Daily Archives: January 4, 2020

January—4 The Poor Man’s Evening Portion

And David said, Seemeth it to you a light thing to be a king’s son-in-law, seeing that I am a poor man, and lightly esteemed?—1 Sam. 18:23.

Did David indeed set by so high an honour in being allied to the family of an earthly prince; what then must be the dignity to which believers are called, in being heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ? The apostle was so lost in the contemplation of this unspeakable mercy, that he cried out with holy rapture, Behold! what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God! My soul, art thou begotten to this immense privilege? Ponder well thy vast inheritance. Not a barren title; not an empty name; this relationship brings with it a rich revenue of all temporal, spiritual, and eternal blessings. Sons-in-law and in grace to God in Christ, believers are born to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled, and that fadeth not away. They have the spirit of adoption, and of grace: and because they are sons, God hath sent forth the spirit of his Son into their hearts, whereby they cry, Abba, Father. Are they poor in outward circumstances? bread shall be given, and water shall be sure; and their defence shall be the munitions of rocks. Are they afflicted in body or in mind? their back shall be proportioned to their burden; and as their day is, so shall their strength be. Every child shall have his own portion, and the Father’s blessing sanctifying all. Yea, death itself is in the inventory of the inheritance of a child of God: for so far is death from separating from God, that it brings to God. What sayest thou, O my soul! to these things? Art thou, like David, a poor man, and lightly esteemed? Look up and enjoy thy relationship in Jesus, and from this time do thou cry out, in the words of the Prophet, and say unto God, “My Father! thou art the guide of my youth.”[1]


[1] Hawker, R. (1845). The Poor Man’s Evening Portion (A New Edition, p. 6). Philadelphia: Thomas Wardle.

Forgetting what is behind? — Gentle Reformation

I thought it might be appropriate, as we move on into 2020, to consider, briefly, Paul’s zeal for “pressing on” with the Lord.

But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith – that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus – Philippians 3:7-14 ESV

Like many biblical statements, it should not be absolutized, particularly when it comes to forgetting what is behind.

The apostle almost certainly takes this metaphor from the arena – the length of the course in Athens was 607 feet from starting blocks to finishing post.

In order to get the prize, runners must not get distracted – looking back not only spelt danger but also made athletes decelerate: dithering delay would result in defeat.

To reach the racer-goal, and receive the 1st-prize call, needed total mental focus, eyes fixed on the finish, motivated by smell of success, to make sinew-strain worthwhile.

When we translate this metaphor into the spiritual arena, it is helpful to think of the following when applying it to ourselves:

It is good to look back in the following circumstances:

  1. To commemorate what God has done – in redemption, in history, in revivals, through heros, for churches and in believers.
  2. To reflect on God’s work of grace in our own lives – predestined, called, justified, progress to date in sanctifying grace, and all that precedes the glory that awaits.
  3. To repent or deepen repentance of unconfessed or superficially confessed sins.
  4. To repair relationships which should have been put right long ago – it is tragic when a brother or sister dies to whom we main unreconciled.
  5. To lead us from contrition, to the promises of the Gospel, for grace and glory which is located in Christ, in the pursuit of holiness.

Why is it good to look back to such things?

A. It speeds (and actually is part of) sanctification and the progress Paul pursues in seeking full conformity to Christ – ingratitude and impenitence will actually slow our walk and hinder us in this race.

B. It cheers us up and spurs us on when we think of what God has done already, and knowing He is faithful, and will surely go again – He is the same yesterday, today and forever.

C. It glorifies God and is commanded in Scripture – as A and B it will all work for good.

It is bad to look back in the following circumstances:

  1. When it fills us with improper grief, bitter resentment or gloom discouragement – there are some things that need decisively ‘put to bed’ if we are to run well.
  2. When we turn in on ourselves in unhealthy introspection about former sins we cannot undo or problems which we cannot resolve and were not the basic cause.
  3. When we are filled with vain regrets about decisions we made which were foolish or injudicious and which leave us pain, hesitant or confused – Christ shed His blood and offer Himself to us to remove these shackles from our feet and nooses from our necks (instead we must trust God, as we look forward optimistically, to seeing how our numerous, tragic, mistakes will be sovereignly overruled, in love, for good).
  4. When we start to boast before the Lord in our pedigree, heritage, religion, rituals, service, efforts as works of righteousness by which we justify ourselves.
  5. When we start to boast before God in any of the above and thereby turn our gaze onto self (and away from Christ who is freely offered to us in the means of grace).

How and when should we look back?

So look back to the God who had done great things for us, and look back to you sin in order to move forward; but don’t look back to amass credit for yourself – instead look forward to Christ, who is both goal and call – the Risen, Exalted, Savior has grace in the present, more grace for the future, and glory in the end, when the upward call is complete, when you see His smiling face.

Remember, always, to look up to Christ!

And if you are plagued by the tendency to look back in wrong ways, or be always glancing over your shoulder at sin, smarten up the pace, look up to Christ – His gaze was always right! He fixed both eyes on the Cross! To win and grant superabundant grace to keep eyes fixed on Him.

via Forgetting what is behind? — Gentle Reformation

January 4 Streams in the Desert

Jesus saith unto him, Go thy way; thy son liveth. And the man believed the word that Jesus had spoken unto him, and he went his way.” (John 4:50.)

When ye pray, believe.” (Mark 11:24.)

WHEN there is a matter that requires definite prayer, pray till you believe God, until with unfeigned lips you can thank Him for the answer. If the answer still tarries outwardly, do not pray for it in such a way that it is evident that you are not definitely believing for it. Such a prayer in place of being a help will be a hindrance; and when you are finished praying, you will find that your faith has weakened or has entirely gone. The urgency that you felt to offer this kind of prayer is clearly from self and Satan. It may not be wrong to mention the matter in question to the Lord again, if He is keeping you waiting, but be sure you do so in such a way that it implies faith. Do not pray yourself out of faith. You may tell Him that you are waiting and that you are still believing Him and therefore praise Him for the answer. There is nothing that so fully clinches faith as to be so sure of the answer that you can thank God for it. Prayers that pray us out of faith deny both God’s promise in His Word and also His whisper “Yes,” that He gave us in our hearts. Such prayers are but the expression of the unrest of one’s heart, and unrest implies unbelief in reference to the answer to prayer. “For we which have believed do enter into rest” (Heb. 4:3). This prayer that prays ourselves out of faith frequently arises from centering our thoughts on the difficulty rather than on God’s promise. Abraham “considered not his own body,” “he staggered not at the promise of God” (Rom. 4:19, Rom. 4:20). May we watch and pray that we enter not into temptation of praying ourselves out of faith.—C. H. P.

Faith is not a sense, nor sight, nor reason, but a taking God at His Word.—Evans.

The beginning of anxiety is the end of faith, and the beginning of true faith is the end of anxiety.—George Mueller.

You will never learn faith in comfortable surroundings. God gives us the promises in a quiet hour; God seals our covenants with great and gracious words, then He steps back and waits to see how much we believe; then He lets the tempter come, and the test seems to contradict all that He has spoken. It is then that faith wins its crown. That is the time to look up through the storm, and among the trembling, frightened seamen cry, “I believe God that it shall be even as it was told me.”

“Believe and trust; through stars and suns,

Through life and death, through soul and sense,

His wise, paternal purpose runs;

The darkness of His Providence

Is starlit with Divine intents.”[1]


[1] Cowman, L. B. (1925). Streams in the Desert (pp. 4–5). Los Angeles, CA: The Oriental Missionary Society.

