True Peace

In Ephesians 2:11-22 Paul discusses peace, but do we today really understand what this peace Paul is speaking about is.  Typically when we hear the word peace we think of quietness, stillness and rest.  To be sure that is part of what Paul is talking about, but there is also something much more profound in the word “peace”.  It is rest that can only be found when we draw near to God.  When we find our rest in Him.  Even more it means oneness with each other and God.  Being made whole.   This idea is carried out repeatedly in this passage.  Read this passage with that in mind.  You might even want to substitute the word “oneness” for “peace” and see how that opens up the passage for you.

 EPH 2:11 Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called “uncircumcised” by those who call themselves “the circumcision” (that done in the body by the hands of men)– 12 remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.  14 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15 by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, 16 and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. 17 He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.     19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.

This whole passage is about God making the two – those who were far and those who were near – one.  One with each other, putting to death their hostility and hatred for each other by the death of Jesus on the cross.  In Isaiah 57 the Lord says, “Peace, peace to those far and near.” This passage in Ephesians is stating that this has been fulfilled in Yeshua, who came to proclaim the glad tidings of oneness (peace) to those who were far and those who were near.

Let’s back up.  As God’s light of grace shone on those who were aliens to His people, Israel, they were brought near to His people and to Him through the cross and blood of the Messiah.  Also, those who were already “near” through the covenants and promises were brought truly near by the cross and blood of Christ.  For even they, though they had been given the covenants and promises, could not come near enough to God by following the commands and regulations of Scripture – no one can.  As Scripture says, “No one is righteous, not even one”(Psalm 14:3, 53:3 and Romans 3:23).  Humanity, whether Jew or Gentile, is not capable of coming near, truly near, to God on his own.  Sin always separates us, that is why Jesus died.  Only the God-Man could live a sinless life and therefore fulfill the commands and regulations of Scripture becoming the perfect sacrifice of the New Covenant.

It is with the New Covenant, promised back in the book of Jeremiah that God says, “I will be their God and they will be my people”.  He promised a  heart and mind that had the law of God written on them ready and willing to follow Him.  It is the blood of the Messiah that is the blood of the New Covenant – the blood of bulls, lambs, or goats could never be enough, only the blood of The Lamb of God was sufficient.

With the New Covenant Gentiles of the flesh were made citizens of Israel, citizens together with the Jews – all having faith in the Messiah.  It is the Messiah that is our peace, our rest, our stillness, our oneness.  I heard a really wonderful illustration of this recently.  It is actually one that is in Scripture though we have lost the mental picture of it.  In Israel when a wild olive shoot comes up next to a cultivated olive tree that shoot literally raps itself around the tree and after a time you can no longer distinguish the wild shoot from the original tree.  That is an awesome picture to me.  In this way Christ made the two, the Gentile and the Jew, one tree.  Both indistinguishable from the other.

Taking this new tree (made from the two), this new man, Jesus then reconciled both to God through the cross.  Again, Paul states that through the cross their hostility was put to death.  The Jew and the Gentile were hostile to each other then in Paul’s day and they still are today.  Yet in the cross of Christ, the Messiah, this hostility has been put to death and this is also seen today.  Next week I want to highlight some of the ways God is doing this in our generation.

Paul ends by saying the through the Messiah both Jew and Gentile (now both part of the spiritual nation of Israel, God’s people) have access to the Father by the one Holy Spirit.  It is the first time in this passage that Paul uses the plural pronoun “we” purposely bring the two together.  This new man is being built into a holy dwelling built on the foundations of both the prophets and the apostles.

The Old Covenant points directly to the New, even prophesies it – the prophets.  It was the apostles who first proclaimed its fulfillment in Christ.  Therefore, together the prophets and the apostles make up the foundation of God’s household.  This foundation, however, would be worthless without the chief cornerstone, Yeshua the Messiah.  It is on Jesus that the whole house is joined together as one and rises as one holy temple.

