Grace And Her Children (Ephesians 6:21-24)

June 09, 2019 00:30:43
Grace And Her Children (Ephesians 6:21-24)
Covenant Words
Grace And Her Children (Ephesians 6:21-24)

Jun 09 2019 | 00:30:43

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Rev. Christopher Chelpka
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Episode Transcript

WEBVTT 1 00:00:00.360 --> 00:00:05.240 Let's turn our attention to Ephesians. This is the as I mentioned in my 2 00:00:05.400 --> 00:00:12.910 prayer, the last few verses of this book. I counted online thirty sermons 3 00:00:14.349 --> 00:00:18.910 and rather than start a new series next week right before I leave for vacation, 4 00:00:18.949 --> 00:00:23.820 I think we'll do what we've often done when we've finished book, and 5 00:00:23.899 --> 00:00:29.059 that will read it in its entirety next week. So I need to figure 6 00:00:29.059 --> 00:00:31.859 out a plan for doing that still, but please come for that. I 7 00:00:31.899 --> 00:00:35.460 think that will be a real blessing to be able to hear the whole thing 8 00:00:35.539 --> 00:00:41.289 at one time. So let's turn our attention now to Ephesians, chapter six, 9 00:00:42.170 --> 00:00:47.130 the last few verses Twenty One through twenty four. This is God's word. 10 00:00:47.170 --> 00:00:52.880 Let's give our attention to it. The Apostle of the Lord rights so 11 00:00:53.000 --> 00:00:57.320 that you also may know how I am and what I am doing. Tichcus, 12 00:00:57.799 --> 00:01:00.560 the beloved brother and Faithful Minister in the Lord, will tell you everything. 13 00:01:00.600 --> 00:01:04.709 I've sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know 14 00:01:04.870 --> 00:01:10.510 how we are and that he may encourage your hearts. Peace be to the 15 00:01:10.670 --> 00:01:15.150 brothers and love with faith from God, the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 16 00:01:15.750 --> 00:01:19.340 Grace be with all who love our Lord Jesus Christ, with love incorruptible. 17 00:01:21.980 --> 00:01:33.250 You may be seated. So as we come to the end of this 18 00:01:33.409 --> 00:01:38.450 book, that's very excellent letter. Paul closes his letter as he often does, 19 00:01:40.769 --> 00:01:44.209 but it's brief, briefer than some other letters we have, some of 20 00:01:44.250 --> 00:01:49.079 the other closings that we have. He closes with two things, as he 21 00:01:49.280 --> 00:01:53.480 as I mentioned, as he often does. One of those two things is 22 00:01:53.519 --> 00:01:59.959 a certification that the letter is authentic, a certification that the letter is authentic. 23 00:02:00.079 --> 00:02:02.709 The other is is a blessing, and I g guess we could toss 24 00:02:02.790 --> 00:02:08.909 in there some personal comments as well regarding Tikkus and the things that he will 25 00:02:08.909 --> 00:02:14.629 do. That's related to the authenticity of the letter. Now it's true that 26 00:02:14.750 --> 00:02:20.219 this section doesn't soar in the way that the beginning of the book does with 27 00:02:20.340 --> 00:02:25.740 that very long and beautiful sentence, but that doesn't make it any less important. 28 00:02:25.900 --> 00:02:31.889 This is still God's word. It hasn't finished until until it's finished, 29 00:02:32.610 --> 00:02:37.289 and there are things here that we find in this passage that in some ways 30 00:02:37.409 --> 00:02:44.250 some up much of what we've heard as well as give gives some strength in 31 00:02:44.319 --> 00:02:49.319 other ways to our faith. I want to briefly mention the first of those 32 00:02:49.400 --> 00:02:53.759 two things the authenticity of the letter, and then second less one. Very 33 00:02:53.840 --> 00:03:02.349 briefly, Paul gives this assurance of the letters authenticity when he says that tickekus 34 00:03:02.590 --> 00:03:07.990 is coming. I have so that you also may know how I am, 35 00:03:07.550 --> 00:03:12.389 how I am and what I'm doing. TIKKUS, the beloved brother and faithful 36 00:03:12.430 --> 00:03:15.659 and in the minister of the Lord, will tell you everything. I've sent 37 00:03:15.780 --> 00:03:17.659 him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are 38 00:03:19.060 --> 00:03:23.460 and that he may encourage your hearts. So one of the things that Paul 39 00:03:23.539 --> 00:03:25.699 is doing here is he's is, of course, sending them someone, and 40 00:03:25.979 --> 00:03:34.770 he's sending this letter with Tikis, with greetings, with information, a reminder 41 00:03:34.889 --> 00:03:38.050 to us that the church is not lived out in isolation with each other. 