The Cause of Christ

Ephesians 3:20-21

Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

  1. God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, is able to do.

Paul never leaves any doubt as to who this God is that the effect behind the Cause, it is Amen the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Not just an ordinary Do by our God as Paul and through the Holy Spirit define how great that power is, earlier it is the same kind of power that raised Jesus Christ from the dead, and now they try to go for infinity in doing is (1) exceedingly, (2) abundant, and (3) above all that it is possible for believers in Christ to think even with their best spiritual and thinking caps, but all we are able to ask.

  1. God works through the inward power of the Holy Spirit in us.

The world can not see it, that is the inward in each believer in Christ of the power of the Holy Spirit, yet God is working to make each complete and good residents of eternity.

  1. To Him be glory in the church by Jesus Christ.

It is significant that Carver calls his commentary on Ephesians The Glory of God in the Christian Calling”; however that is more the second half of Ephesians with the things for the called to do and think, here for these first three chapters THE CAUSE is the Lord Jesus Christ provided His heavenly Father glory by way of the creation of the total Church Assembly in heaven and on earth.

  1. To all generations, and forever and ever.

To God the Father, the Son, and Holy Spirit, there are no separate generations like millenniums, boomers, in-betweeners, and traditions.  God sees them as ALL generations and forever and ever.  The very nice factor about the church right, some from here and some from there, is that with those already in heaven, they also have forever and ever guaranteed.  Surely the nicest part of being part of the General Assembly of the Firstborn Jesus, as compare to the many that are called and not chosen of millions of local churches throughout the world.

  1. Amen.

The midway in Ephesians benediction to end the prayer of Ephesians 4:14 for the Cause, the Cause being identified as being named and called a whole family of called out assembly, an assembly on earth and in heaven.  Even beyond the great host of witnesses with which believers are surrounded in heaven above, there are fellow supporters here on earth in many local churches throughout the world.

Since Ephesians is 6 chapters, this verse, 3:20, at the very end of chapter 3–half way through Ephesians, is a benediction before the completion of Ephesians.

I.  One reason is that this is the Amen of a prayer that started in Ephesians 3:14.

For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, (the church)  That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.  Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

II.  For a second reason of this benediction in the middle is that the CAUSE mentioned above at the beginning of the prayer is the same CAUSE that starts the chapter.

“For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward: How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel…”

How can any have little doubt that the Apostle Paul was uniquely chosen, and at the right time, in history to receive and proclaim a unique and magnificent mystery God the Father had kept hidden until the time of Ephesians.

  1. It is called “THE MYSTERY OF CHRIST”.
  2. What is specifically that mystery God has revealed through the Apostles and Prophets like Paul: That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel…”
  3. Gentiles fellow inheritors with the Jews.  Almost everyone knows that the Hebrews were originally chosen uniquely as a nation as children of God and remained so except for a few exceptions after the mystery revealed here.
  4. Gentiles members of the same body, the church, as the fewer Hebrews that believed.  We must explain that in majority remains to be seen, something more for God to do, although we are seeing especially some believer movements in Israel, and after, as Paul discusses in Romans, the fulness of the Gentiles is complete, there is some major revival among the Jewish people.  (Not the whole nation as some boldly predict, but more like the 144,000 of Mount Zion in the book of Revelation.)
  5. Gentiles should be fellow partakers of God’s Promise of the Everlasting Covenant, partakers IN CHRIST and partakers in the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

III.  And THIS CAUSE of Ephesians 3:1 sends us back to the second chapter to see what it says about the Cause.

“And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:  And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.  For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.”

  1. The Cause by Jesus is for the reconciliation between God and many, many of the words for the cross in the NT such as cross, atonement, and redemption, and so on.
  2. The Cause of Christ is “IN ONE BODY” and “BY THE CROSS”.
  3. The Cause of Christ above was only possible because Jesus Christ had already slain sin and rebellion, the enmity between God and man.
  4. Jesus came and preached, preached to the Jews of His own nation and at that time to the Gentiles more distant. Today, as predicted by Paul in Romans, the Jews are farther away and the Gentiles like in America, India, Africa, South America and the whole world are closer.
  5. Jews and Gentiles both have access unto God the Father through the One Spirit of God the Holy Spirit.

IV.  Primarily however the cause of this benediction in the middle of Ephesians is that THE CHURCH of Christ’s body is THE FINISHED WORK OF A WORK STILL IN PROGRESS THROUGH THE WORLD.

“Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord…”  (Ephesians 2:16-21)

  1. There are no strangers or foreigners in the Church, the body of Christ.
  2. Gentiles are fellow citizens in the kingdom of Christ with the early Jewish saints.
  3. Jews and Gentiles are members of the household of God.
  4. New believers, Jews and Gentiles, are built on the foundation of the Bible, the book by the Apostles and Prophets through the Holy Spirit.
  5. Jesus Himself is (being) the chief cornerstone in the building of a huge temple of and in the Lord Jesus Christ.
  6. The building framing and growing of that huge holy temple, same as the whole family in heaven and on earth, is to take place in the manner described in Ephesians 4-6, but it is most important that IT FRAME AND GROW into a holy temple in the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

As normal, you are welcome to free download this blog session/message at:

http://sungrist.org/CauseOfChrist.pdf

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