“Far Off Made Nigh”
As we continue to live with hearts of thanks let us reflect upon…
- what we were…
- what we are…
Read the following. (Remember to click the colored “hyperlinks” for additional things - Facebook folk go to my website for active version - http://www.dalemoore.tv )
Give heed to what we were.
Give attention to what we are.
10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
11 Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;
12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:
13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one,...
Note that we are called to remember what we once were…”at that time”...
- Gentiles in the flesh
- called “uncircumcision” by “that which is called the Circumcision” (Jews - especially the leadership)
- without Christ
- aliens from the commonwealth of Israel
- strangers from the covenants (note plural) of promise
- had no hope
- without God in the world
We were as those of the world are…
- without Christ
- without God
- without hope
- outside the covenant promises.
What a great proclamation - “but now!”…
But now in Christ Jesus - there is that phrase again...
- we are His workmanship
- we are created in Christ Jesus unto good works
- God has ordained “before” that we should walk in these good works - before the foundations of creation
- we who were far off are now made nigh by the blood of Christ.
He is our peace.
Christ made both one.
Yes, the mystery of the Jew and Gentile as one.
The Body of Christ - both Jew/Gentile...
Later we will examine how this occurred.
For today, rejoice in the Truth.
Look not at the world in the way that many do.
Remember, such were some of you…
1 Corinthians 6
9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
A couple of thoughts related to “giving thanks.”
The Word is full of instruction, commands, exhortations and the like to “give thanks.”
( http://www.biblegateway.com/keyword/?search=give%20thanks&version1=49&searchtype=all )
Reflect on this particular portion of the Word…
In 1 Chronicles 16 we have the account of David bringing the Ark of God into the temple that David had pitched for it (that is interesting in itself&hellip.
David finished burnt and peace offerings.
David then blessed the people in the name of the Lord.
1 Chronicles 16:3
He distributed to everyone of Israel, both man and woman, to everyone a loaf of bread and a portion of meat and a raisin cake.
So, the people received bread, meat and dessert!
David then appointed some of the Levites to minister before the Ark of the Lord, to celebrate, to thank and praise the Lord God of Israel.
They did so with musical instruments, harps, lyres, loud-sounding cymbals (is there another kind? ) and trumpets...continually before the Ark of the Covenant of God.
David then assigned Asaph and his relatives to give thanks to the Lord.
The balance of the chapter is a psalm/hymn of praise and thanksgiving unto the Lord.
1 Chronicles 16
( http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20Chronicles+16&version=NASB )
1 Chronicles 16
8 Oh give thanks to the LORD, call upon His name;
Make known His deeds among the peoples.
9 Sing to Him, sing praises to Him;
Speak of all His wonders.
10 Glory in His holy name;
Let the heart of those who seek the LORD be glad.
11 Seek the LORD and His strength;
Seek His face continually.
12 Remember His wonderful deeds which He has done,
His marvels and the judgments from His mouth,
13 O seed of Israel His servant,
Sons of Jacob, His chosen ones!
14 He is the LORD our God;
His judgments are in all the earth.
15 Remember His covenant forever,
The word which He commanded to a thousand generations,
16 The covenant which He made with Abraham,
And His oath to Isaac.
We are to…
- Give thanks to the Lord
- Call on the name of the Lord
- Make known His deeds among the people...speak of His ways, tell what He has done for/in/through you
- Sing praises to Him
- Speak of His wonders
- Glory in His Holy name...glory/rest/rejoice in His character...all that He is
- Be glad...let your heart rejoice
- Seek the Lord
- Seek His strength
- Seek His face continually
- Remember His wonderful deeds, marvels, judgments
- Remember His Covenant
Let us determine to do such continually, not just on occasion.
Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised.
Even our pagan, God-ignoring society acknowledges a time of “giving thanks”, though they are very wishy-washy on Whom is to be thanked…
Give thanks for what is revealed here…
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;
9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.
10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.
We have been saved by grace.
We have not been saved by any works...not even the “work” of faith.
Salvation is an act of grace, a gift from God.
Therefore, why do we boast?
Yes, we are to do good works.
These are works that flow from salvation, not to “attain” salvation.
We are created for such.
We are told forthrightly that we are His workmanship.
Do not believe the lies of the evil one when he attempts to destroy you in your eyes.
You are fearfully and wonderfully made.
You are created a new creature by the grace of God.
Not just any works.
Works prepared by God.
Works prepared beforehand.
Before you were saved.
Before you were born.
Before the foundation of the world was spoken into existence.
So, let us live as His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus (there is that phrase again) for good works.
Let the good works continue with the constant release of thanks unto the Lord…
Manifest the works of the Presence of the Lord where you are...
Have you been transformed?
Have you been made a new person?
So many who profess faith in the Lord do not have a faith unto salvation.
Oh, they believe that Jesus is Lord…
You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder.
They might even do good deeds in and by the name of the Lord…
21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.
22 Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’
23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’
Yet, many are not truly saved.
They have not moved from the death of sin into the Life of the Lord.
Here is how we are/were…
1 And you were dead in your trespasses and sins,
2 in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.
3 Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.
