Paul’s understanding is that the centrality of the Christian life is our relationship with Christ. That’s at the heart of the plan and purpose of God, that we threw our relationship with Christ receive everything that God has got for us. That’s that’s his understanding. And, you know, and then, of course, it’s chapter one. He says, therefore, we preach him and teach him and that everyone might be mature and experienced the fullness of our relationship with Christ.
I say this because, you know, we can get to know the word of God better without getting to know Christ better than to hear an amen to that. And this is a profound, profound thing is and in Colossians to poor ones, he just sees it. What’s happening. They’ve been taught Christ. They’d met Christ. They were growing in Christ. They are rooted in Christ. And then he sees all these spiritual substitutes coming up. Now, I’ve got a sermon I preach with.
Some of you will have heard on this and the four spiritual counterfeits of Colossians. Chapter to number one, philosophy. Number two, ritualism number three, mysticism and number four, legalism. And Paul has encountered all four of those. I that’s not the subject of tonight, but he just is closest to he exhorts them to stay in Christ. Now, you think about what this is about as down to earth as I can get it. You think about what the Christian life is and the Christian life is not getting to know our Bibles better.
The only purpose of the Bible is that we get to know him better and we will actually see this in this passage. And it’s my conviction that what transformed and sustain Christ Paul was first of his encounter and then his ongoing relationship with the resurrected Jesus. I say in your notes, Paul frequently speaks of being in Christ as the expression he used, and we’ll find it over and over and about in Christ. What in Christ man’s is man being in relationship to the resurrected Jesus by means of the work of the Holy Spirit.
But it’s experiential. It is that we have this relationship with Christ and so in Ephesians three. Verse 16. He says, I pray that out of his glorious riches, he may strengthen you with all power through his spirit in the inner man, that this is work of the spirit within us. And what is it that Christ might dwell in your hearts through faith? Right now? It’s not clearly the human. Jesus does not dwell in our hearts.
Our belief in him dwells in our hearts. But what dwells in our hearts is the spirit of Christ, which has been given to us, and that the purpose and Jesus teaches his disciples in that and the discourse of John 13, 14, 15, 16. He makes this statement. He says, it’s expedient that I go to you, leave you, because if I leave you, I will send you another one to be with you. Who is the Holy Spirit?
And he says in the same breath, he says, I will I my father will not leave you as orphans. We will come to you speaking of the work of the spirit and that Paul did not just have this Damascus road experience when he heard a voice from heaven and he met Jesus. But then the spirit of Christ dwell in his heart and his heart. And he had this fellowship of grace, as you know, the love of God. I found the Fellowship of the Holy Spirit.
He had this relationship with the spirit of Christ, where the spirit made Christ alive to him. Now, everything I’m going to say from here on through is is describes the fellowship we enjoy with Jesus and the experience we have with Jesus, what the nature of our encounter with Jesus. And because Paul’s understanding is that the Christian life is a life to live with Jesus. And there are kind of a series of early steps we take with him and which we all share a death like his in a resurrection, like his ascension, like his.
And so we identify with him in these things. But after these preliminary early steps, we continue to live with him. And if we allow ourselves to be separated from Christ, to lose the centrality of our relationship with Christ, we are no longer living the Christian life that Paul feels is the centre of God’s plan. And the tragedy is it’s so easy. That’s the tragedy because you just think of and knowledge of the Bible becomes can become a substitute.
The church can become a substitute. Our Christian brothers and sisters can become a substitute in front of my ministry for him, can be a substitute for my relationship with him. I can derive significance
and meaning and satisfaction out of my ministry. I can enjoy church. I can love church. I can really enjoy the community of the Saints know I can enjoy all of these things. I can be fascinated by the Bible and the depth and the wisdom that’s all in it.
And I can have all of that. But if if the effect of that is that I’m separated from Christ, then the Christ is no longer the central part of my relationship with God. All these other things are, as I say, Colossians to he warns us about them. But in Ephesians, we’re going to find just how central this is. And so what we look at is who and what is the Jesus poor preachers. And our starting reference point will be the Ephesians one fifteen through twenty three.
And but that’s at the heart of it. So it’s a good point to just pause for a little bit for. This Khristina directly equivalent to that being in Christ because it’s talking relationship to Christ, in a year and a half ago I was saying she was OK and then. The spirit of Christ, is that really another way of talking about things? Mm hmm. So a personal relationship with Jesus is enabled by the Holy Spirit or in fact, the Holy Spirit in relationship with the Holy Spirit.
It’s Paul to say, but to be in relationship with the Holy Spirit is to be in a relationship with Christ, is there not to there? One is the spirit of Christ. There’s no need to separate. And that’s this is coming back to John’s teachings as I and my father will come to you. And that was the Holy Spirit makes us aware of Jesus because, you know, Jesus in this is difficult. But Jesus is sitting at the right hand of the father in his humanity, not in his divinity, in his divinity.