January 4 – Proverbs on food — Reformed Perspective

“Have you found honey? Eat only as much as you need, lest you be filled with it and vomit.” – Proverbs 25:16 

Scripture reading: Proverbs 23:19-21

The average North American eats more than 150 pounds of sugar per year. No wonder North America is the fattest continent in the world. But the misuse of food is not new. It occurred many, many times in the Bible.

Now, Solomon enjoyed food, even exotic, tasty food. Food is God’s gift. But because of abuse of food, which hinders our sanctification, Solomon was compelled to address the issue of food abuse, or rather, body abuse. What did he teach?

Enjoy your food, but don’t be a glutton. Being a glutton is acting as if God couldn’t provide for you tomorrow and you must eat all today. It is also an abuse of the body. Many diseases are caused by overeating. Enjoy your food, but learn to share with those who do not have, especially with those who are from the same blood, the blood of Jesus. Remember, the reason you have more food is not because you are better than Christians in Africa, but because God is pleased to bless you. A suggestion might be to miss one meal a week and give that money to the needy. (That might be good for your health as well!) Enjoy your food, but don’t waste it. Save up for hard times. Learn from Solomon’s ants (Proverbs 30:25). It seems that ants even store up more food when they sense a famine coming.

Not being a glutton and not hoarding is evidence that you are growing in Jesus.

Suggestions for prayer

Pray that God will teach you to live a balanced life and that you will share of your abundance and be satisfied with God’s gifts.

This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Mitchell Persaud is pastor of New Horizon URC in Scarborough, ON, a mission church under the oversight of Cornerstone URC in London, ON. He was born in Guyana, South America, into a Hindu home, baptized Roman Catholic, raised Pentecostal and then became Reformed.

via January 4 – Proverbs on food — Reformed Perspective

Beth Moore Outed as NeverTrumper — Christian Research Network

“The idea that evangelical Christian voters choosing Trump over Hillary Clinton somehow killed evangelicalism is patently absurd, as if they would have been better off voting for a person and a party that had absolute contempt for them and their values.”

(C. Douglas Golden – Western Journal) Can American evangelism die because evangelicals voted for Donald Trump? This seems to be the thinking that Beth Moore, Christian evangelist and bestselling author, is following nowadays.

In a tweet responding to a Christian Post editorial, Moore, the 62-year-old founder of Living Proof Ministries, identified 2016 as the year the movement “passed away.”

The Christian Post editorial was responding to Christianity Today’s support for President Donald Trump’s impeachment and removal from office; The Christian Post piece blasted “Christian elitism” and the spirit of the Christianity Today editorial. View article →




Beth Moore

Progressive Christianity

via Beth Moore Outed as NeverTrumper — Christian Research Network

Largest Christian outreach event in history planned for 2020 — Christian Research Network

The title should read “Largest New Apostolic Reformation “Christian” outreach event in history planned for 2020.” According to The “Christian” Post, three of the “Christian leaders” endorsing the crusade include evangelists Heidi Baker, Andrew Palau and Daniel Kolenda, all NARwolves in sheep’s clothing. The organizer of the outreach told the CP reporter, “God said, ‘Now is the time to do this.’” One thing is for sure. Since the NAR is a theological train wreck that is spreading a false gospel that saves no one, the god that told her to put on the worldwide event was not the God of the Bible. The god she heard from was more than likely the god of this world. So with this backdrop in mind, here’s the article:

A network of churches and ministry leaders are aiming to put on the “largest Christian outreach” crusade in history across dozens of African countries next May in a movement that will culminate on Pentecost Sunday. 

Simultaneous Christian “miracle festivals” featuring African sports, entertainment, and political celebrities will be held from May 28 through May 31 as part of a movement called One God – One Day – One Africa (1GDA). The hope is to “blanket Africa with prayer.”

1GDA is a continental festival of unity the scope of which has never been seen before, according to organizer Jennifer Wilde, the founder of Wilde 4 Jesus Ministries who has served over three decades as a missionary.

The crusade events will be organized by local churches, religious leaders and ministries in partnership with foreign ministries and leaders. The aim, Wilde told CP, is to have evangelistic crusade events held in as many African countries as possible.

So far, the organizers say they have partner ministries lined up to lead and organize crusade events in at least 30 African countries. But they are calling on churches around the world to help organize crusade rallies in the remaining countries.

“It is amazing, all the unity that God is bringing about for One God – One Day – One Africa,” Wilde told The Christian Post.  View article →


New Apostolic Reformation

This news story is posted for informational and research purposes and is not in any way intended as an endorsement of The “Christian” Post.

via Largest Christian outreach event in history planned for 2020 — Christian Research Network

January 4th – The D. L. Moody Year Book

For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come.—Hebrews 13:14.

SURELY it is not wrong for us to think and talk about heaven. I like to locate it, and find out all I can about it. I expect to live there through all eternity. If I were going to dwell in any place in this country, if I were going to make it my home, I would inquire about its climate, about the neighbors I would have, about everything, in fact, that I could learn concerning it. If soon you were going to emigrate, that is the way you would feel. Well, we are all going to emigrate in a very little while. We are going to spend eternity in another world, a grand and glorious world where God reigns. Is it not natural that we should look and listen and try to find out who is already there, and what is the route to take?[1]


[1] Moody, D. L. (1900). The D. L. Moody Year Book: A Living Daily Message from the Words of D. L. Moody. (E. M. Fitt, Ed.) (pp. 9–10). East Northfield, MA: The Bookstore.

January 4 – Proverbs on food

“Have you found honey? Eat only as much as you need, lest you be filled with it and vomit.” – Proverbs 25:16 

Scripture reading: Proverbs 23:19-21

The average North American eats more than 150 pounds of sugar per year. No wonder North America is the fattest continent in the world. But the misuse of food is not new. It occurred many, many times in the Bible.

Now, Solomon enjoyed food, even exotic, tasty food. Food is God’s gift. But because of abuse of food, which hinders our sanctification, Solomon was compelled to address the issue of food abuse, or rather, body abuse. What did he teach?

Enjoy your food, but don’t be a glutton. Being a glutton is acting as if God couldn’t provide for you tomorrow and you must eat all today. It is also an abuse of the body. Many diseases are caused by overeating. Enjoy your food, but learn to share with those who do not have, especially with those who are from the same blood, the blood of Jesus. Remember, the reason you have more food is not because you are better than Christians in Africa, but because God is pleased to bless you. A suggestion might be to miss one meal a week and give that money to the needy. (That might be good for your health as well!) Enjoy your food, but don’t waste it. Save up for hard times. Learn from Solomon’s ants (Proverbs 30:25). It seems that ants even store up more food when they sense a famine coming.

Not being a glutton and not hoarding is evidence that you are growing in Jesus.

Suggestions for prayer

Pray that God will teach you to live a balanced life and that you will share of your abundance and be satisfied with God’s gifts.

This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Mitchell Persaud is pastor of New Horizon URC in Scarborough, ON, a mission church under the oversight of Cornerstone URC in London, ON. He was born in Guyana, South America, into a Hindu home, baptized Roman Catholic, raised Pentecostal and then became Reformed.

Source: January 4 – Proverbs on food

Islam Keeps Spreading in England as Christianity Declines – Government Study

The decrease in the proportion of English citizens who identify as Christians has continued, but slowed down, in the past decade as opposed to the 2000s. Muslims have become the fastest-growing faith group in England, while the number of those reporting no religious affiliation has increased too.

Source: Islam Keeps Spreading in England as Christianity Declines – Government Study

4 Jan 2020 – Rapture Ready News

Round Two: US Drone Airstrikes Kill Six Pro-Iran Militia Commanders
Whether he is eating ice cream or not, Trump appears to be on a rampage to recreate the end of The Godfather.

