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Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 3 * PART 4 * BOOK 35
EPHESIANS 1:10-13 – PART 2
We thank you so much for your support, and especially your prayers, as there is so much Satanic opposition when you handle the Word of God. We are so encouraged when folks use these little books, and our video tapes for home Bible study. Let’s face it, the Church just doesn’t have time for especially in-depth Bible study, so as a result we realize that more time has to be spent in the home for Bible study. Now that doesn’t take away from the Church whatsoever, but rather to enhance it, and edify it.
Now back to Ephesians chapter 1 verse 13. And again we start right out with that same prepositional phrase “In whom.” All the way through we’ve got this positional reminder that we are in Christ. That’s something that nowhere else in Scripture do you hear of a group of people being actually in the Godhead itself, and in this case the Person of Christ. Speaking of the Godhead, and looking where we get this term just turn ahead to the Book of Colossian chapter 2, and we’ll have to read verse 8 to pick up the flow.
“Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. (do you see the danger? Most of us have just been inundated with tradition. Some tradition is OK, but you’ve got to line it up with the Word of God, to see if it fits.) 9. For in him (Christ) dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.”
Now that blows a lot of people’s minds. Who is the Godhead? God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Now that’s the Godhead, but Christ is the epitome of it as He settled down in the Godhead bodily. With that resurrected body that He left with at the Mount of Olives, and ascended into glory. Another verse just comes to mind in Isaiah. We almost looked at it in one of the 3 lessons we had earlier today, but we ran out of time before we could use it. That’s the way I teach, as these Scriptures come flying through then I feel we have to stop and look at them. Now here again, this is the Christ that died for us, this is the Christ that keeps us today, this is the Christ that is coming again, and we trust real soon. This fits so beautifully with these verses in Ephesians. This is the Christ in Whom we dwell. Now verse 6, and remember this is the prophet writing to the Nation of Israel, so the pronoun “us”of course is to the nation.
“For unto us (Israel) a child is born, unto us (Israel) a son is given: and the government (this 1000 year rule and reign when He will be King of Kings and Lord of Lords, and we feel we’re getting closer all the time. I mean we’re getting close!) shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” So Who do you have intertwined in this one verse? God the Father, and God the Son. Now that reminds me of John chapter 14, what did Jesus tell Philip?
“Jesus saith unto him, `Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father:…'” I know this is mind-boggling, but you’ve got to remember that even though it’s three Persons it’s one God. Now verse 7.
“Of the increase of his government and peace (the world has no idea what it would be like to live in total peace. And of His peace) there shall be no end, (in this coming 1000 year reign there won’t even be a little brush fire war. It will be a 1000 years of peace under the rule and reign of the mighty God. And where is He going to rule from? Jerusalem) upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. (And how is it going to happen?) The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.”
And in our last lesson we were seeing the power of God. His power will bring all of this about, and don’t you worry whether all these things will happen. It will happen! Hey we’re all human. We read these things and wonder, “Is it really going to happen?” That 1000-year reign with Christ almost sounds to good to be true, so as humans we wonder is it really going to happen. It’s not that we’re doubting it, but on the other hand we have to face reality, “Is all of this really going to happen?” I couldn’t help but think about all of this the other night, and all of a sudden the Lord sent the thought into my mind, “But listen, everything that the Old Testament prophesied concerning His first coming happened.” And I imagined those people back 1500 years before Christ couldn’t even begin to imagine that all these things would happen. So I imagine that they felt the same way. Is God really meaning business with us? Yeah, He was because it all happened. So don’t ever lose heart, and remember that God’s Word is sure. Now back to our text in Ephesians.
“In whom ye also trusted,…”
Now remember who is Paul writing to? Believers. He’s writing to those who are now believers, so he’s writing to you and I as believers today. Now of course as he writes to believers it’s also going to have an effect on the unsaved person. And here again is how we got that position in Christ.