He is God himself, but his humanity sits there at the right hand of the father. But about God amongst us is now through the work of the Holy Spirit. But he doesn’t just come to reveal himself. He comes to make Jesus alive to us. And if he comes to make the father alive to us, not that you can split them up, but there is a sense of self. And so when I’m when I sense Jesus presence is because of the presence of the Holy Spirit with me.
So the. So you literally inviting Jesus? Was he able to get a good passage to have a look at this Romanes at. Paul says. Verse nine. You are not controlled by the sinful nature, Romans eight Satan, but by the spirit if the spirit of God lives in you. If anyone does not have the spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. But if Christ is in you, your your body is dead because of sin.
Yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness, of the spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you. So you’ve got the spirit, the spirit of Christ, the spirit of him who raised him from the dead, which is the father. So here in these two verses, the say all three titles are used to the spirit and all of them are in us. And if we are, his spirit of Christ is in us.
The spirit of him who raised him from the dead is in us. And the spirit of God is in this meaning. It’s obviously in the spirit. But he uses each phrase to imply that a spirit who makes Christ known to us, makes the father known to us, makes that the spirit of a poll would never and does not kind of assume that we will have a relationship with the spirit of a personal nature. As distinct from our relationship with Christ, that the purpose of the Holy Spirit is to make Christ personal to us.
So that’s the purpose of the Spirit, is that we have a fellowship with him and in fellowship and him, we have felt we are experiencing the resurrected Christ. There’s no Paul doesn’t have a relationship with the spirit over here in a relationship with Jesus here. His whole language is being in Christ, having this relationship with the resurrected Christ by the spirit of Christ. But it’s real busy, this is the thing is this is not a faith thing, you’re going to have a belief of Christ in you.
I believe in Jesus. So Innu, is this belief. That’s not what Paul’s talking about. He believes that the preaching of the gospel of Christ leads people into a relationship with the resurrected Jesus. And it’s out of that relationship that all the things which God wants to give us come they don’t come out from the Bible. They don’t come from the church. They come out of that blessing. And he says in Ephesians one, blessed be the Lord and the godfather of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ, in this relationship with Christ, all these blessings come out of our relationship with him.
And and Paul basically says that you separate yourself from him and you separate yourself from the blessing of God, not be possible to have a relationship with the father. You actually having a relationship. You can have a belief in God, but you can have a something of a belief in God. But the relationship comes out of your relationship with Christ. And that since Jesus says I am the way to the father, you know, I am the way the truth and the love, no one comes to the father, but by me, it’s it’s there.
But it’s the thing. The danger is never to see. This is some kind of theological issue. This is just getting out theology. Right. I’m not concerned with the theology of this. I’m talking about the Christian life. The Christian life is us living out our relationship in relationship with Christ. And and and what we’re going to look at is at each point, Paul will confront us with what it means to have a relationship with Christ and and if we’ve gone because if Christ died, we have to die.
Christ been raised. We have to be raised. Christ has been ascended. We have to ascend. And that’s what it means me means to walk in. We have a spiritual journey parallel to his and he is with us at each point along. It’s not this is it’s not even in a mystical sense or spiritual sense. It’s not a metaphor. Therefore, he’s what happened to his metaphor for what must happen to me. He will be there with us.
You’ll find at each point when we do this, there’s there’s an encounter with Christ at that moment. He’s actually there with us. But we will kind of get into it. Well, perhaps it’ll help us if we start at the first our salvation if said one, our salvation is secured by his death. And Ephesians one seven in him, we have redemption through his blood, through the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.
We have redemption through his blood. Chapter two, verse 13. But now in Christ Jesus, you who are far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ. So our being brought into a relationship with God is through the cross and the blood of Christ shed on the cross. That’s what he did for us. Christ did for us. His blood was shed for us, but for Paul, it doesn’t stop there. He says, OK, that’s what he did for you.
Now, what are you going to do for him? And the answer is, you also must die. And so we can look at a couple of the passages in Romans six. Verse three, don’t you know that every one of us were baptized into Christ, were baptized into his death, we were therefore buried with him through baptism, into death in order that just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the father. So we too might have new life.
So we have a baptism. We were baptized into his death in Galatians to. And verse 20, Paul says, I’ve been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me, the life I live in, the body I live by faith in the son of God who loved me and gave himself for me. This is Paul’s understanding. Paul’s understanding is the beginning of my relationship with Christ begins a baptism. When I share a death like him, he died.
And if I’m going to have a relationship with him, I must die. And that that that part of me which dies is the life I used to live before I came to know him. And and therefore, Paul will say, you claim to know Christ well. Have you died? And if you’re in Christ, you must have died, that he died, you must have done. You can’t have a relationship with him but that you’ve died with him.
