Daily Devotional – Ephesians 4:30 Part I

Logos.com

EPHESIANS 4 

GRIEVING THE HOLY SPIRIT 


CONTEXT 

Most modern bibles have some sort of heading like Unity of the Spirit (AMP, Unity, and Diversity in the Body of Christ (CSB) or Unity in the Body of Christ (ESV) at the beginning of Chapter Four. While these can be helpful, as a general theme they are not theologically complete.  My simple break down of Ephesians 4 looks like this:

      • v.1–6  Paul urges his readers to live according to the calling they have received as believers 
      • v. 4:7–32 Paul shifts focus to the new life believers have in Christ
        • v.7-16 Using spiritual gifts and graces from God
        • v. 17-24 To live pure and holy lives
        • v. 25-32 Always being weary of worldly lies and sins

Our text today is v.30 above and we will look at only the first part of the text since it is packed with so much good theological stuff.


BREAKDOWN

v. 30a (KJV) And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, 

Paul says  do not give, the Greek word is lypeite, which means to “cause grief,” or “make sorrowful.”  Why is that so important and what are its biblical and theological implications for Christians? 

First, some more CONTEXT, what is Paul speaking about when he mentions grieving the Holy Spirit. Look at v.29 and v.31, it seems reasonably clear that he is saying our words our actions done in a manner that are not edifying to ourselves and glorifying to God make the Holy Spirit Sorrowful. 

Whenever we digress and sin, whether it be by commission or omission, the Holy Spirit is grieved in accordance with His deity. He is God, the third person of the trinity, but most importantly the indwelling spirit in every true believer. Now consider the God can not dwell with evil, Psalm 5:4 and you can see the conflict and sorrow brought upon the Holy Spirit every time we sin. 

God’s Spirit is especially sensitive to sin because of His close relationship with us, those who have been saved and defined as the Lord’s holy people (1 Peter 1:13–16). The Spirit seals us “for the day of redemption” (Eph. 4:30; see 1:13–14) — He dwells within us when we trust in Christ Jesus, marking us as the people of God who will be spared divine wrath on judgment day. By the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit, we are increasingly conformed to our Savior’s image, and a return to a pattern of life wholly dominated by sin is impossible for all those whom the Spirit has sealed (Rom. 8:29–30). Still, even Christians may fall into significant sin, which grieves the Spirit, introducing a distance between Him and us. – Grieving the Holy Spirit 

The grieving of the Holy Spirit has four main theological ideas for me:

All men even those saved “Christians” are capable of sin – this is clearly being addressed to believers no one can or should question that

It proves God cares about us only a caring and merciful God would grieve when we do wrong

It validates our eternal life Paul never says sin and you are done for, in fact as we will discuss tomorrow the opposite

It motivates us to live a Holy life – Just because we know we are redeemed and have no fear of losing the SpiritRomans 8:37–39, this is not a license to sin, in fact, the opposite is true. ALL TRUE Christians we despise sin and want to, no more than that have a deep-rooted desire to live a Holy life. 


APPLICATION

Modern evangelicals seem to have forgotten that the Holy Spirit’s primary role is to  “convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment”  John 16:8.  Yes, He is also a helper, comforter, and guide to all believers John 14:16 but the conviction of sin in all mankind is the primary mission. 

We have shown today that all men are capable of sin and that all men grieve the Holy Spirit by that sin.  God expects us and we should if truly saved want to immediately confess our sins. So please join me in prayer:

Matthew Henry's Method for Prayer

The offense which by sin
I have given to the Holy God

I have grieved the Holy Spirit of God, by whom I was sealed for the day of redemption. Ephesians 4:30(ESV)

By breaking the law I have dishonored God, Romans 2:23(ESV) and given bitter provocation Hosea 12:14(ESV) to the Holy One of Israel. Isaiah 1:4(ESV) And many a thing that I have done has displeased the Lord. 2 Samuel 11:27(ESV)

God has been broken over my whoring heart and my eyes that have gone whoring after my idols. Ezekiel 6:9(ESV)

I have put him to the test, and to the proof, and grieved him in the wilderness; Psalm 95:9-10(ESV) have rebelled, and grieved his Holy SpiritIsaiah 63:10(ESV) and pressed him down with my iniquities, as a cart full of sheaves presses down. Amos 2:13(ESV)


OTHER RESOURCES

Alexander Maclaren_ Grieve the Spirit

 

Daily Devotional – Keeping Ourselves

August Gate Church on Twitter: ""...keep yourselves in the love of ...

