Bible Lesson 206

SAVORING THE SAVIOR (Ephesians 1:3-5)

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ; According as he hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love: Having predestinated us unto adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will.”

“How wonderful a comfort it is that He who dwells in our flesh is our God.” John Flavel.

What a wonderful, even marvelous thing it is for those of us who have submitted to the Lordship and control of the King of Glory and the only name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved, and that name is Jesus Christ, who is the Only Begotten Son of God, the God-Man, Emmanuel, God with us, our Savior; who substituted Himself on the Cross where we deserved to be nailed, and bled and died to redeem us from sin.

The incarnation and death of Jesus Christ is all connected in the gift of eternal life, for those who seriously search, seek, knock and enter when God opens the door for them to find the Truth which is the Gospel of Good News.

God supernaturally turns on the light that allows those who earnestly seek Him to allow them to see themselves as the sinners that they are because they summarily reject any idea that they are dead in trespass and sin, and under the wrath of our Holy God.

These are they that reject the paths of God and set about to blaze their own paths, which are in fact the devils highway.
God in His Word the Bible cautions against taking the devils road which looks like a superhighway, broad and appearing to rise, but actually falls into hell. In Matthew Chapter Seven, verses 13 and 14 God inspired the words “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.

Because, narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” God says to every person’.and this is not an invitation but a command from God, to enter that narrow gate, instead of entering the broad gate. The word enter is in the imperative tense and so is a command from God to do so. If our Creator, Sustainer, Savior, Father and Friend has commanded us to enter that strait (narrow) gate what kind of person refuses and instead begins to work their way into hell’

The answer is, that they serve a different god, a god that has been planted in their minds and hearts by the deceiver Satan, and that is the god that they follow; however they now serve a god that is not able to save, but is able only to mislead, trick and deceive them as they fight with the arm of flesh, against an Omnipotent God, who not only gave them life but graciously gave them enough light to know the difference.

In the beginning (for everyone born since Adam) salvation has been objective (out there somewhere, but not on, or in the flesh); but in salvation, that ‘New Birth’ that takes place when God extends His Grace to one of His creatures, it become Subjective; and we are one with Jesus Christ and the Father and the Holy Spirit (John 17:20-21; Ephesians 2:10; 2nd Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 3:26-29; John 10:38; John 10:27-30; John 14:6-11). Salvation brings with it, an intimate personal relationship with God through Christ.

This relationship is not simply a nodding one, but a dynamic one, which involves God recreating a new creature. He does not simply remove some of the dents and scratches from the old creature and then put on a fresh coat of paint: instead God puts the old creature to death, and raises up a new creature (One in which the old things have passed away and all things have been made new). Ephesians 2:1-10; Romans 6:1-14; 2nd Corinthians 5:17. I would remind you right here that this newness of life is not something that happens just before we are buried, or in the grave, it happens the moment we are saved. John chapter six tells us that we are dead to sin, and that means that sin is dead to us because we died with Christ on the cross. When He died on the cross we died to sin, we were baptized into His death; when Christ died in our place we were counted dead with Him. We are living in the presence of sin, but not in its power. We fight sin every day and we have the power to defeat Satan and sin because we are in Christ.

How are you faring in the battle with sin’ Are you winning the battles or are you a casualty of sin’ Are you striving to win the battle and are you running to win the race that we all have to run’ So many today have not prepared themselves for the battle with sin, and they suffer the slings and arrows of Satan because they do not know what God has given us to engage Satan with in this battle, as we live out our lives and walk that narrow way, which is difficult, but which Christ walks with us. These are unfortunate people who have thought that by simply making a profession of Christ, was sufficient to equip us for the battle, and so they try to engage Satan in the flesh. Our battle is not with flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 6:12).