RED ALERT: Internet to be “policed” by communist China under new UN crackdown targeting online speech
With Russia’s help, communist China has convinced the United Nations to pass a new resolution that threatens to further restrict online free speech in the name of fighting “cybercrime.”

Trump: 2020 Democratic candidates ‘trying to punish religious believers’
President Trump warned members of his evangelical base that every 2020 Democratic presidential candidate poses a threat to their religious liberty.

The Global Shaking From A Trump Presidency We Warned You About Last Year Has Already Started
News headlines all over the Internet this week, both liberal and conservative, are proclaiming that a ‘global shaking’ has come upon the world affecting the governments in every nation. The reason for this global shaking?

United Methodist Church Will Split Into Multiple Denominations As Same-Sex Marriage Continues To Destroy The Professing End Times Christian Church
Conservatives applauded back in February when the United Methodist Church body narrowly voted down the LGBTQ+P for Pedophile “One Church Plan’, but alas, the short-lived victory is coming to an end. Jesus tells us in Revelation 3 that the Laodicean Church Age, the last days of the professing church on earth before the Rapture, would look like this:

Prince Philip passes Outward Bound Trust patronage to Prince Andrew after interviewing him for the job
The Duke of Edinburgh has handed over his patronage of the Outward Bound Trust to his son, the Duke of York, it has been announced.

New Church of England Archbishop Believes Christian Views on Sexuality Should Be Adapted ‘To Fit Culture’
The latest senior appointee in the Church of England has made some startling remarks about the relevance of the Bible in our modern culture. Stephen Cottrell, the incoming Archbishop of York, made the controversial comments back in 2017 after the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, called for a “radical new Christian inclusion” amongst the Anglican communion.

Could Roe v. Wade be overturned? Hundreds of members of Congress sign amicus brief ahead of key SCOTUS case
Several hundred members of Congress filed “amicus,” or supporting, briefs in a closely watched upcoming Supreme Court case that could decide the future of abortion access.

Jan Markell: Top 10 Bible Prophecy Stories of 2019
…let me present what I think are the top ten Bible prophecy signs of 2019. As stated, I could present 110.  In some cases, these signs are Tribulation-related events but they are still casting a shadow on the Church Age. They are not in order of importance because each item is important!

Mystery pneumonia outbreak in China sparks fear of deadly SARS virus
Authorities are investigating an outbreak of viral pneumonia in central China amid online speculation that it might be linked to SARS, the flu-like virus that killed hundreds of people more than a decade ago.

U.S. Drug Companies Already Raising Prices in 2020|
Pharmaceutical giants celebrated the dawn of 2020 in the best way they know how: jacking up the prices of drugs for people in the U.S. that need them.

Wildfires claim 22 lives, destroy 2 500 buildings and scorch 5.9 million ha (15 million acres) — extreme fire weather warning, Australia
Bushfires in Australia have killed at least 22 people since August 2019 and destroyed more than 2 500 buildings, including over 1 400 homes. In addition, 28 people are still missing in the state of Victoria. Half a billion animals have been killed, including a third of the local koala population.

“Dire Circumstances”: Aussie Wildfires Intensify After Killing Half A Billion Animals; Record Numbers Evacuate
“If they value their safety they must leave…”

Source: 4 Jan 2020

The Elephant in the Room isn’t Trump — Cross Examined – Christian Apologetic Ministry | Frank Turek | Christian Apologetics | Christian Apologetics Speakers

Podcast: Play in new window

A couple of listeners wrote emails to express their disagreement with some of what Frank said in the show “Why Did Evangelicals Vote for Trump?” In this show Frank responds by investigating Jesus’s rebuke of the Pharisees (the politicians of Israel) in Matthew 23:23 and then by asking three questions:

  1. What is the purpose of government?
  2. What is your primary reason for choosing a president?
  3. Who, of the available candidates, will best fulfill that purpose?

As you’ll hear the elephant in the room isn’t Trump and his personality. The primary reason we choose a president has to do with a policy, not personality (although personality is still important). Frank responds to other objections from the emails, and also answers this question from a parent: How do I respond to a child who claims not to believe in God anymore?

via The Elephant in the Room isn’t Trump — Cross Examined – Christian Apologetic Ministry | Frank Turek | Christian Apologetics | Christian Apologetics Speakers

January 4, 2020 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

The Lord’s Glory

Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen. (3:20–21)

In culmination of all he has been declaring about God’s limitless provision for His children, Paul gives this great doxology, a paean of praise and glory, introduced by Now unto Him.

When the Holy Spirit has empowered us, Christ has indwelt us, love has mastered us, and God has filled us with His own fullness, then He is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think. Until those conditions are met, God’s working in us is limited. When they are met, His working in us is unlimited. “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go to the Father. And whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it” (John 14:12–14).

There is no situation in which the Lord cannot use us, provided we are submitted to Him. As is frequently pointed out, verse 20 is a pyramid progression of God’s enablement: He is able; He is able to do; He is able to do exceeding abundantly; He is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask; He is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think. There is no question in the minds of believers that God is able to do more than we can conceive, but too few Christians enjoy the privilege of seeing Him do that in their lives, because they fail to follow the pattern of enablement presented in these verses.

Paul declared that the effectiveness of his own ministry was that “my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power” (1 Cor. 2:4), because “the kingdom of God does not consist in words, but in power” (4:20). Throughout his ministry the apostle was concerned about “giving no cause for offense in anything, in order that the ministry be not discredited, but in everything commending ourselves as servants of God, in much endurance, in afflictions, in hardships, in distresses, in beatings, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in sleeplessness, in hunger, in purity, in knowledge, in patience, in kindness, in the Holy Spirit, in genuine love, in the word of truth, in the power of God” (2 Cor. 6:3–7). Everything Paul did was in the power of God, and in the power of God there was nothing within the Lord’s will that he could not see accomplished. That same power works within us by the presence of the Spirit (Acts 1:8).

When by our yieldedness God is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, only then are we truly effective and only then is He truly glorified. And He deserves glory in the church and in Christ Jesus, not only now, but to all generations forever and ever. The Amen confirms that worthy goal.[1]

A Great Doxology

Ephesians 3:20–21

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

Bible study is a kaleidoscopic experience. The lessons we learn and the experiences we have are multiple. At times the Bible humbles us, making us conscious of our sin. At other times it thrills us as we think of all God has done in Christ for our salvation. Some Bible passages instruct us. Some rebuke us. Some stir us up to great action. In some passages we seem to gain a glimpse into hell. In others, a door is opened into heaven.

The last is the case as we come to the closing verses of Ephesians 3. They are a great doxology, perhaps the greatest in the Bible. In the verses just before this Paul has reached a height beyond which neither reason nor imagination can go. He had been speaking of God’s purposes for his redeemed people, and he had expressed the wish that we should “be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God” (v. 19).

This is beyond comprehension; we cannot even begin to imagine how we can be filled with God’s own fullness. We stand on the edge of the infinite. And yet, Paul is still not satisfied. He has prayed that God will do something we cannot even imagine; and now, having exhausted his ability to speak and write along that line, he bursts out in praise to God who, he says, “is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us” (v. 20).

What an amazing doxology! In the last study I spoke of Paul’s ascending requests for the Ephesians as a “prayer staircase.” But here is another staircase, a “doxology staircase.” Ruth Paxson makes this vivid by arranging the doxology as a pyramid (kjv).

Unto him

That is able to do

All that we ask or think

Above all that we ask or think

Abundantly above all that we ask or think

Exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think

According to the power that worketh in us

A verse of this scope deserves careful consideration.