42 00:03:38.689 --> 00:03:46.680 Here we see the apostle doing his work through other people or in conjunction with 43 00:03:46.800 --> 00:03:51.639 other people, tikkus included. He is called the beloved brother and the fate 44 00:03:51.719 --> 00:03:55.710 and a faithful minister. Encouragement, no doubt, to tikkus himself, but 45 00:03:55.870 --> 00:04:00.150 also a reminder to the Ephesians that he is one that can be trusted. 46 00:04:01.550 --> 00:04:10.020 This is also one of the ways in which Paul and ancient writers would ensure 47 00:04:10.379 --> 00:04:15.259 that the letters that came and that the the letters that were received were were 48 00:04:15.340 --> 00:04:19.139 authentic and true. And this is still important. Right, if you get 49 00:04:19.139 --> 00:04:25.769 a great email, but if it's fake, hopefully it ends up in your 50 00:04:25.810 --> 00:04:30.810 spam filter right, no matter how long it is, how beautiful it is, 51 00:04:30.209 --> 00:04:35.490 how whatever, if it's if it's not true, if it's pretending in 52 00:04:35.769 --> 00:04:42.360 some way, if it's well, it's junk. We call it right, 53 00:04:42.519 --> 00:04:48.839 no matter how much it might promise or how much it might entice. This 54 00:04:49.000 --> 00:04:54.389 is important to remember because sometimes in our modern world we stand at such a 55 00:04:54.430 --> 00:04:58.990 great distance that this from the ancient world that that distance becomes a kind of 56 00:04:59.709 --> 00:05:04.790 foolish pride. We think that we care about things like authenticity in ways that 57 00:05:04.990 --> 00:05:11.300 perhaps they didn't, and so we ask silly questions like could all the Christians 58 00:05:11.339 --> 00:05:15.339 have been fooled by forgeries? Is there a possibility that all the letters that 59 00:05:15.420 --> 00:05:20.139 we have in our bibles are actually fakes, written and at much later dates 60 00:05:20.970 --> 00:05:27.529 by people faking it? Well, of course that does happen. But the 61 00:05:27.649 --> 00:05:31.410 reminder here of what we have here in tickicus and what Paul is doing here 62 00:05:31.569 --> 00:05:35.120 is a reminder that the ancient world cared about these things just as much, 63 00:05:35.160 --> 00:05:40.199 if not more, than we do. And then there were complex and important 64 00:05:40.199 --> 00:05:45.439 systems in place to guarantee that the letters would be authentic, that there were 65 00:05:45.480 --> 00:05:49.069 ways of trusting and knowing this. Is TCHICUS. You know him. He 66 00:05:49.230 --> 00:05:54.189 is certified ying that this is coming from me. There of course, other 67 00:05:54.269 --> 00:05:57.110 ways that this could be done as well, and we see this at the 68 00:05:57.149 --> 00:06:00.029 end of some of other Paul's letters where he talks about I'm writing this in 69 00:06:00.149 --> 00:06:04.220 my own hand so that you might recognize on that this is coming from me. 70 00:06:04.339 --> 00:06:12.259 Other things like that are done so they were not easily fooled. These 71 00:06:12.420 --> 00:06:15.300 things were very important to the early church. Right they believed, just as 72 00:06:15.339 --> 00:06:19.449 we do, that these were letters from God, that these they were came 73 00:06:19.610 --> 00:06:25.329 from his apostle. was very important to them to know that they were not 74 00:06:25.449 --> 00:06:30.610 being fooled by a forgery, some apostolic spam or Junk Mail, that it 75 00:06:30.769 --> 00:06:39.079 was the real thing, and indeed it was and it is. The generations 76 00:06:39.160 --> 00:06:43.360 of Christians that came before us were people of the word, just like we 77 00:06:43.519 --> 00:06:48.430 are. They cared very much that these things were true. They cared deeply 78 00:06:48.509 --> 00:06:54.189 about what they really read and what they believed, and we ought to do 79 00:06:54.389 --> 00:07:00.470 the same as well. So that's my comment. They're in a good reminder, 80 00:07:00.550 --> 00:07:03.740 I hope, on those first couple verses. And now let's turn to 81 00:07:03.860 --> 00:07:11.819 the last two verses where Paul speaks, and not through tichicus but directly, 82 00:07:12.540 --> 00:07:17.329 