Dishman Baptist Church
Untitled Sermon (3)
- Good morning and welcome to Dishman Baptist Church. Fall is upon us and I know many of you are happy for that. How quickly this year has gone. Please turn in your Bibles with me to Ephesians 1, Ephesians 1.Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth take their stand, and the rulers conspire together against the Lord and his Anointed One: “Let’s tear off their chains and throw their ropes off of us.” The one enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord ridicules them. Then he speaks to them in his anger and terrifies them in his wrath: “I have installed my king on Zion, my holy mountain.” I will declare the Lord’s decree. He said to me, “You are my Son; today I have become your Father. Ask of me, and I will make the nations your inheritance and the ends of the earth your possession. You will break them with an iron scepter; you will shatter them like pottery.” So now, kings, be wise; receive instruction, you judges of the earth. Serve the Lord with reverential awe and rejoice with trembling. Pay homage to the Son or he will be angry and you will perish in your rebellion, for his anger may ignite at any moment. All who take refuge in him are happy.and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the mighty working of his strength. He exercised this power in Christ by raising him from the dead and seating him at his right hand in the heavens— far above every ruler and authority, power and dominion, and every title given, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And he subjected everything under his feet and appointed him as head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of the one who fills all things in every way.Paul is going to continue his thought in verse 19 regarding the power of Christ that is at work in every believerChrist’s Position, Christ’s Preeminence, Christ’s PowerChrist’s PositionThe greatest demonstration of God’s power was not in creation, was not in parting the Red Sea, was not in closing the mouths of the lions but in the resurrection of Christ from the deadGod takes an active role in making this happen - the verb here is energeo - the same verb that Paul used to describe the mighty working of His strength toward those who believeWhat a marvelous contemplation that the same power that raised Christ from the dead is at work within meAnd not only raised Him from the dead but exalted Him - there were people raised from the dead before Christ - the widow of Nain’s son, Lazarus, the widow’s son by Elijah but all of them died again. Christ is the only person to be raised from the dead who never tasted death again.M.J. Harris in his book Raised Immortal writes:
‘The Resurrection proclaims “He lives—and that for ever”; the Exaltation proclaims “He reigns—and that for ever”He continues - Christ’s ‘resurrection has its corollary, a natural progression, in his exaltation, for whenever the New Testament describes the present state of Christ he is portrayed not merely as an inhabitant of heaven but as an enthroned monarch’.A place of honorA place of satisfaction or completionChrist is sitting at God’s right hand because His work is completeAnd He has done all things wellUnlike the priests of the Temple who were constantly at workChrist’s work is complete2,200 Quotations from the Writings of Charles H. Spurgeon: Arranged Topically or Textually and Indexed by Subject, Scripture, and People (Jesus)God is more glorified in the person of his Son than he would have been by an unfallen world.Hebrews 10:11–14 (CSB)Every priest stands day after day ministering and offering the same sacrifices time after time, which can never take away sins.But this man, after offering one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God.He is now waiting until his enemies are made his footstool.For by one offering he has perfected forever those who are sanctified.Christ’s work is accepted - God gives Him the seat at His right hand showing that He is satisfied with Christ’s work and by Christ’s workFor this reason God highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow— in heaven and on earth and under the earth— and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.Christ is seated at the right hand of God in the Heavens - demonstrating Christ’s preeminence over all thingsChrist’s PreeminenceChrist is not simply exalted but He is placed far above every ruler and authority, power and dominion, and every title givenEmperor worship - every title givenOccult practices prevalent in EphesusAfter staying for some time, Paul said farewell to the brothers and sisters and sailed away to Syria, accompanied by Priscilla and Aquila. He shaved his head at Cenchreae because of a vow he had taken. When they reached Ephesus he left them there, but he himself entered the synagogue and debated with the Jews.The titles ruler, authority, power and dominion are primarily references to the powers that operate within the spiritual realmPaul also probably had in mind an alliance - unwitting as it may be - between earthly political leaders and the powers that work in the spiritual realmCommon sense missingA governor who praises his attorney general for signing an amicus brief requesting the Texas law banning abortions be put on hold - ensuring free and unhindered access to abortions and the continued killing of our most vulnerableA president who authorizes the withholding of life saving medical care for thousands over the political stand of the affected statesA government that allows and even encourages children to change their gender (something that is impossible)Dustin Benge recently tweetedDestroy church buildingsChrist will build His churchSuppress religious freedomChrist will build His churchArrest pastors and laypeopleChrist will build His churchGovernments, tyrants, ideologies, and dictators can’t stop Christ from building His churchChrist is preeminent now - and in the age to comeHe is the center of time - all ages revolve around Him and Christ holds power now and foreverUnlike fantasy novels where the cycle of good versus evil repeats itselfWheel of Time series - the idea that the struggle between good and evil never really gets resolved. In some ages good wins, in some evil but the struggle never endsChrist came and is victorious - His victory is complete and final, never to be challengedAnd He subjected everything under His feet is a quotation from Psalm 8You made him ruler over the works of your hands; you put everything under his feet:Psalm 8 demonstrates the authority of man over God’s creation and His sovereign representatives on earthPsalm 8:6 demonstrates this saying that he is ruler over the works of your handsMan was charged in the Garden with subduing the earth - and this Psalm develops a link between the humans and God in the exercising of sovereigntyMany in the Roman Empire believed that Caesar was sovereign over everything - “Rome, the ruler of all, your power will never die.”Paul says that this sovereign power only resides within Christ and that everything is subject to Him - all of man, all of human governments, all of the supernatural world, there is not a part of the universe that is outside of His controlHe is also the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he might come to have first place in everything.Christ’s PowerI believe that one reason why the church of God at this present moment has so little influence over the world is because the world has so much influence over the church.If you look around at the church today this quote from Spurgeon would seem to bear itself outSexual abuseIgnorance of ScriptureWorldly practicesBut this would be to overlook the good that is happeningIMB missionariesDisaster reliefWe have forgotten who we are - and whose body we are - when we look askance at the church that God has given and when we try to fix it in our own ways2,200 Quotations from the Writings of Charles H. Spurgeon: Arranged Topically or Textually and Indexed by Subject, Scripture, and People (Church)Never think of the church of God as if she were in danger. If you do, you will be like Uzza. You will put forth your hand to steady the ark and provoke the Lord to anger against you. If it were in danger, you could not deliver it. If Christ cannot take care of his church without you, you cannot do it. Be still, and know that he is God.Paul tells us here that the church is Christ’s body and the fullness of the One who fills all things in all things in every wayJust as God was pleased to have His fullness dwell within ChristFor God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him,The church is the clearest demonstration of and the vehicle through which His power impacts the worldThe clearest demonstrationThe church would not exist without the power of GodThe gathering of believers around the throne, the universal church, the local church - all of these are in view as all are a demonstration of the power of GodThe second greatest demonstration of God’s power is the redemption of His church through the GospelFor I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, first to the Jew, and also to the Greek.Eleven men - the most unlikely crew you would ever choose - are charged with carrying the greatest power that has ever been known to the worldYou and I are the current iteration and demonstration of that powerThe vehicleChrist came. He lived. He died. He rose from the dead and now resides at the right hand of God.The church is the vehicle, the method through which God’s power impacts the world todayNo one else has the promise that we have, no one else can share the hope that we haveNot the rulers or authorities, not the powers or dominionsWe are to carry His power into the world and impact it for His gloryOur work doesn’t/shouldn’t remain confined to this buildingAnd the good news is that He who has all things subjected under His feet and exercises dominion over everything has shared that authority with usThere is no arena in which we should not be speaking and working as God’s ambassadorsBut we cannot forget what our primary mission is300 Quotations for Preachers from the Modern Church (The Primary Purpose of Our Work)We must always bear in mind that the primary purpose of our work is not to get people to join the church, or to give up their bad habits, or to do anything else than this, to accept Jesus Christ as their Savior, the one who bore their sins in His own body on the tree, and the one through whom they can have immediate and entire forgiveness.R. A. TORREY*Paul is going to tell us in the ensuing chapters how we became saved, how we became a united church and how we should be going about the business we have been assigned.Here he wants to remind each of us that we are not weak and frail but a militant body, captained by a magnanimous and powerful Head who has demonstrated the immeasurable greatness of His power and that that power is at work in us. The same power that raised Christ from the dead and then exalted Him to the right hand of the Father is at work in us - as His representatives to carry forth the mission that He has assigned to us.
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