Prayer Necessary Because Of The Mystery

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Ephesians 6:18-20 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; 19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

It is very easy when preaching, teaching, or reading scripture to take it out of context. I am constantly learning and growing as I study God’s Word, and finding ways that I myself took things out of context. This is a human condition we are all subject to do, probably inherited from our forefather Adam when he did not stop Eve from taking that which was forbidden. He knew what God said, but perhaps thought that the restriction against eating the forbidden only applied to himself. When Eve ate with no ill effects he followed suit – and humanity was plunged into sin.

We must stay in context. There is no error in the Scripture unless we introduce it via our sinful minds.
We must also be empowered by God The Spirit.

The text today on prayer is first of all a command from the Apostle to the believers at Ephesus – and by extension for all of us. Paul wanted to be able to share the Gospel even though he was bound and headed toward Rome to be judged. In his affliction he wanted the Christians at Ephesus to pray not that he be released, but that he be enabled to preach the Gospel.

Pray that his attitude does not change.
A bad attitude is like a flat tire.
You go nowhere until it’s changed.

Bound to guards, unjustly accused of treason,
It would be so easy for the devil to get in Paul’s heart.

The Apostle at this moment saw his binding
not as binding or restriction.
He was on the front lines doing battle with the devil.
But He did not battle alone.

The Apostle saw his limitations and his place as an opportunity from God for God to share the Gospel with as many lost Gentiles as possible. Toward that end Paul asked that the Church pray for him that his attitude and giftedness not be hindered by his suffering. The Apostle saw himself in a battle not for his life, but for the eternal lives of those around him. The Apostle asked the Church to pray for three things:

that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel

Paul asked that the Church pray that his heart remain receptive to the Word of God. No God called preacher or teacher brings a message of their own invention. God must speak to the heart of the ambassador in bonds: that therein [he] may speak boldly. There is a temptation to every speaker of the Word to soften the message lest the audience be offended. Yet the Scripture reminds us that the Gospel message and this Bible is offensive. It is a message the world considers foolish:

1 Corinthians 1:18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

People believe themselves to be inherently good. This is a lie that the devil sold the world. As God created the world He saw that it was good. When God created Adam and Eve in His image to walk with Him we read:

Genesis 1:31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

It was the devil who slithered into the Garden of Perfection and suggested that something was NOT very good. This is what the devil does. He hears what God says then chooses to speak the exact opposite of what God has said. It is God Who designed the family. It is God Who placed Adam as the Head of the Family, and Eve as his helped. It is God Who designed Adam to be genetically male and Eve to be genetically female. But the devil will always suggest another way. The culture around Paul is cruel and polytheistic – believing in many gods and goddesses. So he asked Ephesus to pray for him, so that utterance may be given unto me, that he might know what to say to share the Gospel to those around him who were blinded to it.

The Apostle also asked that …

utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel

There is a temptation to any speaker of God’s Word to make the message less offensive, to dumb it down. One passage that should be on all of our hearts is found in an earlier text in Ephesians:

Ephesians 4:11-15 And {God} gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: 14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; 15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:

God established the speaking gifts not to tickle the ears, but to build up the Body of Christ the Church. We are to speak the truth in love – but nonetheless the darkness does not understand the light.

The speaking gifts are to unify Christ’s Church, to make us one in our faith and devotion to God, and to make us more like Christ. Too many Churches are bounced around and minimized by the world, having little if any effect, because the doctrines of the Church have been merged with the teachings and philosophies of the world. The speaker gifted of God must be able to be speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ.

The Apostle knew how weak the flesh was, and knew that he himself could fall victim to the delusions of the devil. So he asked the Church to pray for him that he could be speaking the truth in love. Jesus spoke the truth in love.

When Jesus met the Samaritan woman at a well so long, long ago He spoke the truth in love. When He met the woman (the account is in John chapter 4) Jesus said – I’m sure with a smile on His face:

Give Me some water to drink.”

“Why are You, a Jew, talking to a Samaritan like me?”

If you knew Who I was you would have asked Me for LIVING water.”

“But you have no way of drawing water, much less LIVING water.”

Whoever drinks of THIS well water will be thirsty again. Whoever drinks of the LIVING water I give them will never thirst, but will become wells of everlasting life!”

and here is where many speakers slip. We forget to tell the ones we speak to that they must REPENT of their way and turn to Christ. The woman said:

“Give me this water that will quench my thirst forever!”

Go and call YOUR HUSBAND, and come back.”

“I have no husband.”

You’re right. You have had FIVE husbands and the one you’re with now is NOT YOUR HUSBAND.”

This may be politically incorrect but why did God mention her husband? Because she was in sin. She needed to repent, and THEN come to Jesus, trusting Him for the Living Water.