and he pronounces this blessing. He says peace be to the brothers and love 83 00:07:17.730 --> 00:07:23.129 with faith from God, the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, grace be 84 00:07:23.290 --> 00:07:27.689 with all who love our Lord Jesus Christ. And then it's translated here with 85 00:07:27.850 --> 00:07:33.240 love incorruptible all suggest in a moment that there's perhaps a better translation for that. 86 00:07:34.519 --> 00:07:36.959 Before we get to that, though, let's think about the nature of 87 00:07:38.199 --> 00:07:43.560 a blessing in ancient letters. You can compare on these letters with other ancient 88 00:07:43.600 --> 00:07:46.470 letters and see what the writing conventions were. And often they ended just like 89 00:07:46.629 --> 00:07:51.149 a lot of our letters do. Farewell, greetings, see you later, 90 00:07:51.910 --> 00:07:57.509 write, just pretty sort of standard, fair, nothing. I'm extravagant. 91 00:07:57.550 --> 00:08:00.180 You know, occasionally every now and then you get a love letter or something 92 00:08:00.300 --> 00:08:03.060 like that, and you know those deserved special things. Here, though, 93 00:08:03.779 --> 00:08:11.540 we have something that is intensely religious, you might say right intensely religious. 94 00:08:11.540 --> 00:08:13.850 Paul doesn't just say farewell, I look forward to seeing you soon. He 95 00:08:13.930 --> 00:08:18.769 says, peace be to the brothers and love with faith from God, the 96 00:08:18.850 --> 00:08:22.290 Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. See what he's doing. There he is, 97 00:08:22.410 --> 00:08:28.279 and he's not just wishing it either. He's pronouncing this. He's saying, 98 00:08:28.360 --> 00:08:33.879 in the name of God, I'm pronouncing peace on you, I'm I 99 00:08:33.399 --> 00:08:37.600 am blessing you. That's what he's doing. He's not wishing for a blessing, 100 00:08:37.679 --> 00:08:45.429 he is blessing look really amazing thing. That's why I say intensely religious, 101 00:08:45.470 --> 00:08:50.549 even intensely personal about this. Now we know from the rest of the 102 00:08:50.669 --> 00:08:54.830 letter that this is not grace or peace that would begin in their lives, 103 00:08:54.230 --> 00:09:00.820 but this is grace and peace, faith and love that would continue. It 104 00:09:00.899 --> 00:09:05.179 would spe something that would God was already doing and he was asking that God 105 00:09:05.220 --> 00:09:11.289 would continue to pour these blessings out. He was pronouncing the pouring out of 106 00:09:11.370 --> 00:09:16.889 these blessings by the gracious work of God. Now, perhaps you noticed that 107 00:09:16.970 --> 00:09:20.169 it is a little bit unusual that he speaks in the third person here. 108 00:09:22.090 --> 00:09:26.440 Peace be to the brothers, some which of course includes the sisters as well, 109 00:09:26.879 --> 00:09:28.960 to all who were hearing, even the children. Remember that, as 110 00:09:30.039 --> 00:09:35.639 we've heard in this letter Paul addressed a husband's and wives and children of all 111 00:09:35.759 --> 00:09:41.269 the families here are included in this word brothers. Peace be to the brothers 112 00:09:41.389 --> 00:09:48.549 and love with faith. Dr Bab, Steve Bab, WHO's commentary I've been 113 00:09:48.669 --> 00:09:54.700 very blessed by and reading this, he suggests that perhaps Paul uses the third 114 00:09:54.820 --> 00:09:58.980 person here because of the grand and cosmic way that he has been talking about 115 00:09:58.980 --> 00:10:03.340 the church all the way along. If you remember, though, Paul is 116 00:10:03.379 --> 00:10:07.370 addressing the Ephesians in this very you know these these people in particular. He's 117 00:10:07.370 --> 00:10:11.690 been framing who they are and what they are in this world in light of 118 00:10:11.809 --> 00:10:18.289 things that have happened even before time began. He's talking about them in light 119 00:10:18.370 --> 00:10:22.440 of the eternal grace of God that is poured out on the world. He's 120 00:10:22.480 --> 00:10:28.440 been talking about the incorruptibility and the everlasting life and Kingdom of God that Jesus 121 00:10:28.480 --> 00:10:33.360 has brought to all, and he, the Ephesians, are a part of 122 00:10:33.480 --> 00:10:39.470 this. Perhaps this is why Paul speaks in this broad way. Peace be 123 00:10:39.350 --> 00:10:46.350 to the brothers. We think about what it is he's blessing, God is 124 00:10:46.509 --> 00:10:52.820 blessing through the Apostle, through his word. The first thing we see is. 125 00:10:52.940 --> 00:10:58.139 It's peace. Peace is what we have with God as those who are 126 00:10:58.179 --> 00:11:03.259 no longer at war with him. Again, as we think about the way 127 00:11:03.419 --> 00:11:07.370 that Paul is sort of taking these various strands in his letter and tying them 128 00:11:07.490 --> 00:11:11.409 together here at the end, you remember that we just came through a section 129 00:11:11.529 --> 00:11:16.450 that is sometimes titled In our bibles the armor of God. Right that we 130 00:11:16.529 --> 00:11:22.320 are in a battle against the spiritual forces and powers of this present age evil 131 00:11:22.519 --> 00:11:30.360 that is around us. We are reminded that we came out of a position 132 00:11:30.600 --> 00:11:35.710 in chapter two the where we were dead in our trustpasses and sins by nature, 133 00:11:35.710 --> 00:11:39.110 children of Wrath and enmity with God. That was this is I'm not 134 00:11:39.549 --> 00:11:46.299 these are this is war language, not peace language. But as Christians who 135 00:11:46.580 --> 00:11:50.100 are able to stand in Christ and put on the armor of God, that 136 00:11:50.259 --> 00:11:56.179 means we're not at war with God. Yes, at war worth the flesh, 137 00:11:56.379 --> 00:12:00.299 with the devil, but not with God, and that's what really matters. 138 00:12:00.419 --> 00:12:05.250 Of course we belong to God, we stand in God's strength, we 139 00:12:05.409 --> 00:12:11.529 have peace with God in Christ. We are no longer his enemies, we 140 00:12:11.570 --> 00:12:18.840 are reconciled with him. Paul, in another benediction and second Thessalonian says peace 141 00:12:18.960 --> 00:12:26.360 be with you all. Peace in every way. People are constantly striving for 142 00:12:26.519 --> 00:12:31.190 peace. It's something that we want, that we need, but God doesn't 143 00:12:31.230 --> 00:12:35.149 say we need to strive for it. He gives it to us as a 144 00:12:35.269 --> 00:12:41.070 gift. That's why this word grace is used. It's this gift that's given. 145 00:12:41.149 --> 00:12:48.019 He doesn't say, may your role, may your reward and payment, 146 00:12:48.259 --> 00:12:52.059 be with you if you follow these rules and do these things. He says 147 00:12:52.100 --> 00:12:56.860 grace be with you. People strive for peace all the time. They travel, 148 00:12:58.419 --> 00:13:01.929 they go on vacations, they climb a status ladder, they look for 149 00:13:01.049 --> 00:13:05.970 influence, all kinds of ways that we look for peace and we think, 150 00:13:07.009 --> 00:13:11.850 well, if I finally arrive at my destiny nation or my financial goals or 151 00:13:11.970 --> 00:13:18.440 my daily morning habits or my whatever, if I finally arrive, then I 152 00:13:18.559 --> 00:13:26.240 will have peace. But flights get canceled, friends tab you in the back 153 00:13:26.429 --> 00:13:35.629 and arrant tweet crumbles, your reputation, all kinds of things that have you 154 00:13:35.669 --> 00:13:37.830 ever gone into the backyard? Even like I have talked in very broad terms, 155 00:13:37.870 --> 00:13:41.700 but what about something really simple? You go into the backyard, you 156 00:13:41.740 --> 00:13:43.220 know, you take some iced tea or some eliminated with you, like I'm 157 00:13:43.299 --> 00:13:46.620 going to go rest and then your neighbor just won't stop trying to start his 158 00:13:46.659 --> 00:13:52.340 lawn more. You know, like this is not what I wanted, right 159 00:13:52.419 --> 00:13:54.100 I said everything up, I'm going to go, I'm going to relax. 