The final verse (22) reads in the English as if Paul goes back to just talking about the Gentiles.  However, I do not believe that is the case.  Instead, the “you” is plural, meaning both the Jew and the Gentile in the household of God, the church or assembly of Israel (in this case in Ephesus).  The household of God, both Jew and Gentile, are being built together into one to become the dwelling of God where He lives by His Spirit.  Paul is summarizing what he had already said in detail.

We are one, both with each other and with God through the cross of Christ and by His Spirit and our hostility has been replaced by love for each other and our God.

Peace,

Vicky

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The Light of His Grace

I want to back up some today to hit a certain topic a little harder, so to speak.  Ephesians 1:6 says, “to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.”(NIV)  That glorious grace is the light of grace.  I want to take a specific look at the Light of God, His Glory.  I want to do so by taking you back through the awesome journey I had today.

I was reading in II Timothy today for my personal reading time and I came across this verse, “having a form of godliness but denying its power.”(II Timothy 3:5a) 

The term “power” caught my eye because of what we are studying in Ephesians together.  I went back to Ephesians and began to read chapter 1 into the first part of chapter 2.  As I read the Glory of God, His Light, His Brilliance just popped off the pages at me. 

The word “glory” or a form of it appears throughout the chapter.  It hit me that godliness IS powerful and that godliness is letting the glory of God or the light of God shine in us.

What a leap, right?  Let me explain my leap.   God is light (I John 1:5) and Jesus is the “radiance of God’s glory (light)”(Hebrews 1:3) and Jesus in the Light of the world (John 8:12).  When Paul speaks of his conversion in Acts 22:11 the KJV says that he (Paul) “could not see for the glory of that light”.  And as we all know Jesus was that light he saw. 

Going back to Ephesians, back to the prayer in chapter 1, do you remember?  It is light of God, the glorious Father, or the rays of His light (“enlightened” meaning to shed rays) that Paul prays God will give or shed upon His people.  Why is all this important?

In Matthew 5:14-16 Jesus says, “You are the light of the world.  A city on a hill cannot be hidden.  Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl.  Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”(NIV) 

It is the rays of His light, of His Glory, that He sheds on us that lights our lives.  Just as Jesus is the radiance of the Father, we are the radiance of the Son.  “For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son He loves.”(Colossians 1:13).  In the light of Jesus the Father wants us to “shine like stars in the universe”(Philippians 2:15).  “For God , who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.”(II Corinthians 4:6)

There is even now a battle between the realm of darkness and light and we are a part of that battle.  At the end of Ephesians Paul speaks of putting on the armor of God to fight the darkness, but in Romans 13:12 he calls it the “armor of light”.  It is the light that pushes back the darkness, it is a powerful light.  He is the Powerful Light.  In Him there is no darkness (I John 1:5). 

We must see to it that there is no darkness, sin, in our lives.  The darkness is the way of the world that Scripture makes many lists of, among them are hate, strife, division, factions, envy, doubt, bitterness, fear, sexual immorality and many more.  Those are the schemes of the devil, those are opposed to the light of life.

The light is the way of the Spirit and in His ways we find love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control.  These are the things we need in our lives and only these things.  Or as Paul says it in Philippians 4:8, “Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things.” 

God’s light brings righteousness, holiness and godliness (godliness with power).  We are His children (adopted into His family), children of light (I Thessalonians 5:5).

So let us fight with the power of His light, that He has shed on us, and put in us by giving us the Holy Spirit.  Let us push back the dominion of darkness with love, righteousness and truth, clothed in His armor of light.  We must be good soldiers, fighting to the good fight, standing strong in the grace of our Messiah, His glorious grace, that He lavished on us.

Now in light of all this, let’s go back to Ephesians chapter 2.

EPH 2:1 As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. 4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions–it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God– 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.(NIV)

This passage starts out with reminding us that we were once a part of the dominion of darkness and disobedient, gratifying our sinful desires. 

