Vol. 29, No. 1 January, 2005
FOR THIS CAUSE
“For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in Heaven and earth is named. That He would grant you, according to the riches of His Glory to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man. That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length and depth, and height, and to know the love of Christ which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with the fullness of God. Now unto Him that is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us. Unto Him be Glory in the Church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.”
This is a most Glorious passage of Scripture. We have been studying this Great Book of Ephesians in our Church for the past several weeks. This third Chapter was a special blessing to me, so I thought that I might share with our readers some of the things that we learned. I cannot begin to recall the number of sermons I have heard, the messages I have read, and the many times I have preached from this text. So let us share some of these great truths with you.
This is the second prayer of the Apostle Paul recorded in this Book. The first prayer is in Chapter 1:17-23. Paul prayed for us that we might “KNOW.” He listed some wonderful things that God has given us. Perhaps the greatest is in 1:7, “In whom we have redemption through His Blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His Grace.” “To the Praise of the Glory of His Grace, wherein He hath made us accepted in the Beloved” Paul Prayed that we might “KNOW” the riches of Redemption in Christ. Now, in our text, Paul prays that we might “BE.” Paul prays that we might be everything we can be for Him. His prayer consists of five parts:
1. That we might be strengthened in the inner man.
2. That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith.
3. That we may be rooted and grounded in love.
4. That we may be able to comprehend the love of God.
5. That we may be filled with the fullness of God.
In the first verses of this chapter, Paul
refers to this age, (since Calvary) as a “Mystery.” The Church age is NOT in the Old Testament. We are in the age when God is calling from the nations of the world, a people for His Name.. Christ tore down the wall of partition between Jew and Gentile and brought us all together in one body, called the Church, (Ch 2:11-18). Again, this is not in the Old Testament. Israel rejected The Messiah, and has been set aside, as a nation, and now, God is calling from the nations, through the preaching of the Gospel of Grace, a people for His Name. God will deal with Israel, as a nation, AFTER the Church has been taken to Glory.
Paul says, “I bow my knees.” The bent knee. I do not believe that the Bible is clear on what body position we must assume in order for us to pray. Sometimes the Bible mentions, “When ye stand praying.” Other places, prayers are offered “Upon your bed” And sometimes the person praying is “On his face.?” Or, “with face between his knees” So it is not clear as to what our body position might be in when we pray, I believe that it is clear that we must assume the most humble position. To me, that position is on my knees. Paul kneeled down and prayed with the Ephesian elders in Acts 20:36-38. But, we cannot always get down on our knees when we pray. Sometimes we pray as we drive our automobile, or when we are working, or when we are busy with other daily activities. So, although we may not always be able to get on our knees and pray, I believe that we must assume THE BENT KNEE ATTITUDE.We assume that attitude now as we attempt to share these great truths with you. Paul prayed;
1.”THAT YE MAY BE STRENGTHENED IN THE INNER MAN” This is the “new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” ( Eph 4:24). This is where we are to be strong. This is where we live. We spend our time in making the “outer man” look as good as we can. We exercise, diet, and clothe the outside as well as we can. We check ourselves one more time in the mirror, just before leaving our residence. Yes, our hair style, our clothing, our outer man looks real good. But the indwelling HOLY SPIRIT empowers us from within. The WORD OF GOD, (KJB) empowers us from within. In verses 20-21, Paul states that the Holy Spirit works IN US as we PRAY. Let us spend our time drawing our Spiritual strength by partaking of the “Divine Nature” Inside us, (2Pet 1:4). There is greater strength IN YOU, than there is on the outside. “Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world.”1Jn 4:4)
2. THAT CHRIST MAY DWELL IN YOUR HEARTS BY FAITH.
(A) It is true that Christ indwells every believer. “Christ in you, the hope of Glory.” ( Col 1:27) “I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me.” (Gal 2:20) Christ came in to dwell within the moment you trusted Him.
(B)DWELL has the meaning of “feeling at home.” While it is true that Christ lives in the believer, does He feel at home? Is He welcome in every corner of your heart? Or do you have those places where you just rather He not visit? Christ loved to visit His friends at Bethany. He felt at home with Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. Let us not have those places in our lives where Christ is not invited. Take inventory today. Would He feel at home in your living room? In every room of your home? Your choices of entertainment, literature? We should begin our day by acknowledging the fact that Christ lives in me. He is Lord. He is my Guide. He has that special place in my heart.
