Sunday, August 21, 2016

Paul's Epistles - Ephesians - Part 2: Praising Spiritual Blessings

Paul's Epistles - Ephesians - Part 2:
Praising Spiritual Blessings
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith Church | |

In Paul’s 35 years of ministry, since his conversion in Damascus, we have recorded in the Holy Bible many of his epistles, or letters.

Paul’s first journey took place from 33AD (the year of his conversion), through 46AD, leaving Damascus in 38AD.

Paul’s 2nd journey began in 50AD, four years later; during this time he wrote 1st and 2nd Thessalonians, and Galatians, with his second journey ending in 54AD.

Paul’s 3rd journey began in 55AD and lasted until 58AD where he found himself imprisoned in Judea from 58-60AD. During his 3rd journey Paul wrote 1st and 2nd Corinthians, and Romans. We have no record of writings from Paul during his prison time between 58-60AD in Judea.

After his release from Judea, Paul traveled on his voyage to Rome from 60-61AD, writing Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians and Philemon, and finding himself in a Roman prison in 63AD.

Released soon after his incarceration, Paul then writes the epistles Hebrews, 1st Timothy, Titus and his final letter before his death 2 Timothy, which was written from a Roman prison he was placed in during 66-68AD.

Though the bible does not tell us when or how Paul died, it is believed by scholars that he was beheaded in 68AD in May or June.

 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.For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he[b] predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, he[d] 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 reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.
11 In him we were also chosen,[e] 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 put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. 13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you 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.

Paul’s Praise for Spiritual Blessings

The message of this epistle to the church is “The Church, The Body of Christ”.

a. First, give praise to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ
                                                                                  i. The Lord’s Prayer
1. Jesus tells us about praising God

2. Matthew 6:5-13 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.
Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.

After this manner therefore pray ye:

Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. (God in Heaven upon His throne, even His name is Holy)

10 Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. (This was given to the disciples BEFORE Jesus went to the cross, the Kingdom is now here because of Christ!)

11 Give us this day our daily bread. (Refers to receiving the Holy Spirit DAILY)

12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. (We need to ask forgiveness for our sins, and forgive those who have sinned against us)

13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

a. The manner in which the disciples were to pray was;
                                                                                                                                                                                                            i.      Acknowledge God on Throne
                                                                                                                                                                                                         ii.      Profess His holiness
                                                                                                                                                                                                      iii.      Pray for His will
                                                                                                                                                                                                       iv.      Pray for more of the Holy Spirit
                                                                                                                                                                                                          v.      Ask for forgiveness of sins
                                                                                                                                                                                                       vi.      Forgive those who have sinned against you
                                                                                                                                                                                                    vii.      Pray for protection/deliverance from evil
                                                                                                                                                                                                 viii.      Acknowledge the Kingdom of God and His power, and glory, for eternity.

                                                                               ii. Praising God for being God is a MUST

b. Blessings come from the heavenly realms
                                                                                  i. As the Lord’s Prayer shows us, Jesus is saying that ALL things are from our Father’s hand

                                                                               ii. And we (followers of Christ) have access to these blessings BECAUSE we belong to the Kingdom that was coming with the cross!

c. Our Spiritual blessings come because we are IN Christ
                                                                                  i. This is what Jesus was saying to the disciples in the Lord’s prayer before the cross, Jesus told them to pray, until your kingdom comes, let your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

                                                                               ii. The kingdom HAS now come!

                                                                            iii. Because of Christ and the cross, we can now be part of that Kingdom!

a. God predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ
                                                                                  i. This is not speaking of individual predestination as some teach.

                                                                               ii. God did NOT determine who is going to heaven and who is going to hell.
1. If this false teaching were true, there would be no reason for preaching the Gospel.

                                                                            iii. God “predestined” everyone to be “adopted” into full sonship through Jesus Christ. (Salvation)

b. In accordance to His pleasure and will
                                                                                  i. Because it pleases God to have us counted among His

                                                                               ii. It is God’s will that ALL are saved!

c. In Him (Christ) we have redemption

a. He makes known to us the mystery of His will
                                                                                  i. Through revelation of the Holy Spirit

                                                                               ii. Revealed in the inspired scripture of the Bible

                                                                            iii. Expressed by Jesus to the Disciples

b. In Him we are chosen having been predestined
                                                                                  i. Again, not individual choosing, but what happens when we belong to Him.
1. It was predestined by God we be saved through Jesus Christ

2. When we hear the gospel and respond appropriately, we are NOW a chosen people, belonging to the Kingdom and to the Lord!

c. Chosen & Predestined as a whole, not individual
                                                                                  i. Paul clarifies in the closing verses today

CONCLUSION – you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit,

God predestined us to be saved through Christ, when we HEAR the message of Truth, the Gospel of Salvation, and we believe (should have been believed in, trusted in, put faith in), we are MARKED in HIM with a seal!

What is that mark that shines in the spiritual realm????

The promise from the Father in heaven to those who are His, the Holy Spirit! Who can only come to us, and dwell in us, because of Christ and the cross.

who (the Holy Spirit) is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.

When we receive the Holy Spirit, it is God’s down payment, and proof that we are His, belong to His Kingdom and WILL receive our inheritance.

This guarantee is for us until the redemption of those who belong to God, those who are God’s possession.

If you want this guarantee, simply respond appropriately to the Gospel of Salvation. Put your trust in Jesus, confess your sin, repent of it, and live for the Lord.

Want to learn more about Salvation and Getting Saved?    CLICK HERE!

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