The first thing the apostle says about God is that he is able to do something. The word for “do” is poieō, which actually means “to make, cause, effect, bring about, accomplish, perform, provide, or create,” as one Greek dictionary has it. It points to God as a worker, which means, as John Stott says, that “he is neither idle, nor inactive, nor dead.”

What a contrast then between this God, the true God, and the so-called gods of the heathen! In Isaiah’s day the people of Israel had fallen away from the worship of the true God and were worshiping idols, and God gave Isaiah words for that situation. He described the idols. They are, he said, nothing but pieces of lumber carved up by the worshiper. “They know nothing, they understand nothing; their eyes are plastered over so they cannot see, and their minds closed so they cannot understand” (Isa. 44:18). God calls an idol just “a block of wood” (v. 19). He issues this challenge:

“Present your case,” says the Lord.

“Set forth your arguments,” says Jacob’s King.

“Bring in your idols to tell us

what is going to happen.

Tell us what the former things were,

so that we may consider them

and know their final outcome.

Or declare to us the things to come,

tell us what the future holds,

so we may know that you are gods.

Do something, whether good or bad,

so that we will be dismayed and filled with fear.

But you are less than nothing

and your works are utterly worthless.”

Isaiah 41:21–24

According to these verses, the proof of the true God’s existence is that he is able to do things. The idols can do nothing, not even evil.

Ask and Receive

The second thing Paul says about God is that he is able to do what we ask. That is, the ability of God to work is not related merely to his own concerns and interests but extends to the concerns and interests of his people. It is a statement about prayer.

Most of us are probably quite cautious in our prayers, unless we have learned to pray through a lifetime of growing in this discipline. So often we hold back in asking, afraid of embarrassing either God or ourselves. But that is not the kind of prayer God commands in the Bible.

To be sure, we do often pray wrongly. James says, “When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures” (James 4:3). But for every verse that warns us about wrong prayers there are others which by example and precept teach us to pray frequently and with confidence. A favorite of mine is 1 John 3:21–22: “Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases him.”

That verse is a great prayer promise. It says that (1) if we are praying with a clear conscience, that is, if we are being honest and open before God, and (2) if we are doing what God in his Word has commanded us to do, and (3) if we are seeking to please God in every possible way, then we can know that what we ask of God we will receive. We can know, to use Paul’s words, that God “is able to (and will) do … [what] we ask.”

What about our thoughts? Have you ever had the experience of thinking about something you would like to ask God for, but not asking him because you had no real confidence that the thing was God’s will for you? I have. There are things I pray for with great confidence. I know it is God’s will for me to conquer sin, to bless my preaching of his Word, and many such things. There are other things that I would like to see happen—the type of things God blesses and that I think would please him—but I do not always pray for them, because I have no real confidence that God wants to do them through my life and ministry or that he wants to do them now. So I hold back, only thinking about them and only occasionally mentioning them as possibilities in my prayers.

I do not know whether I am right in this. I may be wrong. I should probably be much bolder in what I pray for. But whether that is the case or not, it is a comfort to come to a verse like this and read that “God is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine. It says that God is able to do those things that I only think about but am afraid to ask for.

All We Can Ask or Think

Paul’s doxology would have been great if he had stopped at this point, for it would be wonderful to know that God is able to do what we imagine (or think) as well as what we explicitly ask for. But at this point we are only halfway up this great ascending staircase. The next thing Paul tells us is that God is able to do all we can ask or think. It is not a question of God being only fifty percent or even ninety-nine percent able. God “is able to do … all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.”

It is God’s ability to do all we can ask or imagine that encourages us to stretch forward spiritually and ask for more. My father-in-law was a banker in New York City, and he frequently passed on to me the kind of jokes bankers tell one another. One was about a loan officer who tried to run a gas station in his retirement years. He had been a successful banker, but failed at running a gas station. Whenever a customer came in and asked for ten gallons of gas, he would respond, “Can you get by with five?” Paul tells us that God is not like that. He does not give half of what we ask for (if we ask rightly), but all. Indeed, it is his ability to give all we ask or imagine that encourages us to come with big petitions.

More Than We Ask

It is greater even than this, for Paul has amplified his doxology to say that God is able to do even more than all we might ask or imagine. I put it to you: Is that not your experience of God? Have you not found it to be true that whatever you ask of God (assuming you ask rightly and not with wrong motives, as James warns), God always has something bigger and greater for you—something more than you asked for? It is generally something different, something you would not have anticipated.

That would have been the testimony of all the great biblical characters. I think of Abraham. God called Abraham when he was a pagan living in Ur of the Chaldeans. He told him that he would make him into a great nation, that he would bless him and that he would make him to be a source of blessing to others. I do not know what Abraham would have understood by that at first. In time he probably came to see that the blessing to others would come as a result of the work of the Messiah who would be born in his life. But I suppose that at the beginning he just thought about having a large family which would eventually become a nation similar to those around it. Through most of his life his prayers would have focused on his lack of even one son, and he would have repeatedly asked God to give him children.

How did God answer? We know the story. We know that God did eventually give him a son, a son born to him and Sarah in their old age. And we know that Abraham had other children after that—Genesis 25:2 lists six—and that Abraham’s immediate clan grew substantially so that, at the time of the battle against the four kings of the East, Abraham was able to muster 318 trained men of war to pursue them.

But that is only the most obvious of Abraham’s blessings. In Abraham’s case the “much more” would have included the fact that Isaac, the son of promise, became a type of Jesus Christ and was used to teach Abraham about the future work of Christ, and that the nation promised to Abraham was not limited to his natural descendants, the Jews, but included the entire family of God collected from among all nations throughout all human history. These are the people who have become “as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore” (Gen. 22:17).

Certainly Abraham would testify that God is able to do more than we can ever ask or think.

Moses would say the same thing. God told Moses that he was going to cause Pharaoh to let the people of Israel leave Egypt, where they had been slaves for four centuries. Moses did not want to go. He had failed once, and did not want to fail again. But when God insisted and when he showed Moses that he would work miracles through him, changing his staff into a serpent and then back again and making his hand leprous and then healing it again, Moses went.

Could Moses have anticipated the full extent of the plagues God brought on Egypt: the turning of the water of the land to blood, the multiplication of frogs, gnats, and flies, the plague on the livestock, the boils, hail, locusts, darkness, and eventually the death of the firstborn? Could he have anticipated the miracles of the Exodus: the parting of the Red Sea, the destruction of the Egyptians, the cloud that accompanied the people during their years of wandering and protected them, the manna, the water from the rock, and other miracles? Could Moses have guessed that God would appear to him again and give him the law or that he would work through him to give us the first five books of the Bible?

Moses would not even have dreamed of these things. He would have testified freely that God is able to do more than we can ask or imagine.

David would speak along the same lines. God called him from following after the sheep. He made him the first great king of Israel, replacing Saul. He blessed him beyond his greatest dreams. At the end of his long and favored life God announced that through his descendant, the Messiah, his house and kingdom would be established forever. David replied, “Who am I, O Sovereign Lord, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far? And as if this were not enough in your sight, O Sovereign Lord, you have also spoken about the future of the house of your servant.… What more can David say to you?… How great you are, O Sovereign Lord! There is no one like you, and there is no God but you, as we have heard with our own ears” (2 Sam. 7:18–20, 22).

David would have joined others in confessing that God is able to do more than any of us can possibly ask or think, and that he does do it.

Is this not your experience? Life may not have gone exactly as you would have planned it for yourself; you may have had many disappointments. But if you are really trying to obey God and follow after him, can you not say that God’s fulfillment of his promises toward you has been more than you have asked?