3. THAT YE MAY BE ROOTED AND GROUNDED. This speaks of our stability. We are to be rooted and grounded in Christ and not be carried about with every wind of doctrine that blows. And believe me, the winds of doctrines are blowing today. The airways are filled with new and strange doctrines. Paul uses two words to illustrate his point.
ROOTED, that which was planted.
GROUNDED, that which was built.
(A) Rooted. Our roots are to be in Christ. We should be able to withstand every wind that blows. I remember an illustration from a guide in the Grand Canyon. The guide took his tour group to the edge of that vast canyon. He pointed across the canyon to that solid wall of stone over 1000 feet high. “Look across to a certain area. What do you see?” “A wall of rock was the reply.” “look again at that certain area, and tell me what you see.” The group looked again and it dawned upon them that across the canyon, growing out of that solid rock wall was a pine tree, about 100 feet tall. But there was no soil there, only rock. How could that pine tree grow out of a rock wall? Years before, the wind carried a pine seed along the canyon walls. The seed landed on a small ledge. That seed found just a small amount of soil and began it’s process of sending roots. Those tiny roots found small cracks in the stone wall and began to make their way through the cracks and found soil and began to grow. Today, those roots are deep in the rocks and find abundant food and water deep in the soil. And there it stands, rooted in the rocks. Sometimes the winds come through that canyon at great speed, but the pine tree stands, rooted. Sometimes the cold winter storms blow and beat against the pine tree, but there it stands, rooted in the rocks. And that is where we should be; ROOTED IN THE ROCK. Nothing moves us.
(B) Grounded. This is taken from a building. The builder did not build his house on sinking sand, but he built upon a rock.(Mt 7:24-27). We know that the foundation we build upon is Jesus Christ. He is the Rock, The Stone that the builders rejected.(Psa 118:22). He is The Foundation. “The foundation of God standeth sure.”(2Tim 2:19) “Other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” 1Cor 3:11). Today, many storms are beating against our Foundation, but our Foundation has withstood every attack, every storm of the ages. Liberalism, modernism, new “versions” new movements, all attacking and beating at the Foundation, but our Foundation will withstand. And, we are ROOTED and GROUNDED in Him
4. THAT YE MAY BE ABLE TO COMPREHEND THE LOVE OF GOD. (V18-19) To comprehend means “to lay hold of” Paul wanted us to have an understanding of the immeasurable Love of God.
(A) The Breadth Of God’s Love. Just how broad is The Love of God? It is broad enough to encompass every tongue, every race, every tribe, every man, woman, regardless of race, color, moral or social standing, rich or poor, well known, or forgotten, the Love of God includes all the human race. It includes YOU. It matters not what your life may have been, God?s Love is broad enough to reach to you.
(B) The Length Of God’ s Love. How long is God’ s Love? It is long enough to cast our sins as far as the east is from the west. It is my understanding that scientists have located galaxies far greater than our own at the distance of more than twice five hundred million light years there in the east. And there in the west, other galaxies far greater than our own at a distance of more than twice five hundred million light years. More than twice five hundred million light years in each direction. “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath He removed our transgressions from us.” (Ps 103:12)
THINK ABOUT IT..Just a single light year is the distance light travels at the speed of186,000 miles per second for one year. Just one light year is beyond our understanding. Thank you God for removing our sin so far that they can never be found. That’s the length of His Love.
(C) The Depth Of God’s Love. How deep? God’s Love is deep enough to reach into the lowest part of the darkest heart of the worst sinner, and to forgive that sinner, and make him/her as though he or she had never sinned. That’s the Doctrine of Justification. Justification is a legal act where God declares the sinner, any sinner, Just, or, just as though he had never sinned. God’s Law has been satisfied in that, “While we were without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.” (Ro. 5:6-9). Christ paid the debt of sin for us. All sin was placed upon Him. He paid a debt that He did not owe, that we might be set free from the Penalty, the Power, and finally from the Presence of sin. That’s the depth of God’s Love.
(D) The Height Of God’s Love. God’s Love is high enough to reach the Heaven of the Heavenlies. His Love is high enough to “Raise us up together and make us sit together in Heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” (Eph 2:6).
