Wednesday, February 11, 2015

All Things Under His Feet

All Things Under His Feet-Sermon Notes
Liberty Law School Chapel
Ephesians 1:15-2:6
February 11, 2015

***Sorry about the ridiculous formatting. I have never quite figured out how to paste documents from Word without them going wiggy. This one is too long to spend a bunch of typing fixing it all. Hope you enjoy it anyway.***

            In the passage I just read, the Apostle prays for the Ephesians for their understanding to be enlightened to know the hope of their calling in Jesus Christ and the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints.
            This is my prayer for you.

            Eph. 1:15   Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints,  16 Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; 

Paul’s Prayer for the Ephesians-My Prayer for You
          17 That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:  18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, 

There are four things he prays.
1.    Be wise in Jesus Christ- Further down in chapter 3, he prays that they would be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth and length and depth and height of Jesus Christ. If you know Jesus this way and are growing in Jesus this way, then you are growing wise.

It is good if you know Jesus as your personal savior but Paul is arguing for something much more grand in this letter. He is arguing that Jesus is the quite literally the center of the universe. He is the One around whom everything revolves.

When we were little the safe answer to all the Sunday school questions was Jesus. It turns out to be exactly true.

2. Hear the revelation concerning Jesus- He calls us to be wise in Jesus but that wisdom comes a particular way, through revelation. God has revealed His Son and we are to pay attention to that Revelation. Revelation is not something hidden. Revelation is something declared. Paul is laying out the facts about Jesus and we culpable if we do not get them.

3. What is the hope of His calling? The hope of the calling of Jesus is nothing less than bringing the world into submission to Christ. Paul tells us clearly that Jesus is exalted to the right hand of the Father and is ruling over Heaven and Earth from that location. So, the hope of the calling of Jesus is that He will rule until all His enemies are subdued.

4. Riches of glory in the His inheritance in the saints. What are these riches of glory? That we are exalted with the exalted Jesus. This is a truth that is largely lost in the modern evangelical church. The Ascension of Christ means that Christ is King over all the Earth. And the Apostle tells us that we, God’s people, ascended with Jesus to the throne of power. Our riches of glory is that the saints are inheritors of the whole earth.

19 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, 
I want you to know the exceeding greatness of His power towards believers. This is nothing less than His mighty power working in you to accomplish the rule of the kingdom of God on the Earth.

20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, 
Where is Jesus? Is He in your heart?

Jesus is at the right hand of the Father- It is a place because Jesus has a body. The Incarnation and subsequent Resurrection from the dead gives great meaning to life on this Earth. The ultimate state of mankind is not getting out of the body and up to a spiritual Heaven. The ultimate state of mankind is overcoming death by Resurrection and living with Jesus, in a Resurrected body forever.

There are two important doctrines of the church that have been largely forgotten amongst moderns. The first is the Incarnation, that the Son of God became man, and so continues to be God and man, one man with two natures.

The second is the doctrine of the Ascension. Jesus rose bodily to the place of rule and authority.
Because we no longer affirm these doctrines positively, we have grown into a spiritual religion where the best event is death and departing from this body. But that is not what the Bible teaches. Christians ought not to fear death. To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. But death is an enemy. The death of the body is bad and something that needs to be fixed. The Resurrection will do that. This gives great meaning to the work that we do on the Earth, in the body. God is going to remake all of this and then we get to laugh at death as His will is done here on Earth as it is in Heaven.

It is God’s plan to remake His creation. This began in the Incarnation and will be fully consummated at the final Resurrection.

With this in mind, we can better understand what God has commissioned us to do.
John 3: 16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
Now, either you believe this verse or you don’t. Who is the world that Jesus was sent to save? A few men, the select elect, the frozen chosen? That would not really be saving the world, would it? What if he saved a few souls from every country? Would that be saving the world? I think not but many of God’s people have settled for this.

But what if God, in Christ, chose to save an innumerable number of saints, from every tribe and tongue and nation? What if God desired that the knowledge of the Lord was as the water that covers the sea? What if Jesus asked of God and God granted Him the nations, as it says in the second Psalm? Would the Father refuse His Son? No, the Father would grant Him the heathen for His inheritance and the uttermost parts of the Earth for His own possession. And if the Father granted the Son the nations of the Earth, would that be saving the world? Well, yes, I think it would. Jesus did ask the Father for the nations and the Father gave them all to Him.

21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:  22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,
         Where is Jesus? Far above all principality and power and might and dominion and every name that is named not only in this world but also that which is to come. All things are under His feet. How many things? How many principalities? How many powers? How many dominions? How many great names? In which worlds? All. All things. All nations. All powers. All worlds. There is no currently ruling authority greater than the currently ruling Jesus.

         You may ask why these powers are not serving Jesus if He is their authority. The answer is simple. They are in rebellion.

Heb. 2:5   For unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak.  6 But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man, that thou visitest him?  7 Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands: 
8 Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him.  9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.
           All things ARE under Jesus but we do not yet see all things under Him. That is part of the job of His saints, His body. We must go as heralds of High King Jesus and call the rebellious to lay down their arms and make peace with the King. We call them to Kiss the Son, lest He be angry.
When we look at the powers today, governments, politicians, big media, big corporations, big banks, we wonder if the Kingdom of God is besieged. We doubt these great promises and we wonder if the Kingdom shall prevail. But we are not thinking or looking with the eyes of faith. We have not learned to think God’s thoughts after Him.

