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Ephesians chapter 4 vs 17 to 32 - For the Christian Life has Purpose - Walk not as Other Gentiles Walk - JS Gillespie  

 

Bible teaching from Ephesians chapter 4 verses 17 to 32 - wlak not as other Gentiles walk in the vanity of their mind. In the Christian life or walk God teaches His people many valuable lessons. Like the nation of Israel in the Old Testament we are taught lessons of faith, of faithfulness to God, of dependence and of meaning. The Christian knows where he is going, why he is going and what he is doing. For the Christian, life is infused with meaning, purpose and destiny. By God's Grace we are transformed intellectually, spiritually and morally to reflect the glory of Jesus Christ. 

Part of our bible teaching series in Ephesians 

Dr J Stewart Gillespie 

Ephesians chp 4 vs 1 to 16 - The Problem with Prawns - Old Testament food Laws and the Church - J Stewart Gillespie  

The letter to the Ephesians contains 3 great pictures of the church:

 1 - The Church as a Building (Ephesians chapter 2) 

2 - The Church as the Body (Ephesians chapter 4) 

3 - The Church as the Bride (Ephesians chapter 5) 

Each of these 3 pictures contains the secret of the strength of the church: 

1 - The churches foundation in the apostles, prophets and Christ 

2 - The church in Her unity of love, a strength in those personal connections 3 - The church in Her relationship with Christ 

Each of these 3 pictures also indicates the means by which the church glorifies Christ! 

1 - As the place of worship and praise - the temple 

2 - In the character of Christ - in the body 

3 - In the completion of God's work in sanctification 

Here in the church God uses many to perfect the few in His work of Grace by gifts. Self sacrifice and the use of our gifts can at times feel like loss, but as we bless others in self sacrifical love, God so often prepares us to be blessed. The widow of Zarephath gave her very last handful of meal to Elijah only to receive back a blessing multiplied in the riasing of her son from death to life! In the picture of the church as the body of Christ, God demonstrates the uniqueness of His character as displayed in His people to the whole world, as He did in the Old Testament with Israel, a people separated from the world, distinct and holy, a testimony of Gods character to a fallen world. 

Dr J Stewart Gillespie

Ephesians chp 4 vs 1 to 12 - Do I need to go to Church? Is Church Necessary? Strength through Unity. - JS Gillespie  

Ephesians presents 3 pictures of the church; the church the Building, a Temple, the church as a Body and the church as a Bride. In each of these 3 pictures of the church, her strength is pictured against the onslaught of persecution, hatred and martyrdom. Our strength goes down deep in Ephesians chapter 2 in the picture of the building or temple into the foundations of God's Word, His truth as revealed by the apostles and prophets, all pointing us to the Lord Jesus. In the picture of the body in Ephesians chapter 4 the strength goes out, in the unity of the body and in Ephesians chapter 5 with the picture of the Bride our strength looks up, it is our relationship with Christ. If ever our relationship with the foundations, or with one another or with Christ is weakened, this spells disaster for the church. We consider questions such as; is the church essential? Do I need to go to church? Why does God do church? The church is an inevitable extension of the character of God; of His unity and triumph over sin, Satan and the world. 

Dr J Stewart Gillespie 

The Greatest Journey you Take begins on your Knees - Ephesians chp 3 vs 14 to 21 - JS Gillespie  

Literature and history is replete with great journeys and stories of adventure; twenty thousand leagues under the sea, around the world in 80 days or Star Wars in a galaxy far far away! The greatest journey you and I can make is teh journey into the place, presence and person of God! This is a way opened up by the Lord Jesus. In response to your prayerful need, God strengthens us according not to our weakness but according to His Glor, and for His Glory! That love demonstrated deepens my affection and surrender to Christ. From being resident Christ becomes president of my life! God desires that total surrender to Him, the filling of the Christian with all of the fullness of God and a life loved for His Glory. All of this is pictured in the Ark of the Covenant and mercy seat of Exodus chapter 25. 

Dr J Stewart Gillespie Bridgend Gospel Hall 

Church in New Cumnock 

Ephesians chapter 3 vs 14 to 16 - It Brings me to my Knees - J Stewart Gillespie  

For this cause I bow the knees, introduces Pauls prayer of intercession for the believers at Ephesus. It has taken prison, persecution and affliction to bring him here, on his knees before God. On his knees is the place of prayer. On his knees is the place of power. Paul is bold in prayer and interecedes not that the Ephesians may be strengthened according to their weakness but that they may be strengthened according to God's Glory! It is this strength that turns a shepherd into a giant slayer, that brings Samson his greatest victory and turns Lazarus's death into something glorious! 

