambition, self-will, self-righteousness. And then he makes this statement. He talked about the children of disobedience and now he talks about the children of wrath, "But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ…." Can you say, "Praise God!" for that? Now, if He did it to bring about our initial redemption, how much more the restoration through our confession in Christ and who He is and who we are in Him? How quick He is to obey? How longing, as we just shared earlier, His love for you to have you come back into a place of fellowship, a place of restoration and the full benefits of our adoption.
"But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath [made] us [alive] together with Christ… And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might [lavish upon you, might show you] the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus [say it with me] unto good works [What God has predestined for us He commands that we pursue. Created unto good works], which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." This is just the start. Hopefully we can begin to see this biblical revelation of who we are in Christ and the necessity, then, to allow those good works to be performed through us that "men would see and glorify our Father, which is in heaven" (Matthew 5:16).