Ephesians 2:1, “And He has made you alive, who were once dead in trespasses and sins, 2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience; 3 among whom we also had our way of life in times past, in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the thoughts, and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. 4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love with which He loved us 5 (even when we were dead in sins) has made us alive together with Christ (by grace you are saved), 6 and has raised us up together and made us sit together in the heavenlies in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you are saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to good works, which God has before ordained that we should walk in them. “
Ephesians 2 is one the important “Grace” passages in the New Testament. The Apostle Paul speaking to the Church of Ephesus that we as believers do not have to strive or work for our salvation, but that it is free. By God’s grace to us, we are freely given salvation by our confession.
It states that God in His love and mercy, has made us alive together with Christ and made us to sit together with Him in the heaven, so that He may show us the exceeding riches of His grace toward us. In the Greek, the Apostle Paul is saying that God roused us from death, He revived and awakened us together to be in union with Christ in the heavenly realms where there is happiness, healing, and power. And when he speaks of age to come, it means the present future. In other words, now, and in the near and far future. Not as some think, at the total end of the age.
And all of this is through faith. It was not something that we could conjure up, but is freely given.
God made us alive. Being alive, in this statement is He made us new. Before we were children of wrath and darkness; now we are the children of the light. We are a new creation. We are not like we were. “Except a man be born again…….” Being born again is being born like a first born.
2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, and see, the new has come!”
So we are not to be the same anymore. We may look the same, but I have even seen a physical change in people, but everything inside us should change, and that which comes out of us should change too. Our speech, and our actions.
The Apostle Paul goes on to say because we are now alive, because we are a new creation, because we are now in Christ, God has made us to sit together with Christ in the heavenlies. Being in the heavenlies, means that our disposition for life is now with heavenly spirit, thought, and action.
So leading us into verse 8 of Ephesians chapter two, the Apostle Paul states that by Grace you have been saved, and not of yourself now invokes a huge connotation.
We who are now alive in Christ, who now a new creation, who are now seated in the heavenlies in Christ, because of the Grace of God, do not have to do anything physically to operate in that salvation.
When we accepted Christ as our Savior, we moved from one life, the physical life we lived in this world that is Satan’s, to a new life that opened us up to the Spiritual, and Supernatural world of Heaven, the domain of God. And it is a free gift.
Now yes there is a spiritual component to Satan’s world. We were basically controlled by it. But in Christ, that world should have been broken off, and the new world or new life in the heavenly realm should be our life now. We are not citizens of earth, but of heaven.
The issue with us, is moving from the physical life that most of us lives in, into the spiritual life in Christ. Now I can get into all the spiritual darkness stuff of our past, but I’m not tonight. I am going to concentrating the Believer’s new life in Christ. The realm that we are in now. The real realm we should have been born into.
We can read that the Apostle Paul was always pointing to Christ in his writings, and pointing to the life that we should be living in Christ. That life we should be living should be the exact opposite of our prior life, even if we were really nice people. Because the new life in Christ should far exceed any life we would have had prior. And to tell you the truth, if you have been in Christ say for even 5 years, your life today should be far above what your life was then. If not, there is an issue of trust, and faith that you have with Jesus.
A true life in Christ living in the supernatural realm of heaven should be so off the charts from a prior life, that we would forget that life because of the new possibilities we have in Christ every day.
As believers I see a numbness, because of circumstance that we seem to be in the middle of. And those circumstances have focused us on things that we should have left back in the prior life. Even if we have grown up in the church, if we are bogged down with junk, it unfortunately shows our lack of understanding of the teachings of Jesus.
We should be the overcomers. We overcome, and overcome, and overcome, and nothing should ever really be in our way. Yes, we hit speed bumps, but just like a speed bump, we should drive right over, yes slowly, but we get over and move on. Again it is about faith and trust.
I seem to be ringing the bell here lately about faith, and belief in the promises of God.
He is saying that if we are to be examples, for Him, expressing His Kingdom so people will know that He is there, He is real, and alive, and wants them restored for relationship, we must believe in what He says. What He has said for thousands of years through His prophets, His one and Only Son, Jesus, and even through the Apostles and writers of the New Testament.
God says, this is My Word to my creation. Believe Me! Believe Me! Believe my Word!
This church and others like it seek to know and walk in the power of God to heal the sick, to perform other miracles, but we have yet to comprehend the power of God’s Word. I haven’t, I am scratching the surface, I’m being real here. That’s probably why I am preaching this.
Look at God. Do you think He had to put a bunch of effort in at Creation? Did He grunt and strain and think, “I don’t know if I can do this?” “There is so much to this creation thing.” No!
He breathed His Word, and it was done. “In the beginning, God!” “Huhhhhh!” Bang! Done!