Dr J Stewart Gillespie 

Bridgend Gospel 

Hall New Cumnock 

But God - Ephesians chapter 2 verse 4 - JS Gillespie  

It was an appreciation of "but God" that delivered Joseph from despair, 'but God meant it for good,' that rescued and guided Israel from the wilderness 'But God' would lead His people, it was resting in 'but God' that saved David from weakness, when his strength failed but God was the strength of his heart, it was resting on 'But God' that would redeem David from the grave and all of my hopes for heaven and salvation depend upon the 'but God' who commends His love towards us that whilst we were yet sinners Christ died for the ungodly. 

Dr J Stewart Gillespie Bible Teaching from Ephesians 

Spirit Lead me from Redemption to Redemption - Ephesians chapter 1 verses 13 to 14 - J Stewart Gillespie  

“The Holy Spirit of Promise”

Consider the Spirit of God, such a vast subject! 

The actions and manifestation of the Holy Spirit, are the actions and manifestations of God! 

The subject is immense!

  1. His role in Creation (Genesis chp 1) 
  2. His role in inspiration (2 Peter 1:20ff) 
  3. His role in the Incarnation (Luke 1:35) 
  4. His role in spiritual gifts and the Gift of prophecy 
  5. His role in Sanctification 
  6. His role in Consecration 
  7. His role in the Conviction of sin (John 16:8)
  8. His role in Conversion
  9. His role in Regeneration (John 3) 
  10. His role in Comfort and consolation (John 14)
  11. His role in Education (John 14:26; 1 John 2:27) 
  12. His role in the Ministry of Christ (John 14) 
  13. His role in Spiritual gifts (1 Co12) 
  14. His role in Prayer (Romans 8) 
  15. His role in Leading and guiding (Romans 8)
  16. His role in the transformation of character – fruit of the Spirit (2 Co 3:17-18)

The Spirit of God has many and varied roles and is active wherever God is active. To fully understand or systematise the Spirit of God we would have to fully understand God! 

What we have in Ephesians is something a bit more focused however. 

The Spirit of God is the believer’s:

  1. Pledge
  2. Proof 
  3. Person

He is our:

  1. Guide 
  2. Guardian 
  3. Guarantee

The ministry of the Spirit of God in the life of the Christian is a ministry from: 

Redemption (Ephesians 1:7) 

To: 

Redemption (Ephesians 1:13-14)

We are redeemed (Ephesians 1:7) 

We are to be redeemed (Ephesians 1:14) 

Redemption has 2 aspects:

  • What we are redeemed from – Egypt – slaves to pharaoh 
  • What we are redeemed to – The promised land – servants of the Lord 

In redemption there is an out and there is an in! 

Out of Egypt and into the promised land. 

Out of slavery to Pharoah and into the service of the Lord 

The ministry of God’s Holy Spirit thus runs:

  • From redemption (1:7) to redemption (1:14) 
  • From time to eternity 
  • From earth to heaven 

“The Holy Spirit of God whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption” (Eph 4:30). He is with us all that journey through! 

He is the "Holy Spirit of promise" (1:13)

Certainly He is the promised Holy Spirit: 

  • John 14:16
  • John 15:26
  • John 16:13
  • Luke 24:49
  • Acts 19:1ff 

But in the context of Ephesians chapter 1 He is more than the promised Holy Spirit. He is the guarantor of God’s promises:

  • earnest” – ‘arrabon’ – engagement ring 
  • He is the promised guarantee that the leaving we have endured will lead to an entering in to an inheritance which we can expect.
  • He takes us from redemption to redemption

That path guided by the Holy Spirit for the Christian is a picture which we see over in Genesis chapter 24, in the unnamed servant who leads Rebekah from Haran / Nahor to Canaan.

The Holy Spirit will lead us through too. 

  1. Salvation 

Set apart unto salvation – 2 Thess 2:13 

Conviction of sin (John 16:8)

Regeneration (John 3)

  1. Revelation of Jesus Christ (John 16:15; 14:26)
  2. Sanctification 

Sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit (1 Co 6:11)

Leave the world, the flesh and the Devil behind and drawn into the presence of Christ 

  1. Relationship 

Romans chapter 8

Prayer (Romans 8:26) 

  1. Consecration and transformation 

The inner working of the Spirit of God 

“The Spirit of ... power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Tim 1:7) 

Power – Ephesians 3:16 

Love – Ephesians 3:17 

Sound mind – Ephesians 3:18 

Consider 2 Corinthians 3:16ff – conformed to the image of Christ 

  1. Gifts of the Spirit for the Church 

Cf. 1 Corinthians 12:1ff 

The Spirit of God operative in the church, drawing believers together in the community of the church.

