2. Eph. 1 3 Rich Provisions part 2

Eph. 1 3 Rich Provisions part 2

What is our rich provision of blessing in Christ based on?  I got an email from a blog sitearticle where someone used the phrase the chains of legalism and the thought of the charred feeling in spiritual reality that it incurs.  But the slogan is based on attacks on a man and a ministry, which is under accusation of promoting legalism.  The problem I see is that legalism is an activity of the flesh.  In our sin nature we try to appease God based on performance and achievement.  The chain is our own creation.  I can work at a job that expects me to be there at a certain time or asks for a certain level of productivity from me, or a standard of appearance in my dress.  This is not legalism but my reactions are what becomes the legalism.

I had a job in sales where I was expected to wear a tie and wool fabric slacks even in 90 degree weather.  If I wore cotton slacks it would have been unacceptable.  Years later the standard of expectation was lowered.  Was that legalism that the company was promoting or just a standard? Our country has lowered expectations and standard across the board from decade to decade and permissiveness is acceptance and tolerance is becoming law.  Is this grace?  Intolerance is the main thing that is becoming intolerable.

Communicate to us Our Riches

   In Our Sovereign Father v.3-6

       Articulate Your Provisions   v.3

          Define Your Person

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ

Describe Your Presents

who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings

Disclose Our Position       

in heavenly places in Christ

After his introductory greeting Paul launches out into a spontaneous run on sentence of passionate vehemence and enthusiastic faith.  He thrusts out in a soaring escalation of worship to God the Sovereign, God the Son and God the Spirit with the word blessed.  In the work Expositions of the Holy Scriptures by Alexander McLaren we read:

Put a pen into Paul’s hand, and it is like tapping a blast furnace; and out rushes a fiery stream at white heat. But there is a great deal more than fervor in the words. In the rush of his thoughts there is depth and method. We come slowly after, and try by analyzing and meditation to recover some of the fervor and the fire of such utterances as this.  Notice that buoyant, joyous, emphatic reiteration: ‘Blessed,’ ‘blest,’ ‘blessings.’ That is more than the fascination exercised over a man’s mind by a word; it covers very deep thoughts and goes very far into the center of the Christian life. God blesses us by gifts; we bless Him by words and adoring affectionate response. 

Our highest response to His most precious gifts is that we shall ‘take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the Lord,’ and in the deep of a thankful receptive heart we say, blessed be God who has and is blessing us.

Even when we look at what we naturally feel is a curse in our experience or our feelings we glory in that infirmity knowing that that is what opens the power of Christ blessing on us.

Describe Your Presents

who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings

Disclose Our Position      

in heavenly places in Christ

The source of our blessing is God, the scope of our blessings is all spiritual blessings, the sphere of our blessings is heavenly places, and the subject and spring of our blessings is that we’re in Christ and He’s in us.  We so foolishly get hung up on the material, the bits and pieces of this life, objects, items, and stuff.  Sometimes the only transitional access to move us into the heavenly places in Christ is pressure, even poverty, and pain.

This is how Paul transcends, he’s writing of our height of experience, via the pain and pressure of prison.  Ephesians is one of four prison letters where we the see the exchange of deprivation for the exuberating of delight.  Now prison on the outer core seems so wretched and negative but only if we can’t make the changeover and complete the conversion.  To mature in Christ we have to make the switch in values, see how our sovereign Lord is working all things for our good.  We can achieve comprehension in our personal intimacy with Christ, without incurring the correction lenses to what seems like a loss.

There is nothing wrong with things, physical comfort and earthly luxury.  But we need to see is the arena of our activities and what’s coming between us and our true riches and blessings in Christ.  Our life, where we have all the value God has for us is in a relationship that is a walk of dependence on Christ.

If we find ourselves in depression, despair, disillusionment and dysfunctional feelings through our lacks and losses it’s possible we haven’t walked across the bridge of these experiences of switching our performance based idolatry of religion for what we already have been given in Christ.  Our insecurities in self, needs to be left for our security in what we have and are in the Lord.

When Paul first traveled to Ephesus as recorded in Acts 19 he asks the believers if they had received the Holy Spirit when they believed.  They said they hadn’t heard of the Holy Spirit.  Really that’s a common snare of our day in the local church.  The Spirit that is taught is a spirit of affluence in some prosperity heresy, or any other number of so called spirits of success, the spirit of political diversion as if we have here any continuing city, a spirit of tradition, denominational affiliation or non-denominational denomination.  We have the feel good spirit and on and on.

But the true Spirit indwells us and He is our channel of  blessings from God the Father through Jesus Christ our Lord. He is recognizable by the fruit of character that comes from His filling, and the authenticity of worship and the transparency of a walk in the light of God’s presence.

It was A.W. Tozer who said:

If the Holy Spirit were removed from the first Century church 90 percent of its activity would have ceased and if the Holy Spirit were removed from today’s contemporary church 90 percent of its activity would continue.

We operate as believers in two spheres, we’re in the earthly if there is such a word, but our source, strength, security and satisfaction are in the heavenlies.  That’s where our citizenship is, where our name is written where we battle in prayerful conflict and where Christ is.

We’re not talking about a territory that’s very distant or removed.  It’s a place where the eye of faith rises, and draws real life from and where the eyes of our comprehension are enlightened and informed.  This is the sphere of God’s presence and the orb of our true joy and pleasurable peace.

J.B. Phillips renders Eph. 1:3:

Praised be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ for giving us through Christ every spiritual benefit as citizens of Heaven!  God from the beginning of time and really, before time was created, had one intention, and that was our total blessing and privilege not only for us but all his creation.  He has followed through on that objective and even though fallen angels have distorted and continue to deform and disfigure our view of God and fallen men have defamed Him, He has sent His Son the Lord Jesus Christ and His Spirit to fill us with every spiritual blessing for life and eternity.  Our blessings come from a supernatural sphere the heavenlies, a supernatural person Jesus Christ and it’s a supernatural result called spiritual blessings.

The blessings are as Lewis Sperry Chafer calls them possessions and privileges, assets and bounties.  Chafer in his eight volumes, Systematic Theology, lists a total of 33 blessings; others break them down in a variety of analysis.  The important aspect of it all is a daily moment-by- moment experience of the presence and personality of Christ in intimate fellowship and communication.

The challenge is, do we allow the prisons of our life to make us living epistles of Christ’s privileges and power?  As we watch the deficit soar and we cringe in our own personal deprivation, dispossession and various deficiencies are we exchanging it all for the powerful provisions of Christ’s presences and the peace and pleasure of His Spirit?  Our proviso is we are blessed with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places!!!

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