AMP and RVR 1960

 


BREAKDOWN:

The book or Epistle (letter) of Jude written by the brother of James addresses many of the heresies (false teachings) going on and points out the truth in Christ Jesus.

The first 16 verses are a warning about these false teachers and their treachery. In the remaining verses 17-25 Jude urges the church to be steadfast in the love of Christ Jesus. 

 


Breakdown:

Keep yourselves –  Not a command in the biblical sense of “Thou shall…” but a command to born again believers nonetheless. We are to “Keep” here meaning to tend to as in the Garden of Eden, to take care of, to preserve ourselves from all unrighteousness noted in verses 1-16

 in the love of God, – How; not in or by our own power but by remaining steadfast in God’s love. As we noted in yesterday’s devotional this can only be accomplished by knowing God and walking in His light. We are dependent upon the Power of God’s Love to see us through. 

looking for the mercy – When times get tough (and they always do) look for God’s mercy 

of our Lord Jesus Christ – if you need no other reminder think upon Christ and Calvary 

unto eternal life. – Who demonstrated a love so great that the day is coming when God’s complete mercy will be unleashed and fulfilled upon all His chosen in Glory. 

 


APPLICATION:

Times can be tough, things do not always go SMOOOTHLY. Yet for the true believer we have a promise of eternal glory that can never be taken away to be counted upon. Jude reminds us not to loose hope and Faith in that promise. 

Dread vs. Desire

Your Choice – Dreams or Nightmares Come True – Lift Up Your Eyes!

Lo que el impío teme, eso le vendrá;
Pero a los justos les será dado lo que desean. (RVR 1960)

CONTEXT: 

Unlike most books and chapters of the bible putting this one in context is hard because Chapter 10 is a collection of wise sayings of Solomon. Yet it does help to look at the preceding and following verse when we break it down:


v.23 To do evil is like sport to a fool, But a man of understanding has wisdom.

To do evil, that is to willfully commit sin. For anyone to do so shows the wickedness of their heart, their complete and utter depravity and their true desires. 

a man of understanding, is described in Job’s discourse on the matter 28:20-28 he closes with ‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, And to depart from evil is understanding.’  In other words to avoid evil (sin), and not to do it, that is true wisdom.

v.24 The fear of the wicked will come upon him, And the desire of the righteous will be granted.

The fear of the wicked, what is it that the wicked can fear (many translation render this Dread) ? Although most sinners (wicked people as applied here) those doing evil against the Holy God, think they are all good, deep down their conscience betrays them in the end. Their greatest fear is the evil they have bestowed being brought down on them even more so. They fear they will be brought down from their roost, their places of self imposed power. 

the desire of the righteous, this is not some fanciful desire, some worldly desire that modern day, name it and claim it or prosperity gospel charlatans expound. Instead of claiming they are blessed a righteous man cries out for God’s blessings daily. This is the desire of a man of understanding who has wisdom. A desire born from a man who delights themselves in reverential fear of Yahweh, the God of the Holy Bible. You cannot be righteous if you desire anything above God.

v.25 When the whirlwind passes by, the wicked is no more, But the righteous has an everlasting foundation.

When the whirlwind passes by, the wicked is no more, a whirlwind or twister passes by quickly and with great power, destroying most everything in its path. (I know I live in a prime tornado alley areas of the South) As fast as a evil sinner rises to power and mischief the quicker and usually harder their fall. Their greatest fears realized.

the righteous has an everlasting foundation. As many of you know one of my ministries if Church Building so I know the foundation of any building project is key to its success. It needs to be built upon solid ground. Jesus used the example of building upon solid rock Matthew 7:24-25. That foundation is God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. It is the foundation of Salvation and Eternal Life that we read in Paul’s First letter to the Corinthians in which he writes For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. (3:11). 

CONCLUSION: 

Apart from a solid foundation in Christ man will always do evil by resorting to his fallen sinful nature. Sinful man will always Fear or Dread the consequences of his actions because he lives without hope or righteous desire. A righteous man, one who has understanding and wisdom will always Desire the will of God in for their lives and shun evil at every turn. 

The question is are you living a life of Dread or Desire?

 

God, who Gives us the Victory

One of my morning devotionals included 1 Corinthians 15:55-57. With so many Psalm 51:worldwide sick and dying from COVID-19 I thought it an appropriate subject for today’s devotional. – Mike 

Arlington National Cemetery expansion gets county okay ...
Arlington National Cemetery

If you have never been and visited Arlington National Cemetery it is a sobering and solemn trip worth taking.  The men and women interned there gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms, they understood the Sting of Death, so that America could have a Victory. 

The question is, are they and we a part of the Greatest Victory ever; the one that defeated Death Eternal. 

