Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Created by Jesus Christ

Ephesians 3:9  "And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: "

One of Paul's theme in preaching the unsearchable riches of Christ was to make all men see this mystery of fellowship between the Jews and Gentiles. (See previous posts.) This mystery was hid from the beginning and now Paul is commissioned by God to make it known. Colossians 1:26,27  "Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:"  Notice the last statement Paul makes in this verse: "who created all things by Jesus Christ."  Jesus Christ is the Saviour but He is also the Creator. Jesus Christ existed before His supernatural birth as the Word. John 1:1-3  "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God.  All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made."  Everything that has ever been created was created by Jesus Christ. The heaven and earth, the sea, the sun, moon and stars, the plants, trees, mountains and hills. All fish of the sea, the fowl of the air and animals were made by Him. Mankind was made in His image. Colossians 1:16  "For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:"  All things were created by Jesus Christ for His own purpose and pleasure. He made you for Himself. You belong to Him! You are His workmanship. Ephesians 2:10  "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them."  As a born again believer you have been created in holiness and true righteousness. You are a new creature with divine characteristics. You were saved to serve Him. You were created by Jesus Christ to reflect His image, so shine my friend today, and live in such a way as to please your Creator!

Monday, April 15, 2024

The Unsearchable Riches of Christ

Ephesians 3:8  "Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;" 

The greatest saints are the most humble ones. Abraham, Jeremiah, Moses, Isaiah, and others; thought less of themselves, and more of others. Paul in this verse makes it clear how he felt about his own Christianity. He did not view himself as a great Christian, he said I "am less than the least of all saints."  There are too many Christians full of pride today! It is time we took a good long look in the mirror and realize how rotten and sinful we really are. Furthermore Paul viewed himself as the chief of sinners. Paul understood that he was just a sinner saved by grace. If it were not for the grace of God, hell would be our lot. I can tell you for sure the best Christians are the ones that don't consider themselves to be great Christians. Loose the pride my friend! It's not all about you! It's all about God's grace. The grace that is given in our text, is the gift of grace, as before, the ministerial gift. Paul was so humbled to be able to preach to the Gentiles. 2Timothy 1:11  "Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles."  He did not think he was God's gift to preaching! He gratefully realized what a gift it was to preach. There is a big difference in the two. Would to God there were more humble preachers who just rejoiced in the fact that they "get" to preach. Paul goes on to describe what he had the privilege to preach about, the unsearchable riches of Christ.  The riches of Christ are seen in his nature, in the work of His hands and in the inheritance that He has for us. The riches of His goodness...Romans 2:4  "Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?" The riches of His grace...Ephesians 1:7  "In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace." The riches of His glory...Ephesians 1:18  "The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints." So rejoice my friend, whatever your need may be, my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. 

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

The Gift of a Minister

Ephesians 3:7  "Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power."

Paul was made a minister according to the the will of God. God called, sanctified and qualified Paul to be a minister of the Gospel. Romans 15:16  "That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost."  A minister of the Gospel has a truly blessed and privileged calling. He is given the awesome responsibility of representing Christ and in safeguarding the Gospel. Ordained ministers are to walk worthy of that calling and faithfully give themselves to the ministry of the word. Colossians 1:25  "Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God;"  A minister is to be given to the word of God and serve his people with the grace and ability that God gives. According to the gift, a ministerial gift bestowed upon him, for such service does he serve. Think of it! What a privilege to serve the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. It is truly a gift to be in the ministry. 1Timothy 1:12  "And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;"  The God called minister has been gifted and enable by God to carry out His work through the power of the Holy Ghost. The power of God is seen as a working grace in the hearts of men, this is certainly true in the equipping of God's ministers. All of God's servants are able to accomplish the specific plan that God has for them as they yield to the power of God. It is certainly true that the work that ministers get to be involved in is a gift and ought to be cherished as such. Likewise ministers themselves are a gift to their congregations. A pastor is a gift to the body of Christ and should be respected, loved and cherished as a gift from God. Thank your minister today for his ministry!

Monday, April 8, 2024

Partakers of Promises

Ephesians 3:6  "That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:" 

That the Gentiles should be fellow heirs with the Jews, again is the mystery of Christ. The Gentiles now have the blessings of salvation by grace, and of the eternal, incorruptible, and never failing inheritance reserved in heaven. That Gentiles should be heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ Jesus, was not foreseen but now it is a reality. The Gentiles with the believing Jews, are now under one and the same head, Christ Jesus, and being all baptized into one body. 1Corintians 12:12,13  "For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit."  This unity of the body is of utmost importance for the local church to function properly under its head. In addition to the Gentiles are now partakers of his promise. Galatians 3:14  "That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith."  Now all the promises of the Bible are in Christ Jesus, yea and amen, safe and secure. As a result of being in Christ all the promises are available to any that come to partake in them, as these Gentiles did. 1John 2:25  "And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life."  The One who made these promises cannot lie, so you can go to the bank with them. Get you a promise from the Word of God and stand upon it today. Standing on the promises you can not fail, trusting Jesus with every detail of your life. Praise the Lord we have a book and a God that are always right!