Likewise, those in the world who are still living in disobedience are still a part of the dominion of darkness and therefore subject to wrath as we once were.  But because of God’s great love for us, in accordance to the pleasure of His will, which He purposed in Christ Jesus, God reached down and made us alive with Christ even while we were still dead in our sins He gave us His Son. 

He gave us His Light, a light we did not deserve.  He resurrected us in His power from the dead, to eternal life and did this with His glorious grace.  His glory burst onto the scenes of our lives and filled us with His light and made us a new creation in Him.  He says, “Let there by light!”  We were rescued from darkness by His grace and brought into the kingdom of light, the kingdom of the Son He loves.

Not only did God resurrect our lives from death to life, but also “raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms”.  Now, this spiritual reality has not yet been seen, but one day it will be sight and we will live in His light.  For in the New Jerusalem there will be no sun or moon but “the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp”.

God did this so that He could show us His super (hyper) riches of His grace, riches found in His “glorious inheritance” in the saints upon whom He has shed His grace.  God expresses this out of His kindness in Yeshua the Messiah.  Remember that part of the fruit of the Spirit is kindness.  Yes, God is kind.  He did all these things in kindness and will bring us together (both Jew and Gentile)  with each other and Him in His kindness.

Again Paul says we have been saved by grace, by His glorious, light giving grace, through faith.  Just so his readers don’t become conceited Paul states very plainly that this faith to believe and follow Him is not from us. 

We were dead in our trespasses and sins when He saved us.  We were still a part of the dominion of darkness and were not capable of seeing the Light.  It was Him who reached out for us behind enemy lines and brought us out.  We were not capable of such faith on our own. 

Even if it were possible for us to have intellectual assent to who He is and what He has done for us there is still No Way we would have had the strength to follow Him in godliness and life.  One cannot live in the light while still in the dark.

This faith is a gift, an undeserved gift.  The ability to follow Him is a gift.  The Holy Spirit in us to teach us, guide us and be the down payment of our inheritance a gift, a gift of God.  We do nothing to earn or deserve this gift. 

We did not flag Him down and cry out, “I am over here, come get me”.  No, He came in and got us when we were in the dark capable of nothing.  Jesus said in John 15:5b that “apart from [Him we] can do nothing”. 

He does not even want us to have this boast at our disposal.  Our boast is to be in Christ Jesus and Him crucified.

Now get this.  God has made us His “workmanship” meaning His masterpiece. 

We are His finest work of art.  He has put His light, His glory, His Spirit in us.  He created us in Christ Jesus, the light of the world, to reflect Him.  We are His greatest masterpiece because when people see us they really see His Son. 

They see the light in our life and it is His light they see.  In the movie The Lakehouse a father and son are talking about great works of architecture and the statement is made, “it’s all about the light”.  You see when you have a masterpiece the first thing you do after hanging it is shine light directly on it. 

He created us this way to do good works.  But what good works?  We have been implying it all along.  To shine His light on others as stars in the universe, not hidden under a bowl.

We cannot hide in our comfortable air conditioned homes watching our TVs or even in our beautiful, godly looking, churches. 

No, we must be about His work, to make disciples, to let the world know that He sent His Son so that we can be one with each other and with Him.  This is the work that God prepared in advance for us to do.  It was always His plan for His light to shine through us into this dark world.

Live the life that is worthy of our calling!  I say that to myself, as well.

In His Light,

Vicky

The Hope to Which You are Called

 Ephesians 1:15 For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, 16 I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. 17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 18 I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, 20 which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.

This is an awesome prayer that is great to pray over ones personal life and family. Paul commends the believers on their faith in Yeshua/Jesus and also in their love for all the saints (whether Jew or Gentile).  Their priorities are just what God the Father would want them to be and this is commended by Paul.  Their love for all the saints is essential to everything we are talking about.  It is because they have faith in Jesus our Messiah that they know obeying His command to love one another must be followed, and follow it they do.  Because of this evidence of faith that Paul continually gives thanks for them and expands his prayers for them.

