Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 2 * PART 2 * BOOK 38
The Walk of the Believer – Part 2
Now let’s just pick right up where we left off in the last lesson, and that would be in Ephesians chapter 4 and verse 28. And verse 28 is going to send us right back to the Old Testament.
“Let him that stole steal no more:…”
Well where do you get that? Exodus chapter 20, and let’s go back and look at it. That of course is the chapter of the Ten Commandments, and right there in verse 15 it says it as plain as day. I know you all know this but I want you to see it in Scripture.
“Thou shalt not steal.”
In other words, you have to respect the other persons property, so no one has the right to just simply abscond it and take off with it. It is one of the basic commandments of human society. Now again I always have to remind people that, yes the moral law is still the best system for society that you can find. In fact when we were studying in the Book of Exodus a few years ago, I think that I made the point that if society could keep the commandments we could send our legislature home. We could close up the court houses, we could just simply throw away the code books, because the Ten Commandments covers every aspect of society, and if society could keep them it would be all we’d need. But of course human nature being what it is, it takes all the above to even keep a semblance of sanity in our society today. Now let’s look at another one in Romans chapter 13, and here Paul says basically the same thing. Even though we as believers are not under Law, but rather under Grace, but yet these are fundamental even for a believer.
“…for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. (because under Grace, love is the power that makes us operate) 9. For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shall not steal,”
Now that’s as plain as day. We realize that Paul writes to the believer, and we don’t expect the unbelieving world to not steal, because they’re going to do it one way or another. Whether it’s stealing from their boss’s time table, or cheating on their taxes, or any other way, people are bent to stealing, it’s part of the old nature. You can tell then from these words to Paul’s converts that they too had come out of society that thought nothing of stealing.
“Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.”
Now what’s the lesson? If those who have would give to those who need, they wouldn’t have to steal. I guess nothing irritates me more than when I read of some poor fellow that is poverty stricken, and he is caught sealing little or nothing, and yet he ends us in the state penitentiary. And that does happen. Now I think that’s awful, and I’m all for punishment, but I’m also for fair punishment. And when a poor person is caught stealing just to supply his daily needs, to put him away is ridiculous. But Paul is teaching us here for the community that has more than enough, they should be willing to give some to those who are in need.
You know as I read, especially the Jerusalem Post and some of these other periodicals, as much as I may disagree with Judaism, and much of the Jewish Old Testament religion, I always have to give the Jewish people credit for one thing in particular. You know what they are? They are tremendous philanthropists. They’ll give by the millions if they’ve got it, and they don’t do that with the same motivation that we give. But there’s something about their makeup that if they have it they give it. Well Paul is making that very point for us as believers, that if we have it, we should be willing to share it with those who need it, and keep them from being prompted to steal in order to survive. Now verse 29 I suppose is a little harder to define, but we’re going to keep moving along.
“Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth,…’
Can you tell the world that? Why they’d laugh at you because for most of them that’s the only way they can talk. But for the believer this is not to be part and parcel of our conversation. We are not to have corrupt language as part of our daily experience. So Paul says, “let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth.”
“…but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.”
Now all of this as we’ve been coming down through these verse, is to the believer to help us to be a vehicle to approach lost people. Always remember no believer is ever going to get to first base with an unbeliever if he’s got foul language, it just won’t fly, as even the unbeliever knows that much. So here again Paul is admonishing us as believers to watch our anger, not to steal, and to recognize the wiles of Satan, and to be a giver as the Lord has prospered us. See all this is just common sense. I’ve always said that Christianity is so logical in the everyday Christian life as Paul teaches it, and I guess that is why I enjoy teaching it so much. So we’re to minister Grace to the hearers, and now let’s move on to verse 30.
“And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.”
Now I imagine that most of you know this, but maybe not. Do you know that the Bible never speaks of the Holy Spirit getting angry? There is no wrath of the Holy Spirit! There is no anger referred to by the Holy Spirit! This is the harshest word you can find in all of Scripture with regard to the response of the Holy Spirit, is to grieve Him. He will not get angry evidently. Now that’s something to think about, so when we go contrary to the Spirit’s leading, He’s not going to pour out His wrath on us for our disobedience, but rather He’s grieved, He’s hurt.