You know, this is this this is not believing within him, it’s more than this, you’re to die with him if you can have a relationship, it’s the entry point into a relationship with Jesus and a process that happens at baptism. And you hear you hear at teaching in church, you hear the pastor saying baptism is not something. Would you like to be baptized? I hate that expression. It’s not a question. Would you like to be baptized Christian?
Have you died with Christ? That’s the question. Have you been buried with him in baptism? People say, I want a relationship with Jesus. I don’t need to be baptized. So I’m sorry. Relationship with him, as far as Paul’s concerned, begins with relating to him and his death through baptism. In fact, Paul
knows that you’ve got no chance of living with him unless you’ve died with him, because you how can you live the life of Christ with him?
A new life in Christ if you died the old life. So for Paul, his whole understanding of the centrality of Christ beginning at the cross, which is the beginning point for us, is not just what happened to Jesus is what happened to us. You know, and then you can look back, every one of us ought to be able to look back at this point in our spiritual journey where we died with Christ and Paul can say, I have been crucified with Christ, not the life I now live.
You know, I lived through him. It’s this I died. That’s my identification with Christ begins at the very beginning. It’s it’s kind of baptism now. We might do the next one. Then we can have a discussion because it just kind of flows on because for Paul, our future hope. You know, of eternal life is based on his resurrection. So in Ephesians one. Corsairs was 15 for this reason, and since I’ve heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and your love for all the Saints, I’ve not stopped giving thanks for you remembering you in my prayers, I keep asking the God of our Lord Jesus Christ the Lord.
The glorious father may give you the spirit of wisdom and revelation that you might know him better. I pray the eyes of your heart, my Lord, and in order that you might know the heart to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance and the Saints is incomparable. Great power for us who believe that power like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him with the right hand of the heavenly realms.
And he prays that we would have an insight into that. Every one of us would understand what our future is. And our future is directly linked to the resurrection of Jesus, he his resurrection is the reason why we believe in a resurrection. The reason we have hope of eternal life for hope of the future is exactly linked to the resurrection of Jesus in First Corinthians 15, In Depth explores this whole thing. And he basically says if Christ is not raised, then we of all people almost feel sorry for because we’ve lived this life believing there’s another and there is no other, you know.
And he says, But Christ has been raised now exactly the same with the death of Christ, although he sees the resurrection of Jesus as the reason why we believe, like we believe we’re safe because of the death of Christ. We believe we have hope of eternal life because of resurrection. But he doesn’t stop there. He expects that we will have a resurrection ourselves, will die with Christ, will be raised with Christ. And so in Ephesians, two six.
He says, like the rest, we were by nature, so, yeah, and God raised us up with Christ. We’ve had a resurrection Romans six, for which we read before we’ve had it buried with him and raised with him again, Colossians three, when we’ve been raised together with Christ, what was Paul saying? He’s saying that Christ died and was raised to a new life. We’ve died and been raised to a new life. We’ve begun a new life.
I believe I’ve begun a new life. And it’s a life I share with Christ. And he’s part of this new life. My relationship with him is part of this new life I have because I have had a resurrection, a kind of resurrection. If you don’t die first, there are lots of people in church who have that resurrection life because they’ve never died. But we don’t just die. We’re raised with him and and it’s Paul’s understanding that there is this whole new life.
I’m beginning to Corinthians five. He calls it being part of a new creation in first Corinthians 15, he’ll say, and Adam will die. But in Christ, all of my life, there’s like a whole new life begins for us. And but it’s something we’re sharing with Christ. He had it. We’re having it. We’re sharing it together. In fact, everything about Jesus, basically, we share it in terms of his journey. Even the point, Paul, it’s all about sharing his sufferings.
I mean, he has this sense that the Christian life experientially is experiencing what Christ experienced and then he’ll unfold the kind of the very practical outworking of it. But he doesn’t believe that someone can die and be raised with Christ and be the same. It’s incomprehensible to people that you could be the same. It could be that if you used to have a kind of a mental kind of intellectual belief in
Christ, you could believe and not be changed, but you couldn’t have done with him and been raised with him and live the same kind of life.
And newness of life. So, again, let me pause and reflect on this, because it’s kind of it sounds Theologica when you talk about what happens to Christ who died for us has raised a ton of support. He immediately links it experientially. What he expects will happen in their life. And is there a sense of our part to play being raised with him because we also have to die to our own selves, so do we have to play a part in this?
Well, now, I think Paul believes that the same spirit which raised Jesus from the dead raises us to life again. And the work of the spirit this is to be born again is what it means to be born again. Call and give you the a quick look across the Titus Chapter three. Say, beginning of birth, three one time, we, too, are foolish, disobedient, deceived, enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures, lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another.