Picture in your mind, a cross. The vertical of the cross reaches up to God, and reaches down to man. The horizontal reaches east and west. In other words, God’s Love is in the shape of a Cross. Paul wants us to comprehend, to lay hold of, to claim all the riches of God’s Love.
5. THAT YE MIGHT BE FILLED WITH THE FULLNESS OF GOD. (v19-20) He is able to do exceedingly abundantly, above all that we ASK or THINK. Paul tells us in Ch. 5:18, to “Be filled with the Spirit.” And in Ch 4:30, “Grieve not the Spirit whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.” We grieve the Spirit when we commit the things Paul listed in Eph 4:17-32. We are to “Put these things away from us.” We are to be filled with the Spirit. Some have the idea that we use up the Spirit, like we use the gas in our tanks and have to go and get some more gas. The Spirit of God is not like that. We have all of the Holy Spirit we have ever had, or will ever have. To be filled with the Spirit is to be controlled by the Holy Spirit. As the spirit of alcohol controls the drunkard, so the Holy Spirit is to control the believer. He knows the way, let us follow Him. A river at low tide is still a river, but it only covers the river bed. At high tide, the river overflows it’s banks and fills the ponds and streams, and creeks, and waters the lowlands. My life is useless unless it overflows to touch your life, and others. Your life is to overflow and touch others, and so on. To be filled with the Spirit is to be empty of self.
Paul’s prayer is for the “Whole family (of God) in Heaven and earth.” (v15) Not under the earth, or in purgatory, or in limbo, the family of God is not there. The family in Heaven knows in full the Love of God. They are in His Presence, and feasting in His Love. Down here, we only get a glimpse. “Now we see through a glass darkly, but then face to face.” (1Cor 13:12). Let us, as Christians enjoy the things of God. Let us live every day to the fullest in service for our Blessed Lord Jesus. We will be so glad we did when at last we see Him face to face.
Let’s Begin TODAY to Live FOREVER!
FOR THIS CAUSE
By Pastor George Mills
For this cause, I bow my knees,
To the Father of our Lord,
For His Great care, recorded there,
On the pages of His Word.
For this cause, I bow my knees,
To His Love for every race,
For every man, Salvation’s plan,
And for His saving Grace.
For this cause, I bow my knees,
For the Gift of Heavens Best,
On Him sin lay, And He sent them away,
From the east unto the west.
For this cause, I bow my knees,
For Grace that came to me,
In depths of sin, His Love reached in,
And now I am set free.
For this cause I bow my knees,
For work that reaches high,
To lift our plain, to a Heavenly gain,
To bring us ever nigh,
So nigh to God, His Face to see,
To praise Him without a pause,
For Love so deep, and Grace to keep,
I praise Thee FOR THIS CAUSE.
THINK ABOUT IT..Since our past is all forgiven. All sin cast as far as the east is from the west, and His Blood continually keeps the believer clean, and Christ is our Eternal High Priest, always on the job, why would we ever worry about our security. This kind of Salvation causes the believer to seek to please Christ in everything we do, daily.
THERE IS DEATH IN THE POT
Pastor George Mills
“And Elisha came again to Gilgal, and there was dearth in the land, and the sons of the prophets were sitting before him, and he said unto his servant, set on the great pot, and seethe pottage for the sons of the prophets. And one went out into the field to gather herbs, and found a wild vine, and he gathered thereof wild gourds, his lap full and came and shred them into the pot of pottage, for they knew them not. So they poured out for the men to eat. And it came to pass as they were eating of the pottage, that they cried out, and said, O thou man of God, THERE IS DEATH IN THE POT. And they could not eat thereof. But he said, then bring meal and cast it into the pot, and he said, pour out for the people that they may eat, and there was no harm in the pot.” (2Kings 4:38-41)
One of the students thought that he could improve the pottage, so he brought some wild gourds and added them to the pottage. Of course, they could not eat the poison pottage. This reminds me of the many “pots” that men eat from today that are, like the pottage, poison. I could mention Alcohol, drugs, cigarettes, tobacco, literature, music, and a long list of things that are poison, and the end is DEATH. “The wages of sin is DEATH.” I could mention some “Pots” within the “church” that mean death. Hypocrisy like Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5. They lied to the Holy Ghost, and they died. And then there is the Lord’s Table in 1Cor 11:23-30. There was an abuse of The Lord’s Table, and some were sick, and some had died. Yes, there are many “POTS” men partake of today that lead to death.