- were dead in trespasses
- were dead in sin
- walked according to the course of this world
- walked according to the prince of the power of the air - satan
- walked in the same spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience
- lived in the lusts of our flesh
- indulged the desires of the flesh and of the mind
- were by nature children of wrath
If you are not different from this, then you are not transformed.
You are not saved.
Oh, you may have some religious practices, but, never confuse religious activity for true salvation.
Here is who we are now...watch the first two words...some of the most exciting in the Word…
4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),
6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,
7 so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
- being rich in mercy
- because of His great love with which He loved us
- made us alive together with Christ.
Take a moment and think on that.
God made us alive together with Christ.
When we were dead in our transgressions.
(Pay close attention to the phrases “with Christ” and “in Christ” through Ephesians.)
It is simply by God’s grace that we are saved through faith.
There is more…
- raised us up with Him
- seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus
We were raised from death to life in Him.
We are seated with Him...now!...in the heavenlies.
We are here now.
We are there now.
So that in the ages to come...a time yet to come…
He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
In Christ we experience the surpassing riches of the grace of God...now and in the age to come.
This is much more than “being religious.”
This is much more than “going to church.”
This is life.
If you do not have this life, the Spirit is speaking to you now.
Call upon the name of the Lord and be saved.
Repent and confess the Lord.
Allow Him to transform you…
In a previous post we saw that Paul prayed for the Believers to receive…
Revelation in the knowledge of Jesus
...in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Now, read the following...note it is one sentence in English...take your time. Watch. Listen to the Lord.
15 Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints,
16 Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers;
17 That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:
18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,
19 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,
20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,
21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:
22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,
23 Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.
Verse 19 shows that…
Revelation in the knowledge of Jesus
...are through the exceeding greatness of His power toward Believers.
It is the Power of the Most High in us.
Such comes through the working of His mighty Power.
Think on that.
Why do we do anything in the “flesh”, when the Power of the Lord is within each Believer?
But, there is more.
This is the same Power that Father manifested in Christ Jesus when He raised Jesus from the dead and set Jesus on His right hand in the heavenly places.
This is the power that the Lord has granted unto us.
Let us live in it.
Give thanks for one another.
Pray for one another.
Do not prey on one another.
One last thing.
Note what we learn about Christ Jesus from the last few verses…
- God’s power wrought in Him
- Raised from the dead
- Seated at the right hand of the Father in the heavenly places
- He is far above all principality, power, might, dominion and every name named… in this world and the one to come
- Father put all things under his feet
- Father gave him to be the head over all things to the church
- The church is Jesus’ body
- The church is the fulness of Him that filleth all in all.
In examining a portion of Ephesians we have reached one of my favorite sections.
Note how Paul prays for the Body at Ephesus.
What would happen to the Body of Christ locally if we were to do likewise?
15 For this reason I too, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which exists among you and your love for all the saints,
16 do not cease giving thanks for you, while making mention of you in my prayers;
17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him.
18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe.
“For this reason…” - what reason? See previous posts here and here.
Paul had heard of their faith in the Lord Jesus.
Paul had heard of their love for all the saints.
Paul did not cease giving thanks for them.
Do we give thanks to the Lord for one another?
Do we know the blessing we have in the Body of Christ?
Paul prayed for them.
He prayed that “the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory”…
- may give to you a spirit of wisdom
- may give you revelation in the knowledge of Him
- that the eyes of their heart my be enlightened
- that they will know what is the hope of His calling
- that they will know what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints
- that they will know the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe
Revelation in the knowledge of Jesus
This is what is available through in the Lord (more on later&hellip.
Are you living in this manner?
Let us join together today in praying for one another according to this pattern.
Simply read the verses as a prayer for one another.
What might the Lord do?
I do know He desires to move in power through His Body.
“...to the praise of His glory...”
Without doubt the Lord has lavished His love upon us.
His mercy, grace and love are beyond measure.
Let us continue to consider what He has done…
In all wisdom and insight
9 He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him
10 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
11 also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will,
12 to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory.
13 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,
14 who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.
Every word, phrase, sentence and paragraph in Ephesians is full of meaning. Each must be parsed in the Spirit. Paying attention to the pronouns is imperative.
Let’s list the truths.
- the Lord moves in all wisdom and insight
- Father made known the mystery of His will
- this revelation of the mystery of His will is according to His kind intention which He (Father) purposed in Him (the Lord Jesus)
- all things will be summed in in Christ...in the fullness of the times…all things in the heavens and things on the earth
- we have obtained and inheritance in Him
- we have been predestined according to His purpose
- He works all things after the counsel of His will
- to what purpose? to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory… “to the praise of the glory of His grace”...a phrase that I have yet to complete wrap my mind and spirit around… listen to this “To the Praise of His Glory”
- in Him we heard, we believed, we were sealed by the Holy Spirit
- the Holy Spirit is a pledge to the inheritance yet to come, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possessions - us!
Read the passage again…the Authorized Version this time.
Note the flow of emphasis...is more revealed to you?
8 Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;
9 Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:
10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:
11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:
12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.
13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.
Do we live “to the praise of His glory”?
Do we live in complete trust in the Lord?
Have you trusted?
Have you heard?
Have you believed?
If so, you are sealed.
There is a redemption yet to come.
Beloved, how are we to live as Believers?
With such done for us...all we can do is worship, walk in obedience...
Praise the Lord!
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