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Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 2 * PART 4 * BOOK 37
Now in the last lesson we were in I Corinthians when time ran out on us, so we’ll pick up where we left off in those verses in just a moment, but first let’s look again at our text in Ephesians chapter 3. Remember Paul is writing to believers.
“That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye being rooted and grounded in love, 18. May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 19. And to know the love of Christ,…”
For us to comprehend these things is the desire of God, and of this apostle for every believer. This isn’t just for the clergy, or teachers, and the theologians in the seminary, but rather this is for every believer. Now coming back to I Corinthians chapter 2 we find that the apostle makes it so plain how these things are understood by the average believer. And remember, the Corinthian believers are the weakest, the most carnal of all of Paul’s congregation. They had a lot of hang ups, but he could still write these things to them in language that they could understand. And if they could, I think any of us can. Let’s read verse 10 again as we start.
I Corinthians 2:10
“But God hath revealed (the things that have not been seen or heard in verse 9. God has revealed) them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.”
How many believers today go into the deep things of God? Precious, precious few. Hopefully we’re lighting the fire under a lot of people, and evidently we are because a lot of people write, “For the first time in my life I’m studying my Bible.” These people are reading and enjoying the Word of God, and that’s all we can ask people to do. That means far more to me than you’ll ever know. So how do we know the deep things of God?
I Corinthians 2:11b
“…even so the (deep) things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.”
So the Holy Spirit is the One that has to enlighten us and teach us, and direct us through the Scriptures. Now it certainly helps in Bible study to have a good reference Bible. Get a good one and hopefully one with some footnotes to clarify some things that may be a little hard to understand, Just learn to do Bible study, comparing Scripture with Scripture. Now verse 12.
I Corinthians 2:12
“Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, (we’re not looking at this from a secular point of few. We’re not looking at this from what we have learned from education and experience in the material,) but the spirit which is of God, that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.”
Now this is what we have to recognize. You can’t go into this and say, “Well I’m going to learn what this Bible says no matter what.” It just won’t work that way, because we have to depend on the Spirit of God. Now being human I like words of encouragement, and over and over people have written that they have prayed that God would open the Scripture to them. And then the next day they found our program on television, and we’ve had letter after letter that said 10 minutes into the program they’ll recognize what’s going on, and say,“THANK YOU LORD THIS IS WHAT WE WERE LOOKING FOR” But I can’t do it, because it has to be the Spirit that opens understanding. Now reading on.
I Corinthians 2:13
“Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; (and how does the Holy Spirit teach?) comparing spiritual things with spiritual.”
You have to constantly compare these various concepts of Scripture with other concepts and you’ll see how they all fit. They fit just like a jigsaw puzzle. You know it’s been a long time since Iris and I have put a jigsaw puzzle together, but how would you like to put one together if somebody had taken out a few of the pieces and put in a few from another puzzle, and you had no picture to go by? What would that be like? Oh it would be pandemonium, it would drive you up the wall. Because number one, you would have no frame of reference, you would have no idea where this color is on the edge unless you’ve got the picture. And number two, after you get a lot of it together you’ve got pieces that don’t belong in the puzzle. No matter how hard you try to fit them in they simply won’t fit!
Listen, that’s what too many Bible studies do. And it don’t take you very long to recognize, “Hey this doesn’t fit.” Of course it doesn’t, because it’s not supposed to. But when you keep the Scripture with Scripture, and keep Law and Grace separated, then it all falls into place so beautifully from cover to cover with no contradictions. Remember God changes His programs but God never changes like I said early while teaching this Book of Ephesians. Of course the Dispensation of Grace that was given to the apostle Paul is a whole different economy than the Dispensation of Law. Remember several lesson ago I showed you how ridiculous it is when people say, “But I go by the whole Bible, and not what Paul teaches?” And I took you to the Book of Leviticus chapter 5, where if anybody touches something that is dead, then he has to bring a particular sacrifice to the priest. Now that’s what the Bible says! But when people say things like that they put their foot in their mouth, don’t they?
And it’s the same way with the teachings of Jesus’ earthly ministry. He was teaching directly to the Nation of Israel. As we find in Matthew chapter 21 He was teaching one of His parables. This just says it all.
“And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard his parables, they perceived that he spake of them.”
Not us in the Church Age, but them, the Nation of Israel. And it was to them that it was appropriate, not to us. Now a lot of His teachings are applicable, don’t get me wrong. Jesus never taught anything that was completely out in left field, but He’s constantly driving his teaching home to the Nation of Israel. And in all of His parables, the only true meaning was as it sat with the Nation of Israel. When you take those things out of the Four Gospels and try to bring it into Paul’s teachings you’ve got some puzzle pieces that don’t belong there, and they won’t fit, although preachers and teachers try to make them fit. Here is the secret to why they won’t fit.
“And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard his parables, they perceived that he spake of them.”
Now that’s what the Book says. Now coming back to I Corinthians chapter 2, and finish the study on the deep things of God. Let’s pick up with verse 13. This is all part and parcel of what Paul is enlarging on in Ephesians chapter 3, when he prays, “That we have the might and the power of the height, and depth, and length, and breadth of spiritual discernment.”
I Corinthians 2:13
“Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.”