When the Father looks at all this tumult of resistance to Jesus and the attacks on His people, what does He do? Does God think His Kingdom is in danger? Does He ring His hands in Heaven and wish He could thwart the evil will of rebellious man? Is the Father getting ready to send Jesus from the last final and fatal assault from the devil and His minions?

Dear Saints, many of us in the Church have been taught to think this way but it is not Bible think. It is time to recalibrate. It is time for a paradigm shift.

Let me tell you what the Father does when ISIS rages. Let me tell you what the Father does when vain Presidents rail against His people. Let me tell what the Father does, when Kings and Presidents and Governments and agenda driven sexual perverts set themselves against God and against His people and take counsel together in strange alliances to break loose from God’s Law and God’s Christ.

Let me tell you what the Father does and let me encourage you to do the same.

He holds them in derision and He laughs. Yes, the Lord laughs. It is ironic laugh, God’s great comic tool. The kings gather like ants to assault the citadel of God and He laughs at them. Why? Because He has set His King on the Holy Hill of Zion.

He laughs at these attacks because Jesus is the King ruling over all things that are in subjection to Him. No weapon formed against Him shall stand. And the more they rage, the more ironic is their demise.

The gates of hell shall not prevail against the Church. The Church is an offensive weapon wielding the Word of God. Hell is not assailing the Church. The Church is assailing hell.

23 Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.
The church is the body of Jesus. Do you understand the implications of this? Jesus has all authority and you are His body for doing His work on the Earth. This means that you go out in the authority of Jesus Christ to fill His Earth with the knowledge of the Lord.

And that is your job as you go out and take dominion in the Earth. Do not take this lightly. Fulfill your calling with all the zeal of the saints of the Lord of Hosts.

And many of you will be in unique positions to wield power for good or ill. I trust that those gathered here desire to wield that power to advance the kingdom of God.

Do not underestimate the power that you have, whether working in business, or in the courts, in writing, in defending the weak, as counselors to politicians, or in some other legal capacity. You are being given a great responsibility. Do not refuse to be His man as you take dominion for Jesus Christ in the arena of Law.  

Do all that you do as unto the Lord and you will do well and the Lord will give you influence far beyond what you ever imagined. Be faithful in the little things. Don’t cut corners. Don’t play by the world’s rules. Go out as a dangerous emissary of Jesus.

Prov. 22:29 Do you see a man skillful in his work? He will bstand before kings; he will not stand before obscure men.

Eph. 2:1   And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;  2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:  3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
      How do you transform the world for Christ? You are true to Him in your calling. To whom much is given much is required. Do not shrink from this great responsibility.
You are all commissioned by Jesus Christ to be champions of justice, a cause that God is greatly concerned about.

Eph. 2:4   But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,  5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)  6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
     Earlier, I asked where Jesus was. Now I ask where you are. We are seated with Christ in the heavenlies.

Jesus Christ is ruling heaven and earth from heaven. He is doing so until all enemies are subdued beneath His feet. He is not hoping to rise to power. He has already risen in power to power. This is not a future event. It has occurred in real time and it is of paramount importance. The reign of Christ and of His saints means that the world will one day be fully in subjection to Jesus Christ. And I am not talking about post-Resurrection.

The Bible teaches that once the world is in subjection to Jesus, Jesus will then hand His Kingdom over to His Father. The last enemies that will be subdued are sin and death. But until those two enemies are finally subdued in the Resurrection, Jesus is busy bringing all men into subjection to Himself.

He does this by the peculiar means of the proclamation of the gospel. The gospel in short is that Jesus Christ is the ruler of all things and that men must submit to His rule and authority. The good news means that all who come to Him as suppliants are readily forgiven, granted a full pardon and are made His own brothers and sisters, heirs according to promise.

            The conclusion to the matter is that Jesus Christ really is Lord. He is not merely Lord of your heart and mine. He is that but He doesn’t stop there. He is Lord over all things. He is Lord of Heaven and Earth. He is Lord over the nations, including the United States, The United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, China, Chad, Chile, Russia, Romania and Rwanda, Syria, Samoa and Sudan. Where there is Earth, Jesus has stake His claim.
            And you all get to partake in the glory that is the rule of Jesus Christ. Because He is already enthroned in power, you who belong to Him go out to receive the riches of glory in the inheritance of the saints.
            This work is not easy. It is not done without suffering and sorrow. But suffering and sorrow are not mutually exclusive from God’s victory in Jesus Christ. Jesus despised not the shame of the cross but went willingly for the joy that was set before Him. That joy included the Resurrection and Ascension, from whence Jesus began the recreation of all things to the glory of the Father. So, we too, move forward, knowing there will be hardship, opposition, sorrow and even suffering. And yet we do so knowing that Jesus has already obtained the victory for us and has seated us with Him at the right hand of the Father. Glory be to God.

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