160 00:13:54.139 --> 00:14:01.450 Or maybe it's not even external, maybe it's inside, maybe it's always inside 161 00:14:01.769 --> 00:14:11.639 our thoughts and our minds, our hearts. Inner peace can perhaps overcome any 162 00:14:11.759 --> 00:14:22.000 outward circumstances, but we never have inner peace. Apart from Christ. We 163 00:14:22.159 --> 00:14:30.990 are anxious and troubled, grousing, complaining, bitter discontent. We spin lies, 164 00:14:31.269 --> 00:14:35.629 we lose hope, we're restless, we're distracted, we're weary. It's 165 00:14:35.669 --> 00:14:41.299 not really the neighbor's lawn more that's bugging us. That's what's going on in 166 00:14:41.460 --> 00:14:46.019 here. And so of course we want peace, right. We want to 167 00:14:46.139 --> 00:14:54.330 find inwards, spiritual peace from the storms is in our souls. We can't 168 00:14:54.330 --> 00:15:00.769 get it in the world, we can't get it inside, the Paul tells 169 00:15:00.809 --> 00:15:09.360 it, we can have it in God. Peace be to the brothers and 170 00:15:09.720 --> 00:15:16.679 love with faith. From where? From God, the Father and the Lord 171 00:15:16.720 --> 00:15:26.149 Jesus Christ. Each of us does need peace. What we ultimately need is 172 00:15:26.269 --> 00:15:30.909 peace with God, which comes to us, as we have learned, through 173 00:15:30.950 --> 00:15:37.179 Jesus. How does Jesus Bring Peace? He brings it by removing the enmity 174 00:15:39.220 --> 00:15:43.299 that is between us and God. He removes it by making us acceptable to 175 00:15:43.419 --> 00:15:52.049 God and making God acceptable to us. Now you're what I'm saying. I 176 00:15:52.169 --> 00:16:00.649 don't mean that he sort of mediates to sort of unruly difficult parties. It's 177 00:16:00.690 --> 00:16:03.970 not like that. It's not like you have one to side a and side 178 00:16:03.049 --> 00:16:06.320 be and both have a little a bit long in a, both a little 179 00:16:06.320 --> 00:16:08.480 bit right, and Jesus comes as a mediator and sort of takes God's hand 180 00:16:08.639 --> 00:16:12.519 in our hand and puts it it's not like that. When I say that 181 00:16:12.639 --> 00:16:18.120 Jesus he makes us as acceptable to God, I mean that we are rightly 182 00:16:18.279 --> 00:16:22.909 not acceptable to God. We are unrighteous, we are unholy. He is 183 00:16:22.029 --> 00:16:29.149 righteous, he is holy. We cannot stand in his sight. We read 184 00:16:29.190 --> 00:16:32.669 a psalm fourteen earlier. The fool says in his heart there is no god. 185 00:16:33.340 --> 00:16:37.220 The fool relies on his power and his strength and ignores the fact of 186 00:16:37.379 --> 00:16:41.659 those who are that those who call on God have rescue in him. The 187 00:16:41.820 --> 00:16:45.580 next Psalm, Psalm Fifteen, says who can ascend the hill of the Lord, 188 00:16:47.570 --> 00:16:51.090 the one who's perfect and does what is good, the one who goes 189 00:16:51.330 --> 00:16:56.370 and does not blaspheme and and lives his life in a way that is holy, 190 00:16:56.570 --> 00:17:02.559 that's the one who can ascend. Our problem is not that God is 191 00:17:02.759 --> 00:17:07.920 grumpy. Our problem is that God is holy, that God is perfect in 192 00:17:08.160 --> 00:17:14.119 every way. Of course, there's nothing wrong in God for that. Where's 193 00:17:14.119 --> 00:17:18.509 the problem in us? So, when I say that Jesus makes us acceptable 194 00:17:18.589 --> 00:17:22.309 to God, he doesn't do that by kind of changing God's mind. He 195 00:17:22.509 --> 00:17:29.430 does that by perfecting us, by justifying us, and he does that by 196 00:17:29.589 --> 00:17:34.980 giving us his own righteousness, by cleansing our sins so that we might be 197 00:17:36.740 --> 00:17:41.619 acceptable in God's sign. But he does more than that. If that weren't 198 00:17:41.660 --> 00:17:47.809 enough, he also makes God acceptable to us. It not only in this 199 00:17:48.049 --> 00:17:53.930 legal act of justification, also in an internal act of sanctification. He changes 200 00:17:55.049 --> 00:17:59.200 our hearts so that we don't stand at the bottom of God's Holy Hill saying 201 00:17:59.480 --> 00:18:03.319 there is no god. He changes our hearts so that we want to go 202 00:18:03.519 --> 00:18:08.440 up, so that we want to put our faith in Jesus, who takes 203 00:18:08.559 --> 00:18:15.670 us up we put he changes our hearts so that we might believe in him 204 00:18:15.710 --> 00:18:19.390 so that we might rest in him. If you need proof of this, 205 00:18:19.630 --> 00:18:23.750 listen to Paul's words, and the Fesians too, and you, who were 206 00:18:25.150 --> 00:18:30.420 dead in the trestpasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course 207 00:18:30.500 --> 00:18:33.779 of this world, following the Prince of the power of the air, the 208 00:18:33.900 --> 00:18:38.220 spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience, among whom we 209 00:18:38.539 --> 00:18:42.970 all once lived, in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires 210 00:18:44.049 --> 00:18:48.890 of the body and and the mind. And we're by nature children of Wrath, 211 00:18:48.130 --> 00:18:53.289 like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy because 212 00:18:53.329 --> 00:18:57.480 of the great love with which he loved us, even while we were dead 213 00:18:57.759 --> 00:19:03.759 in our trespasses, made us alive. Together with Christ. By grace, 214 00:19:03.839 --> 00:19:08.680 you have been saved and raised us up with him and seated us with him 215 00:19:08.680 --> 00:19:12.910 in the heavenly places, in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages 216 00:19:12.950 --> 00:19:17.750 he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace and kindness towards us. In 217 00:19:17.869 --> 00:19:22.589 Christ Jesus for Grace, for by grace you have been saved, and this 218 00:19:22.789 --> 00:19:27.700 is not of your own doing. It is that the gift of God so 219 00:19:27.779 --> 00:19:32.619 you see what I'm saying, then here are Jesus does this. He creates 220 00:19:32.779 --> 00:19:37.730 peace with us by transferring us, by by by giving to us gifts so 221 00:19:37.849 --> 00:19:45.250 that we might no longer be sons of disobedience, but sons of obedience instead 222 00:19:45.250 --> 00:19:51.890 of children of Wrath, children blessing, who are blessed in the heavenly spiritual 223 00:19:51.930 --> 00:19:56.880 places, who are lifted up with Christ into the heavenly places. This is 224 00:19:56.920 --> 00:20:00.920 what Jesus has done for us, and it's in it because the Ephesians and 225 00:20:00.000 --> 00:20:06.759 all Christians who have put their faith in Christ, because all Christians have done 226 00:20:06.880 --> 00:20:11.869 that, who are truly Christians, that Paul then says peace be to you. 227 00:20:14.269 --> 00:20:15.190 It's not. You see why I say it's not just a wish, 228 00:20:15.230 --> 00:20:18.230 it's not just I really this would be a nice thing for you. I 229 00:20:18.470 --> 00:20:22.460 hope that you can have this. He's saying this is going to happen, 230 00:20:23.299 --> 00:20:30.460 this already is happening. This is yours, it is your blessing from God. 231 00:20:33.259 --> 00:20:34.849 Well, that brings us to the next thing Paul mentions. He says 232 00:20:34.890 --> 00:20:44.890 peace to the brothers and love with faith. Perhaps it goes without saying, 233 00:20:45.009 --> 00:20:52.200 but you can't have peace with someone you're fighting with. Love doesn't fight, 234 00:20:53.079 --> 00:20:57.359 not in a sinful way that we do with God. Rage and anger, 235 00:20:57.599 --> 00:21:03.470 frustration with God, none of these things are come with peace, but love 236 00:21:03.589 --> 00:21:12.990 does. When God adopts us, is his children, he creates happy home, 237 00:21:14.069 --> 00:21:17.990 we might say, home filled with love, a family which is marked 238 00:21:18.029 --> 00:21:22.940 by love. Now, of course, it's not always perfect, because the 239 00:21:22.099 --> 00:21:26.220 flesh is still in us and the flesh is warring against the spirit, but 240 00:21:26.380 --> 00:21:33.890 nevertheless God is loving us, as we read just a moment to go an 241 00:21:33.890 --> 00:21:40.369 Ephesians to even when we haven't loved him. Remember that the letter begins this 242 00:21:40.569 --> 00:21:45.329 way. Want to read you now from Ephesians chapter one. Blessed be the 243 00:21:45.450 --> 00:21:49.720 God and father of our Lord, Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in 244 00:21:49.799 --> 00:21:55.880 Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us 245 00:21:56.119 --> 00:22:00.400 in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and 246 00:22:00.559 --> 00:22:07.150 blameless before him. In love, he predestined us for adoption as sons through 247 00:22:07.190 --> 00:22:11.670 Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of 248 00:22:11.789 --> 00:22:18.180 his glorious grace with which he has blessed us in the beloved. You See, 249 00:22:18.180 --> 00:22:25.380 Jesus Christ, the beloved, the beloved son, our beloved husband. 