Pastor Tim Pianta 65 Main Street, Tolga, Phone 0418882605 Email tolgacommunitychurch@gmail.com

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Ephesians 2:14 - 18


Ephesians 2:14 For Christ himself has brought us peace by making Jews and Gentiles one people. With his own body he broke down the wall that separated them and kept them enemies.15 He abolished the Jewish Law with its commandments and rules, in order to create out of the two races one new people in union with himself, in this way making peace. 16 By his death on the cross Christ destroyed their enmity; by means of the cross he united both races into one body and brought them back to God. 17 So Christ came and preached the Good News of peace to all---to you Gentiles, who were far away from God, and to the Jews, who were near to him.18 It is through Christ that all of us, Jews and Gentiles, are able to come in the one Spirit into the presence of the Father.

Christ abolishing the enmity – so; what does that mean? Well He broke down the hostility, animosity, antagonism, friction, opposition,dissension, rivalry, feud, conflict, discord, contention between the people of the world and the people of God. The trouble with giving anyone else the responsibility of this task is that it breaks down the purpose and plan God has for our salvation. God Himself bore the price of our freedom – no one else. Christ broke down the wall between the Jew and gentile. He opened the way forward for us to live in union with God.

He ( Jesus) “ abolished” the Law. The relation of Christ to the Law, Paul says, in Romans 3:31 is, “Do we make void the Law? God forbid! Yea, we establish the Law.” The Law, therefore, is abolished as a law “in ordinances”—that is, “in the letter”—and is established in the spirit. As you read Acts 7 this is Stephen's message. The Law in ordinances was a shadow of what was to come.

Yet not one word or dot is taken out of the Law. God still has the Authority to impose and have accepted His Law (word). None of anything is about getting rid of any Law. It is about fulfilling prophecy. When Christ died on the cross and rose again He fulfilled the requirements of the Law. He is the Lamb of God who takes away the wage of our sin. The use of the law; The wife of a drunkard once found her husband in a filthy condition, with torn clothes, matted hair, bruised face, asleep in the kitchen, having come home from a drunken revel. She sent for a photographer, and had a portrait of him taken in all his wretched appearance, and placed it on the mantel beside another portrait taken at the time of his marriage, which showed him handsome and well dressed, as he had been in other days. When he became sober he saw the two pictures, and awakened to a consciousness of his condition, from which he arose to a better life. Now, the office of the law is not to save men, but to show them their true state as compared with the Divine standard.

We do not base critical issues of the faith on someone’s oral tradition or speculation--we go to the Scripture! When we do, we see that in that Scripture, Paul has directed us to Abraham as our patten for justification. And while it enrages some, Scripture shows the man Abraham never “kept God’s holy Law” to be in full right standing with the God who imputed righteousness to him because of his belief, and not his obedience to a set of commandments! Yet the Child of the Flesh can’t get that. He claims that if we say we’re not “under the Law,” and if we don’t “keep commandments,” we’re saying it’s okay to sin. All that does is show the ignorance of heretics who miss what the covenant actually is. So then--how did Abraham achieve justification with God? Through faith.“Well…God has given us more revelation through the writings of Moses and the prophets than Abraham had, so now we know clearly what His commandments are, and even if Abraham did not know or keep them, we certainly must, or we are rejecting God!” Wrong. Were that doctrine true, Paul would have directed us to Moses, Isaiah or John the Baptist, upheld them as great men of faith who carefully observed God’s Law, and then called on us to emulate their example of faith and obedience to the Law as true justification. Instead, he bypasses all the great men under the Law and goes straight back to Abraham, whom he points out never kept the Law and was justified by faith only, through a righteousness that had nothing to do with his own commandment-keeping.

The Lord ascended to heaven and later the disciples were baptised with the Holy Spirit. The knowledge of God obtained through the experience of His pardon is the best of all knowledge of Him. This is a knowledge of God that makes Him the predominant idea of the our whole life and the supreme truth of life, because in our work for Him we will find joy, peace, purpose, etc. The peace which Christ calls for in His Church, is not simply a cessation from strife, which can happen even when there is simply bitterness in peoples spirits. This peace is a oneness of spirit simply because The Lord is our Lord and we want to please Him and serve Him, His way and give to Him all the strife (sin) in our life. The aim is for all of God's people, both Jew and Gentile to have God's peace and to be one people.

Read Colossians 

We are now dead to the old Adam (that is the old man – or our pagan way) and we are now alive to the new man – that is Jesus Christ. It is He who broke down the barrier and makes us all a new man – both Jews and gentiles. We can work at whatever we want to work at – unless we are born of the spirit we will not see heaven. Abraham's righteousness (and we all need righteousness) was due to his belief, trust, faith in God's purpose for his life. What makes Abraham's relationship with his God different to other people's relationship with their god's is that it is his belief, trust, faith in God's ability to save him. His role is simply to walk according God's word (Law). Jesus Christ made peace by the sacrifice of himself; in every sense Christ is our Peace, the author, centre, and substance of our being at peace with God, and of our union with the Jewish believers in one church. Through the person, sacrifice, and mediation of Christ, sinners are allowed to draw near to God as a Father, and are brought with acceptance into his presence, with their worship and services, under the teaching of the Holy Spirit, as one with the Father and the Son. Christ purchased leave for us to come to God; and the Spirit gives a heart to come, and strength to come, and then grace to serve God acceptably.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Ephesians 4

