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Posts Tagged ‘Ephesians 02’

“[K]now …the exceeding greatness of his power … Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places” – Ephesians 1:18-20

Jesus’ bodily resurrection was a game changer! He was raised, ascended, and took his place at the Father’s right hand in heavenly places!

But He’s is NOT the only one there – we are there, too!

“God raised us up and seated us in the heavens with Christ Jesus. – Ephesians 2:6 (Common English Bible)

Note the past tense.

How can I be sitting with Christ at God’s right hand if I’m here with you, or on the job, or fishing Saturday morning with my son?
Easy! Think of it this way. I am sitting in a chair at the library – my hands may be on the keyboard and my feet on the floor but these are no less seated for I am one body and I am seated.

Similarly, though I may be on this earth, because I am a member of Christ’s body I am just as seated as our Savior who took his rightful place with the Father.
– fritz

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“Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house … and I will make of thee a great nation …” – Genesis 12:1-3

My affiliation with Christ enables me to participate in “Abraham’s Blessing”.1

Part of that blessing is nation building – not a political nation, but a common bond of heart and soul that will culminate upon Christ’s return to rule this earth.

Jesus told his disciples, “I will build my church”.2 The word, “Church” literally means “the called out ones.” Called out of every nation and ethnic group are individuals who are to be part of his work in the earth. The call is generic in that anyone can participate if they desire to do so. It is specific in that only the ones tapped by God will say, “Yes!” Do you feel that draw to participate? It’s him calling.

These are, collectively, the “Mountain that filled the whole earth” mentioned in the Bible’s book of Daniel, chapter two.3 They are the temple of God building for his habitation.4 They are the “joints and ligaments” of the Body of Christ, helping it to grow into full maturity.5

Entering Christ has made me part of something bigger than myself, bigger than my nation, bigger than my time in history.

How cool is that!

-fritz

1 – Galatians 3:13
2 – Matthew 16:18
3 – Daniel 2:34
4 – Ephesians 2:22
5 – Ephesians 4:16

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And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, [Jesus] expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself. – Luke 24:27

Two travelers on the way to a town called Emmaus, seven (7) miles from Jerusalem, picked up a stranger. Though unrecognized until the last, he took them through the Bible from a new perspective — Christ in every Book, Letter, and Psalm. “Did not our hearts burn within us!”, they said!1

The Bible really is a book about just one man — All the apostles saw it that way. Here is just one (1) example:

Paul, quoting a very familiar passage about Adam and Eve but with a new twist:

“For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh … I speak concerning Christ and the church.” – Ephesians 5:30-32

Neither we nor Jesus are any longer just ourselves, but eternally linked in covenant like a husband and wife! Him taking my sinfulness, me taking his righteousness,2 becoming one new man,3 the last Adam4 (male and female 5). We, together, approach God with nothing owing and all debts paid, God’s grace working is us (Christ and me) in all circumstances to bring about our good and God’s glory.6

Wow, what a book, what a savior, what a God, what a privilege!

— fritz@langgang.com
1 – Luke 24:32
2 – 2nd Corinthians 5:21
3 – One new man (not referring to Jew and Gentile but us and Christ) – Ephesians 2:14-15
4 – Last Adam – 1st Corinthians 15:45
5 – Adam, male and female – Genesis 1:27
6 – See Post from July 11, 2010 – “Where is God’s Blessing”

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>Job’s Lament Granted…

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“Oh that I knew where I might find him! that I might come even to his seat! I would order my cause before him, and fill my mouth with arguments. I would know the words which he would answer me, and understand what he would say unto me….he would pay attention to me.” – Job 23:3-5,6b (ESV)

Job lamented he could not go to the “seat” (throne) of God. He knew, if he could, God would listen to his deepest hurts and troubles and he would find relief!

The barrier to God was only bridged by special prophets and seers. To hear from God one had to ask a holy man to interceed or a priest to use the “Urim and Thummin”, like casting lots. Personal interaction with the Almighty was just not possible.

Then Jesus came, paid for our sins, and sent the Holy Spirit; Job’s lament has been granted for every believer!

(God)…”raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” – Ephesians 2:4-7 (ESV)

Question: If you really believed you were seated with Jesus at the throne of God, how would your prayer life change?

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>Difference between Love and Intimacy.

>If we don’t earn our way into heaven, then why do good works? If God doesn’t play favorites, why do some appear closer to Him than others?