Let me share with you today about another “POT” that men are partaking of today and the end is death. I am speaking about the Perversions of the Word of God. More than 50 “versions” are in pulpits across the country today, and religious educational institutions are turning out preachers with “poison pots” Think of the hundreds and hundreds of changes, substitutions, and omissions in these new versions. God is NOT in this confusion. Everybody has their own idea. Everybody wants to “mprove the pottage.” Let it alone! Why try to improve that which is already perfect? “The Law of the Lord is perfect,”(Ps 19:7) “Every Word of God is Pure.” (Pr 30:5) And “Forever O Lord Thy Word is settled in Heaven” (Ps 119:89). Perhaps the most popular of these “Pots” is the NIV( New International Version). It is poison. Any Bible version MUST respect, honor, and dignify the Person, Position, and Perfection of Jesus Christ. He is the Central Person of the Bible. Think about His Eternality. He always was, is, and will ever be. The KJV (King James Version, concerning His eternality says, “But thou Bethlehem Ephratah thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel whose goings forth have been from of old from everlasting.” (Micah 5:2). The same verse in the NIV says, “Out of you will come for me one whose origins are from ancient times.” To change everlasting to “origins” is poison. This attacks the Eternality of Christ. The Bible,(KJB) says, “And Joseph and his mother marveled.” (Lk 2:33) The same verse in the NIV says, “The child’s father and mother marveled.” Joseph was NOT the father of Jesus. More poison. The Bible, (KJV) says, “In whom we have redemption through His Blood.” ( Col 1:4) That same verse in the NIV says, “In whom we have redemption.?” The Blood of Christ was omitted. The Bible, (KJV) says “God was manifest in the flesh.” (1Tim 3:16) That same verse in the NIV says, “He appeared in a body.” The question is, “Who appeared?” Why change God to “He”? These few verses, along with dozens of others in various ways, sometimes subtle, and sometimes blatant attack the Eternality, the Virgin Birth, The Blood atonement, His Bodily ascension into Heaven.
Why try to change that which God has given, and so richly blessed? I will tell you why. The antichrist will need a “bible” to unite the apostate church during the tribulation period. He has one now. This did not happen overnight. With each new version a word was dropped here, and a word added there, and little by little we have a “Poison Pot” or many “Poison Pots” Preachers today, when they wish to support their doctrines, try to cite certain areas of mistranslation, or the original Greek or the original Hebrew. There is death in that pot. There is nothing wrong with our Bible. The “Thee’s” and “Thou’s” are self explanatory. The Bible is clear, “For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophesy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book. And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophesy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things that are written in this book.” (Rev 22:18-19). The pottage was made alright when meal was added. Meal pictures Christ. He is the Bread of Life. We need Him! Lets just preach and teach about Christ. The Bible is all about Him. Fall in love with Christ and you will love His Word. Love His Word and you will Love Him. The NIV, and other Versions. THERE IS DEATH IN THAT POT.
By Pastor George Mills
“The Words of the Lord are Pure Words; as silver tried in a furnace of earth purified seven times.?”(Ps 12:6)
I believe that the Bible is a Gift of God,
And that every Word in it is pure.
Although many debate it, and others may hate it
It is Truth that will ever endure.
Refined more than Silver, or more value than Gold,
More treasure than man can afford.
Though often tried, and daily denied,
It’s Treasure is Christ, The Lord.
It’s Words are inspired, each one is true,
No error or fault can one find.
To trust and obey, it’s commandments each day,
Will give one real peace of mind.
It told me of Christ and His Great Love for me,
No other book can compare,
It tells of Salvation, for each generation,
It speaks of a Heaven to share.
So I’ll stay with the Bible, the Book Divine,
The Book that tells of Christ’s Love
It seeks to refine, and a new life design,
‘Til at last I’m in Heaven above.
AND THE WORLD IS A WILDERNESS..it is no friend to the Christian. And the world is no friend to your Bible. Recently, a lady said to me, “My preacher’s bible doesn?’ read like my Bible.” My answer; “Get out, leave, find a good, Bible believing (KJV) Church and serve the Lord there. In that other church, THERE’S DEATH IN THAT POT.”