Blessed, Chosen, Adopted, and Accepted

Ephesians 1:3-6–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 the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

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Who has blessed us with all spiritual blessings–God has blessed us with all spiritual blessings.  These blessings far exceed the earthly blessings we are so accustomed to.  These blessings are spiritual and are for a spiritual people; a people who have been born again, born of the Spirit of God.  In heavenly places speaks of the origin of these blessings and of our inheritance reserved for us in heaven.  These blessing are ours in connection with Jesus Christ.

He has chosen us in Christ–He chose us in Christ and for Himself before the world began.  In the fullness of time the Father draws us to Jesus (John 6:44).  He chose us that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love.  For us to be holy and without blame we must be in Christ.

Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children–It is by Jesus Christ that we are adopted unto the Father according to the good pleasure of His will.  Being a work of God’s grace, we are to the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He has made us accepted in the beloved.  By an act of God’s grace we are made accepted in connection with Jesus.  We are to live therefore to the glory of our Father.

Walk In The Spirit

Galatians 5:16-17–Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.

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Within the Christian there is a battle that takes place.  This battle is between the flesh and the Spirit, the old man and the new man, the old nature and the new nature.  The bible refers to the battle in these three ways.  The flesh, the old man, and the old nature, is what we were before we got saved.  The spirit, the new man, and the new nature, is what we have become as a result of God’s work of grace.

Walk in the Spirit–We are to walk in connection with the Spirit of God.  We are to walk in submission to the Spirit as He leads us.  If we do this we will not fulfill the lust of the flesh.

The flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh–The flesh and the Spirit are contrary the one to the other.  The flesh seeks to direct our lives in one way and the Spirit seeks to direct our lives in another way.  In this chapter we see the works of the flesh and the fruit of the Spirit.   If you examine the works of the flesh in verses 19-21 you will see what our lives are like when the flesh is in control.  If you examine the fruit of the Spirit in verses 22-23 you see what our lives are like when the Spirit is in control.

So that you cannot do the things that you would–What we would do according to the Spirit is often hindered by our flesh.  We must decide which we will follow.  “To whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness” (Romans 6:16).

A preacher saw a boy with two dogs one day and they were fighting.  The preacher asked, “Do they fight all the time”? And the boy said, “Yes”.  The preacher then said, “Well which one wins”?  To which the boy replied, “The one I feed the most”.  The same is true in our battle of the flesh and the Spirit.  The one we feed the most is the one that will reign in our life.  We must stay focused on the Spirit and the word of God.

Gifts, Ministries, and Operations

1 Corinthians 12:4-6–Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.

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The body of Christ is made up of all born again Christians and has many different gifts, many different ministries, and many degrees of operations.

There are diversities of gifts–The word diversities is better translated distributions.  The spiritual gifts are distributed to each Christian according the Holy Spirits choosing (1 Corinthians 12:11).  In verses 7-10 you see a sampling of the spiritual gifts and the repeated phrase, “by the same Spirit”.  “The manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal” (1 Corinthians 12:7).  Spiritual gifts are the outward evidence and operation of the Spirit within and through the Christian.

There are differences of administration–The word administration means ministry or service.  Here we get into the purpose of the gifts–ministry or service to others.  It is the Lord Jesus Christ who directs the variety of ministries and services done by the body of Christ.  He is the head over all things concerning the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him that fills all in all (Ephesians 1:22-23).  He makes the decisions related to ministries; who, what, when, where, how, and why.  The body follows the direction of its head (Jesus).

There are diversities of operations–The Greek word for operations is energema from which we get our word energy. God the Father determines the degree of spiritual, supernatural energy or power that will be at work. God the Father therefore determines what the effect produced by the workings will be.

It is the same God which works all in all–God is the one that does the work in all and through all.  God works in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13).

Now Are You Light In The Lord

Ephesians 5:8-10–For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth) proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.

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You were sometimes darkness–Our understanding was darkened.  We were alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that was in us, because of the blindness of our hearts (Ephesians 4:18).  This blindness was the work of the god of this world who blinded our minds.  We walked as men of this world.  We walked (lived our lives) in this blindness and without understanding.

Now are you light in the Lord–Our being light is in our connection with the Lord who is “the Light of the world”. Having received Jesus (the Light) we have become light.

Walk as children of light–We now shine as lights in the world (Philippians 2:15).  Our light is to so shine before men that they may see our good works and glorify our Father which is in heaven (Matthew 5:16).  We walk in the light as we walk in the Spirit and in the power of God.  Our light is the fruit of the Spirit, the character of God.

The fruit of the Spirit–”The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance” (Galatians 5:22-23).  The fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness–moral excellence, and deeds of kindness and charitableness.  The fruit of the Spirit is in all righteousness–doing that which is right in God’s eyes.  The fruit of the Spirit is in all truth–reality, and real as opposed to all lying, deception, and hypocrisy.