Everything about God is His Word. Everything is held up by His Word. His Word is His character. His Word is Eternal Perfection at a point that we cannot comprehend in our fallen state.
But, His Word is fully available to us if we want it. By Grace, we can breathe it out too, with the power of heaven behind it.
God never changes, He exists in everything, and He is always available, the issue is, we aren’t.
We seem to be always changing from this to that, we are generally all about ourselves, and we are only available if we care to be. But it doesn’t have to be that way if you really think of it. When God sent His Son, He opened the door for us to not be that way.
We can be constant, through our prayers in faith we can be centered, and have God given focus, and we can be available. We were created to live in the heavenly realm, and because of grace, and the mercy of God in Christ, all of the luxuries and life that goes with it is available to us.
Because God is God, He could have changed things, but He didn’t. He sticks to His Word. He could have changed us. He could have caused us to not sin. Some would think, “That would be awesome!” But He did not do that. If He did, our free will would have been erased. God would have then went back on His Word, and He can’t do that. It is not in His nature. But through Christ, He opened a door for us to move back into His Word, and His promises, and covenants.
It is up to us to believe in that. Believe in Him. Believe that what He said is truth.
And to believe in that truth, I believe we must first shake off everything that hinders us. Everything that gets in the way, that clouds our minds, that may keep us from not believing.
Hebrews 12:1, “let us lay aside every hindrance and the sin that so easily ensnares us. Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us,
What hinders us? Who hinders us? What sin hinders us? We need to move away from all those things. We know what and who they are. It may hurt to move away from some of those things, people, but who are we trying to please? What will be our gain?
Isaiah 59:2, “But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, And your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear.”
Ouch! I believe this verse. I believe when I am lazy in the things of God, lazy in my mind, listening, and watching, and thinking on things that are not healthy, it’s like being in a relationship, you become distant, and communication is limited. It hinders the relationship, and we become dull.
When we are dull to the things of God, and we are focusing on the ideals of this world, do you really think that line of communication is wide open to God? Some will say yes. This verse says no. This is God speaking here through the Prophet. We don’t like hearing things like this, but the Word of God is full of things like this that we really need to take note of. I would tend to believe the Words of God, other than some teacher or so called Theologian discounting or twisting scripture to make it more palatable to themselves and people about their sins.
God hates sin period. We need to believe what He says about it, and He says a lot about it if we like it or not. Many people in the church are going to Hell because they didn’t believe what God said.
Yes, God still loves us when we sin. That will not change. But willful disobedience does change things. Concerning what Isaiah said, if my daughter willfully disobeyed me, she got a time out. Why wouldn’t God do the same to get us listen to Him!
Yes, we have grace, but there are consequences to our sin. But praise be to God, because of His grace, mercy and love for us, we can go to the throne of Grace. Confess, Repent, and turn to God and be restored because of what Jesus did on the Cross for us. Amen!
We have to break free, and the only way to break free is through our Jesus. I personally have to break free. I may be your pastor, but am human and a man, and at times I do not feel human or like a man.
The frustrations of this world. How I think, my actions at times. I can be so Christian, and so totally the opposite I think. I cry out to God to heal me all the time. I cry out that He would just burn me to a pulp and rid me of myself. I have probably said this before, but this past year has been really hard. It was easy hiding behind other people, but now I can’t hide anymore.
And it’s good, but because I want to see heaven here! Here in this room! Heaven when I walk out in the street! Heaven all over Kenosha, and in the other churches in Kenosha, God is exposing me to myself. He is exposing me to all of my utter weaknesses. To my sin, my arrogance, my anger, to all of the ancestral crap attached to me.
Yes, I said crap? That’s how I feel right now. When I was a kid I got my mouth washed out with soap saying that word because it was just like cussing. My mom would say, why don’t you just say the word. So I would, then get my butt whooped along with having Irish Spring soap stuffed in the mouth. But anyway….
I’m reaching back to remove all hindrances. Anything that I have that has it hooks in me. Currently, anything I am doing that comes against the heart of God. Then looking back ancestrally. I hope you can relate.
Ancestrally, my family on my dad’s side were Mobsters and Farmers, who were drunken, gluttonous, womanizing, fighting, angry perverts. The men and the women. I probably could say even more, but that kind a spells it out. On my mom’s side. Religious angry fighting ornery drunks. Some of you can say yes, that is some of my family too. Very few say, I grew up in a solid Christian family. So rare. So Sad!
So I pray to break all of those curses, to break them off of me and my family. No hindrances. Total freedom. It can be had! We pray God’s Word over ourselves, and if needed have others pray over us to break the curse. To be free in Christ.
Moses spoke about the curses of the generations when he prayed to God about them.