Immeasurably More

There is one more statement in Paul’s doxology in which he says that God is not only able to do more than all we can think but that he is able to do immeasurably more than we can contemplate. The word translated “immeasurably” (niv) is another of Paul’s coined words: hyperekperissou. It occurs only here and in 1 Thessalonians 3:10 in Greek literature. It can be rendered “exceeding abundantly” (kjv), “infinitely more” (Phillips), “far more abundantly” (rsv), “exceeding abundantly beyond” (nasb), and so on.

How can this be? Even though Abraham, Moses, David, and others may not have anticipated the full measure of what God was going to do in their lives, what they experienced is measurable. It may take time, but it can be spelled out. Was Paul just carried away in this passage? Was he exaggerating for effect? I do not think so. After all, in the previous chapter, in a complementary passage, Paul wrote that “God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus” (Eph. 2:6–7). In this verse Paul uses the word “incomparable” rather than “immeasurable” but his thought is much the same and indicates to my mind how the word in Ephesians 3:20 should be taken. Paul is not thinking of earthly blessings here. He is going beyond these to think of the blessings of God’s inexhaustible kindness toward us through Christ in eternity. Since eternity is immeasurable, so also are the works that God will do for us in the life to come.

In this sense the doxology ends as the prayer ended just a verse before, with reference to our being filled forever to the measure of all the fullness of God, which is immeasurable.

Power and Glory

After a doxology like this we may be so overwhelmed by the promises implied in it that we find ourselves thinking that it cannot possibly apply to us—for others maybe, for Abraham (he was a giant in faith) or Moses or David—but not for normal people like ourselves. Paul does not allow this. He ties it down to our experience by showing that the power of God which is able to do these things is the same power that is already at work in all who are God’s children. It is “according to his power that is at work within us.”

In other words, although we have not realized the full extent of God’s working—and never will, precisely because God is infinite in his workings—what we are yet to experience is nevertheless of the same substance as what we have already known, if we are genuine believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. Our salvation in Christ is a resurrection from the dead, for we were “dead in … transgressions and sins” (Eph. 2:1), and it is precisely that resurrecting power of God that we are to go on experiencing. It is by that power and not by our own that these great promises are to be accomplished.

What can be added to this? Nothing but the final, direct ascription of praise to God, which is what Paul does. “To him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever!” John Stott says, “The power comes from him; the glory must go to him.” And so it shall![2]

20 Paul concludes the first half of his letter in grand style—with an exalted doxology that both exalts God (it may even be part of the prayer, though the conjunction de clearly signals a break from what preceded) and assures the readers that God is completely able to answer his elevated prayer for them. In the event that anybody, wondering whether Paul’s request has been too expansive, should ask whether God can really grant to his people this “fullness,” Paul answers in no uncertain terms: “Yes, he can! Nothing limits God’s ability.” Power language dominates what follows: “him who is able” (dynamenos, GK 1538), “power” (dynamis, GK 1539), and “at work” (energoumenēn, GK 1919). God can perform the unthinkable in his people because of his invincible potency and his indwelling presence. Paul directs his praise to the one “who is able to do [above all] immeasurably more” (hyper panta poiēsai hyperekperissou). The adverb hyperekperissou (GK 5655) conveys something “quite beyond all measure (highest form of comparison imaginable)” (BDAG, 1033). With this hyperbolic expression (note the two uses of hyper), Paul pushes the boundaries beyond limits.

Paul then extends what God is able to do beyond what humans may ask of him or what they are capable even of imagining. Paul used the common verb noeō (GK 3783) in v. 4 with the sense of “understand”; here it has the extended sense of “imagine, think” (BDAG, 674). Paul explains that beyond the boundaries of our asking or even imagining for ourselves, God is able to do according to (kata; the basis or norm of his operation) his power (dynamis) that keeps on working (present tense and middle voice of energoumenēn) within or among us. In other words, it is well within God’s ability to accomplish far beyond what his people can ask for, or even imagine as possible, because God keeps working in ways that are in keeping with his mighty power. Recall, this power raised Christ from the dead, seated him in the heavenly realms, and made him head over all things “for the church” (1:19–22). Paul has made an incredibly audacious claim. As Lincoln, 216, affirms, “Neither the boldest human prayer nor the greatest power of human imagination could circumscribe God’s ability to act.”

We may translate the last phrase, en hēmin, as either “within us” or “among us.” Does Paul pray for this power to work inside individual Christians, or in the framework of the body? The answer must be, “Both.” The love Paul has requested for his readers must be demonstrated in the body of Christ, the local church. This requires God’s powerful working “among us.” This, I believe, is the primary focus here, as we’ve seen corporate emphases throughout. For this to happen, however, it requires the work of God’s power within each individual believer. It would diminish Paul’s request in this context to ignore either of these components—individual or corporate.[3]

20  Has Paul sought too much from God for his fellow-believers—praying that they may be filled up to the level of the divine fullness? They might think so as they heard this letter read aloud, but Paul reassures them: it is impossible to ask God for too much. His capacity for giving far exceeds his people’s capacity for asking—or even imagining.

The contemplation of God’s eternal purpose and its fulfilment in the gospel calls forth a doxology. A doxology takes the basic form, “To God be the glory,” but it may be variously expanded as the immediate occasion for ascribing glory to God is elaborated. Other doxologies of this pattern in the Pauline writings are found in Rom. 11:36; 16:25–27; Gal. 1:5; Phil. 4:20; 1 Tim. 1:17; 2 Tim. 4:18. Such ascriptions, together with such utterances as “Praise God!” or “Blessed be God!” were common in temple and synagogue worship and were taken over into the liturgy of the church.112

Here, in the light of the far-reaching prayer which has just been offered, God is described as the one “who can do far more abundantly than all we ask or think.” The power by which he can do this is the power which he has implanted in his people—“the surpassing greatness of his power in us who believe” which, as has been said in Eph. 1:19–20, is nothing less than “the operation of his mighty strength” exerted in the resurrection of Christ. By the Spirit who imparts this power to believers the full realization of God’s gracious purpose for them and in them becomes possible.[4]

How Much Can God Do? (3:20a–b)

The answer is, more—“immeasurably” more than we can ask, and more than we can even imagine. The Greek word for “immeasurably” (hyperekperissou) is the “highest form of comparison imaginable” and could even be translated as “infinitely more than.”

More Than We Can Ask (3:20a)

For children of all ages, Christmas is the asking time of year. While we may not be asking for “mutant turbo-blaster robo-dinosaurs” or “Diamond Dancing Barbies,” we adults still have our “asks.” The adult requests are more in the form of secure jobs, incomes adequate to pay for the turbo-blasters, good health, diplomas, peaceable families, and a world without war. There is no reproach in the apostle’s words for asking. That we would ask is, in fact, a natural outgrowth of Paul’s earlier conclusion that we have confident and free access to the Father by virtue of Christ’s work on our behalf (Eph. 2:18; 3:12). We come to a Father who is able to do what we ask, and invites us to come to him (Phil. 4:6).

But the apostle does not limit the Father’s care or ability to what we ask. There is too much of our humanity in our requests for them to govern God’s responses. Because we are human our requests are feeble and finite. We want dessert when we need meat, success when we need humility, and safety when we need godly courage—or Christlike sacrifice. We ask within the limits of human vision, but he is able to do more. He sees into eternity what is needful for our soul and for the souls of those whom our lives will touch across geography and across generations; and, seeing this, he is able to do more than we ask.