It’s a wonderful picture. But when the kindness and love of God, our savior, appeared, he saved us, not because of the righteous things we’ve done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and the renewing or regeneration of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ, our Savior. Now this for Paul. This is not a kind of theological ascent to propositional truth. This this is Paul’s experience of this is what we were.
This is what we used to live by when we got saved. We are regenerated and like washed and renewed in this experience. This encounter with the spirit is such such that we become new. We remain alive. Now, he’s not saying we’re perfect because and can kind of go up could go on to that is part of that is understanding. This is about two weeks down the line. He doesn’t believe we’re perfect, but he says we’re given the potential.
We’re born again, born and you regenerate and given the potential to live a new life. The question is, are we going to live out the potential? And that’s a question of faith, really, it’s a faith journey, because I can if I deny I’ve really died, I’ll live your life. If I continue to believe I’ve begun a new life in the spirit of God, which is now in me, can transform me and change me into that new life.
But it’s this experiential issue. That’s why the new birth or being born again or being regenerated is a miracle. It’s a power encounter with the spirit of God in the life of everyone who’s born again. It’s not doing some baptism or pressure preparation class or some confirmation class where I learned to give the right answers. And because I can give all the right answers, Bishop lays hands on me and I now can take communion as if I now can feed back, create the creeds, you know, which means, I believe credo.
I believe this is what I confess. And if it’s not this, it’s this encounter. This encounter with the resurrected Jesus is this encounter with the spirit of God, and we are to be changed. So I’m not the person. This is why Paul’s experience, when he got up from the ground on the way to Damascus, he was a different person, blinded and everything else that, you know, just a few days later, he’s there and a nurse comes, lays hands on him.
He gets up and immediately begins to preach that Jesus is the Christ. He’s changed, man. He’s encountered the resurrected. And this is the kind of encounter Paul expects every one of us to be able to have. And we don’t have to hear a voice from heaven. We don’t have to be knocked to the ground. But but we really come into a personal relationship with Christ. But Paul knows that so many people who that’s where they begin. They lose.
That’s why this passage in Colossians two is probably our favorite passage in the New Testament, because it’s an understanding of how people can start with Christ and then get into a kind of a philosophical, theological direction. Their doctrine is pure, but they’ve lost their relationship with Christ. They can get into ritual and observance of religious days and festivals so they can they do all the right religious things. But they’ve lost their relationship with Christ. They can claim visions of angels, mystical experiences, but they’ve lost their relationship with Christ.
They can reduce the whole religious thing to a question of do’s and don’ts. Thou shalt not touch or taste, he says. But it’s which has the form of religion and man made religion. But its powers who’s, you know, who have not been tempted to go down that journey. I have you know, I’m kind of thankful I didn’t have a religious heritage, I didn’t grow up in a Christian family because I can and for myself, I know the night, you know, and 40 years ago now, just over 40 years ago.
I know the night I invited Christ into my heart through faith and he came into my life. I know that. And I but I can also think of the last 40 years, all the times I would have been so easy just to leave Christ here and go into the whole religious thing, a philosophical thing, the theological thing, the mystical thing. All of that would been so is. All right, what’s going on in your little minds there, he just chewing on it for two hours before we move on, we’ll see the next thing is essential.
Now, this is an interesting one. We’re back to Ephesians. The ascension of Christ and and it’s sad for various reasons that but this is where I’m really grateful for my Anglican heritage, because Ascension Day was an important one of the days of, you know, of the church calendar. We don’t hear too much on the ascension of Jesus in Pentecost. You know, kind of after the day of Pentecost, it kind of skips so often that preaching skips between the cross and the day of Pentecost and forgets there was this major event in between called the Ascension of Jesus and in Ephesians two one verse 20 there.
It says of him that he raised him from the dead and seated him at the right hand in the heavenly realms, far above a rule, authority, power and dominion, every title that it can be given not only in this present age, but also in the age to come. And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.
And in chapter two, verse six. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus. Now, take this one a little bit carefully. We know that that according to some 110 that God had said that there was someone whom he would marry David Lord, although David was the king, one of his descendants, some 110 verse one says the is said to my lord, sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.
And this prophecy in some hundred and ten had been a mystery which the rabbis have discussed and no one had been able to understand. Who are on your way could be David’s Lord because there’s the king and this God. Who else who can this third person be, Eric? And even in the Gospels, when Jesus in this overturned the tables in the temple and they said, who are you? You know, what right do you have this? And you ask them a question.
