JohnSWilson3 Blog

“Be ye empowered in the Lord and in the might of the strength of him.” Part 4
April 30, 2011, 8:58 pm
Filed under: P Letter to the Ephesians

Intimately connected with what Paul says about receiving Christ from one another through one another, His salvation, His words, His life, Paul describes the importance of “all prayer.” Putting on Christ together, the whole armor of God, learning to live by His life, has everything to do with our relationship with Christ together, it is about abiding in Christ.

After leaving organized Christianity or the institutional church, however you want to describe it, I had to do some unlearning of a lot of things that were more of a hindrance to hearing Christ and living by His indwelling presence. Prayer is often made into a formula, a tradition, or something you do when you need something, which obviously is what Jesus warned against, but which, because of the “craftinesses of the devil” we make into a system, a religion and so we never really learn Christ. And let me say upfront, I’m still not their yet.

Paul mentioned to the church in Thessalonica to “rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not quench the Spirit; do not despise prophetic utterances. But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good, abstain from every form of evil.” Even in one of his earliest letters his thoughts about praying and its connection with the life of Christ is clear, not to mention to stand against “every form of evil.” The spiritual forces of evil and the world’s system is against Christ, it is anti-Christ. How important it is to have such a relationship with Christ with one another, to know Him as our life, to grow in our love for one another. How important it is to give and receive His life together! Prayer if it is anything at all is a mutually shared life with Christ. We hear Him together, we share what He says with one another, we receive what He says. With faith and love we receive Him from one another and we give Him to each other. He speaks to us and we speak to Him. He shares His life with us and receive His life from Him.

Perhaps the point that Paul brings up is that as we so live by Christ’s life, whenever the evil one attempts to thwart His life in the body this is where we not only pray unceasingly, but with “by means of all prayer and petition, praying at every time in spirit, and to it watching in all perseverance and petition concerning all the saints.” There is a real sense of urgency. God’s eternal purpose is wrapped up in His Son and His bride. The accuser wants nothing more than to make the bride think she is a harlot, someone condemned and shameful, to try and separate her from the life of the Bridegroom. “The craftinesses of the devil” will be such as to do everything to try and steal, kill, and destroy the life of Christ within His body. How easily we allow the devil to do so! We are not very watchful. We have not so learned Christ.

Let us continue to so abide in Christ and live by His life with one another, loving one another by faith, that whenever there is something that comes up that is not love, not grace, not of faith, we can immediately say that is not Christ and “keep seeking the things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God” to set our “mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.” That’s how we “put on the whole armour of God,” how we “stand against the craftinesses of the devil,” how we “resist in the evil day.” Christ is the full armor of God, He is our armor, our life, love and faith are the battlefield. Christ has said it is already finished! The battle is the Lord’s not ours!

Everything against us “He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.” Not only has He taken away our flesh and we are now new creations but on that cross “He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him.” In Christ, in His life, in His strength, the evil one has no power! Not only has He taken away our flesh and taken away the power of the evil one but on that cross we “died with Christ to the elementary principles of the world” so as we live by Christ’s life we are given His strength to resist living according to this world.

As we live by the life of Christ together in faith and love we will learn Christ together, we will be given spiritual sight, we will see Christ with a new set of eyes, spiritual eyes, and we will know Christ better. We will begin to “know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe.” We will no longer see our flesh, the world, or the spiritual forces of evil in the same way. They will be seen as dead and impotent. The life of Christ is the real life and as we live by His life together His life is experienced. Do we really know “the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe?” I believe we will not except as we live organically by His life together. How many Christians have for too long been taken by the “craftinesses of the devil?” How many Christians really know what it means to hear Christ, to be taught by Him and so learn Christ together? How we need spiritual sight to learn Christ together.

“His power toward us who believe” is “in accordance with the working of the strength of His might which He brought about in Christ when He raised Him from the dead, and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age, but also in the one to come. And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fulness of Him who fills all in all.” Let us live Christ’s life together and so “be empowered in the Lord and in the might of the strength of him.”


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Comment by Jesus Turner

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