Paul and Timothy, bond-servants of Christ Jesus, To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, including the overseers and deacons:Philippians 1:1(NASB)
Verse after verse the apostle Paul pours out his heart - pleading for the body of Christ. He breathes out the inner yearning of his soul - that all might know more of Christ. This earnest pleading of his heart is also a portion of his wider teaching to the Body.. that they have the light of the Lord and His tender love in their mind and heart - that they access His divine power and heavenly presence in heart and mind.
Having revealed to Christ’s Church the eternal riches of God’s grace towards them, Paul begins to intercede for all the saints in His powerful prayer of prayers. He prays that they may come to know God and the Lord Jesus Christ more and more.. that they grasp; understand; believe and appropriate the many riches of His grace - that the Spirit of wisdom opens their heart to see their incomparable inheritance.
Paul prayed.. that the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know Him better, that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in His holy people and His incomparably great power for us who believe…. Ephesians 1:17-19
This potent prayer of Paul was inspired by the Spirit to teach and edify all the saints. This is not only a plea from Paul - but exposes the Father-heart of God Himself. It is God Who wants all His children to know and understand the riches of His grace.. and the Spirit has been tasked to guide us into knowledge; understanding and truth. And this is not only for the Ephesian believers but for all who are children of God. This is a prayer for you and me - that we know more fully the bounties of His grace - that we come to understand the staggering riches of God’s grace towards us all.
And it is throughread more
You have NOT come to the mountain that may be touched... BUT you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. (Hebrews 12:18,22)
“But we are come,” and do you mean to say that the word “but” is less real than the word “not”? Do you mean to say that this that we are come to is abstract, while that was concrete? Oh, no, I am sure that this is even more real, after its own kind, in its own realm; and, dear friends, that is the point upon which we must focus everything: the reality of what we are come to. When you go on and break this all up into its details, if you are in your own senses, senses of mind and soul, you are just completely baffled. It seems so idealistic or imaginary, so ethereal, so unreal. See, to the natural, the spiritual is unreal. To the natural man, the man of soul, what is essentially and intrinsically spiritual is unreal. Their reaction is “Oh, let us be practical, let us come down to earth, let us get out of the clouds and get our feet solidly on the terra firma, let us get down to things that are more real.” That is the reaction of the natural man to the spiritual. But to the spiritual man, spiritual things are far more real than the tangible. And this that we are come to, to say the very least, is as real as what they came to at Sinai, even though after a different order.
Now I want you to note the tense of the verb, because it is very important to get the tense: “we are come to Mount Zion.” Not we are coming, not we are going to come, not we shall then arrive at Zion. No, “we are, we are come, we have come.” I know you will go on singing, “We Are Marching Upward To Zion.” We know what you mean, but we are NOT marching upward to Zion. The Word says: “But ye are come to Zion,” present tense. We are supposed to be at Zion now. Have you got that? There is here, of course, a contrast between Sinai and Zion, but it is not only contrasted here, but note, in keeping with what I have just said, it is more than contrast, it is consummation!
Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God. § A man can receive nothing unless it has been given to him from heaven. § No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day. § I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear Me forever.
Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
Lord, You will establish peace for us, for You have also done all our works in us.
In the way of Your judgments, O Lord, we have waited for You; the desire of our soul is for Your name and for the remembrance of You. With my soul I have desired You in the night, yes, by my spirit within me I will seek You early.
I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find … For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. § The flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. § Our sufficiency is from God. § My grace is sufficient for you.
Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and He shall sustain thee" (Ps. 55:22).
Our Father's living waters flow both in summer and winter (Zech. 14:8). He provides the barrenness of winter in order to cut us off from every other supply, and teach us to draw from His ever-flowing water of life.
"The Father passes us through all the seasons here; and the winter, the most trying one, is the most helpful, if we are really cast on Him in it. Then the real measure of our dependence on Him is ascertained, and also the extent of our resources in Him; and we make acquisitions in Him which we never make at any other time. All our growth and fruit depends on our winters, or rather on how we pass through them.
"The more we can rest in Him the more we are independent of everything outside of Him - at such a time, the more vigor we really possess; and the better we get over the winter, be it ever so severe. If I am independent of the winter, it is evident that I have mastered it, and not it me; and if I have done so, through the strength of the Lord Jesus, I am relieved though in no human way. Peter is delivered from prison in a superhuman way; but first he, though enduring a very trying winter, could lay him down and sleep - take his rest, because the Lord sustained him." -J.B.S.