250 00:22:26.140 --> 00:22:30.730 He has he is the source of our blessing. He is how we come 251 00:22:30.490 --> 00:22:38.130 to call God our father. And this all happened not because God was bored 252 00:22:38.369 --> 00:22:44.400 one day or because he is evil in any way. The thing that he 253 00:22:44.480 --> 00:22:51.279 says is because he loved us. So again, when Paul Pronounces this benediction 254 00:22:51.319 --> 00:22:56.799 here at the end this blessing, he is not merely wishing for love, 255 00:22:56.920 --> 00:23:03.109 he's pronouncing the love of God upon us, a love in which we already 256 00:23:03.670 --> 00:23:15.420 stand. A Paul ends the his blessing with a note that I said I'd 257 00:23:15.460 --> 00:23:18.900 come back to. He says that grace be with all who love our Lord 258 00:23:18.259 --> 00:23:26.099 Jesus Christ with love incorruptible, for has perhaps a better way the to trans 259 00:23:26.220 --> 00:23:30.569 this. Translate this something like grace be with all who love our Lord Jesus 260 00:23:30.650 --> 00:23:38.009 Christ, who dwells in incorruptibility. I'm there are different ways, are different 261 00:23:38.049 --> 00:23:47.680 reasons that you might translate it this way, this phrase regarding incorruptibility. It 262 00:23:48.119 --> 00:23:52.400 kind of depends on which clause you attach it to in the sentence and grammatically 263 00:23:52.440 --> 00:23:56.789 you can do it with different ones if you want to. I I posted 264 00:23:56.910 --> 00:24:00.470 something on my website that gives some more details about this and you can look 265 00:24:00.470 --> 00:24:07.109 at that there. But the basic argument is that in all of Paul's other 266 00:24:07.509 --> 00:24:14.940 Benedictions, when he pronounces grace and peace and love and these sorts of things 267 00:24:15.019 --> 00:24:19.299 on people, you never see in them any sort of conditional clause like this. 268 00:24:21.619 --> 00:24:25.930 Not It's, of course, true that we do love Jesus Christ because 269 00:24:25.970 --> 00:24:29.410 he first loved us, and there's even a sense in which that love is 270 00:24:29.609 --> 00:24:33.890 incorruptible and so far as it comes from the Holy Spirit. But another reason 271 00:24:34.009 --> 00:24:40.079 to take this as Jesus who dwells in incorruptibility, as instead of a reference 272 00:24:40.119 --> 00:24:44.000 to the kind of love we give to him, is that that's what the 273 00:24:44.039 --> 00:24:48.119 whole letter has been about. It hasn't been about our incorrupt incorruptible love. 274 00:24:48.519 --> 00:24:52.349 It is a been about him who is Riz and into the heavenly places and 275 00:24:52.549 --> 00:24:59.109 established these blessings which he is pouring out to us, blessings which don't go 276 00:24:59.150 --> 00:25:06.950 away, which are perfectly holy, which are incorruptible in every way. The 277 00:25:07.069 --> 00:25:11.779 purpose of God's pronouncing Ben His benedictions on his people is to bless them with 278 00:25:11.900 --> 00:25:17.500 his glory and the gifts of salvation, the blessings of God tend to spotlight 279 00:25:17.740 --> 00:25:21.970 his work, not ours, and that is, I think, what is 280 00:25:22.049 --> 00:25:26.170 going on here as well. And so he is reminding us of this theme 281 00:25:26.369 --> 00:25:29.569 that he has brought about in the are he's been speaking about in the letter. 282 00:25:29.690 --> 00:25:33.569 The whole time he says, grace be with all who love our Lord 283 00:25:33.650 --> 00:25:38.519 Jesus Christ, and remember he dwells an incorruptibility. Again, remember back to 284 00:25:38.640 --> 00:25:44.079 what I read in Chapter One, that we have been blessed with every spiritual 285 00:25:44.200 --> 00:25:48.559 blessing in the heavenly places. Right the things which come to us, the 286 00:25:48.680 --> 00:25:52.109 grace which comes to us, all of these ways in which God is giving 287 00:25:52.109 --> 00:25:56.710 us peace and love in our lives. They come to us from Jesus Christ, 288 00:25:57.190 --> 00:26:02.069 who has risen from the dead. They come to us from a place 289 00:26:02.190 --> 00:26:07.579 that is secure, that is everlasting. This is a comfort to us as 290 00:26:07.619 --> 00:26:11.339 Christians. It's a reminder to us that when God gives us His grace, 291 00:26:11.779 --> 00:26:19.089 it's something that stands on heavenly ground, something that can not be moved, 292 00:26:19.849 --> 00:26:29.809 something that cannot be changed. We stand in Christ because of the love of 293 00:26:30.089 --> 00:26:33.880 God. We have been incorporated, as he talks about, into an in 294 00:26:33.920 --> 00:26:38.480 another