In 1983 a childless woman named Mary Nelson was working in her garden in St. Louis, praying while she worked. She asked God to help not only in her grief for the absence of children in her life, but also in her bitter awareness of women who could have children but choose to abort them. The absence of a child in her home created such a longing for life in her heart that Mary asked God, there in the garden, to help her give life to children in whatever way he would lead. Nine months later, Mary “gave birth” to the first Pregnancy Resource Center in St. Louis, and since that time literally thousands of children have been spared due to the prayers and labors of Mary Nelson and others who have followed her. She, who once asked to be a life-giving mother to one, has become life-saving mother to thousands.

Our God is able to do immeasurably above what we ask. I know to ask only what I think is good for my immediate family; he knows what is good for my children’s children, and what will bring multitudes into his kingdom from places I cannot name or imagine.

More Than We Can Imagine (3:20b)

The ways of our Lord cannot be limited to what we ask, because his wisdom and power—and, therefore, his intentions—are beyond our imagining. Earlier in this chapter of Ephesians we were told that his love is so wide and long and high and deep that it surpasses our knowledge (Eph. 3:18–19), but now we are told that this is not a passive or powerless love. His loving surpasses our knowledge, but his doing surpasses our requests and even our imagination. “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Cor. 2:9; Isa. 64:4). For those in Christ, T. S. Eliot says, “the impossible union of spheres of existence is actual. Here the past and future are conquered, and reconciled.”

He who loved us so much that he spared not his own Son to make us his children (Rom. 8:32) invites us to come to him freely and confidently, but he also promises to bring the full measure of the wisdom and powers of his Godhead to answer us. How do we measure what he can do? He holds the whole earth in his hand; he created the universe but continues to control the light in your room and the decay of an atom in the most distant galaxy; he makes the flowers grow and the snow fall; he rides on the wings of a storm and holds a butterfly in the air; and he who was before the beginning of all we know still uses time as his tool of healing, restoration, and retribution. Our thoughts are as a window to him; generations to come from us are already known fully to him who loves our family more than we do. He looks at the length of our life as a handbreadth, and makes our soul, though sinful, his treasure forever. Such is the God who hears our prayers and is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or can even imagine.

God’s greatness allows me to believe in his good will even when something I ask for is not answered when I desire or how I imagine. At this year’s Thanksgiving service in my church I listened in fresh-found awe as believers gave their reasons for thanksgiving. One gave thanks for a child soon to be born after three different doctors said a child for this couple was impossible. But this thanksgiving came just after the words of a mother thanking the church for its ministry to her during the year that her husband had been dying of liver cancer. And while the one rejoiced in the coming of a child, I watched the eyes of another couple turn red and their eyes brim with tears because no such miracle child had come to them in their years of marriage. Days later I learned that one of our alumni families, who had just suffered their fourth miscarriage, yet prepared a meal in their home for college students to celebrate the coming of the Christ child.

If the world or any cynic were to look on all of these accounts at once, I can only imagine that the response would be: “Now wait a minute. This one gives thanks when a prayer for new life is answered. That one gives thanks when a prayer for continued life seems unanswered. Then this other couple grieves because a child does not come to them but also gives thanks to God because he let his Son come for us. Does all of this make sense?” No. It does not make earthly sense. But if the God of all things earthly and eternal were at work, would you expect him to be limited by our wisdom and perceptions? No, you would expect him to be at work in ways beyond our imagining. And that is just what he is promising: to do immeasurably above all that you would ask or even imagine.

It must be this way, for inevitably that for which we pray is limited by our human perspective. We think that we shall be happy if we see the perfect sunset, meet the right person, get the right job, or get relief from the person or disease that troubles us. But the One who sees beyond the sunrise, into the heart and after the disease, knows that in a fallen world perfect solutions do not exist and their dim reflections may only distract us from dependence upon him who must redeem us from all that falsely promises fulfillment. J. R. R. Tolkien wrote that our ultimate joy “lies beyond the walls of the world.” Ultimate satisfaction is not in a lover, a landscape, or a livelihood; although they may rightly please us, they will pass. That which is eternal and on which the soul must rest is “higher up” and “further back” (as Cornelius Plantinga puts it) than those things we presently relish, and it can be provided only by the One who is able to do more than we would ask or even think. But how will he do such things?

How Will God Do More? (3:20c–d)

Sovereignly (3:20c)

Paul says that our Lord is able to do immeasurably more than all we would ask or imagine, “according to his power.” These words already have a rich history in this epistle. Paul uses “according to” as a way of indicating that something will be expressed to its full extent. In the first chapter we are told that we have forgiveness “in accordance with” the riches of God’s grace (Eph. 1:7). That is to say, God pours out his mercy from the fullness of his storehouses; he is not budgeting a meager supply for us and saving more till later. We have the fullness of his forgiveness and love. “Power” is the expression of God’s sovereign force of creation. By his power he brought the world into being, brought us from death to life, and will transform this world into a new creation (Eph. 1:4, 10, 18, 19–23). He is the One who made our lovers, landscapes, and livelihoods, along with the universe and the eternity that contain them. Thus, when Paul says that God is able to do immeasurably more than all that we ask or imagine, “according to his power,” the apostle urges us to believe that God can do more than we can imagine because he is God, and will use his sovereign power—the creative power of the physical and spiritual universe—in our behalf.

Personally (3:20d)

But how will God apply this sovereign power? The answer to that question will truly stretch our imagination—and our faith. For what the apostle claims is that God will work sovereignly according to his power that is “at work in us.” God works in us personally. This is a return to the theme that Paul began at the end of chapter 1 where he identified the church as the means by which God would fill and transform creation with his own fullness. Now Paul speaks to those in the church, and he says that God will do more than we can imagine through his power (yes, I can get my mind around this, so far) and that this power will be expressed through “us” (now that is a lot for a mind to handle). You and I are the instruments by which God is going to accomplish more than we can ask or even imagine.

This sounds more than a little far-fetched and perhaps rings a bit idealistic. After all, some of us enjoy places of security and esteem, while others endure great difficulty and depressing obscurity. Some see the effects of their lives in great brush strokes of glory and accomplishment. Others look back on the last twenty or thirty years of their lives and honestly question, “Did I do anything?” How can we honestly affirm that God is doing more than we ask or imagine through us? How could Paul say it while chained to a guard in prison at Rome while he is writing to the few people in the crude and simple house churches of Ephesus?

In a photograph displayed at Auschwitz, a Nazi guard points a pistol at the head of a child. Beneath the picture there is a caption: “He who saves one soul saves the world.” Our temptation is to look for heroism, significance, and success in noteworthy deeds and great accomplishments. But faith accepts that God is working out his plan—for the world and for eternity—one moment, one act, one life at a time. Our finite wisdom in a mortal existence makes it hard to act with unnoticed integrity, to persevere without apparent results, to show courage when there is no gain and no one to cheer the sacrifice. But by such integrity, perseverance, and courage among his people in a church worldwide, God is changing the world.

Consider a woman who teaches prostitutes alternative employment as hairdressers in Thailand; a man who teaches a mentally handicapped adult to paint; a woman who offers comfort to a newlywed distressed by the unfaithfulness of her husband; a woman who gives up a holiday to spend an evening with high school girls needing a friend; a woman who changes the diaper of a disadvantaged infant saved from the uncertainties of the foster care system; a man who lingers over a catechism with an African in a remote village so that the man will be an effective elder in a church of ten; a man who refuses to pay a bribe from mission funds to a rebel leader in India; and a secretary in a government office who encourages her boss with a promise to pray for him today. None of these acts of persons I know can be counted on to make any difference in the eyes of the world, but collectively the power of God is at work in these Christians to change this world. In ways unseen, unheralded, and unknown, God is transforming the world according to his power through us even now.