He says, first answer this question of whom did David said when he said the Lord said to my Lord, sit at my right hand, you know, there’s this figure, a mysterious figure of biblical prophecy of some 110. Yeah. It’s not achieved by the death of Christ. It’s not accomplished by the resurrection of Christ. It’s only the ascension across which makes this great prophecy, which is actually the most quoted Old Testament verse in the New Testament, Psalm 110, verse one, Isaiah 53 is only there once.
Yeah, think of all the possible verses of the artist which could be quoted and some one hundred and ten gets it. Why? Because some one hundred and ten is ultimately the fulfillment of who Christ is crucified, raised seated at the right hand of the father. And one of these days, I might do a series, we might do a series on the Book of Hebrews, which is a sermon based on some 110 in wonderful ways. Would you like that?
They might be right next to you. Let’s do a series of papers. It’s my favorite book and I’ve got many favorites, but it’s not there. Now, this is the issue. It would be okay for us if we said, okay, Jesus is there now. What’s he doing there? First Corinthians 15 versus twenty five to twenty eight, they write it down and 25 to 28 First Corinthians 15, 25, 28 says that Jesus is that the right hand of the father?
And he must rule and reign until all things are made subject to him. And the last thing which should be subject to him is death itself. And when death is subject to him, then he’ll take the kingdom and he’ll
give it to the father. And he himself will also be subject to the father. So what’s he doing? His ruling and writing until all things become subject to him. That’s what he’s done. That’s what Psalm 110 one says.
The laws of my lord sit in my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet. So that’s what he’s doing. It’s a place where his kingdom is being ruled from. So Jesus is the king and he’s there ruling and running. But according to Hebrews, to which we have a quick look at Hebrews to. Verse five. It says it is not to angels that he has subjected the world to come about, which we’re speaking with, there’s a place someone has testified and this is something, not some 110.
What is the man that you’re mindful of him or the son of man that you care for him? You made him a little lower than the angels. You crown him with glory and honor and you put everything under his feet. And that implies note that everything is already under his feet. Now, that simply speaking of an authority which has been given, it’s not reality. It’s authority. And putting in everything under him, God left nothing that is not subject to him yet at the present, we do not yet see everything subject to him.
He’s been given the authority. But the reality is not everything is yet subjective submitting to his authority. But we see Jesus, who has made it for a little while longer than the angels made a little while, and the angels now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death so that by the grace of God, he might take for everyone. I want to talk about this because this has been a source, unfortunately, of confusion and some pretty unhelpful teacher.
This happens to work, we’re in good shape. The sun rise and there’s some 110. And something which is talking about the son of man. Speaks about him being given authority. All things are made suddenly is given authority to Jesus at the end of Matthew, 28, says authority under heaven on earth has been given to me. So he’s been given authority. But some 110 says that he must rule until all things, until all things submit to that authority.
And according to the Hebrews two, that’s not yet, we don’t yet see that. In fact, according to First Corinthians 15, he must continue to rule on exercise that authority until all things. So this is the difference between the authority he possesses and the fact that it’s not yet there. As far as Jesus is concerned. The confusion of teaching is that they say teachers have said, well, all things are subject to him, I’m united with him, therefore all things are subject to me.
And if all things are subject to me than anything I say must happen because Bible says all things are subject to him, you know, within ungrazed, the Senate together with him, therefore, all things are subject to me in sickness. Go out, just go out. And there’s this confusion between being given authority and the reality that all things are subject and they’re not. We don’t conceal things. So what we are living in this dimension at the moment between the time and Jesus has been given authority and he’s in the process of bringing all things subject to.
And for me, that would be okay, except if we go back to Hebrews to. And the six. Where he says, God raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly realms. Now, as I’ve not just died with him, I’ve not just been raised with him, but I’ve also been seated with him. Now, what is what is coming by this? Well, I think this is why it’s helpful to go through ten point one point, point A point B, C, I haven’t literally died identified with his death in baptism.
I’ve said I don’t feel like I have literally been raised. I have had a spiritual resurrection. I haven’t literally been seated with him at the right hand of the father, not in the literal sense, not a literal reality. But in a sense, I am now seeking to bring all things subject to me in the same way Christ is seeking to bring all things subject to him. And, well, we ask what is it that we are seeking to bring subject to ourselves?
And the answer is yes, sinful nature. In other words, and not only are all things tied to Chrispin, all things are subject to me, but that Paul’s point of of I think taking is beyond the resurrection into the ascension place is to remind us that position from which we are to approach our lives. Now approach the world, not approach spiritual authority, but to approach our own lives. I actually wondered because as best as I can see Paul know, even though Colossians is a parallel book in so many ways,
he actually deletes this phrase, I think maybe with his concern, with confusion as to what way it might be taken and some kind of triumphalism.