1 Corinthians 15:55–57 - Graphics for the Church

¿Dónde está, oh muerte, tu aguijón? ¿Dónde, oh sepulcro, tu victoria? 56 ya que el aguijón de la muerte es el pecado, y el poder del pecado, la ley. 57 Mas gracias sean dadas a Dios, que nos da la victoria por medio de nuestro Señor Jesucristo. (RVR 1960) 
CONTEXT:

We all know or at should know and understand that mankind is born with a sin nature (Psalm 51:5). That God is righteous and as such could not tolerate eternity with sinful people (even His chosen) so the only just thing was death  Romans 6:23. 

If you are a truly converted, fully repented, Born again believer who as Christ not only as savior but LORD of your life, then you should also know and feel reassured that eternal life is yours John 3:36, 1 John 5:11–13.

1st Corinthians was written by the Apostle Paul to set some things straight that had gone astray in the church at Corinth. The church was immature (young) and was in danger of falling away into false teachings and doctrines.

Chapter 15

is all about understand the Resurrection of Christ Jesus. Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary breaks it down this way:

The apostle proves the resurrection of Christ from the dead. (1-11) Those answered who deny the resurrection of the body. (12-19) The resurrection of believers to eternal life. (20-34) Objections against it answered. (35-50) The mystery of the change that will be made on those living at Christ’s second coming. (51-54) The believer’s triumph over death and the grave, An exhortation to diligence. (55-58)

v.55 “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”

What is it that a true believer has to fear about death? Death is little more than a bee sting. He who ruled the fleshly world (Satan) has himself been conquered. We should all have the attitude of Paul, I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is oto depart and pbe with Christ, for that is far better. (Philippians 1:23). I am not saying we should wish for death but absent from the body and present with the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:8) is not a bad option. 

v.56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 

The only way death can sting us is through sin. The only way we understand the power, guilt and depth of our transgressions against god is the Law.  It amazes me today that mankind seems to want nothing to do with Christian-Judaeo values or morals they would rather live in a world of all out chaos and despair.  WARNING, watch what you wish for. 

v.57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Amen and Amen; this Victory is all from God and has nothing to do with us. God gives the Victory, that death and hell had targeted for us (True Believers), through Christ alone 1 Timothy 2:5.

CONCLUSION:

Believers should praise God daily for the Victory over Death. We should be living our lives in a manner of gratitude that reflects our awe and reverence for the Greatest Sacrifice ever made; the one made by Christ at Calvary for you and me. That life should be one ready to me death head on but wanting to share life for the Glory of God. 

Wages of Sin

The Book of Romans is often described as an explanation of the Old Testament in the Light of Christ. The Gospel and the Righteousness of God are its main themes. In an effort to make clear these themes man’s sin nature is clearly expressed throughout. Probably the most famous or oft quoted is Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned…”

That leaves a conundrum, for a Righteous God can not have sinful servants running around they must be punished. What is the penalty for this sinfulness? 

23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 6:23

Reina-Valera 1960 (RVR1960)

Porque la paga del pecado es muerte, mas la dádiva de Dios es vida eterna en Cristo Jesús Señor nuestro.

Note that God is not such a “hardcase” that He leaves no man with no way out. There is an escape from Eternal Damnation, it is called Salvation in Christ alone, through Faith in Him Alone to the Glory of God Alone. 

Is the Holy Spirit tugging on your heart strings? Answer God’s call Repent of your sins and make Christ not only the savior of your life but Lord of your life today. 

 

Daily Devotion – God’s Love Never Fails

Image result for 2 Corinthians 4:8-9

2 Corinthians 4:8-9

We are pressured in every way [hedged in], but not crushed; perplexed [unsure of finding a way out], but not driven to despair; 9 hunted down and persecuted, but not deserted [to stand alone]; struck down, but never destroyed; (AMP)

que estamos atribulados en todo, mas no angustiados; en apuros, mas no esesperados; 9 perseguidos, mas no desamparados; derribados, pero no destruidos; (RVR 1960)

As always we need to start with some context. Paul in writing a second time to the church at Corinth begins this part of his letter, Chapter 4:1-6 with a continuation of the previous chapter. He makes it abundantly clear that he and his fellow laborers preach Christ and Christ alone. It is not now nor will it ever be about himself. 