The prayer of Paul in this chapter is amazing when you take a close look.  He begins with a very interesting statement, “I keep asking”.  This is not a one time prayer for Paul on their behalf.  If is one he prays for them time and time again.  Therefore, one might say that this is very much on his heart for these believers, not just a casual thought now and again. 

He asks the glorious Father, the God of our Lord Jesus Christ – that’s right Jesus worshiped, honored, obeyed, prayed to, praised, and glorified His Father during His earthly life, God the Son did all these things in regard to the Heavenly Father – for the Holy Spirit to give wisdom and revelation to the believers.  He offers this prayer so that they will know God better and thereby so that they would be able to properly acknowledge their God.

In this knowledge and acknowledgement of Him, as they gaze at His glory and brilliance, Paul asks that the God would shed His rays of light on them.  In other words, “that the eyes of [their] heart may be enlightened”.  Or to put it another way, as the believers looked upon God’s light that God would share that light with them or reflect it upon them.  Our glory is not our own, it is merely a reflection of His.  We would do ourselves a great service to remember this. 

Paul asked for this reflection of God’s glory in their lives for three reasons: 1) that they would know the hope to which they were called 2) that they would know the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints and 3) that they would know His incomparably great power for all (Jew or Gentile) who believe.  Let’s break them down one at a time.

The first one, that they would know the hope to which they were called, reveals the foundation of their faith.  The hope that Paul speaks of here is a confidence, not wishful, in the promised expectations.  Knowing that they can fully rely on the promises of God with joyful anticipation and steadfast confidence.  This hope is unshakable.  This hope or joyful and steadfast anticipation is firmly imbedded in their calling or God’s invitation in their lives.  God’s invitation to wholeheartedly follow Him in all His ways.  Just as Jesus called the disciples.  He did not just say, “come”, He said, “come follow me”.  We come to God through Jesus and then proceed to follow Him.

The second reason God reflects His glory on us, making us more like Him, is so that we can know the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints.  These riches are the abundant life in our Messiah.  As we know the abundant life is not just for the here and now, but also for eternity.  It is the life lived to the full forever.  A life lived to the full, think about that for a moment.  To know this life that can only be lived with His glorious inheritance that He has placed in His saints.  This refers back to the love He has commanded to have toward one another and ahead to the power of the Spirit in our lives.  However, for this particular point it is important to note that the whole of the saints are in view here, not individuals.  We, as the saints of God, can only live the life to the full, the abundant life, or experience God’s glorious riches in our lives when we live within the whole of the body of Christ.  We cannot forsake the assembly of ourselves together as the writer of Hebrews to eloquently put it.

Lastly, on this list, is to know the power and not just a little power, but super dynamite power for us who believe.  To say it another way, a super-duper magnitude of power for us who come and follow.  Power that goes beyond anything that you and I can comprehend and yet that is the vastness of power that He has placed in His people.  It is also not an arbitrary power, but it is His power.  Then just to make sure his readers understand the true magnitude of this power Paul describes it.  And what a description. 

A power that is according to God’s mighty strength, or strength strength, or power power, or might might.  The two Greek words used here could have easily been translated this way.  They are two different words with very similar meanings.  In other words, Paul was driving home the enormity of God’s power, strength or might.  It was this power that God used to raise Jesus from the dead and to seat Him at His right hand.  No small task to be sure.  Again to be clear, Paul explains the powerful seat of the Messiah.  Yeshua is above all and not just a little above them, but far above or super-duper above.  It is the same Greek prefix used above on “immeasurably”, it is the “hyper” prefix.  So Jesus is “far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.”  Needless to say, that is a High Seat. 

Paul does not stop at just how high that seat of power is, but also let’s us know what God placed under His (Yeshua’s) feet.  He placed everything or “the whole” under His feet.  He is the head, the One to take hold of, of the church or the “assembly” of His saints.  He was given this position by His Father, to say it another way, this position was committed to Him by His Father.  He is our head, He is the One we take hold of, in everything – absolutely everything – that concerns His people.  He is our Rock, our Firm Foundation, our Anchor, our Cornerstone and He is the One who holds us steady in any storm.  He has absolute supreme authority over His body.

