Ephesians 2 - SIT

I am going to attempt to cover this little book by Watchman Nee over the next three weeks. I will give a brief introduction to Watchman Nee in just a minute, but I want to open with the ending section of Ephesians 1:

[Slide]
1:20 God raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and above every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.

Paul is opening this letter by clearly stating that Jesus, is above EVERY name of every other "power and dominion"..."not only in the present age, but also in the one to come."

Remember there is a verse in Philippians where Paul says "at the name of Jesus every knee will bow..."

One of Paul's favorite ways of refering to Jesus [and it is on this slide in the Greek] is "Lord Jesus Christ." He calls Jesus "Lord," sometimes just "Christ," but numerous times Paul says Lord Jesus Christ. Six times in Ephesians he uses this name.

Kurios - Lord - used in the Greek OT for "Yahweh." The Romans used "kurios" as THE highest term to refer to the Emperor who was also supposed to be seen as a form of a god.

Iesous - Jesus - Yeshua in Hebrew - speaking of the humanity of Jesus.

Christos - Messiah in Hebrew - the deliverer and warrior from heaven coming to put the world right.

And so, v20 and the Apostle's Creed clearly states that "I believe in Jesus Christ...who was crucified, dead and buried. The third day He rose from dead, He ascended into heaven"...and what?

"...sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty."

This is important because Jesus now sits on a throne next to the Almighty One. Remember that Stephen, as the Jews are killing him yells out,
"Look, I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God."
Jesus stands up to honor Stephen's sacrifice very much like standing to welcome someone important into a room...or to celebrate a touchdown and cheer.

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PRAYER
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[Slide]
You were dead through the sins v2 in which you once lived... v3 All of us once lived...in the passions of our flesh [sarx] following the desires of flesh and senses, and we were by nature children of wrath, like everyone else.

4 But God, who is rich in mercy....from His great love...
5 even when we were dead through our sins,
made us alive together with Christ by grace you have been saved
6 and raised us up with him and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus...

8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, this is not your own doing
it is the gift of God
9 not the result of works so that no one can boast.


[Slide]
I want to give you a brief biography of Watchman Nee

[Slide]
- Christian home, but saved as a teenager
- gave up university; self study in Bible
- in his 20's he became a evangelist leader
- prolific ministry through WWII
- persecuted by post-war Communists
- imprisoned in 1950's
- died in prison in 1972

This little book has some really profound truths.

I want to read a few sections and make comments along the way.

p.2 "Most Christians make the mistake..."

p.3 "We did nothing..."

Now let me just say, this does not mean that we do nothing...that we literally sit around, spiritually speaking, and since nothing is based on our efforts we can just live lazy, selfish, sinful lives and do whatever we want.

It's a strange balance we strive to find:
We slowly change into His image. We ask for His help to stop doing, thinking or saying the things we know He is not happy with...

and we ask for Him to help us do the things, think about and talk about things that please Him.

We have to be moving and growing into His image.
We want Him to be happy with us, proud to be called our Father.

You just have to realize that on your own - you cannot do it.

It's like trying to save a drowning man.

We have a tendancy in our Christian circles to believe that when we do GOOD, God will bless us.

For several years I would fast twice weekly because I got it in my head that God would bless me and answer my prayers IF I fasted. I just do not believe that.

Fasting has value...but God is not our waiter. We cannot give Him good tips and then expect that He is going to give us better service.

And if we mess up, He will punish us...or keep good things from happening.

That is exactly what this concept of SITTING is supposed to communicate. There is NOTHING we can do to earn OR to lose God's favor.

Now, when we do stupid things God will allow the consequences to fall on us. But His favor, His love and mercy towards us are unaffected.

We ARE seated with Him in the heavenly realms NOW.
We ARE holy and are part of a godly family NOW.
We just need to live like it - we need to live it out.

LET'S PRAY

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