“In whom ye also trusted (now what’s the other word for trust in the Bible? Faith or believe, as you can use any of the three. When did you trust, believe, or have faith?) after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation:…”
Too many people just glibly read this without really understanding what it says. That we trusted Christ so that He could place us into the Body of Christ. But when did we trust? After we heard the word of truth, not before. Now that reminds me of a couple of verses in Romans. Let’s just drop down to verse 13.
“For whosoever (anyone) shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Now I had a nice conversation with someone on the phone the other morning, and he was wondering about the word saved and righteous. He had a verse where they were more or less in the same context. So I told them they were interchangeable. In fact I read a long time ago it would probably be more appropriate for us to say today that we were made righteous, rather than to say we were saved. I’m not taking anything away from the word saved, but really when we’re saved what happens? When we were made righteous, or right with God. So it’s really more appropriate to say I was made righteous when I believed rather than just simply say I was saved.
When we were made righteous, God imputed the righteousness of Christ to you and I. But look what had to happen first. We had to call upon Him and let Him know. I tell people to verbalize it, don’t just say, “Yeah, I believe.” But rather you verbalize it, “Lord I believe that you died for me. I believe that you were buried, and that you rose from the dead. I believe that your shed blood is payment for my sins, I believe that!” Don’t just assume that God can read your mind, although we know He can. Now verse 14.
“How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?”
So it takes the whole complex human being to bring all this into experience. We have to have heard it, we have to think about it, we have to comprehend it, and then we have to use the mouth and verbalize it. All right, now when it says, “And how shall they hear without a preacher?” I looked that up in the Greek and preacher is a proclaimer. I like that. It’s really a better word than preacher. “How shall they hear without a proclaimer.” Now that’s what we have to do, we have to proclaim the Gospel. We don’t necessarily have to preach. We become victims of tradition lots of time, and get the idea that preaching is stomping and yelling, and getting a lot of exercise. No that’s not necessarily the case. We proclaim the Word of God! Now verse 15.
“And how shall they preach, (or proclaim) except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach (proclaim) the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!”
Now do you have the process? God had to reveal the Gospel didn’t He? And we know that He did through the apostle Paul. And the apostle Paul was inspired by the Holy Spirit to put it down in print so that we can have it right in front of us, but by and large most people have to have someone to explain the Scriptures to them. Now I don’t say that it’s mandatory, but usually someone has to explain the Scripture to an unbeliever and bring him to the place where he can believe, and understand it. And that’s what Paul is talking about here in verse 15. How can they hear unless God providentially sends someone to proclaim it. Does it take the providence of God? Yes, absolutely it does. In fact let’s just look at Acts chapter 16 to prove my point. This is one of my favorite verses when it comes to this whole idea of bringing lost people to a knowledge of salvation. This is not something that we take glibly, but rather this is something that I think takes the power of God, it takes the working of the Holy Spirit, and without Whom none of us can amount to anything. My teaching amounts to nothing if the Holy Spirit isn’t behind it. So here’s the whole idea here in this chapter, it’s the perfect example of what has to happen whenever a person is saved or made righteous.
“And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, (notice she was religious, but wasn’t a true believer So she) heard us: (Luke of course was writing) whose heart the Lord opened, (who opened her heart? The Lord did. Paul didn’t, and Luke didn’t so what happened?) that she attended (or listened and comprehended) unto the things (the Gospel of your salvation as you have in I Corinthians 15:1-4) which were spoken of Paul.”
Now in this particular verse who is the proclaimer? Well Paul is, and he is simply speaking forth the Gospel. But before this Jewish lady in Philippi could comprehend it, Who had to open her heart? The Lord does in the Person of the Holy Spirit, and that has never changed. Every person that comes to a saving knowledge of Paul’s Gospel has to have their understanding opened by the work of the Holy Spirit. Remember the Holy Spirit is there for everyone. No one can ever say, “Well the Holy Spirit of God never approached me.” Oh yes He does, the Holy Spirit is present, He’s everywhere, and He doesn’t miss a soul. Another verse comes to mind in the Gospel of John chapter 1. I think this again is just because of the presence of the Holy Spirit, otherwise this verse would be total Greek to me. This is speaking of Christ in His earthly ministry. So John writes –
“That was the true Light, (speaking of Christ) which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.”