place in Ephesians, into a body of Christ. That's an amazing thing 295 00:26:38.559 --> 00:26:44.160 to say, that we belong to the body of Christ, a body which 296 00:26:44.240 --> 00:26:52.109 is incorruptible. Amazing. Before God loved us, in Christ we were corrupt, 297 00:26:52.750 --> 00:26:57.069 we were dead. We were a corruptible, able to decay and already 298 00:26:57.190 --> 00:27:03.059 dead. But in Christ we become incorruptible. In Christ our love, our 299 00:27:03.339 --> 00:27:08.500 our peace at all begins to change. That's what Paul wants us to understand 300 00:27:08.740 --> 00:27:14.220 from this letter. He wants us to understand who we are in Jesus, 301 00:27:14.539 --> 00:27:18.849 who has risen from the dead and and stands at the right hand of God, 302 00:27:18.250 --> 00:27:23.049 interceding for us, and who now pours out these blessings on us in 303 00:27:23.170 --> 00:27:27.849 grace. He wants us to understand that this life in which we stand, 304 00:27:29.049 --> 00:27:33.960 this Christ in which we stand through faith, how it affects our lives, 305 00:27:33.200 --> 00:27:40.279 our relationships with one another, in the family and society, etc. That 306 00:27:40.480 --> 00:27:45.470 this heavenly blessing, though far above anything that we could ever imagine, is 307 00:27:45.509 --> 00:27:51.390 where our life is grounded and where ore and from and from which we live 308 00:27:51.589 --> 00:27:55.630 our lives, even as we live them in this world, even as we 309 00:27:55.710 --> 00:28:03.380 deal with difficult family situations, is with difficult situations in society, even as 310 00:28:03.420 --> 00:28:12.890 we face fighting evil, the evil powers of spiritual darknesses that exists. Salvation 311 00:28:14.809 --> 00:28:22.809 changes us from corruptible to incorruptible through the incorruptible one, our beloved savior. 312 00:28:25.130 --> 00:28:29.640 It turns us from enemies into friends with God. It puts peace in our 313 00:28:29.720 --> 00:28:33.519 hearts instead of hate. It teaches us a new way to walk in Christ 314 00:28:33.920 --> 00:28:37.920 and, as such, in this salvation we learn this new way to live, 315 00:28:37.960 --> 00:28:41.240 a lay that is marked by love, a way that is sustained by 316 00:28:41.430 --> 00:28:48.589 grace, the grace of our incorruptible Lord from his incorruptible kingdom. How do 317 00:28:48.710 --> 00:28:52.670 we receive all of these things? Will, just as he said throughout his 318 00:28:52.750 --> 00:28:57.220 letter, underline and several different ways, receive them through faith, which is 319 00:28:57.299 --> 00:29:03.299 a gift of God. We receive them through faith, which is an act 320 00:29:03.980 --> 00:29:08.660 which is itself an act of His grace. Grace describes the way in which 321 00:29:08.740 --> 00:29:14.369 God gives us these things. We don't earn his love. In fact, 322 00:29:15.009 --> 00:29:22.650 we earned his hate, we are earned his wrath, but he loved US 323 00:29:22.690 --> 00:29:29.240 instead, a love that he offers us in grace. So, beloved of 324 00:29:29.319 --> 00:29:33.359 the Lord, we've got to humble ourselves. We can't stand before God, 325 00:29:34.200 --> 00:29:37.630 we can't and on the things of this world, on the things in our 326 00:29:37.710 --> 00:29:42.829 lives, on our own righteousness. If we want peace, if we want 327 00:29:42.990 --> 00:29:48.789 love, if we want incorruptibility, if we want things that truly last and 328 00:29:48.910 --> 00:29:55.539 aren't worn away or stolen away at a moment, we must trust Jesus Christ 329 00:29:56.579 --> 00:30:03.460 what he's done for us. When we do, God gives us everything, 330 00:30:03.539 --> 00:30:11.450 every spiritual blessing lavishly poured out on us in every way, and not just 331 00:30:11.650 --> 00:30:17.809 in the ages to come, but that world, that life, has already 332 00:30:17.849 --> 00:30:22.640 begun breaking in in such a way that it affects our church now, it 333 00:30:22.759 --> 00:30:27.359 affects our families, now, it affects our world now, all to the 334 00:30:27.519 --> 00:30:33.799 praise and glory and the workmanship of God. Let's pray and ask that God 335 00:30:33.960 --> 00:30:38.990 would bless us with these very things and with the things that we have learned 336 00:30:40.670 --> 00:30:41.309 in this letter.

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