What a body it is, it is what He died for – it is of utmost importance to Him.  His body, His people, are the fullness of Him – the One who fills everything in every way.  WOW, the fullness of Him.  That is who we are.  Do not let that escape you.  The whole of the body or bride of Christ is the fullness of Him.    We were given His fullness when He gave us His Holy Spirit.  We lack nothing in Him.  Everything we need for life and godliness has been given to us.  We are His reflection to a lost world.  Let us live a life worthy of that calling!

According to His Power That is at Work in Us Who Believe,

Vicky

The Down Payment

13 When you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and when you believed in Him, you were also sealed with the promised Holy Spirit. 14 He is the down payment of our inheritance, for the redemption of the possession, to the praise of His glory.

I want to concentrate on the term “down payment” today.  In the Greek this word is ἀρραβώv (arrabōn) and the definition comes from the Hebrew root `arabown meaning a pledge as part of the purchase, money or property given in advance as security for the rest, or become engaged (a promise of more).  The Holy Spirit is the engagement ring so to speak.  He is the pledge given for the full inheritance.

Now we have the Holy Spirit in us as Jesus promised the disciples in John 14 and as was promised in Jeremiah 31 with the New Covenant.  The Holy Spirit is the one who puts the law, the word of God, on our hearts and minds.  It is by His power we are able to live a godly life to the praise of His Glory.  Yet the full inheritance is yet to come.

That full inheritance is the return of our Lord Jesus and the wedding of the Lamb.  Followed, of course, by the wedding supper and our life together in the presence of God forever in the New Jerusalem.  It is no wonder that at the end of Scripture in the book of Revelation it is both the Spirit and the Bride who say, “Come”, together.

This is a very important point because it is the giving of the Holy Spirit that binds us together with each other and with our Lord, our glorious Bridegroom.  It is the power of the Spirit that makes the two one body and brings the unity of the body.  All based on the blood and resurrection of Christ, his payment of the bridal price and the Father’s approval of that payment.  Our full inheritance is coming, coming quickly.

We will discuss further the role of the Holy Spirit in later posts, I just wanted to cover the concept of “down payment” with you in order to continue to lay our foundation of Biblical Unity.

Live in the Power of the Spirit Today,

Vicky

To the Praise of His Glory

EPH 1:11 In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12 in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. 13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession–to the praise of his glory.(NIV)


OR


11We have also received an inheritance in Him, predestined according to the purpose of the One who works out everything in agreement with the decision of His will, 12 so that we who had already put our hope in the Messiah might bring praise to His glory. 13 When you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and when you believed in Him, you were also sealed with the promised Holy Spirit. 14 He is the down payment of our inheritance, for the redemption of the possession, to the praise of His glory.(HCSB)


Our last post was our first discussion on the “mystery”, making us one with each other and with Him — or bringing “all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ.”  Then comes verses 11 through 14.  What I want to do is connect these verses to what came before them.


If you noticed the versions above start out different.  One uses the word “chosen”, while the other uses “inheritance”.  The more accurate word is “inheritance”, which connects it to the word that comes next, “predestined”.  Remember “predestined” had to do with adoption in our earlier content and one who is adopted does receive an inheritance. The latter part of these verses also speaks of inheritance, but we will get to that in a minute.


That inheritance they were predestined for as adopted sons was according to the plan and purpose (or decision) of His will.  It was going in a direction of working out everything to that end, the plan an purpose of His will.  So that those who already believed in Christ, in the Messiah(Jews) might be to the praise of His glory.  But Paul does not stop there, he goes on to say that the believers in Ephesus (Gentiles) were also included in Christ, in that inheritance, when they heard the word of truth and believed.  Paul says they too received or were marked in Christ with a seal, the Holy Spirit.