Know I’m seated with Christ in many places in a kind of spiritual triumphalism, whatever. But he doesn’t he never again uses this phrase nowhere else in his letters does he actually place us beside Christ. But we are in a sense of identification that we might do the things that our life might be subject. And I believe it’s true in our lives, we either see ourselves subject to our circumstances or we see our circumstance, the subject that we view them from looking down or looking up.
And there is there is this faith position, which is not a position of triumphalism, because it’s an issue of warfare where we’re now in this nature, which we have this life we’ve lived, we’re battling with it, and we’re seeking to bring it under authority in the same way Christ is seeking to bring all things in subjection to him. So I think it’s a good it is a good allegory, a good metaphor for the life which we have with our lives.
We’re above it on the one hand, but it’s not submitted to us. Isn’t there a concept of spiritual? Well, we have our own demons. Yeah, but that’s not because we’re seeded with him in heavenly places. It’s because of the power of the name of Jesus. And that’s actually the first point over the next page. But there if you if you look at, you know, if you look at the Book of Acts as a case study as to when they begin begin to heal the sick and cast out demons till done by the name of Jesus, the authority which is in the name, it’s not what’s in me or who I am.
It’s who he is, as represented by the name that he’s been given, which is why we have authority. And if we know him, we have a right to use that name. But if we don’t know him as the can’t remember the story of the exorcism, an attempted exorcism was it looks like 16 or 17. You get the demon saying, well, Paul, I know and Jesus, I know. But who because they sought to invoke the name of Jesus and they had no right to use that name, it seems to me that that’s the basis upon which both healing and deliverance were happening.
It was not an authority I possess, but a right to use his name, which is the. So if you want to speak of authority, it’s that authority to use his name. It’s not authority. A position so. Jonathan’s keeping us rocking on here with a few questions, but you’re quiet here tonight. All right, we’ve seen in Chapter one over the page that. Concerning him for above authority, rule and authority, God placed him under his feet now in in Ephesians four and verse 13.
Well, verse 12, to prepare God’s people for works of service to the body of Christ would be built up until we reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the son of God and become mature, tending to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ’s. I’m going to talk about it in a little bit. Now, the concept, the son of God is for coal. It’s the name which belongs to the Christ, the anointed one in some to which is some said at the coronation of the Kings of Israel when a king of Israel was coronated and crowned as king, the high priest representing God himself speak.
Kind of the king says something, the priest says something, the king says something, the priest that is responsible in some to you get the statement today, thou art my son. I have forgotten me as the king is able to use the title Son of God, that God had promised to have a father son relationship with the Kings of Israel, and he was the only one allowed to do it. Only the King of Israel could claim to be a son of God, not a claim of deity, but a claim of a special relationship which existed between the King and God.
It had been prophesied in second Samuel seven, verse 14. Nathan had prophesied to David that one of his descendants, God, would establish that his kingdom forever, and God said, I will be a father to me and he’ll be a son to me. This is this prophetic element of the nation nature. And when Paul believes that Jesus has a right to use this title, Son of God will go across to Romans. Chapter one we’ll look at we’ll look at a few references.
Romans one. Verse three regarding his son, who has to human nature, was the descendant of David, but who the spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the son of God by his resurrection from
the dead. You know, this is that people believe that although he’s descended from David in the human sense, but God declares him to be the son of God by his resurrection. So this is this title, which he has two Corinthians one.
First 19. For the son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you and by me and Silas and Timothy and the son of God, that a kind of title Paul gives to Jesus, the son of God. One last passage I have written down, but you can make a note of it, Hebrews Chapter one. Let’s let’s just read from Hebrew one one in the past, God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets and many times in various ways, but in this last day, he’s spoken to us by his son.
Whom he appointed, heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe, the sun is the radiance of God’s glory, the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his power forward. And after he’d made purification first since he sat down at the right hand of the majesty in heaven. So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs. For to which of the angels that God ever say You are my son.
Today I have become your father. This doesn’t excite you. I feel I feel goosebumps every time it is, you know, is this glorious sense that Jesus of Nazareth, in which they’re about to build a yes, they laid the foundation for a mosque, you know, next to that church celebrating his home in Nazareth. Jesus of Nazareth was ceased to be Jesus of Nazareth after his resurrection from the dead, you know, and his heart is no longer Nazareth.
It’s at the right hand of the father. And when he was raised from the dead, he was declared by God to be the son of God. And therefore, he’s been given a name which is above every other name. You know, every other every other part of creation is part of the creation, but God has said to Jesus, you’re my son and it’s the son, that’s Jesus. It’s his title, you know. It’s titled Uniquely Given to Him An Honor which is related to the son of God.
And it’s like he says, that we have a spiritual authority. Will we do if we have a right to use that name? If I have a right to use the name of a client and what right do I have to use the name, the answer is I have to know. Lt makes have relationship to have a right to use that night. And and we just go back to X, gave it to X just to see the disciples in the X three.