I consider verse 7 a set up verse. To use a baseball analogy, a pitcher will use one pitch to set up another to get a strike out. Here Paul uses the content of v.7 to set up our main text for today. He says v.7: But we have this precious treasure [the good news about salvation] in [unworthy] earthen vessels [of human frailty], so that the grandeur and surpassing greatness of the power will be [shown to be] from God [His sufficiency] and not from ourselves. The message of Christ alone must be delivered in and by this frail human body so that the power and glory of God may be manifested to all. So what does that mean for us, simple put our frailties mean we will at times suffer. But through it all God is there with us. Which brings us to our main text: 

We are pressured in every way [hedged in], but not crushed: In the Greek it says “being pressed hard” which is different from totally or completely crushed. We will experience times in our lives when things just seem to being in total chaos, but know that God is there. 

perplexed [unsure of finding a way out], but not driven to despair: We have all been there, a point in our lives when we stop and say how in the world did I get here? Then we ask the question how can I get out of this mess I am in? Note what Paul says here that no matter the circumstance, no matter the depth of the mess God has a way out and we are not {to be} driven to despair.

hunted down and persecuted, but not deserted [to stand alone]: Jesus made it clear Matthew 5:10, Luke 6:22, Mark 10:29-30 that true believers and Gospel workers would endure persecution. Does that mean everyone will be hunted down, jailed, beaten, etc. No of course not, everyone will experience different levels of hate and evil against them but all who are truly working for God’s Glory Alone (Sola Deo Gloriawill undergo some persecution. If not they are probably not working for the right king or kingdom. 

The second part of this phrase is critical to our Faith as Christians. Paul under inspiration of the Holy Spirit writes but not deserted that is we never have [to stand alone]. Again the bible makes it clear that God will never leave us or forsake us in times of trouble Deuteronomy 31:8, Matthew 28:20, Philippians 4:6-7Hebrews 13:6. 

God’s Love Never Fails and he is always there for us. In fact Paul in writing to the Romans reminded them of the same thing Romans 8:35-39 asking Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Most answer no one and nothing. The correct answer is only ourselves and our unrepentant sin. 

struck down, but never destroyed: This one is a hard pill to swallow for some, how can a loving God allow some of His children to be struck down?  Again the Greek word here clearly means struck down as with a arrow in the hunt. Some of God’s Gospel workers will be persecuted unto death. BUT, praise God, they are never destroyed; for they may be gone from their earthly body but they are eternally with the Lord;Death 2 Corinthians 5:6-8  So then, being always filled with good courage and  confident hope, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord— for we walk by faith, not by sight [living our lives in a manner consistent with our confident belief in God’s promises]— 8 we are [as I was saying] of good courage and confident hope, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord.

In closing, we as believers must understand that persecution is coming and that God will always stand beside us. Our best defense is a strong offense, that is to be armed with the knowledge of the Word of God (Sola Scripura).

 

 

 

Can That Which is Dead Live?

Logos.com

After work yesterday I had a very somber conversation with a young (20 yr old) man about life. He asked if I believed in Hell. I told Him I most certainly did, in fact I was assured that there was a place of torment (Hell) that those whom refused God effectual call would spend eternity. This did not make him very cheery as you can imagine. I then said but the “Good News” is for those who heed God’s effectual call and repent and make Christ Lord of their lives, eternal bliss awaits them (Heaven).

He asked the question I have been asked so many times over the past 20+ years “how can you be so sure”? I always respond the same way, it is not about me it is about God. Let me explain. (This will be a repeat for many)

I told him of what really changed me form that guy who thought in his mind their was  a God out there to one who was convince that same God was sovereign. Back in 1998 I read three things in succession first was John MacArthur’s 74 page book Why One Way Is it arrogant for Christians to declare that there is only one way to God? Is the exclusivity of Christ a barrier to cultural relevance? Can you really claim to know absolute truth? These were all questions I had and in Why One Way?, Pastor John MacArthur gave an accessible, concise apologetic answer for Christianity’s exclusive truth claims. In my words he said God was the sovereign ruler controller and creator of all things who was I to argue with Him. Who was I to demand to come to God on my terms. It was not about me, it could never be about me it had to be about God, he was sovereign not me. 

If you are like most folks and think you are basically “good” this line of thought just does not compute. It goes against everything we are being taught in the modern western world. Well the second thing I told my friend I read was a study on John 3:19 “And this is the verdict: The Light has come into the world, but men loved the darkness rather than the Light, because their deeds were evil”Berean Study Bible

I realized I liked the dark-side to much, I could relate to Darthvader more than Luke Skywalker. Once again it was not about me it was about God, only He could make a change in my heart for true repentance  I could only honor the life He had given me.