 

  1. Character moulded 

The transformation of the believers character 

The conformation of the Christian to Jesus 

The victory over the flesh (Romans 8:13) 

Cf. The fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22)

  1. Conduct shaped 

The transformation of conduct 

Led by the Spirit (Romans 8:1ff)

Filled by the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18ff) 

  1. Spiritual warfare 

Spiritual battle – conflict and warfare 

  1. Illuminating the Word of God 

A fairly extensive list of the ministry of the Holy Spirit 

That list of the working of the Holy Spirit is effectively an outline of the entire letter of the Ephesians! 

The Holy Spirit will lead us through too. 

  1. Salvation and sealing (Ephesians 1:13)
  2. Revelation of Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:17) 
  3. Sanctification (Ephesians 2: 1-10)
  4. Relationship and prayer (Ephesians 2:11-3:13 )
  5. Consecration and transformation (Ephesians 3:14-21)
  6. Gifts of the Spirit for the Church (Ephesians 4:1-16)
  7. Transformation of Character (4:17-31)
  8. Transformation of Conduct (5:1-20)
  9. Spiritual warfare (6:10-20)
  10. Illuminating the Word of God (6:17) 

The Spirit of God leads us in Ephesians to lay hold of our blessings in Christ. 

Let us impose a template on the Ephesian letter – take it from the life of Moses, the journey of the nation of Israel: 

  • Redemption from Egypt – Ephesians chp 1 
  • Sanctification from Egypt and Pharaoh – Ephesians chp 2 
  • Building a sanctuary – Ephesians chp 2 
  • Inner Holy of Holies – a place of 
  • Walk through the wilderness – battling Amalek chapters 4 + 5 
  • The final victory in spiritual battle and taking the land  (Ephesians 6)

What do I take from this? 

  • Without God’s Spirit I can do nothing 
  • The first work of the Spirit of God after salvation and sealing is the revelation of Christ 
  • There are no shortcuts 
  • I cannot move from salvation to victory without sanctification, fellowship, relationship, transformation and a walk consistent with my profession!

 

 

 

Ephesians chp 1 vs 11 - Treasuring Your Inheritance - 5 Girls who Changed the World - JS Gillespie - 19th Dec 2023  

 

It is amazing the impact on individual lifes, the history of nations, the record of the bible and the plan and storyof redemption that valuing our inheritance can have! Naboth knew the true cost of holding onto his inheritance and refusing to surrender, swap or sell his vineyard! It cost him his life. The 5 daughters of Zelophehad so cherished their inhetitance that they forced a change in Old Testament Law with unexpected and almost unbelievable consequences. The presidence they set in Numbers chapter 27 and Numbers chapter 36 became a decisive factor in cementing the relationship between Ruth and Boaz in Ruth chapter 4 and from that relationship not only came the King of Israel David but so too the Lord Jesus Christ. Let us as Christians hold onto, value and treasure our inheritance in Christ, refusing to devalue, despise, or disregard that inheritance for a world that disappoints and material prosperity that disappears. 

Ephesians chp 1 vs 11 – Living in the Light of Our Inheritance

Heading somewhere, heading home.

We are heirs of God, let us live like it! 

Living from the gutter to Glory!

There was a latin phrase which caught on a number of years ago after the film ‘The Dead Poets Society’ – Carpe Diem – seize the day! The modern equivalent of which YOLO – you only live once! 

The believer in Ephesians chapter 1 is encouraged not simply to seize the day or live for the moment, as if you only live once but rather to:

‘Lay hold of eternity’!

We noted previously in the context of redemption the importance of our inheritance! The theme of inheritance runs through the whole bible and the importance of it.

Inheritance is linked to:

  • Identity
  • Purpose 

Bible maps, and biblical maps of the promised land are divided up:

  • Not by states
  • Not by shires

But by:

  • Tribes

Ie according to the tribes or families of the nation of Israel.

The land was their inheritance! 

The land was their inheritance, and by the way it was their inheritance in perpetuity! There was provision for this in Leviticus chapter 25, for redemption and for the return of the land as an inheritance in perpetuity to the tribes of Israel at the year of Jubilee. 

