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Sunday        October 21

Blessings in Christ


Read Ephesians 1:3-14.

 1:3   Blessed [be] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly [places] in Christ: 
 1:4   According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: 
 1:5   Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, 
 1:6   To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. 
 1:7   In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; 
 1:8   Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; 
 1:9   Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: 
 1:10   That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; [even] in him: 
 1:11   In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: 
 1:12   That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. 
 1:13   In whom ye also [trusted], after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, 
 1:14   Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory. 


What, according to Paul here, have we been given in Christ?

The followers of Jesus have much to praise God for. In Christ, God has chosen to adopt us as sons and daughters and to represent Him to the world. Paul uses many images to describe our new relationship to God in Christ. Of these images, the image of adoption addresses this lesson’s theme of oneness. In Christ, we have been adopted, and we belong to the family of God. This family image is also a reference to God’s covenant with the children of Israel. In the context of Paul’s epistle, Gentiles who accept Jesus as the Messiah are also children of God, heirs of the promises made to Israel (Rom. 8:17, Gal. 4:7). The benefit of this relationship with Christ, to be in Christ, is fundamental to all Christian unity. This passage also tells us that it has been God’s desire all along to reunite all humanity in Christ. And, in God’s family, knowing Jesus does not provide any special status: we are all children of God, equally loved and cherished.

If we misunderstand what Jesus means to be "in" Him, then we shall not know if we are in Him. Thus, there will be confusion and deception leading many to believe they are in Christ when they are not. Thus, we hear the words of Jesus ringing in our ears from Revelation chapter three.

 3:14   And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; 
 3:15   I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. 
 3:16   So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. 
 3:17   Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: 
 3:18   I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and [that] the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. 
 3:19   As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. 
 3:20   Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. 
 3:21   To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. 


Not all in the church are in this condition. Those who abide in Christ and He in them, are not Laodiceans. They are not blind to what it means to be in Christ, to be in a converted state. It means to have died to self and be fully surrendered to Christ. Thus there is unity between all who are born again of the Spirit. They may not understand all doctrine the same, but they are filled with the Spirit and love as Jesus loves.


Some get confused when, in this passage, we read about predestination (Eph. 1:5, 11). The promise that God has chosen us to be saved seems to imply also that God has chosen some to be lost. But that’s not the biblical teaching. Rather, God prepared the plan of salvation before the foundation of the world in order that everyone might be saved. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16, NKJV; see also 1 Tim. 2:6, 2 Pet. 3:9). God knows beforehand who will accept His offer of salvation, but that is not the same as predetermining one’s decision. Salvation is offered to all humanity because of what Christ has done for us. The question is: How do we respond to this offer? God does not use coercion to save anyone.

That's right, we need to understand that we must respond to His drawing. We must learn of Him, to trust Him, so we can give Him all we have and all we are.


“In the council of heaven, provision was made that men, though transgressors, should not perish in their disobedience, but, through faith in Christ as their substitute and surety, might become the elect of God, predestinated unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself according to the good pleasure of His will. God wills that all men should be saved; for ample provision has been made, in giving His only-begotten Son to pay man’s ransom. Those who perish will perish because they refuse to be adopted as children of God through Christ Jesus.” - Ellen G. White Comments, The SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 6, p. 1114.

Amen!! Do you remember the lesson some time ago when we were discussing "the elect"? There was confusion and still is as to who is the elect. Notice here we are told that "provision was made that men.......might become the elect of God." Not all of Israel was the "elect of God," nor are all Seventh-day Adventists the elect of God. But, provision has been made that all may become the elect of God. What is that provision and how do we take advantage of it? Does this help us stop and consider our condition before God?
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The Desire of Ages / Re: The Desire of Ages--46--He Was Transfigured
« Last post by Richard Myers on October 21, 2018, 07:19:55 PM »
Amen!  We, like they, are to be His witnesses not only to this world, but to the watching universe. Such a thought!! Will we learn from their "unbelief"? Will we sorrow as we see the time of trouble coming upon us, or will we praise God for the privilege of suffering for His name?

 Even amid their questionings they clung to the thought that some unforeseen circumstance might avert the doom which seemed to await their Lord. Thus they sorrowed and doubted, hoped and feared, for six long, gloomy days.   
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"...our Lord... consecrates himself for the sacrifice in which he is simultaneously both priest and victim” - F. F. Bruce, The Gospel of John (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1983), p. 328.

We were discussing in Sabbath School how Christ could be "priest" and "simultaneously both" as "victim". I raised a question regarding where Scripture specifies that: For if he were on earth, he should not be a priest... Hebrews 8:4 Can anyone help me with this? Is there another thread in TRO where this is discussed?

I don't think this has been discussed here, Glen. I am not sure, but I think Jesus was a prophet and a victim, and a Savior while here, but His priestly ministry was making use of the sacrifice He made as He ministered in the heavenly Sanctuary after He ascended. Howdoes that sound?

Quote
Or; is the answer simply(sic) the fact that He was that:[/color] ...priest, Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life. Hebrews 7:15, 16 ? The undeniable fact that He raised from the dead?!

The "carnal commandment"; designated thus, because God found fault with the people because of their unbelief, and could only condemn?
...the law made nothing perfect... Hebrews 7:19 concerning God's professed people, from Adam and Eve's fall in the Garden, including the freed Hebrews, and with all mankind down through history, because: ...the word preached did not profit [us], not being mixed with faith in [we] that heard it. Hebrews 7:4 ?
Since even the New Covenant cannot profit those who have no faith?