Here is a commentary I liked on the verse PRINCIPLE: Light is the absolute standard that man must face if he is to fellowship with God. APPLICATION: The difference between Christians and non-Christians does not rest in their guilt, it lies in their attitude toward Jesus. The non-Christian shrinks from Jesus as the light. By rejecting Christ, man shows his judgment is just. Alcibiades, the Athenian genius, told Socrates, “I hate you, for every time I meet you, you let me see what I am.” People react to Jesus the same way. He lays bare people for what they are.Darkness is the worldview of Satan. Light is God’s worldview or the means whereby He reveals Himself. Most men prefer to live under humanistic influence, which is satanic.When we turn on a light, the cockroaches scurry into the dark.

That brings us to the final thing I mentioned I had read that week that changed my life forever. It was not an easy read it was Jonathan Edwards, Sinners at the Hands of an Angry God. Edward’s words pierced my heart he made it clear God owed us nothing and we owed God everything and could repay Him nothing. All we could do was glorify and serve Him as He called us to do. Once again it was all about God and not ever about me. 

Bringing the conversation full circle I told him being so convinced of the sovereignty of God; and that since His Word clearly said there was a Heaven and Hell that I was convinced that they were real literal places for eternity to be spent. 

Commentary on Ezekiel 37:3

Do you A Sow?

Image result for Sowing the word of God

Let the one who is taught the word share all his good things with the teacher. Don’t be deceived: God is not mocked. For whatever a person sows he will also reap, because the one who sows to his flesh will reap destruction from the flesh, but the one who sows to the Spirit will reap eternal life from the Spirit. Let us not get tired of doing good, for we will reap at the proper time if we don’t give up. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us work for the good of all, especially for those who belong to the household of faith.  – – Galatians 6:6-10 (CSB)

It is clear here that Paul is writing to the church at Galatia and reminding them (v.6) not to forget their teachers needs). He warns them in verse 7 that God is well aware of their actions and will not be fooled or mocked by them. Further he goes on to say in verse 8 that if you call yourself a child of God and wish to reap eternal blessings then you need to give up the carnal ways of this life including cheating on tithing and giving to others. – Mike

Matthew Poole’s¹ Commentary  

Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. (v.7 KJV) 

Be not deceived; God is not mocked: this to terrify those who find out vain and false excuses to save their purses; he adviseth them not to cheat themselves, for though they might deceive men, yet they could not deceive the all-seeing and heart-searching God. 

For whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap; further to encourage them to this communicating, he mindeth them, that what they distributed in this nature, was no more lost than the seed is which the husbandman casteth into the ground; which in its season springs up, and returneth into the husbandman’s hand with increase. This metaphor of sowing is made use of also, Proverbs 11:18 2 Corinthians 9:6, to express men’s actions; and lets us know, that our actions, when done, are not done with; but as our bodies shall rise again, so what we have done in the flesh shall be revived and judged; whatsoever, either for quantity or for quality, men sow, the same shall they reap: as to quantity, he had said in 2 Corinthians 9:6, that he who soweth sparingly should reap sparingly, and he who soweth bountifully should reap bountifully: as to quality, he here further addeth:. {see Galatians 6:8} 

For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. (V.8 KJV)

For he that soweth to his flesh; he that layeth out his estate, or spendeth his time and talents, for the gratifying of the flesh;  

shall of the flesh reap corruption; shall or may reap some carnal satisfaction, of a corruptible, dying, perishing nature. 

But he that soweth to the Spirit; but he who layeth out his estate, or spendeth his time, strength, talents, whatsoever God hath given him, for the glory of God, in obedience to the commands, motions, and dictates of the Spirit, or the revelations of the Divine will; 

shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting; he shall not of merit, but of grace from the Spirit, reap everlasting life, reward, and satisfaction. So that as in the world, that man doth not suffer loss that layeth out his money, time, or strength about good things of a valuable and enduring nature; but he only who layeth them out about things perishing, and transitory, and of a corruptible nature: so that man shall not lose his estate that layeth it out for the maintenance of the gospel, and upholding the ministry of it; for he soweth to the Spirit, and shall thereof reap eternal life and salvation: he only loseth his estate, &c., who spendeth it to gratify his lusts, and please his flesh, for all the return which he shall have, will be in poor, sensible, perishing good things, which perish with the using, and will be of no significancy to him beyond this life. 

¹Matthew Poole who is he? Well, C. H. Spurgeon said of Poole’s commentary: “If I must have only one commentary, and had read Matthew Henry as I have, I do not know but what I should choose Poole. He is a very prudent and judicious commentator… not so pithy and witty by far as Matthew Henry, but he is perhaps more accurate, less a commentator, and more an expositor.” Considered one of the great Puritans, few names will stand so high as Poole’s in the Biblical scholarship of Great Britain. Source