It is beyond our imagining but necessary for our endurance to remember often that it is God’s way to work his infinite wisdom and divine power through us. This is something that we will need to remember when we face obscurity while serving in a small church, when God chooses others for recognition, when failure knocks at our door, when we face anger or ridicule from foes or friends, when our envy of others in more prestigious or lucrative positions threatens to rob us of our commitment to our calling, or when we wonder if the spouse that God gave us is the right one. Because God is working sovereignly and personally we know that for the purposes of our own Christlikeness and his own glory he gives us the spouse he intends, the church he intends, the position he intends, and the challenges he intends. God’s provision may not always be what we would ask, and often stretches what we can imagine. But God gives us what he does in order to prepare us, to strengthen us, to humble us, to bless us, and to grow in us a greater dependency on himself and a lesser attraction to this world, according to his power in us.

When God put his Son in a stable, it must have been hard to imagine that there was “the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ” (2 Cor. 4:6). But what may be harder yet to imagine is that we too “are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory” (2 Cor. 3:18). In each activity of the Spirit, in each transition of our lives and in each challenge that makes us question how something so humble, difficult, or unnoticed could be significant, there is a new advent of the glory of God, a new incarnation of his presence and power. Think of that: no matter how obscure or insignificant the act, when we serve the purposes of the Savior, the glory of the Son of God shines in us with increasing glory because of his power that is at work in us.

How shall we treat a God who so dignifies and empowers the humble offerings of service that we give to him? If what we do is, in reality, the result of his power at work in us, then there is only one thing to do: give him glory.[5]

Paul’s praise to God (vv. 20–21)

God “is able,” Paul says in verse 20, “to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think.” Witness the salvation of the Gentiles! Who would ever have asked or thought that God would save such spiritually profligate people! But he did! And God has done the same for many reading this book as well! Perhaps, in former days, you were just the sort of “far off” and spiritually mixed-up person we thought about in the last chapter. Who would have dreamed that you would be sitting where you are at this moment, enjoying a commentary on Paul’s epistle to the Ephesians? But look at what God has done! God is indeed “able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think.” And to the God who does such things belongs great “glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen” (v. 21).[6]

3:20 / The apostle has prayed earnestly for certain things, but he realizes that even his requests fall far short of what God is able to do. Thus he concludes this doctrinal section with an appeal to the infinite wealth and understanding of God: To him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine. He has opened to his readers the marvels of God’s secret and how they have been incorporated into the body of Christ. But in spite of this vast and eternal plan of God, he reminds them that God has the resources to do much more according to his power that is at work within us. “Our experience of his power, as it is brought to bear within us, is a limited but true index to the nature of the power that governs the universe and brings all things to their appointed end” (Beare, p. 680).[7]

20, 21. When the apostle surveyed God’s marvelous mercies whereby, through the supreme sacrifice of his beloved Son, he brought those who were at one time children of wrath into his own family, and gave them “the courage of confident access,” the privilege of contemplating in all its glorious dimensions the love of Christ, and the inspiring task of instructing the angels in the mysteries of God’s kaleidoscopic wisdom, his soul, lost in wonder, love, and praise, uttered the following sublime doxology: Now to him who is able to do infinitely more than all we ask or imagine, according to the power that is at work within us, to him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever; Amen. It is immediately clear that this doxology is not only a fitting conclusion to the prayer but also a very appropriate expression of gratitude and praise for all the blessings so generously poured out upon the church, as described in the entire preceding contents of this letter. Besides, it is Paul’s way of making known his firm conviction that although in his prayer he has asked much, God is able to grant far more. On this point the apostle, who relished superlatives (see N.T.C. on I and II Timothy and Titus, p. 75), speaks very strongly. Literally he says, “Now to him—that is, to God Triune—who is able to do super-abundantly above all that we ask or imagine (or: think, conceive),” etc. In order to appreciate fully what is implied in these words it should be noted that Paul’s reasoning has taken the following steps: a. God is able to do all we ask him to do; b. he is even able to do all that we dare not ask but merely imagine; c. he can do more than this; d. far more; e. very far more. Moreover, the apostle immediately adds that he is not dealing with abstractions. The omnipotence which God reveals in answering prayer is not a figment of the imagination but is in line with (“according to”) that mighty operation of his power that is already at work “within us.” It called us out of darkness and brought us into the light, changed children of wrath into dearly beloved sons and daughters, brought about reconciliation between God and man, and between Jew and Gentile. It is God’s infinite might which he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead, and which is now operative in our own, parallel, spiritual resurrection.

Therefore to the One who does not need to over-exert himself in order to fulfil our desires but can do it with ease, “be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus.” In other words, may homage and adoration be rendered to God because of the splendor of his amazing attributes—power (1:19, 2:20), wisdom (3:10), mercy (2:4), love (2:4), grace (2:5–8); etc.—manifested in the church, which is the body, and in Christ Jesus, its exalted head. (On the concept glory see N.T.C. on Philippians, pp. 62, 63, footnote 43.)

The apostle’s ardent desire is that this praise may endure “to all generations.” The word generation, in addition to other meanings, has especially two connotations that should be considered in the present connection: a. the sum-total of contemporaries (Matt. 17:17); and b. the duration of their life on earth; that is, the span of time intervening between the birth of the parents and that of their children. In the present case, as well as in verse 5 above, the latter or chronological sense is indicated, for the phrase “to all generations” is reinforced by “forever and ever.” The latter expression means exactly what it says. It refers to the flow of moments from past to present to future, continuing on and on without ever coming to an end. Rather strangely it has been defined by some as indicating “the opposite of time,” “time without progress,” “timeless existence,” etc. But as far as creatures and their activities are concerned, the Bible nowhere teaches such timeless existence. The popular notion, also found in some commentaries and in religious poetry, namely, that at death—or according to others, at the moment of Christ’s return—believers will enter upon a timeless existence, finds no support in Scripture, not even in Rev. 10:6 when properly interpreted. If in the hereafter believers will acquire one divine “incommunicable” attribute, namely, eternity, why not the others also, for example “omnipresence”? For more on this see the work mentioned on p. 174, footnote 97.

The blessed activity of which believers have a foretaste even now but which in unalloyed and superabundant grandeur will be their portion in the intermediate state, and far more emphatically in the day of the great consummation, an activity with which the apostle is deeply concerned and for which he yearns in prayer, consists, therefore, in this, that forever and ever the members of the Father’s Family ascribe praise and honor to their Maker-Redeemer, whose love, supported by the illimitable power which raised Christ from the dead, will lift their hearts to higher and higher plateaus of inexpressible delight and reverent gratitude. Arrived in glory, their minds unobscured by sin, advance from one pinnacle of spiritual discovery to the next, and then to the next, in an ever ascending series. Their wills, then fully delivered from all the enslaving shackles of willfulness, and invigorated with a constantly growing supply of power, find more and more avenues of rewarding expression. In brief, the salvation in store for God’s children resembles the Healing Waters of Ezekiel’s vision (Ezek. 47:1–5), which, though when one enters them they are ankle-deep, soon become knee-deep, then come up to the loins, and are finally impassable except by swimming. And because of this constant progress in bliss, the answering progress in praise to God also never ceases, for

“When we’ve been there ten thousand years,

Bright shining as the sun,

We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise

Than when we first begun.”

(John Newton)

When the Holy Spirit inspired the prisoner Paul to write this overpowering doxology, Paul’s heart was moved by that same Spirit to express hearty approval by means of the solemn “Amen.”[8]

[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1986). Ephesians (pp. 112–113). Chicago: Moody Press.

[2] Boice, J. M. (1988). Ephesians: an expositional commentary (pp. 113–119). Grand Rapids, MI: Ministry Resources Library.