"It is a wonderful thing to be so satisfied with the Lord Jesus' company, that we can be tranquil about everything. I remember when I used to think that I should be happy beyond conception if I were able to say, I will fear no evil; my heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord.' In order to reach this, you must find Him enough, without anything else. You can never prove the worth of anyone, until you are absolutely dependent upon him." -J.B.S.
"I laid down and slept; I awaked; for the Lord sustained me" (Ps. 3:5).
“I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between Me and the earth.” Genesis 9:13
It is the Will of God that human beings should get into moral relationship with Him, and His covenants are for this purpose. Why does not God save me? He has saved me, but I have not entered into relationship with Him. Why does not God do this and that? He has done it, the point is - Will I step into covenant relationship? All the great blessings of God are finished and complete, but they are not mine until I enter into relationship with Him on the basis of His covenant.
Waiting for God is incarnate unbelief, it means that I have no faith in Him; I wait for Him to do something in me that I may trust in that. God will not do it, because that is not the basis of the God-and-man relationship. Man has to go out of himself in his covenant with God as God goes out of Himself in His covenant with man. It is a question of faith in God - the rarest thing; we have faith only in our feelings. I do not believe God unless He will give me something in my hand whereby I may know I have it, then I say - "Now I believe." There is no faith there. "Look unto Me, and be ye saved."
When I have really transacted business with God on His covenant and have let go entirely, there is no sense of merit, no human ingredient in it at all, but a complete overwhelming sense of being brought into union with God, and the whole thing is transfigured with peace and joy.
that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge.
In the physical there are 3 dimensions of measurement – length breadth and height, but in his computation of Christ’s love Paul’s measure reaches into the unexplored. Paul in his enthusiasm for the Lord Jesus cites four : length breadth, height and depth. He desires that we know, understand and appropriate each element of the love of God.
Christ became a permanent resident in our heart the instant we trusted Him as Saviour. His indwelling Spirit took up His habitation on the basis of faith in God’s Son, but the Spirit of God has an ongoing work throughout the rest of our life…by faith.
We are saved by grace through faith but we are also to grow by grace through faith. The Spirit resides in the heart of all believers but as we grow He dwells in our hearts. When Christ dwells in our heart there is a special, mutual intimacy that develops and as Christ dwells in our heart a deeper communion is manifested. And like initial salvation that is also through faith – Christian growth is also by faith – for every aspect of Salvation is God’s gift of grace, through faith.
The breadth of God grace reaches to embrace all who are saved by grace thru faith. The breadth of His grace encompasses all the redeemed of Christ : the saints of God – Jew and gentile, young and old, male and female – all people, climes and tongue. For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the tworead more
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ Who has blessed us in the heavenly realms.. with every spiritual blessing – in Christ Jesus
The door of praise is flung open with a glimpse of the One Who has blessed us. The God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ is the One deserving of our praise. Paul is unlocking a treasure chest of jewels identifying the Father as the great Giver. Paul is also going to flood us with an astonishing array of the Father’s heavenly gifts.
We are standing on the threshold of a heavenly mystery – hid in the heart of God. We are about to come face to face with the riches of Christ’s amazing grace. We are about to embark on a journey revealing the riches of His heavenly glory. We are about to meet our gracious benefactor – the God and Father of Jesus Christ. Blessed be the God and Father – for He has blessed US.
It was in the heart of the Father from before the world began to redeem mankind. The propitiation price for sin was agreed – in the eternal council chambers of God. This was according to the eternal purpose that God has realised in Christ Jesus our Lord. Ephesians 3:11
Grace was in the heart of the Creator when God set the ransom price for man’s sin. Grace was in mind of God when God laid on Him the iniquity of us all. Blessed be the God and Father – Who made Christ sin for our sake.
His Glory was in the mind of the Father when sin’s eternal sacrifice was selected. His Son was the one and only means to secure God’s satisfaction for sin’s payment. Blessed be the God and Father ..Who predestined us for adoption to sonship, through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will. Ephesians 1:3-5
God the Father is to be blessed for the blessings He has bestowed upon us all, andread more