These Old Testatment land laws and registers, strangely included in the Word of God, when perhaps other material could not be so included 

“And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.” (John 21:25)

All of this material recorded and included in the scriptures regarding land laws, inheritance laws, redemption rights and the year of Jubilee (Leviticus 25:10,13), impresses upon us as New Testament believers that when God gives an inheritance, it is forever! That is a good lesson to learn! 

Our inheritance in Christ is the next step in the flow of truth here in chapter 1:

  • Chosen – verse 4 
  • Predestined for adoption – verse 5 
  • Redeemed – verse 7 
  • Wisdom of God’s purpose worked out not as a photo but as a film! In 4 dimensions and not only 3! Wisdom projected from the Divine mind onto the canvas of time (vs 9 to 10). To gather all things in Christ, the church is the first glimpse of the new world and of this purpose (Ephesians 1:10). 

 

We have been chosen, predestinated, adopted, and redeemed for a purpose (Ephesians 1:11). From our perspective that purpose is our “inheritance” (Eph 1:11)

All of this of course flows from God:

  • Election 
  • Predestination to adoption 
  • Redemption 
  • Inheritance 

 

  1. “Chosen in Him”

Chosen not for good in me! 

God cannot chose between men for salvation the way we chose! When it comes to human choice we tend to chose the best option! The best room in the house, the best cake on display in the bakers window, the best job. When it comes to God choosing the sinner, the situation is clear (Romans 3:9ff). Just as when God formed Adam of the dust of the ground, it wasn’t that one handful of dust was any less dirty than another handful of dust! It was because of what could do with that handful of dust! 

  1. Adopted

The Old Testament is bookended by adoption! 

The Old Testament year, and redemptive calendar begins on:

  • 14th day of the 1st month Abib / Nissan with Passover 

The Old Testament calendar ends on:

  • 14th day of the last month Adar with Purim 

The first feast celebrates the nations release from a place – Egypt. 

The last feast celebrates the nations release from a person – Hamman.

With both of these feasts there is connected a prominent OT character:

  1. Purim – Esther 

Interestingly both Moses and Esther are adopted! 

The whole of the redemptive history of the Old Testament is bookended by adoption! 

  1. Redeemed

Redemption encompassing:

  1. Ransom
  2. Release
  3. Relationship 

Not purely a negative phenomenon, but redeemed for a purpose! Most clearly seen perhaps with the redemption of the nation from Egypt, seen too with Ruth and perhaps in picture form with Rebekah! 

There are some great examples of those who held fast to their inheritance! They weren’t for letting it go! 

Individual lifes, the story of the bible, the destiny of nations and the course of history was shaped by those who had an appreciation of their inheritance, so too for us. My inheritance: what I have in Christ and where I am going with the Christian faith. 

  1. Naboth – the cost of his inheritance 
  2. Daughters of Zelophehad – the commitment to their inheritance 
  3. Ruth – the consequences of holding onto that inheritance 

They will be encouraged to:

  • Deny
  • Despise
  • Disregard
  • Devalue 

Their inheritance but they didn’t and neither must I!

Live your life in the light of that inheritance. 

The believers inheritance permeates the whole of the Ephesian epistle: 

  1. Privileges of that inheritance (Ephesians 2) 
  • Prayer
  • Praise
  1. Practices of that inheritance (Ephesians 3+4) 
  • Preeminence of Christ 
  • Perfecting of the saints
  • Preaching of the word of God 
  • Practice of gifts
  1. Prospect of that inheritance (Ephesians 5)
  • Relationship
  • Resemblance

In living out our life as Christians in the light of our inheritance we can make an unexpected impact for Christ!

  1. Naboth
  • 1 Kings chp 21 
  • Naboth valued his inheritance – it wasn’t just a vineyard or a business, it was his inheritance (21:1). He wouldn’t give it up to be turned into a lawn! 
  • Naboth was encouraged to devalue his inheritance:

Naboth valued it with his life

  1. Daughters of Zelophehad
  • Numbers chapter 27 and 36 
  • The 5 daughters of Zelophehad, petition Moses as the land is about to be divided up, they too want their portion and their inheritance. 
  • In the first half of Numbers many did not value, were not prepared to fight for their inheritance in the land eg the 10 out of the 12 spies who were sent doen to spie out the land. 
  • These daughters forced a change in case law and received their right to inherit from their father in the absence of a son. 
  • They really valued their inheritance!
  • This had an unexpected consequence which arises in Numbers chapter 36. Having inherited their fathers land they are restricted to marry within the tribe. 
  • I f I were to tell you that your salvation depended on the passion and pursuit of their inheritance would you believe me? Their conviction and passion for their inheritance was used by God to direct subsequent events that lead us ultimately to the birth of Jesus Christ! 