In fact I just told one of my little grandsons the other day, that while growing up I had such a love for my own dad that I wouldn’t do anything that would hurt him or grieve him. And I think that kept me out of a lot of places that if I’d have gone there I knew that this is where he wouldn’t want me to be, and I wouldn’t grieve my dad. Well you see this also what I told my little grandson, If you do something that will hurt your dad, then that same thing will also hurt me. So if you take that same analogy into our Spiritual life, the Holy Spirit doesn’t want to be hurt, and we’re not to grieve Him.
Now when it comes to Paul’s teaching of the Holy Spirit, there’s so many places I could take you I hardly know where to begin. But I think maybe I’ll go back to I Corinthians chapter 3. And as you remember when we taught the Book of Romans, for the first seven chapters, Paul hardly ever mentioned the Holy Spirit. Then all of a sudden from chapter 8 to the end of Romans he uses the Holy Spirit over and over. Then coming into his next letter of I Corinthians chapter 3, and verse 16 we find the following.
I Corinthians 3:16
“Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?”
Now it’s that same Spirit that he admonishes us in Ephesians that we’re not to grieve. In other words we should know without a shadow of doubt what is pleasing to the Spirit, and that is what we’re supposed to be prone to do, that which is pleasing to Him. Come on over to I Corinthians chapter 6, and we have another reference from the pen of the apostle regarding the indwelling Holy Spirit.
I Corinthians 6:19a
“What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God,…”
The Holy Spirit was given the moment we believed the Gospel, and then Paul concludes that our body does not belong to us now, but rather Christ.
I Corinthians 6:19b
“…and ye are not your own?” Well Peter uses the same kind of language with regard to the blood of Christ.
I Peter 1:18a-19a
“Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold,…19. But with the precious blood of Christ,…”
So we’re reminded that since we’ve been bought with the blood of Christ, we are to respond by glorying God in our body. Now on the way back to Ephesians chapter 4, you can stop in chapter 1, and these references hopefully all fit together, that this is the same Spirit we are to be careful not to grieve. And that happens only when we go contrary to the revealed Word of God. We start out by speaking of Christ in verse 12.
“In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom (speaking of Christ) also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise.”
See how the Holy Spirit functions in the life of the believer? He indwells us, He motivates us, He directs us, He keeps us, and now another verse just comes to mind in the Book of Romans chapter 7.
“For when we were in the flesh, (before salvation) the motions (or the acts) of sins, which were by the law, (all the things that the Law condemned, the lost person activity) did work in our members (our physical body) to bring forth fruit unto death.
Now just hold that thought for a moment and skip across the page to Romans 6:23. These are all statements that are there to have an impact whether we’re lost or saved, as to how God and the Spirit works. Remember what Paul just said. “The things of the flesh, works, will bring forth their fruit unto death.” Paul puts it just a little different in verse 23.
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Now what a comparison in one verse. Lost people work, and work, and work their whole life time to earn what? Eternal death! We as believers on the other hand under Grace, we just sit there with open hands and what do we take free for nothing? Eternal Life! Isn’t that amazing? The lost person is working his head off just to go to a devil’s hell. And we as believers just stand here and take God’s eternal life as a free gift. That’s what it says. Everyone should be able to understand plain language. What are wages? That’s what you get for working. Isn’t that right?
“For the wages of sin is death;…” Now I put it in plainer language, I know I do. You work yourself to death, eternal death.
“…but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Now how much do you work for a gift? None! I’m not use to getting gifts, but when they come it’s usually a total surprise. Well that’s the way it’s supposed to be. It’s not anything that you’ve earn, or can say, “I’ve got that coming to me.” So that’s what eternal life is. Now let’s finish our thoughts in chapter 7. “So the work of sinful life brings forth fruit to death.” Now for the believer look at verse 6, and it’s a whole different world.