The new covenant promise reveals that God will transform all who come to Him, to learn of Him, learn to trust Him, just as they are. That is ther is nothing good in us until we surrender all and allow Christ to come into the heart. When we speak of "works" in a theological sense, we are talking about obedience in keeping the law in order to earn salvation, which is impossible. We cannot keep the law from the heart, unselfishly, until we are converted. Thus, the New Covenant works for our salvation before we surrender by promising the prize since Jesus has already provided His part of the deal, and is drawing all to Himself before conversion.  We are not alone before conversion. The New Covenant promise is ours to understand and ours to partake of if we will learn of Him who gave all for us. In so doing we see His grace and it is this grace that brings us to the point of surrender and conversion. The more we see His grace the harder it is to "kick against the pricks" of the Holy Spirit revealing His love for us while we were yet sinners.

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Healthful Living / Re: What is Your Favorite Garlic to Grow ?
« Last post by Dorine on October 21, 2018, 03:21:28 PM »
We grow hardneck garlic that we plant in the fall and harvest the following fall. We do not know the actual variety but it is a very large porcelain type with about 4 or 5 large cloves. It doesn't last long in a household of 7 people.
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The Desire of Ages / Re: The Desire of Ages--46--He Was Transfigured
« Last post by Dorine on October 21, 2018, 08:37:05 AM »
Elijah had known loneliness of spirit, as for three years and a half of famine he had borne the burden of the nation's hatred and its woe. Alone he had stood for God upon Mount Carmel. Alone he had fled to the desert in anguish and despair. These men, chosen above every angel around the throne, had come to commune with Jesus concerning the scenes of His suffering, and to comfort Him with the assurance of the sympathy of heaven. The hope of the world, the salvation of every human being, was the burden of their interview. 

I long to have the heart of Jesus. His word is becoming more precious to me each day. Just to think that the burden of these men's conversation was for the salvation of every human being fills me with great joy. He's coming back soon for a people that is fully dedicated and surrendered to Him. I like the thought you brought out Pastor Sean that we are to learn the same lessons the disciples had to learn so that we will be prepared for the mission set before us.
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The Desire of Ages / Re: The Desire of Ages--46--He Was Transfigured
« Last post by Pastor Sean Brizendine on October 21, 2018, 07:11:54 AM »
What we read and learn of the life of Jesus and His disciples is to teach us the very lessons we need before Jesus comes in power and great glory. We can learn from where the disciples disbelieved or made mistakes, and then guard those areas of our lives that we will not lose the blessing that heaven desires to bestow upon us, that we may be prepared for our mission, as God is preparing a people for translation!

"Through being overcome with sleep, the disciples heard little of what passed between Christ and the heavenly messengers. Failing to watch and pray, they had not received that which God desired to give them,--a knowledge of the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. They lost the blessing that might have been theirs through sharing His self-sacrifice. Slow of heart to believe were these disciples, little appreciative of the treasure with which Heaven sought to enrich them." {The Desire of Ages, page 425, paragraph 1}

There are two great things that we still need to behold in order to be ready for our mission today: "a knowledge of the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow." We cannot separate the two. The agony of the cross was but the assurance of the glory of His kingdom. The sacrifice is now complete, but the ministration in the heavenly sanctuary is being wrought out in our behalf as we look by faith to the place where Jesus is investigating the life records of all who have professed His name. He is about to blot out the record of sin from all who have overcome through Him, but first He needs a generation, a corporate seed, who by the faith of Jesus keep the commandments of God and are walking in Christ's victory over sin, so the times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord. Jesus is about to return, and how it will encourage Him to find those who are not sleeping at their spiritual post, but those who are learning the lessons He has for them of their continual need of His Spirit to do any good thing, and to share the light of the loveliness of Jesus with a world soon to perish. Let us arise and shine to reflect His glory--the glory of character manifest in a consistent continual conversion whereby all of the fruits of the Spirit are seen in our lives, and not one is missing!
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"...our Lord... consecrates himself for the sacrifice in which he is simultaneously both priest and victim” - F. F. Bruce, The Gospel of John (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1983), p. 328.

We were discussing in Sabbath School how Christ could be "priest" and "simultaneously both" as "victim". I raised a question regarding where Scripture specifies that: For if he were on earth, he should not be a priest... Hebrews 8:4 Can anyone help me with this? Is there another thread in TRO where this is discussed?

Or; is the answer simply(sic) the fact that He was that:
...priest, Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life. Hebrews 7:15, 16 ? The undeniable fact that He raised from the dead?!

The "carnal commandment"; designated thus, because God found fault with the people because of their unbelief, and could only condemn?
...the law made nothing perfect... Hebrews 7:19 concerning God's professed people, from Adam and Eve's fall in the Garden, including the freed Hebrews, and with all mankind down through history, because: ...the word preached did not profit [us], not being mixed with faith in [we] that heard it. Hebrews 7:4 ?
Since even the New Covenant cannot profit those who have no faith?


He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now. 1 John 2:9 As the loving hand of Christ is stretched out still...for them also which shall believe on [Christ] through their word... John 17:20; Revelation 12:11


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Healthful Living / Re: What is Your Favorite Garlic to Grow ?
« Last post by Ed Sutton on October 20, 2018, 06:49:44 PM »


Elephant Garlic



European types of Garlic

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Gardening / Autumn and the Garden
« Last post by Ed Sutton on October 20, 2018, 06:46:45 PM »
Autumn and the Garden - For some it's all over till Spring,



 for some it cool weather short season crops,


for some it's year-round.   How about You ?

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Subjection to God is restoration to one's self—to the true glory and dignity of man.  From Heaven With Love, p. 315.3

So; could we perceive that Satan's "selfishness" persona, is the counterfeit of self-possession, as when one is fully submitted to God's divine Will?

As long as you are true to yourself, no adverse power of earth or hell will be able to destroy your peace or interrupt your communion with God. If you fear God, you need not walk in uncertainty. If you please Him you will secure everything which your soul requires. This Day With God 334
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