Tuesday, April 2, 2024

Revealed by the Spirit

Ephesians 3:5  "Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;" 

The mystery in Christ was not made known unto the sons of men in other ages or literally past generations. This mystery is now revealed unto the apostles and prophets by the Spirit. In time past it was hidden, it was one of the secret things of the Lord that He kept obscured. Now it has been uncovered and revealed to the apostles and prophets. Who revealed it? According to this verse it was the Holy Spirit. The age of grace and the mystery that both Jew and Gentile could be one in the family of God was made known by the Holy Spirit. 1Peter 1:10-12  "Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into."  The Holy Spirit reveals truth to us. The Holy Spirit uncovers for us something that has been hidden. It is the Spirit's job to guide us into all truth. To be clear the Holy Spirit is not giving any new revelation today. The Word of God is the complete revelation of truth. However, within that book there are things that are not clearly seen. The Spirit is the One who reveals or illuminates truth in the Word of God to us. 1Corinthians 2:7  "But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:"  The  wisdom of God is found in the Bible, but it is often hidden to us, we don't see it, we don't understand it, we don't get it. For this reason we need the Spirit to open up the Bible for us to see.  1Corintians 2:10  "But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God."   This is what we should desire, for the Spirit to reveal to us truth that we need for every decision and question we may have. In the Gospel of Luke there was a man named Simeon who had a secret thing revealed to him. This impression on his heart that he would see the Messiah before he died was given by the Holy Ghost.   "And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord's Christ."  (Luke 2:26)  What is it that the Holy Ghost is trying to show you in His Word? Get in the Word today and ask the Holy Spirit to open your eyes to behold wondrous things from His book!

Monday, March 25, 2024

The Mystery of Christ

Ephesians 3:3,4  "How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)"

Here Paul states that he was made aware of the mystery by revelation. The word revelation here has the idea of disclosure. God revealed or manifested to Paul what the mystery was. This mystery was not taught to Paul but revealed to Paul by Jesus Christ. Galatians 1:12  For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.  By the way any system of theology that has its origins in man and has to be taught is not from God. God reveals His truth through one man! Paul then states that this mystery that was given to him by revelation, had previously been eluted to in the beginning of this letter. Ephesians 1:9,10  "Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ..."  The mystery of His will was to bring together in one, both Jew and Gentile, by Jesus Christ.  Colossians 1:26,27  "Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:"  This mystery involved blindness of the Jews in rejecting Christ, which opened the door for the Gentiles to experience salvation. Romans 11:25  "For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in."  As a result of Israel's rejection of Christ, the age of grace now reigns with the Gentiles. The Gentiles are now partakers with the Jew in the eternal inheritance and have been made part of Abraham's family.  Galatians 3:28,29  "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise."  So the mystery in Christ was how God was going to unite both Jew and Gentile together as one family. Jesus Christ was the only one who could unite God with man and also unite Jew and Gentile into one family. Notice in Christ all nationalities are able to be apart of the family of God.   Romans 16:25,26  "Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:"  We ought to rejoice that no matter what race, nationality, or culture a person is of, they can all partake in eternal salvation and be a member of God's family. Only Christ could make this possible, this is the mystery of Christ. 

Saturday, March 23, 2024

A Prisoner of Jesus Christ

Ephesians 3:1,2  "For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:" 

Paul states that it is for this cause, the cause of building believers faith, that he writes. This cause that Paul had was not his own but given to him. 1Timothy 1:16  "Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting."  Paul's was not seeking his own cause but was fervently serving for the cause of Christ. Paul was diligent and determined to make sure the cause of Christ kept going forward and so he enlisted Timothy to continue in this great cause of making the ways of Christ clear to His church.  1Corinthians 4:17  "For this cause have I sent unto you Timotheus, who is my beloved son, and faithful in the Lord, who shall bring you into remembrance of my ways which be in Christ, as I teach every where in every church."  Paul was the apostle to the Gentiles and spent much time in jail for preaching the Gospel.   As the "prisoner of Jesus Christ," Paul was saying, that it was his identification with Jesus Christ that landed him in prison. He is saying, I am in prison for standing with Christ. Philemon1:1,9  "Paul, a prisoner of Jesus Christ, and Timothy our brother, unto Philemon our dearly beloved, and fellowlabourer." "Yet for love's sake I rather beseech thee, being such an one as Paul the aged, and now also a prisoner of Jesus Christ." As believers we ought to be willing to go to jail for Christ. However, I wonder if we as Christians have ever made ourselves prisoners for Christ. What do I mean? Have we so locked ourselves into Jesus Christ that it is as if we are in stocks and bonds. Are we so committed to Christ that we have lost our own freedom to do what we want to do? Are you being detained in Christ? Let's live our lives so dedicate to His cause that we are as prisoners to Him. The  "dispensation of the grace of God" was given to Paul to preach. Colossians 1:25  "Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God;"  The word dispensation means to administer. Paul was to administer the economy of grace as God's chosen Apostle to the Gentiles. A dispensation is a frame of time in which God works in specific ways. This does not mean God saves people in various dispensations different ways. God may work in different ways but there has always only been one way of salvation. Faith in God's promised seed.