Proving what is acceptable to the Lord–Our light and life is to be an open display of the kind of life that is acceptable to the Lord.  This life that was created in us and empowered in us is by God.

Health, Strength, Growth, And Stability

Colossians 2:6-7–As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: rooted and built up in him, and established in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.

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We as Christians have received Christ Jesus the Lord.  This is not doctrine, nor words.  This is spiritual reality; He in us and us in Him (John 15:5).  Having received Christ Jesus we are to walk in connection with Him.  This is to be a sharing of life.  We are to be rooted in Him.  Being rooted provides two things; nourishment and stability.  Nourishment means we are to draw from Jesus, that which we need to be spiritually strong and healthy and to grow spiritually (built up).  Stability means ability to remain firm and not to be moved or shaken easily.  We are to be stable, and firm in our faith.  Our faith is not to be easily moved or shaken.

As we walk in connection with Christ and live our life in connection with Christ we shall receive spiritual health and strength.  We will grow spiritually and we will be strong and stable in our faith.  Let us work on our relationship with Jesus and remain close to Him.

We Are Children Of God

Galatians 4:4-6–But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.

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God sent forth His Son–At the end of the appointed period; at the appointed and perfect time.  Jesus was miraculously made of a woman, being conceived of the Holy Ghost.  Jesus was made under the law meaning that He was required to fulfill the law.

To redeem them that were under the law–All mankind was under the law and Jesus was sent by the Father to purchase our Christian freedom.  Jesus fulfilled the law and the prophets and purchased our freedom with his blood.

That we might receive the adoption of sons–We are adopted into the family of God.  We “have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father” (Romans 8:15).  The Spirit of adoption is the Spirit of His Son.  We have received Him into our hearts–the Spirit within us crying, Abba, Father.  “The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:16-17).

“He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things”? Romans 8:32.

Letters From God–Book of 1 Peter 2:1

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My child, I have chosen you, you have been separated unto obedience and the sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ, and you have been born of My Spirit unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.  You have an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved for you in heaven.  You have purified your soul in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto a real and sincere love of the brethren. And you are to love them with a pure heart and with great warmth and feeling.  Wherefore lay aside all desire to harm others in word or in deed and any desire to do that which is unlawful.  Lay aside all guile which intends to deceive and to mislead others to their own hurt or to gain advantage over them.  Lay aside all hypocrisies and pretending to be something you are not whether in word of deed.  Lay aside all envies which is displeasure created by observing the advantage or prosperity of others and may result in a desire to deprive them of it and to have it yourself.  Lay aside all evil speaking against others that would run them down before other people.  Love them not only in word or in tongue but in deed and in truth.  1 Peter 2:1

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Be Content

Philippians 4:11-13–Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.

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Content–happy enough with what one has or is; satisfied.

Paul had learned to be happy and satisfied in whatever state he found himself.  He could be happy in a low, humble state.  He could be happy when he had plenty.  It was something that he had learned through personal experience.

We need to learn this lesson for ourselves.  We need to come to the place where we can be happy in whatever state we find ourselves.  Our happiness should not be bound to earthly things.  Our happiness should be found in our relationship with Jesus Christ and everything that is ours because of Him.

“Seek those things which are above, where Christ sits on the right hand of God.  Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth” (Colossians 3:1-2).

“Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice…The Lord is at hand” (Philippians 4:4).

We Are The Temples Of The Holy Spirit

1 Corinthians 6:19-20–What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

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As Christians our bodies have become the temple of the Holy Spirit.  He has been given to us by God and he indwells us.  We are not our own for we have been bought with a price.  That price was the broken body and shed blood of Jesus as he took our place and died for our sins.  Our bodies and our spirits are God’s; therefore we are to glorify God in our body and in our spirit.  We will glorify Him as his life and nature flows in and through us to bear much fruit.  We are to display the character of God in the form of the fruit of the Spirit.  We are to display the power of God in the form of the gifts of the Spirit.  We are to let our light so shine before men that they may see our good works and glorify our Father which is in heaven.  We are to submit ourselves to God that He can do of His good pleasure through us.  We are to yield the members of our bodies unto God as instruments of righteousness in His hands.  TO GOD BE THE GLORY.

Glorify The Father

John 15:7-8–If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.

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We are to remain in a close relationship with Jesus that His life and nature may flow into us and through us just as the life and nature of the vine flows into and through the branches and thus produces fruit.  We are to keep His words within us and walk in obedience to His words.  Jesus tells us to ask of Him all that He is able to give in order that we may bear much fruit for it is the desire of Jesus that the Father be glorified.  The Father is glorified when we bear fruit, more fruit, and much fruit.  In this abiding relationship with Jesus and our bearing fruit not only will the Father be glorified but the fact that we are disciples of Jesus will be manifest, and we will be blessed in the experience.

Let us abide in Jesus, receiving into our being His life, His nature, and His power.  Let us be filled with His Spirit and bear the fruit He so desires.  Let us glorify our heavenly Father.

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