Monday, May 16, 2016

Know, Be, Do

The writings of Paul in your New Testament are rich and carry some of the most interesting  information about and for the believer. I am going to suggest you read the first chapter of Paul's letter to the Ephesians to prepare yourself for today's blog.  Even if you are familiar with this chapter, it would be best if you read the chapter before continuing.

Most of the modern versions of the Bible divide the chapter into three paragraphs.  Here are some informative statements from paragraph 1: We are blessed in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. We are chosen to be holy and blameless. The spiritual adoption makes us children of the Father. We are redeemed by the blood of Jesus. He has forgiven our sins. God's grace has been lavished upon us, along with wisdom and understanding. He makes known to us the mystery of his will.  All this to bring about the unity of all things in Christ.  That's all in paragraph 1, from which I get the idea these are things we are to "know."

In paragraph 2, Paul switches gears a bit, but continues about things happening in our relationship with God, through Jesus. We are chosen in Christ. He's working out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will.  All this so we can be for praise of his glory.  The key word in this paragraph is "be."

Then paragraph 3 is a prayer Paul is praying for us:  Your faith in the Lord and your love for God's people bring Paul to pray a prayer of thanksgiving.  In this prayer, Paul prays that God will give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, as you continue to know God better. Now look at verses 18-21: 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 he exerted when he 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 every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.  Paul is actually praying that we, through God's power, can come to utilize that same power as a "doer" of God's will. 

So, knowing, being, and doing.  Three paragraphs with distinct and important themes.  But note their order, which is to be our order.  We cannot be the people God wants us to be, until we know God and what he wants us to know. Further, we cannot do the things of God without being the people God wants us to be.  Read Paul's prayer again and again.  Claim its promises for your life.

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