Eph 2:1 We were Dead pt3
Sep 26, 2021 // By:Dave // No Comment
Stage #3: “Fathers” – veteran mentors
John calls those who are in the third stage of spiritual development “fathers” (2:13a,14a). They are not merely “old men” (Christians for a long time); they are “fathers” – substantially mature Christians.
1John 2:12 I am writing to you, little children, because your sins have been forgiven you on account of His name.
13 I am writing to you, fathers, because you know Him who has been from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one. I have written to you, children, because you know the Father.
14 I have written to you, fathers, because you know Him who has been from the beginning. I have written to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God remains in you, and you have overcome the evil one.
Just as “young men” continue to live on the foundation they laid as “children,”
so “fathers” continue in the battle against the evil one. But their years of relating to God,
His track-record of faithfulness, and their experience in the battle make them seasoned leaders and mentors (“fathers”) for others in the church.
His track-record of faithfulness, and their experience in the battle
(He/She stands on the foundations of the first two stages)
John assures them of what the Gnostics were denying – that they “know (gnosko) Him who has been from the beginning.” The Father and Jesus are knowable, and the “fathers’” knowledge of Him is genuine. Jesus promised that those who follow Him will experience true intimacy with Him and His Father (Jn.14:21,23). Their knowledge of God is both precious to them and also extremely valuable to the “little children” and “young men.”
John 14:21 “aThe one who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and bthe one who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will creveal Myself to him.”
John 14:22 aJudas (not Iscariot) *said to Him, “Lord, what has happened bthat You are going to reveal Yourself to us and not to the world?”
John 14:23 Jesus answered and said to him, “aIf anyone loves Me, he will bfollow My word; and cMy Father will love him, and We dwill come to him and make Our dwelling with him.
James 4:8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
Jeremiah 29:12 Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.
No one can prevent you from doing this but you! Tell God this is what you want!
We need more long-time Christians to get back in the battle and become “fathers.” You may have gotten sidetracked, but it’s not too late! Tell Him you want this, and He will immediately revitalize you and eventually redeem your mistakes!
Conclusion: SUMMARIZE STAGES
I want to make explicit what is implicit in this passage:
Spiritual development requires growing closer to God
Isolated Christians do not develop spiritually. Are you vitally involved in God’s family
It should also be clear from this teaching that spiritual development is neither automatic nor inevitable. This is why in the next paragraph (1Jn.2:15-17) John warns against a key obstacle to spiritual development – the world-system
1John 2:15 ¶ Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
1John 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. (kosmos = system)
- Life (spiritual life)
- Appetite (an ability to chew and benefit from the challenges in God’s Word)
- Sight (an ability to perceive the truth)
- parental bond (ability to perceive and recognize your [parent)
- Walking (developing steps of faith)
- Speech (an ability to speak truth)
- growth (spiritual accumulation and development of truth applied in daily living,
- personal benefit
- to begin helping others down the same path
starts by imitating parent
ends with conversing with others using this practiced communication
can include (prayer, exhortation, encouragement, correction, teaching, evangelism, apologetics, etc)
Fathers, the spiritually mature christians,
have a track record of battle after battle after battle
and do not know the Father is just theory or doctrine …
they know Him , in all three Persons through experience.
They know the Father’s love, the Son’s authority, and the Spirit’s comfort and power.
through the “young man” stage, the warrior stage,
we are meant to move into a knowledge of God in all three Persons that expands our understanding of the Gospel.
this requires growing past a simple understanding of being forgiven:
The gospel is not just Christ on the cross.
that is the beginning of the gospel, the good news.
the larger part of the gospel is His resurrection,
which promises our resurrection from death to life.
Even Jesus spoke more of eternal life far more than about forgiven of sin through the cross
the centerpiece of the gospel is not the cross
(that did not start until the 15th century) the cross was not even used to symbolize christianity until the 1400’s in European art.
the centerpiece is His resurrection (and ours)
1Cor. 15:1 ¶ Now I make known to you, brothers and sisters, the gospel which I preached to you, which you also received, in which you also stand,
1Cor. 15:2 by which you also are saved, if you hold firmly to the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain.
1Cor. 15:3 ¶ For I handed down to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,
1Cor. 15:4 and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,
1Cor. 15:5 and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.
1Cor. 15:6 After that He appeared to more than five hundred brothers and sisters at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep;
1Cor. 15:7 then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles;
1Cor. 15:8 and last of all, as to one untimely born, He appeared to me also.