All right, now what’s Paul saying? “How many people lean on what men have said?” Now I know the philosophers of ancient Greece said some tremendously appropriate things, and they made a lot of sense, but they’re not Scripture. They’re still the things that men teach. On the other hand, when you take the things that the Holy Spirit has prompted men to write, and we bring this into focus, now we have something more than what men teach. Now we have the spiritual. Now verse 14.
I Corinthians 2:14
“But the natural man (the unbeliever. I don’t care if he’s in church every Sunday. If he’s still unsaved and in the natural he) receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God; (it’s impossible for him. Why?) for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”
So when you’re talking with unbelievers, and you try to express some of the deeper things in Scripture, then expect them to look at you with a blank look because they can’t help it. The Bible says, “They can not know about these things. The spiritual things must be spiritually discerned.” So the unbelieving world will argue and fuss with you and give you all their ideas, but listen, it’s nothing but secular gibberish. But when they finally get the Spirit of God, then they can certainly comprehend. That’s why Paul makes it so common for the believer to understand these deep things of God, and he expects us to. Now let’s go back to the Book of Ephesians.
“That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, (that is the love of God that brought us unto Himself. That we ) 18. May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;”
We can step into the whole spectrum of spiritual understanding, and the unbelieving world can’t get that. But oh listen, for us, it’s all here if we’ll just search it out. Now then verse 19.
“And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.” (Read that verse again)
“And to know the love of Christ,…”
Remember a program or two back when we were following the “unsearchable riches of Christ?” And I mentioned, “How can you and I, mere mortals, comprehend the fact that theEternal Sovereign Creator God condescended to be born of an ordinary little lady in Israel, to be born under the humble circumstances of Bethlehem, and then go through 30 years on this old planet for the sole purpose of going to that Cross.” Now listen that’s beyond human comprehension. But what did it? “The Love of God!” How God loves the human race! And how He paid the very extent of the very riches of heaven to accomplish a plan of redemption!
Now remember lost humanity is under the clutches, chains and control of a powerful, powerful being. Oh, never lose sight of that. And in order for God to bring salvation to the human race, first after taking upon Himself all the sins of this human race, He also had to break the powers of Satan. He literally had to break the bands of Satan that held everything in it’s power, which He accomplished at the Cross. And then again you repeat that for every believer that is saved, then God has to do it all over again, breaking the power of the Satanic forces that hold us. Keep your hands in Ephesians, but for a moment let’s come back to II Corinthians chapter 4, and look at this for a moment so you can see what I’m talking about.
II Corinthians 4:3-4
“But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: (now remember every human being on the face is lost until they’re saved) 4. In whom (in lost people) the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.”
So who’s the culprit? Who is keeping lost people lost? Well Satan is! We’re in a society that you almost cringe to use the term, “Satan.” People think you’re a fundamentalist kook if you use that term. But listen, the Bible explicitly tells us that his power is tremendous, and only the power of God can break his blinding the unbeliever. And that’s where I think prayer comes in. Oh let me give you another one that I use. Come back to Acts chapter 16, and Paul has been up in northern Greece, and comes to Philippi.
“And on the sabbath (remember that early on in Paul’s ministry, he’s still coming out of the law background, and this of course was the Saturday Sabbath, and so these were Jewish women no doubt) we went out of the city by a river side, where prayer was wont to be made; and we sat down, and spake unto the women which resorted thither. 14. And a certain woman named Lydia a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, (she was Jewish and worshipping the God of Abraham, and this Lydia) heard us; whose heart the Lord opened, (now before the Lord could open her heart to believe Paul’s Gospel, what other power did God have to exercise? He had to break the blinding power of Satan. This Lydia was no different than anybody else. Just because she believed in God, doesn’t mean she wasn’t blind to the truth of the Gospel, for she was blinded. But here we have the perfect account of how the Lord opened her eyes, and heart, the Lord broke the bands of Satan) that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul.” (Lydia believed Paul’s Gospel and became a believer.)
Now this is all part and parcel of what we’re up against even in our own day. Satan has blinded the eyes of those that believe not and only the power of God can open their understanding. Now let’s come back to Ephesians chapter 3, and let’s read verse 19 again.
“And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.”
We can’t comprehend what love it took to drive Him to the Cross. And all the fulness of God is what we’re to be filled with. Now I don’t think any of us understand what that is do we? I don’t think there’s ever been a human alive, at least not on this side of the apostle Paul that has really understood the fulness of God. We can’t even come close, but potentially it’s there for us. Now verse 20. Here Paul ends this prayer.
“Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,”
What a prayer request on behalf of you and I. Just for a moment let’s come over to the Book of Colossians and look at another prayer for believers.
“For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, (that is their salvation, we) do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;” Does that ring a bell? It’s almost the same thing we were looking at in the Book of Ephesians. Now verse 10.
“That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, (remember God never tells us to be a thorn in people. We are not to be obnoxious, or to make a fools of ourselves, but rather we are to be a living example of the love of the One who died for us.) being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; (now that’s a constant thing isn’t it? We don’t get all this knowledge of God all at once, and say, ‘well I’ve arrived.’) 11. Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; 12. Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: 13. Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: 14. In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:”
My goodness, what a prayer request for us. And that’s for every believer, not just for the preachers and teachers, but rather it’s for everyone of us. Now back to Ephesians and we’ll wind up the chapter.
“Unto him be glory in the church (the Body of Christ) by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.”
In other words this isn’t the end. Eternity is out there in front of us, but our Lord Jesus Christ will never change. He is the same, yesterday, today, and forever!