Beloved, God will save no one IN their sins. We must first REPENT – which is to recognize our way is NOT RIGHT – then RUN TO JESUS –
this is the Way of peace and salvation.

The devil led world tells us to keep our mouths shut, to go along to get along. God would have us to speak with boldness but with love. People must know that their way is destructive, but that God’s Way is where life is.

Proverbs 16:25 There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.

The devil and the world want to delude as many as possible into taking the way of death. The Apostle knew this, so asked that the Church pray for him that he would be bold to share that Gospel, that glorious Gospel of salvation.

that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the MYSTERY of the gospel

The Gospel is a “mystery”. When we think of a “mystery” we think of what we call a “who done it?”, a novel where someone is killed and throughout the book the main characters study and deduce until they can figure out who the killer is. That is what we call a “mystery”.

In the Gospel “mystery” we know who the killer(s) are. We are. We killed Jesus. Our sins killed Jesus. God the Father killed Jesus. Why was Jesus killed? Because all are sinners, and God is pure and righteous. Jesus Christ willingly came to this earth because of our sins. We are told in:

Hebrews 10:1-3 For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. 2 For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins. 3 But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. 4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.

Sin in our lives kept us separate from God. We could not be in a state where we could commune with God daily in prayer because of our violation of God’s Law. We are all sinners. So here’s the first mystery:

1 God Came Into The World To Save Us From Sin

Hebrews 10:5-9 Wherefore when {Jesus} cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: 6 In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure. 7 Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God. 8 Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law; 9 Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.

Here is a great mystery, that God the Son would willingly come into this world to make payment for our sins. God gave us the Law in the Old Covenant – the First Covenant. But we continued to break the Law. If we had not broken the Law then we would have made but one sacrifice on the brazen altar. But we had to sacrifice year after year because we kept on sinning. It is NOT POSSIBLE that the blood of bulls and goats take away sins. But Jesus can. Jesus can. He is God in the flesh, as John told us.

John 1:1-2, 14 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. … 14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us

2 God Died For The World To Save Us From Sin

Hebrews 10:10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

This is the mystery of the Cross. Many have died in human history, but ONLY JESUS died specifically to satisfy the justice of God. When John the Baptist saw Jesus he said:

John 1:29 … Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

And the Apostle said in Romans 4:24-25 … we believe on {God} that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; 25 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.

No one is able to fully understand this. One tiny little sin can keep a person from Heaven. It doesn’t matter how small we perceive it, just a tiny bit will send the soul to hell. But God sent His Son to die for us. Jesus was delivered for our offenses, offenses against God the Father and against Heaven. Jesus paid for our sins with His death. But here’s something we often forget: Jesus was raised again for our justification. Had He remained dead He would have paid for our sins, but we would not be justified or made fully righteous in the eyes of God. Why? The Scripture says:

Romans 8:27, 33-34 {God} maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God…. 33-34 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. 34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.

When you receive the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior His Blood not only covers your sins, but He continually maketh intercession for us at the right hand of God the Father. Praise God, the Christian faith is God made and God secured. This is a mystery that the world does not understand and, I suppose, many of us do not fully understand. But it is nonetheless true no matter what we feel. When you receive the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior the Holy Spirit indwells you and Jesus represents you. That is just fantastic!

3 God Died For All And Rose Again To Rule His Kingdom

When Jesus walked this earth He spoke in parables because, He told His followers:

Mark 4:11 … Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables:

When you receive the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior you become members of the Kingdom of God. We are His Children and His subjects. The Apostle said:

Philippians 3:17-21 Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample. 18 (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: 19 Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.) 20 For our CONVERSATION (literally CITIZENSHIP) is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ: 21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.

Those who walk contrary to the ways of righteousness and light are called enemies of the cross of Christ. They do not live as citizens of God’s Kingdom. Citizens of God’s Kingdom walk in the Spirit of God. We walk looking upward, for Jesus is watching us, and Jesus is coming again. We do not serve the lusts of the flesh – Jesus saved us from our sin so that we can serve our Living God.

Jesus did not save us so that we can freely SIN,
But so that we can freely SERVE our Lord.
Our CITIZENSHIP is in Heaven,
Though we dwell on the earth.
And one day soon we shall see Him face to face.
What a glorious day that will be!

We who belong to Jesus want as many as possible to come into this wonderful, mysterious Kingdom of God. This is why Paul asked the Church to pray for Him. Let us pray for one another. Let us pray that as a Church people will see Christ in us. Let us pray that we will walk as proper citizens of the Heavenly Kingdom. This is why the Apostle said:

Ephesians 6:18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

We are to pray for one another that Christ’s Kingdom be advanced. We wrestle not against flesh and bone, but against the forces of evil. Let us pray for one another that we will be creatures of God’s Light.

May Christ be lifted up, and the Father be glorified by this message. Amen!

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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