Since our battle involves those we mentioned above, God who knows everything that we need and always provides what is needed for us to win life’s battles, has made the armor that protects us from the evil one. We find that includes first and foremost, the Truth of the Gospel of the Good News of Christ, with which we gird our waist, and the breastplate of righteousness, our feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; and above all we take the shield of faith to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. We take the helmet of Salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God; and we pray always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit. With God’s armor to protect us, we are commanded to stand against the wiles of the devil. (Ephesians 6:10-20). Notice as you read those verses in Ephesians Chapter six, that we are commanded to put on the whole armor of God not once but twice, so be careful to make sure you have all that is required, or you will not be able to pass God’s inspection. This armor is available, and is issued only to those who have been saved and have that subjective personal relationship with Christ Jesus. Before we are able to join or be yoked with Christ, and must have that intimate personal relationship with Him. Further, we have some objective things that we must believe, We, must believe that Jesus Christ was born of a virgin, lived for some 32 years and walked with men as a man; He had taken on the form and flesh of man and existed as the God-Man, with the purpose of saving His people from their sin (Matthew 1:21). He never sinned, but died as the substitute for sinners who would obey Him. He was crucified, dead, and buried.

On the Third day He arose and some 40 days later arose and returned to heaven from whence He had descended. He sits at the right hand of The Father as our Prophet, Priest, and advocate. If this is the Jesus that you love enough to obey, and you are doing all that you know He would have you to do, then you have an intimate personal relationship with Him. (John 14:15, 21-24). You are no longer a sinner, you are a Saint, and you will live like a Saint. Do you know what it means to be a Saint’ Well, it means that you have an intimate personal relationship with Jesus Christ. It means that you are Holy, which means that you have been separated by God, for His use. It means that you are Separate and that you have come out from among those who are the devil’s children, and you are God’s Child.( Romans 1:7; 2nd Corinthians 6:14 thru 7- 1; Psalms 37:27-29; Jude 3; Revelation 16:6; 2nd Thessalonians 1:10; 1st Corinthians 1:2; 1st Peter 1:13-23). That is all objective truth that you will believe, and live by, that is, if you are truly saved and have that intimate personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ will not be your buddy, or your wing-man, or your bell-hop or your slave. Instead He will be your Lord, your Master, and your Savior and you will depend upon Him for the power to live the rest of your life. Now remember we are talking here about a living, breathing relationship that is as real as if you had been one of the twelve disciples, and walked and ate and slept and worked with Jesus as He lived and called the world to repentance. We are told in Hebrews, chapter eleven and verse one, of God’s word, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen”. I like to understand that, the way an old man of faith, Manley Beasley, understood that explanation of Faith. He said that “Faith is believing something is so, when it is not so, in order for it to be so; because God says it is so.” I hope you will commit that to memory because it is what Hebrews 11:1 said, only in today’s language.

It takes a faith, a belief in the truth, so strong that it sees the future as the present, and the invisible as visible. Faith is a dependence upon God and His Word and Will as found in His Inspired Bible. That kind of dependence can only begin when self-dependency ends (Beasley). The question becomes who are you dependent upon’ Do you depend upon Christ in God, or do you depend upon what you can do in the flesh’ What we are attempting to bring into focus in this lesson, is that Salvation goes far beyond what has been preached and taught and believed in the visible church for decades. We have been taught by most churches that if we decide to be saved, and we come to the church and apply for fellowship, and are baptized and entered on the church roles that we are saved, and that nothing can keep us out of heaven. Do you believe that’

I hope you don’t; but most do in our society. Nothing connected to becoming a church member requires a broken heart and a contrite spirit before God as we repent of sin and sins in our lives. We have all but forgotten that God must begin our salvation, and He alone can finish it. We can come to God, only after the Father draws us to His Son and His Person and Work on the cross (John 6:44). God gives the true seeker a call that is always effectual, and that person then becomes eligible for Salvation. God works from beginning to end and if God was not sovereign in your salvation, then you are not saved. That is a sermon for another day, but we need to understand that there is never a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and God, except with those who are truly saved. We cannot choose to work out another way to enter God’s Sheep fold. We think that we can climb up some other way that does not require us to come out of the darkness and into the light of God, does not spotlight our sin so to speak. (John 10:1-5).

How close is this intimate personal relationship with Jesus Christ’ It is so close that there is nothing that can come between. In Luke 14:26-33, we find our Savior Jesus Christ, speaking to a great multitude, and to us today as we read these scriptures; and Jesus said, “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also He cannot be My disciple. And whoever does not bear his own cross and come after (follow) Me cannot be My disciple. For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it lest after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, this man began to build and was not able to finish. Or what king, going to make war against another king, does not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand’ Or else, while the other is still a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks conditions of peace.

