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January 29, 2021 2:00 am
If you are a believer, several things should happen on your spiritual journey through this life. In the message "You Were Dead...but God," Skip explains why watching for God and working with God should be part of your Christian walk.
This teaching is from the series ...but God.Links:
This week's DevoMail: https://connnectwithskip.com/devomail
Now I'm starting to think about where I am going to go after I die. This is normal. This is healthy. So not only do I peace now forgiveness now purpose now I have something this age is yet to come.
Because of that. The Bible tells us that as believers we had a look forward to. We are to expect that we are to be watching for his return.
When you choose to follow Christ. The journey doesn't stop there only just begun today on connect with Skip Heiser. Skip explains how you can live your life in Jesus. To the fullest potential. Before we begin, we want to let you know about a resource that will transform your spiritual as you see God for who he really does God exist, and if he dies.
Is it possible to know your answer to those two questions shapes how you see the world. Skip I think once wrestled with those very questions himself, you know, I've been teaching the Bible for over three decades before I became a Christian and when I was new to the faith. I studied science and philosophy alongside the Bible as I studied, I grew confident that God does exist. And yes, we can know in biography of God. The brand-new book by skip.
I think you'll learn to remove the limits you may have placed on your idea of who God is. Everything changes when you acknowledge and believe that God is who he says here's biography of God is always to thank you when you give $35 or more today to help expand this vital teaching outreach to more people request your copy when you give online securely connectwithskip.com/offer or call 800-922-1888 in Ephesians chapter 2 Skip high tickets into today's message… Because on these couple of verses from moment, let me ask a series of questions are answered here. Why did God do it. Why bother with interrupting the normal course of a person's life. To do this. There's a couple words I want you to notice the first word is mercy because God is merciful. That's why notice what it says but God, who is rich in mercy, we were poverty-stricken in sin, but God who is rich in mercy can match anything we dish out is rich in mercy.
Lamentations chapter 3. Through the Lord's mercies we are not consumed his compassions fail not great is thy faithfulness most mercies are new every morning so that prop. So because of his mercy. Also notice what else God was rich in mercy, because of his great love with which he loved us. I recall when I first heard when somebody first told me that God love me innocently walked up to me. Maybe a friend of mine who was a Christian you know God loves you, and I remember how I felt when he said I thought I was sort of cynical I said you think really think God loves me I did I would ensure that even like me back. I was pretty sure he didn't but to take a step further to go. He really loves you, and I came to discover God's love was monumental. It is so unique.
It is so great as he says here and his great love with which he loved us and I want you to get that. I hope that in this series over many weeks that one of the underlying themes you have seen with this, but God notion is that God is and out to get you or hurt you or East does not like in heaven, wanting to punish you.
He loves you. He wants to save you. He wants to intercept your life and change the way things are going and where you are going.
That's why and what is it exactly that he did while look a little more carefully at the phrase he made us alive to gather he made us alive together see forward, made us alive you're accounted right, made us alive together not bringing this up because in the original language is just one word. A single word that God did a single thing in a single word but is put in four words in the English language.
That's because it's difficult to translate this one work, he made us alive together. The one word is soon so .0 I'd never expect you to remember that or say that or think about that after now, but I'm just bringing it up to get get that out soon so operate at all. He made us alive together. It's a single word.
And if you happen to have an old King James Bible. I think it actually captures it says and you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses, quickened us the one word. The word means to reanimate so you have somebody dead and you reanimate that now my mind goes back when I read that my mind went back to Frankenstein and the Shelley book and then the movie is that of common that that phrase were the mad scientist is it's the reanimation of the tissue that sort of but God did he reanimate it. Somebody dead spiritually to be alive to be awake he reanimate it.
You, the New Testament scholar Marcus Barth says in the majority of occurrences in the New Testament this verb to make alive is a synonym of to raise from the dead to reanimate dead tissue, so God made us alive together. Now how did that happen. How did that happen to you some of my so well, I sorta had my own epiphany or well I deserve a reason through it on my own mated, you can't.
Your dad that people can do that something someone from the outside has to do something to reanimate. Somebody was dead.
God made us alive together on a corpse can't crawl out of the casket, you were dead. But he made you alive.
He reanimate it your dead spirit. Now there's something else I just want you to notice before we move on in the slow progress thing when you got start loving you… Loving you could get that God love each unique. It's great love is for wind that process start God loving. Did he love you when you are lovable. Did he love you when you use realize he I really need God.