Numbers 14:17, “ And now, I beseech You, let the power of my Lord be great, according as You have spoken, saying, 18 Jehovah is long-suffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the sons to the third and fourth generation. 19 I beseech You, pardon the iniquity of this people according to the greatness of Your mercy, and as You have forgiven this people from Egypt even until now.”
I believe the church has forgotten about ancestral sin, and people in the church struggle with it. You can see how booze seems to attack generations of family, as well as so many other issues.
God wants us free. So like Moses we pray. God also loves to forgive the repentant heart, and through repentance and humility we are restored, reawakened, and heard.
As I move out of my hindrances I then must have my mind renewed in the Words of God. King David said, “Thy Word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against thee.” Psalms 119:11
I must be in the Word, I must consume it so that the Words therein, the promises and decrees are implanted in my being to the point that I am one with them. But the most important above all, is my relationship with God Himself. To know His Words internally, I must know Him. That is what He is so interested in us today. He yearns that we know Him so His Words will have power and affect in us.
I truly believe Psalms 37:29, “The righteous will inherit the land And dwell in it forever.”
It is a promise.
Righteousness comes from God. He sets the standard and He speaks the proclamation of it over us. And when that proclamation is released in the Spirit, we know through the Holy Spirit beyond a shadow of a doubt that we are pleasing God. Our Father does not leave us hanging.
That pleasure comes from knowing Him at such a state that to sin against Him would be like shooting ourselves in the heart.
In our hearts it would be like having to re-crucify Christ for our sins all over again because it is such like death to us.
And I know we want to be in that place. I truly believe that those who are running to God, who want His presence, who want everything they can get to live a Holy life, to live a life acceptable to Him, giving Him honor even in our sleep, want to cleansed and holy from our sin.
Yes, it is a process, but our relationship with God is what moves us to wholeness of heart and peace of mind.
But it all comes down to, do we believe His Word. And not just part of it. But all of it. Man has tried to pick and choose since it has been written down, but for us to be truly whole in Christ, and for us to truly represent heaven on this earth, we must believe in it all. Every jot and tittle.
We must believe that we can receive revelation directly from the Holy Spirit who was given to answer questions and empower us that we will not only understand the Word, but do the Word.
When we believe God’s Word is true, our words will be true, and we will be true to our words because God is always faithful to His Word.
We will not doubt. We will do. If we believe in God’s Words, when the Spirit leads us to do, we will with no doubt do it, because we have knowledge of the truth. The truth has set us free. That truth is the faithfulness of God.
God does not go back on His Word.
We have to grasp that. We have to believe that. We have to walk in faith ourselves to be faithful to God. Our God is faithful because that is His nature. We must through faith, make that our nature. Our faith is His faith. We rest on His faith. His faith is His Word. He cannot go back on His Word. If we understand that, we can boldly go before the throne, and say, God you said. It is not on us, its on Him.
And concerning the things that are on this earth, that we have dominion over as gate keepers, we have the responsibility to bring things up to God so He will act on our behalf for the things on earth.
That is why it is so important for us to know the Word of God, and know the God of the Word.
That is why we must toss off hindrances and the thought patterns of this world that try to get us to conform to it, to move into the patterns and the processes of heaven through God and His Word so we can devastate the worldly processes and bring supernatural light to those around us.
If we are to see the manifestations of the Spirit today in ways that are far greater than we have seen in the past, we must get our lives in order, and believe in God’s Words. We must then speak those Words in faith and blow everything up for God.
We cannot fathom nor do we realize the immeasurable power that is at our disposal, but only Holy people can wield that power. Holy people are not prideful; God will not release His power on people with pride. He gives power to the humble, the meek in heart, who just want to give Him glory, and see restoration.
When we humble ourselves and immerse ourselves in God and His Word, He is going to act. He just waiting for us. He wants to pour out His Glory on us. And if you believe His Word, He is going to pour it out on the end times church. But only a remnant of the church who have set themselves apart to God.
We know what the Prophet Joel said about the next outpouring, and we also know that the Spirit of Elijah will be evident in those days.
It is my prayer that we put on the mantle of the Lord because we are immersed in Him and His Word, to walk with a mantle of Glory, to reshape our culture. Mike Bickle said that only 2% of the church is active in really shaping the culture.
Well I don’t know about you, but I want to be a part of that 2%. Because that 2% can cause an awakening with such power that it can last 7 generations if the Lord tarries.
But again it is up to us to believe and be that 2%. But do you believe? Do you believe that you can heal the sick, cast out demons, set the captives free, or even raise the dead? Will you take up your God given destiny to possibly be an Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Pastor, or Teacher, or take on you the Gifts of the Spirit and alter the current and next generation for Christ? Will you?
You can if you believe………….