"If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you.John 15:19(NASB)
I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened. (Ephesians 1:18 NIV)
"The eyes of your heart enlightened..."discerning love. Love is as far removed from blindness as heaven from earth. "Love is blind"? No not true love. The fact is that true love sees everything, but transcends everything. The love of Christ for His disciples was not blind love that did not know His men, love that was duped, deceived, misled, but eventually found out that they were not the men He thought they were. No, "He... knew what was in man" (John 2:24). His love saw everything and could tell them beforehand exactly what they would do; but love persisted in face of it all. Love is a great seeing thing.
If you are consumed with a burning love for the Lord, you will be very quick of scent as to what is doubtful and questionable. You will not need to be frequently and continuously told when a thing is not right. No, love for the Lord will bring you quickly to see and to sense there is something that needs to be adjusted. You may not know what it is at the time, but you have a sense that all is not well. Love will do it. All the instruction in the world will not bring you to it. You may have the Word of God brought to you on all such points, and you might even say, "All right, because you say so, because it is in the Bible, I will do it, I will be obedient." Do you think that is good enough? Such a thing has never come to you through the eyes of your heart. But, mark you, if this love, this discerning love, has really filled your heart by all the intelligence of the Holy Spirit indwelling you, you will sense it without being told; or if it should be brought to you from the Word, that within you will say, "Yes, I know that is right, the Lord tells me that is right." Do you not think that is the kind of Christian that is needed, and what the Lord needs at the end? That is what He has had in mind from the beginning and He calls that first love that is quick of scent to see what needs to be cut off or added, what adjustments are necessary, and does accordingly. You do not have to follow round and say, "Please do this; have you never taken note that you might be helpful in this way?" You do not have to do that where there is devotion, love watchful all the time, aliveness, alertness, perception, readiness to do without being all the time told to do it. Real devotion to the Lord is something that far outreaches legality. First love is discerning love.
Be] strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power. § As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving. § They may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified. § Built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.
I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified. § [Be] filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.
Fight the good fight of faith. § Not in any way terrified by your adversaries.
For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ … If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire. § We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.
When you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly. § After a long time the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them.
Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God. § Lord, You will establish peace for us, for You have also done all our works in us.
Thou, therefore, endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ" (2 Tim. 2:3).
What if there were conscientious objectors in the Lord's army? Actually, our Lord does not have any noncombatant soldiers whatsoever in His service, since the battle line extends from the front all the way to the rear; to say nothing of the fact that we are all camped in enemy territory.
"Luther, speaking to the young preachers of his day, said: I did not learn to preach Christ all at once. The devil has been my best professor of exegetical and experiential theology. Before that great schoolmaster took me in hand, I was an unweaned child, not a grown man. It was my combats with sin and with Satan that made me a true minister of the New Testament. It is always a great grace to me, and to my people, for me to be able to say to them: "I know this text is true! I know it for certain to be true!" Without incessant combat, and pain, and sweat, and blood, no ignorant stripling of a student ever yet became an effective preacher.'"
"Every bit of truth we receive, if we receive it in faith, will take us into conflict and will be established through conflict. It will be worthless until there has been this process. Take any position the Lord calls you to take, and, if you are taking it with Him, you are going through things in it, and there will be an element added by reason of the pressure. You have taken a position, yes; but you have not really received as yet, the true value of it has not yet been established. You have not come into the real significance of the truth until there has been some sore conflict in relation to it." -T. A-S.
"I bear willing witness that I owe more to the fire, and the hammer, and the file, than to anything else in my Lord's workshop. When my schoolroom is darkened, I see most." -C.H.S.
"We also exult in our sufferings, knowing as we do, that suffering produces fortitude; fortitude, ripeness of character" (Rom. 5:3, Wey.).
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the Church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
Paul adds one building block of glory onto the next in his epistle to the Ephesians. He edges onward from one wonderful level to another as he fine-tunes our inheritance. He outlines the significance of our adoption as sons – our bounteous heritage in Christ.
First, the unfolding of our new position, status, and state. And then Paul starts to build. We discover we’re a unique body – the mystical body of Christ, in union with Him. A body that flowed from His wounded side – a body formed from His spilt blood. A special body; a unique body; a single body with many members united in Christ.
A new creature; a new man; a new creation; a new nature; a new life in Christ. A new body that is being conformed into the image and likeness of her Saviour – a unique body that is possessor of the life of Christ and the nature of her Lord.
He opens our awareness that our body has become the residence of His Holy Spirit. His family is to include both Jew and gentile; male and female; slave and freeman. Not only the Spirit’s life breathed into us but His very life indwelling our frame – and then the most astonishing revelation is given to the church – which is His body.
We discover that the body of Christ is also a building – such a very special structure.. a construction of living stones, uniquely fashioned together by the hand of God. A holy temple set apart to Him, fitly framed together; Whose builder and maker is God – a body; a family; a household; a building; a dwelling – a temple for the Most High.
We are individually aread more
In Christ you also, when you HEARD the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and BELIEVED in Jesus, were SEALED with the promised Holy Spirit.
God has also SEALED us and given us the Spirit as a DOWN-PAYMENT in our hearts.
Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by Whom you were SEALED for the day of redemption.
The seal of God whereby we were sealed of the Holy Spirit is the gracious act of God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, at the point of saving grace.. whereby God Himself marked (or sealed) every believer with the indwelling Holy Spirit, by giving every Christian the permanently, indwelling Spirit of God, as the pre-payed earnest of our inheritance in Christ – which confirms us as His own purchased possession – bought with the price of the blood of Christ.
God The Son promised that we would be sealed with the Holy Spirit of Promise. God The Father sealed us and gave us the Holy Spirit as an assured down-payment. God, the Holy Spirit, sealed us until the glorious day of full and final redemption. We are sealed, once and forever, with the three-fold seal of the eternal Godhead. Scripture alone provides the truth of the when, where, why, and how of our 'sealing'. 'In Christ you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in Jesus, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit.' Ephesians 1:13
We are placed into the body of Christ the moment we first trust Jesus as Saviour. First, we had to hear the gospel of truth, for faith comes by hearing the word of God. Then we had to believe the gospel of truth and all who believe in Christ are saved – and through believing in His name we were given the right to become His children. Because we heard and believed we were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit. We read in second Corinthians that: 'God the Father has also sealedread more