The Holy Spirit is God’s down payment of “our” inheritance.  Notice the word “our”.  Paul is not speaking in terms of “we” and “you” or Jew and Gentile any more, but bringing the two groups together by the seal of the Holy Spirit, the promised Holy Spirit.  Together, as God’s possession, they will all be redeemed, to the PRAISE OF GOD’S GLORY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  What an awesome direction we are moving in.  Don’t you think?


Praise be to God our Father and Jesus our Messiah!


Vicky

The Mystery

I learned something very valuable this past week.  Do not start a major endeavor, such as this blog, right before a big week.  This past week was Vacation Bible School week for us.  I did not write last week, and as a result God changed my direction a little.


I found myself in the book of Ephesians.  It has many of the themes we will be dealing with in this blog, and God made it clear to me that that is really where we need to start.  I remember what my speech teacher in school used to tell us, “tell them what you are going to tell them, tell them and then tell them what you told them”.  Ephesians is going to stand as this blogs equivalent to “tell them what you are going to tell them”.


Let’s get started.


EPH 1:3 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. 4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5 he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will– 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace 8 that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. 9 And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10 to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment–to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ.


After Paul’s introduction, he begins offering praise to the Father and Jesus Christ and says that He has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in Christ in the heavenly realms.  Then he goes on to describe those blessings.  Being chosen to be holy and blameless in His sight.  Let that one sink in a little.  We were not just chosen, but chosen with an end result in mind, being holy and blameless.  What does that look like?  That is just what this blog will be discussing and what Ephesians does such a good job at fleshing out.


He adopted us as sons through Jesus Christ according to His pleasure and will.  He gave us His grace, redemption and the forgiveness of sins.  Then He made known to us the “mystery” of His will according to His good pleasure.  It is this “mystery” that is the focal point of Ephesians and what we will spend our time on this blog exploring.  What is that mystery?  Look down a little further to the second part of verse 10.  That mystery is to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ.  To bring us together — make us One in Christ and with Christ.  And notice when this will take place.  When the times will have reached their fulfillment.


Some of you might have found it frustrating that I did not mention “before the creation of the world” and “predestined” from earlier verses.  These are connected to our being chosen and adopted.  Just as the fulfillment of time has to do with the mystery, God does things in His time and in His time things often find a fulfillment in the heavenly realms before they work themselves out in the earthly realm.  Bringing all things together under Christ found it’s spiritual fulfillment in the heavenly realms when Jesus died and rose again, however, I believe we are even now seeing the earthly fulfillment of this heavenly reality.  God is bringing those who place there faith in Jesus Christ together as one under Christ.  In other words, He is making us holy and blameless in His sight – a spotless bride.


Have an awesome evening in the Lord!


Vicky

The Greater Riches Their Fullness Will Bring!

WE live in an Blessed time!  WE are seeing something no other generation has ever seen.  More and more of the Jewish people are being grafted back into the spiritual people of Israel.  As they come, not only are they learning from Gentiles about the gospel, but the Gentiles are also learning from them the foundation of the faith. Their fullness, their acceptance of the Messiah, is bringing a vast richness back into the body (Romans 11:12).  Learning the great depth of the riches of God’s Word and of those things, such as the festivals, practiced by our Savior.  WE are living in a miraculous time in history.  The mystery of reconciliation between the Jew and Gentile in Jesus, in Yeshua the Messiah, is becoming reality in our time.  Our faith is becoming sight  The Holy Spirit is making us one with each other and with Jesus and the Father.


As this occurs, not only will the Jews and Gentiles be reconciled to each other, but it is my hope that even the Gentile denominations will begin to come together more and more in true Biblical unity of the Bride.  I heard a statement the other day about those theological issues that divide us.  Basically, the person said that they do not really matter.  But if they do not matter, then why do they separate us and have separated us for centuries.  They do matter, but we have let the enemy divide us so that we no longer pray together, study the word together, worship together and therefore do not know how to lovingly speak on these matters together.


This site will attempt to study the word of God from the focal point of the ministry of reconciliation, the mystery of making us one.  We can learn so much from each other when spoken in the power of the Spirit.  WE are here for such a time as this…


Vicky