So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.” This scripture portrays the relationship that every truly saved Child of God has, with the Savior, and it points up the fact that our relationship is the most important relationship that can exist. Always remember that Scripture explains Scripture, and Luke 14, says that we must hate our earthly family, which is explained in other scripture to mean that we must love Jesus Christ so much more than we love our earthly family, that it looks like we hate them. (See Matthew 10:37; and Luke 16:13). Are you a disciple’ Are you daily walking with Christ as you live a life that is all about Christ Jesus’ We are saved to walk, not as we walked when we were the children of the devil, but in newness of life. (Romans 6:1-14). Our relationship with the Savior, Jesus Christ is a spiritual one; however it manifests itself in and through our faith. (Galatians 5:16-25). If we have that intimate personal relationship, our lives reflect the life of Jesus Christ, and we can say with the Apostle Paul, ‘I have been crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me and the life I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of Him who loved me and gave Himself for me.'(Galatians 2:20). That means that the person who is saved has an intimate personal relationship with Christ. Christ in the Holy Spirit seals the person who truly believes (Ephesians 1:13-14), we are recreated or reborn by God in Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:10).

We, having been justified by faith, have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 5:1-2). Because we are in Christ, we are New Creatures, and the old things (things of Adam) are passed away, behold all things are become new, (2nd Corinthians 5:17).Then because we have that intimate personal relationship with Jesus Christ, we will never face condemnation,(Romans 8:1). We know from the Scriptures that “He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; he who does not believe God, has made Him a liar, because he has not believed the testimony; that God has given us eternal life and this life is in His Son”, (1st John 5:10-11). We must remember that Adam had the same kind of personal relationship with God that we do today, if we have been blessed by God and recreated in His Son Jesus Christ.

Adam walked and talked with God in the cool of the evening in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:8-10). We know that God is Spirit and we don’t know what form God took as He walked in that personal relationship with Adam, but I like to think that it was the knowledge of God and His spirit with Adam that was at work. We have that same relationship with God that Adam did. For the Child of God, those who have been called, Justified, Sanctified, and Glorified (Romans 8:28-30), walk daily with, and in, Christ. We follow Him because He is our hearts desire, and He loved us enough to make the only way for us to inhabit heaven with Him. We have tasted that heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit! (Hebrews 6:4-6). We have tasted that the Lord is gracious, and we have come to Him as to a living stone chosen by God; and He is precious to us (1st Peter 2:1-8).

We have a Great High Priest (Jesus Christ) who walked every path that we must trod while here on the earth, and He guides us safely past all of the pitfalls that Satan has created to trap us. Jesus can sympathize with our weaknesses, because He was tempted in all points just as we are (Hebrews 4:14-16). We have an intimate personal relationship with the only mediator between God and mankind, and He has conquered sin, death, and the grave which we all will experience at some time. Have you taken the time and made the effort to gain all the knowledge of the Truth that exists only on the pages of the inspired Word of God’ Have you discovered your great problem of sin, and have you hated yourself and your sin to the point that you are not only repulsed but frightened by it’

If you have, and you saw your only help and hope in Jesus Christ, as He took your place on the cross that you deserved to be nailed upon, and have cast yourself and all of your ideas and plans upon Him, then you can have an intimate personal relationship with Him. You must seek the reality of it, by prayer and meditation and acceptance of all that His Word has shown you. And now it is up to you to walk with Him and talk with Him and trust Him to lead you to the Promised Land. When you know and love him, and trust Him enough to obey all that He has commanded, He becomes your Spirit, that Holy Spirit that leads and teaches you about Him. He becomes your food and your drink, just as He was the Manna and the water from the rock for the Hebrew Nation that came out of Egypt. He is our light and our protector just as He was for them, as that cloud by day and fire by night. Would you like that kind of relationship’ It is available and all you have to do is to Ask, Seek, and Knock, until He invites you in (Matthew 7:7). Think on these things.

Until next time,

may God bless and keep you

This is Bro. Bob