1Cor. 15:9 For I am the least of the apostles, and not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.
1Cor. 15:10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me.
1Cor. 15:11 Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.
1Cor. 15:12 ¶ Now if Christ is preached, that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?
1Cor. 15:13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised;
1Cor. 15:14 and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain, your faith also is in vain.
1Cor. 15:15 Moreover, we are even found to be false witnesses of God, because we testified against God that He raised Christ, whom He did not raise, if in fact the dead are not raised.
1Cor. 15:16 For if the dead are not raised, then not even Christ has been raised;
1Cor. 15:17 and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins.
1Cor. 15:18 Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.
1Cor. 15:19 If we have hoped in Christ only in this life, we are of all people most to be pitied.
1Cor. 15:20 ¶ But the fact is, Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep.
1Cor. 15:21 For since by a man death came, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead.
1Cor. 15:22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.
in this passage:
1 mention of His death on the cross
1 mention of His burial
15 references to raising the dead (including “resurrection” and “made alive”)
the resurrection of Christ means our resurrection with Him.
in fact, this ratio is consistent throughout the entire NT
29 verses using dead <and> christ together
- subtracting those including raised, rise, resurrection, alive, lived, arise,
- subtracting appearing and firstborn, bring christ up
we are left with two
Heb. 6:1 ¶ Therefore aleaving bthe 1elementary teaching about the 2Christ, let us press on to 3cmaturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from ddead works and of faith toward God,
Heb. 9:14 how much more will athe blood of Christ, who through 1bthe eternal Spirit coffered Himself without blemish to God, dcleanse your conscience from edead works to serve fthe living God?
10 verses using christ <and>crucified together
(I only found a couple of these that did not immediately mention Him being alive in context)
so a total 39 references to Christ being dead and/or crucified
less than 5 did not also include Him being alive, resurrected, risen, brought back up
resurrection or risen or raised = 132 references
the focal point of the gospel is not the cross, it is the risen Lord
and us being risen with Him
Does this mean nothing to us until the rapture ?
Rom. 8:8 and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
Rom. 8:9 ¶ However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.
Rom. 8:10 If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness.
Rom. 8:11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.
What was mankind created for ?
God created mankind for relationship with Him
(and gave him free will to make that relationship meaningful)
mankind misused that freewill and brought sin and death into the world they had been given authority over
(handing that authority over to satan)
the relationship was destroyed
Jesus, the second Adam, showed His disciples how to live in the kingdom of God again,
died to pay for our sins,
resurrected to show power over sin and death,
and repairs our ability to be in relationship with God
(even giving us the ability to relate to all three Persons in the Trinity
call the Father ABBA
we are in Christ (as a branch in a vine, to be in Him as He is in the Father) and call Him brother
we are sealed with the Spirit of God (promise of our salvation, to be regenerated, empowered, and comforted)
Most people who have their eyes open to the censoring and propaganda machine recognize that the system is designed to shut down free thinking and free speech about anything not liberal in orientation.
Yet, we have already fallen prey to a greater invisible machine that tells us to simply focus on being forgiven because there is nothing else …. “In this world , if you must become a christian, focus on simply being forgiven because everything else is meant for the afterlife”
That is the great deception
We are made in His image and are redeemed to reflect that image
His image is not just forgiven
His image is the kingdom alive in each of our Hearts … now
Most of Jesus’ teachings about relationship with the Father were present tense (not future)
His future tense teachings simply described the same relationship with purity into eternity
The cross is simply a doorway to the resurrected life (which we are meant to live now)
The redemption from His death is the key that unlocks our relationship with all three persons of the Trinity now , here , in this world , to be lived now
do you think this relationship (based in an unseen kingdom that is more real than the world we see around us) is something we are meant to enjoy only when we die or are raptured ?
is it possible that since our identity and relationship with God are the primary purpose of the ministry of Jesus Christ, that perhaps most of the battles we fight are to destroy this identity and relationship ?
Is it possible, is it probable … that the daily attack is meant to distract us from living in this unseen kingdom and focusing on this tangible but less important one ?
We look at a recipe for cooking the gospel
We identify the ingredients, preheat the pan and stop at just opening the fridge to look at the ingredients
Take them out … cook the recipe
Eat it !!
We have been tricked into settling for an unlocked door when we are meant to move into a great and wonderful room filled with God
Do we readily recognize this attack ?
What should we do with this awareness ?