The apostle Paul writes to a Ephesians church, which is at logger heads with each other, and not living as they should. He tells them that they are cleansed, and seated with Christ in the heavenly realms.
He doesn’t tell them to pull their head in, get their lives right with God, and then, and only then they can come and sit with him in the heavenly realms.
Our position gives us the ability to start to live right…because we are totally made right.
One of the things that I have been taught in the past, and heard it again today – and I have to say it drives me absolutely nuts is the teaching that we need to go higher with God. Normally its to do with prayer, holiness and activity for God.
The Apostle Paul is writing to a divided Church in Ephesus. A church that is wracked with sin. With people treating each other in dismal ways. He never taught them “Guys, get your life right with God; and then you too will be seated with me in the heavenly realms going up higher and higher the more holier you get!”
NO, instead, to this sinful group of people who make up the Ephesians Church, he tells them…”You are already seated with Christ, beside God the Father.” Therefore, because of where you are seated, and because of your position…live accordingly.
My gosh, this kinda gnostic teaching nearly makes me want to swear. We cannot go any higher with God. We cannot go higher in the heavenly realms. Because, we are already there. We are in the throne room of heaven. We are seated beside Christ, who is sitting beside God the Father. Their aint any higher place for us to get to. Because when Jesus ascended, he took us with him.
Our power for right living, our power for prayer, our power for righteousness comes from knowing, accepting, and acknowledging the very position where we are now.
There are 8 key points that the Apostle Paul told the early Ephesian’s church he was praying for them. Perhaps you would like to join me in prayer; and pray them for yourself, and others you know.
* We will know the hope to which we have been called.
* We will know the riches of his glorious grace
* We will know his incomparably great power.
*That we will be strengthened with power through the Holy Spirit
*That Christ will dwell within us.
*That we will be established in love.
*That we will understand the extent of Christ’s love.
*That we will be filled with God’s fullness.
Its in the barren areas of life we learn the releasing power of thankfulness; or the destructive power of bitterness. Thank God for the resurrection – all things are possible through him.
I often stutter, get my words mixed up, and go “Uhm and Arrr.” But, glory to God when ever he opens the door for me to preach, and after I open in prayer – I stop the Uhmming and Arrhing. Actually its not me who stops; it is God who empowers me to speak, its the Holy Spirit who empowers me to speak clearly.
I was invited to share the message at church yesterday. My experience was the same. I was uhmming and arrghing terribly as I opened in an introduction and as we tried to get the microphone working. Eventually we changed to a handheld mic. But, once I opened in prayer. and started the message, once again God stopped the uhmming and arghing.
Yesterday we worked through the Gospel of Matthew, concluding with the story in Matthew 14 where Jesus walked on water, and Peter jumped out of the boat to walk on water also. It’s my conclusion that Peter jumped out of the boat in presumption and not faith. It’s my conclusion that Jesus told Peter to come, because he had no choice but to say come; after Peter questioned his identity.
But, Peter’s questioning the identity of Jesus is not an isolated incident. He is one of many who question his identity; and in chapter 11 we find John the Baptist among others who likewise question the identity of Jesus.
You can listen along here if you like. https://soundcloud.com/new-horizons-5/god-can-use-us-powerfully-as-we-are
I had a lecturer who told us that once a year he deliberately takes time out to ponder the Trinity for a few weeks. He says, its like he “almost” starts to comprehend it. And each year he gets closer to doing so.