I better turn to God. I may give my life to Jesus is that when got up now. I love you he loved you when you were unlovable. He loved you when you had no capacity to it.
Says he loved you his great mercy was given to you when you were dead. Paul in Romans says much the same thing, but he gives a little more father to it he says in Romans five. In some cases, you'll find somebody who's willing to die give their life for a good person but God demonstrates his own love toward us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us so he loved you when you hated him. He loved you when you ran from him. He loved you when you had no thought of him at all and you were very unlovely. That's a long elective. So we go from wandering from God to waking to God third level, watching for God. I want to apologize to Goshen past, present or future verse six raised us up together made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus. I'll explain briefly what that is for seven that in the ages to come, now is pivoting us to have us look toward the future that in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. Have you noticed something and in Paul's writings, there's a phrase Paul likes and use it over and use an 85.this the phrase in Christ. He likes to say you are in Christ are in Christ Jesus.
He says that all over again. In this personal. 10 times is as you are in Christ.
Jerry says you are not only in Christ Jesus.
But you are seated in heavenly places.
Verse six raised us up together made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus. What he means by this is you are in heavenly places.
Positionally, not literally, because you're seated here at Calvary second service Sunday morning. You look like you're seated in heavenly places, but you are positionally, though not literally. Though one day you will be actually with him literally in heavenly places and Paula so sure about that.
He speaks as though it is already happened.
It's a done deal, but the process of salvation.
Now in verse seven he definitely points us from the position. The positional in the heavenly to what you're looking forward to when he says that in the ages to come. Notice is not singular. The age to come the ages to come. So in 100 years and in 500 years thousand years a million years in a billion years and a trillion years.
As we know it in time, in the ages to come.
That's the future. So it is saying is what is true positionally, will be truly eventually literally physically you will be in the heavenly places in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us in Christ Jesus over starting to be around for that to happen. So back to the soul journey thing wrong. We were dead walking around at people.
He woke us up to our need and we got saved and something happens in the naxal normal progress of the Christian life. Something happens I realize here I am forgiven child of God. This is in the end, this is just the beginning is much more to follow. In fact, suddenly all eternity opens up before me and I start to realize this is not my home, having a smile. I start getting homesick in my father's house are many mansions, to go prepare a place for you all really want to be like now I'm starting to think about where I am going to go after I die. This is normal. This is healthy so not only do I piece now forgiveness now purpose now I have something. This can happen afterwards. There are ages yet to come. Because of that. The Bible tells us that as believers we had a look forward to that.
We will expect that we are to be watching for his return. Titus chapter 2 says looking for that blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ looking for first Thessalonians chapter 1, you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his son from heaven. Philippians chapter 3 for our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly waits for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. How are we to wait for him eagerly. Question, do you eagerly wait for Jesus to return or is is your waiting more like a passive resignation kind of a board in different area fusions and covenants are what's for breakfast and dinner.
You desire excite you that he is coming. That's the normal growth of the Christian life you your dad in your way, you're alive, but you're also now aware and watching eagerly for his return. Or I think of Dorothy in the movie the Wizard of Oz. Sorry for all these film things today but but if she she goes. There's no place like home to someplace like him.
There's no place like home and she wants to go to Kansas from laws so figure that out were on earth thinking about heaven with him. There's no place like home. That's our home there's own awareness. Not only that, but a watchfulness were eager about an old Scotsman. I think his name is Duncan Matheson used to pray lauded stampede 10 dignity on my eyeballs. But such a great prayer. As I look in process life, and I make decisions I was want to think about the eternal dimension. What this means in the eternal round and why is it that were so eager about that. Why do we watch for whether some in verse 700 if you never really realize what this means but I like it. A glance at it and hope it just really settles in, says that in the ages to come. This is your future Christian, he God might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us in Christ Jesus, when he loosely re-translate that God loves you so much that it's going to take God all eternity to fully reveal that love to you. That's what you have, eternity will become the unfolding revelation of his love. So you get saved now. That's not the end. This is the beginning you go to heaven. That's not the end assess the beginning and God will take all of eternity up to show you reveal to you over and over again how much he loves you what's on the look forward in her. Sometimes we Christians are accused by unbelievers as well.