You know, they heal a man with a weakness. We can close and he jumps leaps and so on, they became strongly jumped about and son while verse 11, while the mega held on to Peter and John, all the people were astonished and came running to the place called Solomon’s Colonnade. And when Peter saw this, he said to the men of Israel, Why does this surprise you? Why do you stare at us as if by our own power or godliness we made this man walk?
The God of Abraham, Isaac and Joel, the God of our fathers, is glorified, his servant, Jesus, you handed him over to be killed. You disowned him before pilot, though he’d decide to let him go. You discerned the holy and the righteous one mastered a murder be released to you. You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. We are witnesses of this and by faith in the name of Jesus.
This man whom you see and know has been made through it is Jesus name. And the faith which comes through here all through it has given this complete healing to him, as you can see. It’s this is this sense, and it’s it’s interesting because we presume it’s the name of Jesus, but they may. Well, sir, I exhort you in the name in the name of the son of God to rise up in the name of Jesus. But it was a there’s this there’s this sense of this is who he is.
And I believe this name has been authority given the authority. And to us, that’s why we’re baptized in his name. You know, we’re baptized the name of the father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. In that act of of baptism, we’re actually submitting under the authority of that name. That’s what that’s what we do. And, of course, as we submit under the authority of that name and every other name, it loses its authority over its.
So what’s happened is that how there’s a name where there wasn’t a name, where God didn’t have a
name, couldn’t be mentioned or anything, couldn’t be written down. Now there’s a name and that really the name Jesus, the Spaniard would be any good. It’s not Jesus. It’s the reality of the person who were able to and we’re able to use his name, who is the son of the son, who is the name of Jesus. This is really just the fact that we are able to call upon Jesus.
We use his name. But in your sense, his greatest name is not Jesus. His greatest name is son. Which of the angels do you ever say Down with son? It’s a title to title, it’s an honor bestowed on Jesus that he might be called the son of God. That’s yeah, we we kind of turn it into kind of a theological statement of his existence is there’s the father, the son and all his brother, these three persons and the guy.
But for Jesus, it’s more than a statement about the Trinity. It’s actually a title given to him which places him for Paul’s understanding that title, The Son of God now places him above all, authority in heaven, on earth, because he’s the son of God. Everyone is subject to. There is no there’s no we don’t see it all. This is his issue. We don’t see realized yet. But the reality is he has authority. And but if you ask Paul, will, you know, what’s the name which he’s been given?
You know, the classic passages Philippians two and we only have a quick flicker across there and allow myself time to do this last one, which is fascinating in itself. You know, Philippians two, which speaks of the of the humility of Jesus verse five, that we should have the same humility as Christ Jesus who being in the very nature God did not consider equality with God, something to be grasped as Philippians two, five and six, but made himself nothing.
Taking the very nature of a servant being made in human life has been found in the appearances of man. He humble himself, became obedient to death, even death on a cross. But God therefore exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name which is above every other name that the name of Jesus. Everybody should bear bound heaven on earth and of the Earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of farm of the father.
Now, when reading this, we are inclined to think that the name they submit to is Jesus. And I don’t think that’s right for Paul. I think for Paul the name they submit to is Lord, which is another way of expressing him to be the son of God. You know, Jesus was his human name by the Lord is is his title or Son of God is his title. Another, you know, another verse saying the same the same thing is in the second chapter of Acts in the very first sermon.
And. We both saw one hundred and ten, and some made it both, I think in here it says verse 36. Says at the end of the Sermon of Peace is that all Israel be assured of is that God has made this Jesus whom you crucified both Lord and Christ. Paraphrase of the term Christ is the expression son of God. These businesses have access to 36. Now, before I want to I want to try and pull this into.
Just our life, our life with Jesus, our life, our Christian life, Paul, Paul’s feeling is that. His feeling is that the center of our existence, our whole world now is Jesus. He’s got a name which is above every other name, you know, died for our sins. We’ve been raised with him. We’ve ascended with him. We’re able to view our life differently in all of this. But Jesus is then at the central place in the creation in the world.
The whole world view now centers on Jesus and will continue to center in Jesus until all things are made subject to. And therefore, the center of our relationship with God has to be Jesus. Can’t be anything else. He’s got authority, he’s got a name which is above him, yeah, he’s there and it’s this central city of Jesus which Paul doesn’t want us to move away from in any other way. We can’t be the church, can’t be a ministry, can’t be the lost.
It has to be the focal point of Jesus because he actually knows if we if we’re Christ centered, then we’ll be right centered towards other things. But if we lose the centrality of Jesus, we’ll lose. We’ll get out on the wrong way. Another thing other things is what we have. We have to keep centered in him and. He uses he uses them one last expression, which I’m going to try with some simplicity to to express. He talks of the fullness of him.