Now that’s what it says. The light of Christ lighteth every man that cometh into the world. Well how is this done? Through the presence of the work of the Holy Spirit. Remember only lost people will appear at the Great White Throne Judgment, but not one of them will come up before Christ, and say, “I never had a chance.” Because the Bible in Romans says they won’t.
“Because that which may be know of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. (past tense, it’s already done. That’s just like the previous Scripture we looked at in John 1:9. It’s done.) 20. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they (the whole lost human race) are without excuse:”
No one will ever be able to say to God, “Well I never had a chance.” There is another verse that confirms this in Titus. Now verses like these are just mind boggling, I know that they are, but the Scripture does not lie, and so we have to believe it. Remember I’m tying all these together. John says that Jesus Christ that cometh into the world has lighteth every man. Paul says in Romans that the power of God is manifested in them so that they are without excuse. Now look what Paul says here in Titus.
“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared (past tense) to all men.”
Now don’t ask me how that is. I look at the people down in the jungles of South America, whom we feel have never heard the Gospel and in the light of these verses, are they responsible? Yes they are! They’re going to come before the Great White Throne as lost as lost can be, and without a word of excuse, and yet God is going to be absolutely fair and just in His judgment, and He’s going to say, “You could have known!” And the only reason they didn’t know is they didn’t choose to know. It’s just one of those things in Scripture that is hard to comprehend, and I’m the first to admit it. Now back to Ephesians chapter 1.
“In whom ye also trusted, (or believed) after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation:…”
Many people are still confused about the Gospel. It’s amazing that right here in the Bible belt, I have had untold numbers of people come to our class and tell me they have never before heard this Gospel. Jerry Pool, and others in this class this afternoon will verify that fact, and these people have been in church all their lives.
(Transcriber’s note. “I had never heard the Gospel before I started attending Les’ classes either. I had always been told that all I needed to do for salvation was be sorry for my sins, and to ask Jesus into my heart. One Sunday School teacher, when I was 12 even said I needed to be baptized in water to be saved. I had never been told or shown that for my ticket to Heaven, you must believe in your heart that Jesus died for you, that He was buried, and rose from the dead, and then tell God that very fact. I also didn’t know that the god of this world could hide the Gospel from you as found in II Corinthians 4:3-4.”) Now back to Les’ teachings.
Well what’s the Gospel that they’ve never heard? It’s in I Corinthians chapter 15:1-4 and I tell people over the phone constantly. “Just read those four verses and if you can believe that in your heart, then you’ve got it made. I mean that’s it, it’s that simple. I know that I’ve said it on the program before that there is no simpler place in all of Scripture where the Gospel is presented than these 4 verses. This is so simple that a child can understand it, and yet it’s as much as you need.
I Corinthians 15:1-4
“Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel (not a Gospel, but the Gospel) which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand: 2. By which also ye are saved, (or made righteous) if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. (you have to know what you’ve believed.) 3. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, (Paul received this as part of the mysteries) how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures, (it was all part of that predeterminate counsel that we read about in Acts chapter 2) 4. And that he was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the scriptures:” Now that’s the Gospel. That’s why in Romans 10:9-10 Paul tells us –
“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”
So what is that we’re believing here? The same Gospel we find in I Corinthians 15:1-4. If we believe with all our heart that Christ died for our sins, was buried, and rose again, then God saves us. And the reason is in verse 10, as we believe that with the heart. Now let’s look at another one in that same light in which Paul is always bringing up this faith in Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection for salvation. Let’s turn to I Thessalonians chapter 4. I just notice that we only have 1 minute left which means we’re not going to finish verse 13 are we?
I Thessalonians 4:13
“But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, (or have died) that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.”
In other words if we have a loved one that has passed on, we don’t have to worry because we’re going to see them again. And here’s the reason in the next verse.
I Thessalonians 4:14
“For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.” (So here you also have this same Gospel that saves us.)