You're so heavenly minded or snigger no earthly good yahrzeit about heaven your bunch of escape as your son but you want the rapture to come to get out of this mess know our hope is not in the coming of the Lord is much as our hope is in the Lord who is coming when looking for an event but a person a real person that we are really going to be with in heavenly places. The great CS Lewis, who taught literature at Oxford University, said this and I quote a continual looking forward to the eternal world is not as some modern people think a form of escapism or wishful thinking, but it's one of the great things a Christian is meant to do. If you read history you will find that the Christians who did the most for the present world where those who thought the most of the next and it is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they become so ineffective in so we go from wandering to waking to watching watching for God watching for his return there something else that is working now, have you go down verse eight horses for by grace you have been saved through faith, which I could spend a couple weeks on that phrase and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God not of works, lest anyone should boast or brag verse 10 for we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. So look at what he does. Buses in the past you were dead. But then he woke you up. He gave you life. He made us live made us raised up together in the present and the future you're looking forward to the ages upon ages when his good reveal is up but in the meantime you have the present. In the meantime, there is a job for you to do while you're watching for his return.
There are still things for you to do here now verse 10. I want to draw your attention to as we close this verse has two parts, and please make a note of them. The first part is God's work in you. The second part is God's work through you. The first part is we are his workmanship. That's what God does in the second part is your created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God has prepared beforehand that we should walk in them look. Think of the first part we are his workmanship. It means we literally we are his work of art.
His masterpiece, you could translate the Greek word employee name is what we get to work: an exquisite masterpiece where somebody expresses himself or herself in a literary form, a poem, we are God's poem. We are his masterpiece. We are God's work of art. Now, as I say that some of you are thinking will I sure don't feel that way I don't feel like I'm some masterpiece in the museum. I feel I God put Laika yellow mark on the campus and dusted in the corner and started somewhere else and that is because you are aware of your own failures you are aware aware of your own shortcomings you see your own flaws. I'll just respond and say that's because you are still in the process you are under construction. You go out of soon and go down the freeway. They were working on that on-ramp for how many months and for a while did not look pretty on another really does all that much now.
But one day they'll be done but in awful lot. It was like cement blocks and things Durden wires in roads narrowed and torn up. It's under construction.
You are God's masterpiece under construction.
You are is masterpiece you might not feel like it. It might take you a while to live up to that title. But God has an end in mind, and he will work on you. God is committed to working on you to the end.
He was begun a good work in you. Philippians 1 will complete until the day of Christ Jesus. One day Michelangelo, the great sculptor the great artist was asked what he was doing as he was chipping away on a shapeless rock in his answer was classic. He said I'm liberating an angel from the stone. God is the master sculptor in the business of liberating masterpieces from those stones and he has never yet thrown a single stone away. You are his workmanship, so that's what he's doing and you but you look at the rest of the verse and you discover that working in you is for a reason and it's that God might work through you and let me just add and say you are never totally fulfilled in life to you get to this level. The real fulfillment strike to be saved from sin. But then to be an instrument through which God works to the world is is awesome. He says you are created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
Me just tell you something. You don't have to reach a certain level for God to work through you. I say that because you wow man. One of these days I'm gonna get involved when I'm just a little more usable and less rough around the edges for God to use no you have to wait to get to a certain level to be used by God it's a lot. I feel like I've blown it and I feel so foolish we I've got good news for Bible says God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise sale but I feel so weak I got good news that God has chosen the weak things of this world to confound the things are mighty. See if you look in God's toolbox at all the people God uses all of his instrument.
You find them all severely flawed because that's the only tools he has to work with are human beings and because God does glorious work with imperfect tools.
He gets more glory. Think of it this way if the surgeon can operate in a jungle with a pocket knife is a good surgeon. If a builder can erect a home with an old hammer and a bent handsaw.
That's an exquisite builder. If somebody can play Beethoven's ninth Symphony on a flute made from a piece of bamboo. That's an accomplished musician and if God can change the world through dead people sinful people reanimated saved. That's a great God.
That's his toolbox so your saved for good works, not by good works, not saved by good works are safe for good works. He saved you from sin. He saved you for service. Paul asked two questions and I close on these two questions we've all asked the first one we may have not gotten around asking the second one rings on the road to Damascus and he was on his back. He said, first of the Lord who are you, Lord, and most of you know the answer that question. He's Jesus Christ the Lord of all, you've received them as your Savior gave your sins, you have second question he asked was this Lord, what do you want me to do. What are the good works. You have prepared for my life in advance so that no matter what occupation I serve my real calling is to serve you in that place and to reach people in their place previously.
God wants to make your life a masterpiece but you only get one campus that your life in the butt. God moment you had of salvation.
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