This chapter of this letter is an encouragement to walk as a Christian. Paul was now a prisoner at Rome; and he was the prisoner of the Lord, or in the Lord. Considering what God has done for us, we should walk to approve ourselves as good citizens of the kingdom of God, and live up to our profession and calling; We walk according to the grace that God has brought us with. We are called to God's kingdom and glory; and we must keep this in mind, and walk as heirs of the Kingdom.
Nothing is pressed more earnestly in the Scriptures, than to walk as those called to Christ's kingdom and glory. We walk as Abraham did, before God by lowliness, understanding humility, which is opposed to pride. By meekness, that excellent disposition of soul, which makes men slow to anger, and not easily to be provoked or offended. We are not to walk in the offence which is one of the sins choking the church today. We are to walk as people of victory not as victims. As we walk this way we will find much in ourselves for which we can hardly forgive ourselves; so we will not find it hard to forgive others. There is one Christ in whom all believers hope, and one heaven they are all hoping for; so we should be of one heart. They had all one faith, one object, one Author of our nature and power. We are to believe the same as to the great truths of God; We have all been admitted into the church by one baptism, with water, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, as the sign of regeneration. In all believers God the Father dwells, as in his holy temple, by his Spirit and special grace. Without this grace this would not be possible – man does not have the ability to restore himself apart from God – however with God we have all the ability; Applying this ability is by our own will. Without God we have no ability to live by the law; with God we have all the ability to live perfectly by the law. Abraham walked in fellowship with; He did things with God; this is what life is to be all about; living with God.
To every believer is given some gift of grace, for their mutual help. All is given from Christ to every one who lives as God's child. He received for them, that he might give to them, a large measure of gifts and graces; particularly the gift of the Holy Ghost. Not a mere head knowledge, or bare acknowledging Christ to be the Son of God, but such as brings trust and obedience. The gift to love to be disciplined by God. There is a fullness in Christ, and a measure of that fullness given in the counsel of God to every believer; but we never come to the perfect measure until we come to heaven. God's children are growing, as long as they are in this world; and the child's growth should bring the glory of Christ. The more a man finds himself drawn out to improve in his station, and according to his measure, all that he has received, to the spiritual good of others, he may the more certainly believe that he has the grace of sincere love of God grounded and rooted in his heart.
The apostle charged the Ephesians in the name and by the authority of the Christ and lord, that having professed the gospel, they should not be as the unconverted Gentiles, who walked in vainness and carnal affections, walking in the vanity of their minds? We need all the more today to distinguish between real and nominal Christians. They were void of all saving knowledge; they sat in darkness, and loved it rather than light. They dislike and hate a life of holiness, which is the way of life God requires and approves, and by which we live with him, but which has some likeness to God himself in his purity, righteousness, truth, and goodness. The truth of Christ appears in its beauty and power, when it appears as in the Lord Jesus. The corrupt nature is called a man; like the human body, it is of different parts, supporting and strengthening one another. Sinful desires are deceitful lusts; they promise men happiness, but give them more misery; and bring them destruction in the end. These must be put off, as an old filthy garment.
But it is not enough to shake off corrupt principles; we must have gracious ones. By the new man, is meant the new nature, the new creature, directed by a new principle, even regenerating grace, enabling a man to lead a new life of righteousness and holiness. This is created, or brought forward by God's almighty power not man vainness and corrupt ways.

Notice the particulars we should live with. Take control of every thing that is contrary to truth. No longer flatter or deceive others. God's people are children who will not lie, who hate lying. Take control of anger and uncontrolled passions. If there is an occasion to express displeasure at what is wrong, or to approve of what is right, do this without sin. We give permission to the devil, when the first thoughts or actions of sin are carnal; when we consent to them; and when we repeat an evil deed. This teaches that sin, if given into, lets in the devil in and we are not able to resist evil. We need to understand that anger is an emotion that is God given and at times we will use it. However we need to control it as well.
Idleness makes trouble for us and exposes us to temptations and keeps us from doing good. We need to keep busy and live live honestly so we can give to others what God wants for them.. What then must we think of those called Christians, who grow rich by fraud, oppression, and deceitful practices! Give to be accepted by God and what we give must not be gained by unrighteousness and robbery, but by honesty and work. God hates offerings not earned by honesty and our own work. They are someone else gift to give.

Filthy words come from corruption (sin) in the speaker, and they corrupt the minds and manners of those who hear them: Christians should beware of all such actions. It is the duty of all Christians by the blessing of God, to bring people to think seriously about their life, and to encourage and warn believers by their conversation. Be kind one to another. This sets the principle of love in the heart, and the outward expression of it, in a humble, courteous behaviour. Mark how God's forgiveness causes us to forgive. God forgives us. We must forgive, as he has forgiven us. All lying, and corrupt talk, that stir up evil desires and lusts, grieve the Spirit of God. Corrupt passions of bitterness, wrath, anger, lustfulness, evil-speaking, and malice, grieve the Holy Spirit. The last thing we need is for the Holy Spirit to withdraw His presence and his gracious influences. The Lord's plea is that your salvation is used to build the nature of Godliness in you.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Walking as a Christian

Ephesians- for this week read Ephesians chapter 4

Walk before the Lord, like Abraham did.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Do we get a sense of the privilege God has given us?

Read Matthew chapters 5-8

We can only live God's way because He put it in our hearts to live His way.

A Great Way to share the Word

FaithWriters

1) FaithWriters has adopted Matthew 6:33 as our site verse.

“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” We encourage you to read Matthew 6:25 -34 so you will better understand why we chose this verse. It always applies but we feel that it is especially applicable in these trying times. To date 78 people from around the world have told us they have accepted Jesus as their Savior from the videos on the site. Together we are making an impact for Christ.

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Mike & Bea Edwards