These are questions often heard.

The Bible clearly says salvation (all that means both now and eternally) is a gift by God’s grace not based on the good works we do but the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross (Eph. 2:8-9). It also tells us God does not play favorites (Romans 2:11).

I think of it in terms of my own children. I love each one equally but the “closeness” I feel to each differs and sometimes fluctuates.

Love moves me to provide for their needs, sometimes above my own, to act in their best interest even when they don’t appreciate it, to not hold grudges against them and to long for a greater closeness to each.

Some of my children have at times felt I loved others of them more and have said so, but I know that is not true. What is true is that the actions of some have, at times, developed an intimacy not always shared by others at all times. Love can be one direction but intimacy can not! The level of intimacy has always been their choice, not mine.

While there is nothing more they can do for my love (they each already have it) there are things they can do to increase our intimacy.

Desiring to spend time with me is a good first step. Showing my opinions are valued also helps. Doing what I consider “good” things simply because I consider them “good” things makes love a two way communication and joys my heart.

The purpose of us doing “good” works is because it brings God pleasure. Taking the time to read His word, the Bible, in a desire to know Him better, fosters a two way communication available to anyone but chosen by only some. Moving towards Him doesn’t make Him love us more, it makes us love Him more. It doesn’t change Him, He is already at 100% for us; it changes us.

A pastor friend often said in his sermons, “You can be as close to God as you want.”

Something to think about.

Fritz.

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“That..God…may give you the spirit…that ye may know…what is the exceeding greatness of his power..which he wrought in Christ when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named…in this world…(and)…in that which is to come: and hath put all things under his feet…” – Parts of Ephesians 1:17-22 (KJV)

Those in Christ have no problem believing that Jesus is now above all authorities, powers, and kingdoms, both good and evil, but it is the next verse we need to understand!

God…hath quickened us together with Christ…and hath raised us up together, and hath made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus” – Ephesians 2:4-6 (KJV)

If Jesus is seated next to the Father, with all dominions under his feet, AND we are seated with him then, obviously, we would have God’s ear and are also above those same dominions. We are NOT the victims of our circumstances, but the victors.

Maybe this is why Paul describes himself, in Ephesians 3:1, NOT as a prisoner of Rome (where he happened to be in chains) but, instead, a “the prisoner of Jesus Christ…“. It wasn’t the guard keeping him there, it was Jesus. For grins, read Acts 12:1-25. Paul happened to be in Jerusalem at the time and saw it all happen.

Never again shall I say I am doing well under the circumstances! I am doing well over those circumstances for I am seated with Christ.

– Fritz

Patrikin – Related through The Father (God): Depends on what the meaning of "is" is.

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Someone always asks “What about those who never heard of Jesus, would God be so unjust as to send them to hell when they never heard the gospel?

Let’s draw an analogy using the recent tragedy in Haiti where, because of an earthquake, thousands of people are sick, injured, dying, and homeless on a scale we in America can hardly imagine. Countries are doing their very best to send aid, medical supplies, and food, to alleviate suffering.

Has any sane person asked if America would be so unfair to let those people in Haiti die just because they did not get the aid? Has anyone said the Haitians were doing fine until those aid workers came to their villages? Will the history books record that the Haitians were living peaceably, making their own way, living in their own houses with joy in their hearts until those ugly Americans came in and made them live in tents, and forced them to stand for hours in line just to get food and water!

To do so would show either a gross ignorance of the earthquake and what it did or would show a hidden agenda on the part of the historian to make America look bad. To ask similar questions about the aid God has sent and the missionary effort likewise shows either a gross ignorance of the “earthquake” of sin that has devastated all mankind, or it reveals a hidden agenda.

John Piper put it very succinctly:

God is not unjust. No one will be condemned for not believing a message he has never heard. Those who have never heard the gospel will be judged by their failure to own up to the light of God’s grace and power in nature and in their own conscience. This is the point of Romans 1:20-21. His invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him.

Apart from the special, saving grace of God, people are dead in sin, darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God, and hardened in heart (Ephesians 2:1; 4:18). And the means God has ordained to administer that special saving grace is the preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ. – Desiring God Meditations of a Christian Hedonist, page 227

For us to understand what God is doing we need a paradigm shift – to recognize the indoctrination we have accepted as truth, and to choose a biblical point of view.

fritz@langgang.com

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