“But now we are delivered from the law, (or thou shalt, and thou shalt not) that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.”
A lot of people just can’t understand when I teach, “You’re not under Law, but rather you’re under Grace!” Now to be under Grace doesn’t mean that we’re “Lawless.” It means we’re not under the heavy hand of the Law, but we’re still responsible to God through the working of the Holy Spirit to basically do the same thing that the Law demands. The Holy Spirit will never turn around and say, “Ok you’re a believer now, and under Grace, you can steal if you want to. You can go ahead and covet if you want to.” No way, that wouldn’t even be sensible would it?
But now instead of having the Law and all of it’s pressures to do and not to do, the Holy Spirit guides us just like a young mother teaching her little one to walk. Just simply guiding that young one and letting him take that next step, well that the same way the Holy Spirit works in the life of the believer. So looking at verse 6 again.
“…that we should serve in newness of spirit, (through the leading and directing of the power of the Holy Spirit) and not in the oldness of the letter.” (which was the Law). And oh, what a difference that makes. Now back to Ephesians but let’s stop again in chapter 1. We were there a while ago, but I got side tracked, and back in verse 13.
“In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed,…
I had a letter again the other day that asked, “Do I have to work and work and work, and pray and pray and pray through to receive the Holy Spirit?” I can’t find that in my Bible, because it’s not in here. You don’t do anything to receive the Holy Spirit except believe the Gospel. That’s one of the automatic fringe benefits, as soon as you believe the Gospel the Holy Spirit comes in automatically. And that’s what Paul is saying here. Do you see that?
“…in whom also after that ye believed, (+ NOTHING) ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise.” And what is that Holy Spirit of promise? He’s God’s down payment.
“Which is the earnest of our inheritance until (there’s coming a time, month, day and year, where we’ll experience) the redemption of the purchased possession, (which is our body)unto the praise of his glory.”
Now remember our Soul and Spirit are already redeemed as soon as we believe. That’s a done deal! But the body is still in it’s old corrupt state, it’s still heading for death if the Lord doesn’t come in your life time. But remember it does die, and they lay it in the ground, yet it’s going to experience the day when it too will be redeemed when it’s resurrected. So this is what the Holy Spirit’s work is, to guarantee that even if we pass off the scene that God will one day resurrect this body, and as the Book of Philippians says shall change our vile body, that it may be like Christ’s glorious body.
Well the role of the Holy Spirit, I think is sometimes dangerously maligned, and sometimes taught falsely, and other times it’s neglected totally, and that’s just as bad. But rather we have to understand that the Holy Spirit has been part of our salvation, He’s indwelling us, and He is the one that reproves us, He is the One who takes the place of the Law. Now coming back to our text in Ephesians chapter 4, and looking at verse 30 again.
“And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
Stop and think a moment, once we’re redeemed physically, and once we have that new body, well I’ll show you from Scripture, I should have taken you there a few moment ago when I was quoting it. This is a Bible study so let’s just search the Scriptures. .We use these verses because they are so descriptive of what we’re looking for.
“:For our conversation (citizenship) is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: (at His coming, and when he does) 21. Who shall change our vile body, (this one we now have) that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body,…”
Now I think too many times people don’t really understand the impact of the transfiguration. Do you remember that great event up there on the Mount of Transfiguration when Peter, James, and John were up there with the Lord, when all of a sudden right before their eyes, the Lord was transfigured. In other words, He became glory, personified. Then here comes Moses and Elijah into the midst, and the amazing thing here is that Peter, James, and John didn’t have to ask the Lord who they were, because they knew.
Well what does all that tell us? Well it’s going to be same way when we get to glory, everybody we see regardless when they lived, we’re going to know them. But the thing I wanted you to see here, is how that the Lord Himself was transfigured with all of His glory for just that moment of time so we can look through a little window of what it’ll be like to be fashioned like His glorious body. People will ask sometimes, “Will we wear clothes in eternity? Who cares, we’re going to be covered with that kind of glory, and if clothes are part of the deal that’s fine, but I do know we’re going to be fashioned like unto His glorious body.