 

  1. Ruth
  • Ruth chapter 4
  • What is happening here? 

Probably not as a consequence of the levirate laws of marriage in Deuteronomy 25 which applies to:

  • Brothers (Lev 25:5) and the widows “brother in law” (Lev 25:5)
  • Who “dwell together” (Lev 25:5) – taken by the Rabbis as indicating brothers with inheritance rights to the same father, ie living on the family land.
  • The child born as a result is credited to the deceased brother (Deut 25:6) 

This was not what transpired in the book of Ruth:

  • Boaz was a near kinsmen (Ruth 3:12,13), not a brother and Naomi perceived no levirate right per se of redemption by Boaz. 
  • Naomi seems quite clear regarding levirate marriage in Ruth 1:11ff this would depend upon her having another son. 
  • Boaz credits the choice of Ruth as the cause of the union rather than legal rights per se “Let it even be established, that thy name may be magnified forever, saying, The LORD of hosts is the God of Israel, even a God to Israel: and let the house of David thy servant be established before thee.” (Ruth 3:10)
  • Once the son is born he is credited to Boaz (Ruth 4:21) and not Mahlon

This does not fulfil the criteria we know of for levirate but rather fits better with the legislation given as a consequence of the problems raised by the daughters of Zelophehad in Numbers 27 and 36.

It appears to have been their faithfulness and commitment to ensuring their inheritance in Numbers chapter 27 and the subsequent issues which arose in Numbers 36 with legislation that committed the daughter who inherits her fathers property to marry within the tribe. The faithfulness of the daughters of Zelophehad had unexpected consequences, reaching far beyond the daughters of Zelophehad! Their faithfulness in a sense turned the course of history, bringing to pass the marriage of Ruth and Boaz and thus the line of David and of Messiah! 

Bible teaching from Ephesians chapter 1 

Dr J Stewart Gillespie

Ephesians chapter 1 vs 8 - The Wisdom of God   

It is a great mistake to judge the wisdom of God simply by considering a snap shot or a picture of a moment in time. The wisdom of God cannot be seen in the imprisonment of Joseph, in the punishment of Daniel, in the death of Lazarus nor in the suffering of the man born blind. Take a step back and consider the way God works over time and through the generations, intertwinning the stories of patriachs, kings and prophets, in bringing to pass His appointed purpose in Christ and then we grasp His wisdom. This is a wisdom dispensed and worked out in the fullness of time (Ephesians chp 1 vs 10). 

“Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence” Ephesians 1:8

An interesting and practical verse 

Over the years a distinction has been drawn between:

  • Wisdom
  • Knowledge

Distinction emphasised:

  • Wisdom is knowledge applied 

Knowledge – what truth is 

Wisdom – what we do with that knowledge / truth. How we use that knowledge. 

In the OT we do see that distinction:

  • Knowledge is the raw material of wisdom the substrate of wisdom (Proverbs 18:15; Proverbs 15:2, 14) 
  • Wisdom is the application and use of that knowledge (2 Chronicles 1:10ff; 1 Kings 3:16ff)

Knowledge – what truth is

Wisdom – how we use that knowledge 

Knowledge is 3 dimensional in Ephesians chapter 3 

That knowledge is applied and expressed over time (v10) by God displaying His wisdom. 

We may perceive the knowledge of God in a snap shot of time but whilst knowledge is 3 dimensional (Ephesians 3:18-19); the wisdom of God is perceived over time, a 4th dimension (Ephesians 1:8-10).

  • Knowledge – a picture 
  • Wisdom – a video 

10 That in the dispensation of the fullness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, …” Ephesians 1:10

“As a plan for the fullness of time” – ESV

“The ordering of the times when they are complete”  - BBE

As God works out His knowledge in time we begin to perceive His wisdom! That is a very practical thing! 

Perhaps this is one of the most practical thoughts we have in Ephesians!

If you want to see the ‘knowledge’ of God you can glimpse that in creation: Psalm 19:1-2; Romans 1:19.

If you want to get a glimpse of the ‘knowledge of God’ – see that in Creation.

If you wish to perceive the ‘wisdom’ of God that will be seen in the story of redemption! 