Phase three, verse 19. He says he wants us to know this love, which the passes on knowledge that you might be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God, then Ephesians four for verse 13. He says. Until you reach the unity of the faith and the knowledge of the son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Colossians, one 15. Through 19, he speaking of Jesus, he’s the image of the invisible God, the first born overall creation by him, all things were created, things in heaven and earth, visible and visible, whether thrones or powers or rules, authorities, all things were created by him for him before.
All things in him are all things all together. He’s the head of his body. The church is the beginning, the first born from the dead, so that in him everything must have everything he might have supremacy for God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him. Colossians to nine and 10. Four in Christ, all the fullness of the day, he dwells in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over all power and authority?
And what is this concept of fulness? As it relates to Christ. The phone seems to express that embodied in Christ. Is all this meant in terms of God’s will, his attributes and his and his grace, everything we need to know about the will of God, the character of God, the grace of God is found in Christ. There’s nothing about God which is lacking. He was one one said one, two or three says, look at the stamp is the exact representation of the nature of God and you can look at God.
You can look at the end of the stamp. And his exact representation is exactly what God is like. There’s nothing there’s a full, absolutely full representation of God’s will, character and grace. This this is this is now the biggie. The church is meant to be the same thing. We may be the same thing that people are to get into this later professions, but church ought to be a the world ought to be able to look in the church.
And see a full presentation of the will of God, the character of God, the grace of God. If we have the fullness of him, then they can look at the church and they can see Christ because the church is the body of Christ. And in the sense of the force is into the church is is expected to be people can look at him and see what the will of God look in the church and see what the will of God, look at the church and see what the character of God is like.
Look at the church. I’ll go one step further. It’s as if. There’s some kind of complimentary relationship between the father and the son that that when you somehow when the son came, we could see only then see what got of scene is really like. And the church has to fulfill the same purpose. And, you know, I did not even touch it, but in Ephesians three, we’ll find Paul will make this statement and not just on Earth, but the angels and the principalities will see the church and the whole performance that will guide us through the light that its three that in verse 10, it was his intent.
Now that through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be man to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms according to the eternal purposes which is accomplished in Christ, Jesus, our Lord. And we’ll have a good look at it down the next few weeks. But this is this is the sobering this is the awful fourth. You know that in Jesus, there was this full and complete revelation of the love of God, the mercy of God, the kindness of God, the grace of God, the will of God in humans.
And it was God’s intention that through the church, that revelation continued. And the. You know, I just come back from Europe and Eastern Central Europe Times, the Reformation and all of this, and I wonder, where did the church go so horribly wrong? And the kind of devotional sense, but this is just one way, and I’m probably going to preach this in one way, it was the building of buildings. Because the Bible says that God doesn’t dwell in houses made by human hands and we’ll get to Ephesians Chapter two, but the purpose of the church is that be a living temple and walk by the spirit that shifted back to the same problem Jesus had with the temple and the worship of the temple and the idolatry in the temple.
And once Constantine declared the Empire Christian, they were able to build edifices. You’ve got a temple style worship, but then the priesthood develops and its priestly nature. Because once you have
a temple, you’ve got to have a priesthood and all of all of this stuff. And there’s this, there’s this. And I’ve been wrestling with it. But I think once you get a building, it shapes the church. But it’s not the church which shapes the building.
It’s the building which shapes the church. And for all of functional reasons, you could think how good it would be to have a building. The reality is, once you get a building, everything changes. You know, and it’s say God does not dwell in buildings, the only purpose of testing, the only purpose of the temple, if you look at this, if you read the prayer of dedication of Solomon of the Temple, Solomon says, Lord, we know you do not dwell in buildings made by human hands, but we we have built this as a place for your name to dwell.
To give honor to your name. That was the purpose of the trip, and you can kind of see how the whole notion. Now we go to church, we go as if God is there and God isn’t there. God in Christ, God is with us in Christ. And that’s what we’ve got to keep in our personal walks. Christ is absolutely essential because if we don’t have it in him, we’ll make something else central to our faith. That’s where we got to, so we’re going to say we’ve got a few more weeks in the patients, but you watch as we work through a Paul will never let go of this the centrality of Christ because he understands that’s where that’s where to live.
So this is pray, Father. I pray you help us to never lose sight, that what we need is Jesus in our life. What our families and friends need is not our church. They need Jesus. And Lord, they don’t need the Bible. They need Jesus, and I pray you’ll use our church and use your word and use the programs or use everything that we do to bring people to the knowledge of Christ and Lord. We pray our own lives by God, help us to know him more will help us, Lord, to understand the depth and the will from the riches which our house in our knowledge of him, I pray, in his wonderful name.