Johannes Kepler once famously desired to “think God’s thoughts after Him.” To think God’s thoughts after Him we will need to look at more than creation, we will need to consider the story of redemption!

We can gain a glimpse into the knowledge of God from Creation; the “eternal power and Godhead” of God – Romans chapter 1. 

E=mc2 

5 grams of sugar = 1.5 X 10 power of 62 joules 

1 megaton nuclear bomb 10 to 15 joules 

More than enough power to wipe out the whole earth 

In creation we glimpse the raw power, the eternal power and Godhead of God! 

It is in redemption we see more than the raw power and knowledge of God; we see the wisdom of God. 

God’s wisdom is perceived over time.

God’s wisdom is worked out according to His good pleasure (v9); for His purpose, His pleasure, and not for mine! 

Mary and Martha

“If you had been here my brother had not died” 

Don’t judge God by that snapshot! 

See the wisdom working out over time! 

In delaying His coming the Lord would demonstrate something far more glorious than His power to heal the sick. Through these events we would see the power of Jesus to raise the dead. This brought blessing not only to Mary, Martha and Lazarus in John 11 but to all believers of all ages!

Scattering of the Jerusalem church

Why the scattering and persecution, suffering, death and martyrdom?

If you just assessed that story by a snapshot in time you would miss what God was actually doing! The seed of the Gospel, was being scattered throughout the whole world! 

 

The man born blind (John 9:3)

You may well question the wisdom of God if you just look at that snap shot of the man born blind in John chapter 9!

“but that the work of God should be made manifest in him” 

 

John on the Isle of Patmos

You may well question the wisdom of God in constraining John to the Isle of Patmos and yet it is in that seclusion that the greatest prophetic revelation ever is given! 

Daniel in the Lion’s Den – Question the wisdom of God?

You may question the wisdom of God in putting Daniel, faithful, prayerful, righteous Daniel in the den of lions! Look at the whole story however! 

  • Daniel becomes a glorious type of Christ. 
  • Evidence that God’s pleasure in His people is not limited to the provision of favourable nor easy circumstances!
  • God’s name is glorified and His purposes fulfilled as the Lord’s servant places himself upon the altar for Christ! (Romans 12:1ff)
  • For God to increase I must decrease! God is glorified when my life is placed on the altar to Him! 

 

The Cross of Calvary – Question the wisdom of God? 

The 2 on the road to Emmaus certainly did! 

Esther in Babylon – Question the wisdom of God? 

Taken captive in Babylon and then ends up in the harem of Ahasuerus, yet God has a role uniquely to be fulfilled by Esther.

 

We can see the wisdom of God in the plan of redemption worked out down through the ages in the:

  • Pictures 
  • Patterns
  • Prophecies 

Through the whole of the OT scriptures. 

See the pieces coming together:

  • Tree of life 
  • Ark of Noah pitched within and without with pitch 
  • Lamb of Isaac
  • Types of Joseph 
  • Passover 
  • Types of tabernacle
  • Feasts of Jehovah 
  • Types of Elijah 
  • Slaying of Goliath

In the prophecies of:

  • Psalms
  • Isaiah
  • Micah
  • Zechariah 

Here is the practical impact; I can look at my life and see the problems, the difficulties; discouragements; and obstacles and fail to perceive the wisdom of God from that single picture! I need to consider the whole story, over time before I can truly see that wisdom! 

Illustrate: 

David and Svea Flood and their 2 year old son left Sweden to go to the Belgian Congo in 1921. 

Met up with the Ericksons and then headed inland to Ndolera 

They found themselves forbidden to enter the village by the chief, in fear of offending the tribal gods! 

The Floods had only 1 regular contact from the village, a delivery bow who brought chickens and eggs 

Svea spoke to him about Christ 

The Ericksons left 

Svea died aged 27 giving birth to Aggie 

David Flood left the station, his calling and the faith “I’m going back to Sweden, I’ve lost my wife and I obviously can’t take care of this baby. God has ruined my life.”

He gave the baby Aggie to the Ericksons, they died and she was adopted by a couple who returned to USA> 

Aggie attended a missionary conference in London years later, the speaker was from Zaire. He had been the young lad with whom Svea had shared Christ. He became a teacher and lead most of his pupils to Christ. There were now > 600 believers in the town and he represented a church of > 100, 000 believers. 

We need to perceive the wisdom of God over time, through the years, centuries and generations, it is not just a snap shot nor a picture but the entire panoramic view of what God is doing that portrays the wisdom of God.

Dr J Stewart Gillespie