[3] Klein, W. W. (2006). Ephesians. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Ephesians–Philemon (Revised Edition) (Vol. 12, pp. 101–102). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[4] Bruce, F. F. (1984). The Epistles to the Colossians, to Philemon, and to the Ephesians (pp. 330–331). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

[5] Chapell, B. (2009). Ephesians. (R. D. Phillips, P. G. Ryken, & D. M. Doriani, Eds.) (pp. 169–175). Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing.

[6] Strassner, K. (2014). Opening up Ephesians (pp. 75–76). Leominster: Day One.

[7] Patzia, A. G. (2011). Ephesians, Colossians, Philemon (p. 227). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[8] Hendriksen, W., & Kistemaker, S. J. (1953–2001). Exposition of Ephesians (Vol. 7, pp. 175–177). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

Iranian dissidents hail Soleimani’s death as ‘major, major blow’ for regime in Tehran

As the world took in the significance of the U.S. killing of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani, Iranian resistance groups hailed the move as a “major blow” for the repressive regime in Tehran — predicting that it will boost the morale of dissidents and bring the regime’s downfall one step closer.

Source: Iranian dissidents hail Soleimani’s death as ‘major, major blow’ for regime in Tehran

Iran President Admits Trump’s Sanctions Wiped Out Obama’s Nuclear Deal, Pallets of Cash | LifeZette

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani admitted that President Trump’s strict sanctions have cost his country $200 billion, effectively wiping out assets provided by the Obama administration.

“Sanctions have deprived the Islamic Republic of $100 billion in oil revenue in the last two years and an equal amount in foreign investment credit,” Bloomberg News reported, citing Rouhani’s official website.

President Trump signed a resumption of U.S. sanctions in 2018 following withdrawal from the one-sided Iran nuclear deal which had lifted them previously.

“The last set of sanctions lifted under the terrible nuclear deal will come back into force,” Trump announced in a statement, further warning Iran to “abandon its destructive behavior or continue down the path toward economic disaster.”

RELATED: Trump Administration Ratchets Up Pressure on Iran

Wiped Out Obama’s Legacy

The $200 billion hit to Iran’s economy effectively wipes out the $150 billion in assets that were held in overseas accounts and sent back to Iran, a process put into motion by the nuclear deal.

It also negates the nearly $2 billion the former President used as leverage to ensure three American prisoners were released.

Money which “was flown into Iran on wooden pallets stacked with Swiss francs, euros and other currencies,” CNN reported at the time.

These funds have reportedly been used to finance terror operations, possibly even earmarked for militia strikes including one that fired a rocket at an Iraqi military base last week, killing an American contractor, as well as this week’s embassy attack in Iraq.

RELATED: Airstrike Kills Top Iranian General After U.S. Warned of ‘Preemptive Action’

Iran Not Dealing With a Patsy Anymore

The State Department explained this past April that sanctions on Iran are designed to “deny the regime the revenue it needs to fund terrorism and violent wars abroad.”

By contrast, the Obama State Department was more than willing to fork over money to a regime whose modus operandi is to cause “death to America.”

Literally doing so by sending them pallets of cash.

Obama even went so far as to secretly attempt to give the regime temporary access to U.S. banks.

“The Obama administration during the negotiation of the Iran deal misled the American people,” Ohio Senator Rob Portman charged. “I think they did so because they were desperate to get a deal.”

Under Obama, Iran was receiving a multitude of economic benefits as well as being granted a pathway to a nuclear program.

The President is wiping that all out.

This piece originally appeared on ThePoliticalInsider.com and is used by permission.

Source: Iran President Admits Trump’s Sanctions Wiped Out Obama’s Nuclear Deal, Pallets of Cash

DEATH TO AMERICA: Tens Of Thousands Of Muslims Jam The Streets In Baghdad As Iran Vows Revenge For The Killing Of Top General Qassem Soleimani — Now The End Begins

Thousands of furious mourners thronged in the streets of Baghdad today during funeral processions for the slain Iranian general Qassem Soleimani and an Iraqi militia commander who died with him during yesterday’s US strike.

As Iran trots out their professional mourners to cry and weep for terrorist Qassem Soleimani publicly, privately they are getting exactly what they hoped for. Lots of media attention combined with the possibility of pulling America into a prolonged conflict. Iran has nothing else to occupy their time with, if you take away the ‘Death to America!’ and ‘Death To Israel!’, they really don’t have much else going on. Except of course building nuclear weapons. Iran is exactly where they want to be right now.

Here in America, it is highly amusing watching the crazed Liberals in the Democratic Party actually defending Iran, and condemning President Trump for having the courage to remove a known terrorist who was actively plotting against America. If Donald Trump announced a cure for cancer tomorrow, the headline would be “Trump Destroys Pharmaceutical Industry”. Keep crying, Liberals, it will be a good warmup for you when the #MAGA2020Landslide happens in November.

Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in Iran has vowed revenge and ‘Jihad’ for the bitter loss of his general

FROM DAILY MAIL UK: They chanted ‘Death to America’ and ‘America is the Great Satan’ as they walked beside the coffins of Soleimani, architect of Iran’s global military strategy, and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, Kataeb Hezbollah chief, in Baghdad.

The pair had been riding in a two-vehicle convoy which was decimated by three missiles from an American MQ-9 Reaper Drone in the early hours of Friday outside Baghdad International Airport. The strike – which also killed four more Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guards and five members of Iraq’s pro-Iran paramilitary network – infuriated Tehran, who vowed jihad on America.

Meanwhile Iraq, whose prime minister attended the funerals today, threatened to order the expulsion of all US troops from the country after what it called ‘a brazen violation of Iraq’s sovereignty.’

President Donald Trump has said that he ordered the killing of Soleimani to prevent war, adding that the commander was plotting ‘imminent and sinister’ attacks against Americans.

‘We took action last night to stop a war. We did not take action to start a war,’ the president said in brief remarks at Mar-a-Lago on Friday.

Mourners in the Iraqi capital today carried posters of Soleimani and flags of Muhandis’s Iran-backed Kataeb Hezbollah militia, which has committed brazen attacks against US bases in recent months, climaxing with a siege of the US embassy on Tuesday.

The procession began at the Imam Kadhim shrine in Baghdad, one of the most revered in Shia Islam before crowds headed south to a point near the Green Zone, the high-security district home to government offices and foreign embassies, including America’s.

Meanwhile thousands of angry demonstrators stood outside the UN offices in Iran’s capital, demanding retribution for the killing of Soleimani. The head of Iran’s elite Quds Force will be laid to rest Tuesday in his hometown of Kerman as part of three days of ceremonies across the country, the Revolutionary Guards said.

Yesterday Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei visited the 62-year-old father-of-five’s family home and offered condolences after vowing ‘jihad’ on America for the drone strike. It comes as Tehran’s UN ambassador, who represents Iran’s only diplomatic mission within the US, told CNN Friday that the airstrike was ‘tantamount to opening a war against Iran.’

‘The US has already started a war against Iran, not just an economic war but something beyond that by assassinating one of our top generals,’ Ravanchi said. ‘There will be harsh revenge… The response for a military action is a military action.’ READ MORE

Far Left Liberals Already In The Streets Defending Iran From Mean, Old President Trump

These people are from a group called the Answer Coalition, a social justice group with ties to George Soros, they also promote Palestine over Israel. Gee, what a shocker. 

Iran Vows ‘Revenge’ Over Top General’s Killing

After the U.S. drone killing of a top Iranian general on Thursday, the world waits for Iran to respond.

via DEATH TO AMERICA: Tens Of Thousands Of Muslims Jam The Streets In Baghdad As Iran Vows Revenge For The Killing Of Top General Qassem Soleimani — Now The End Begins


Absolute Truth from the Word of God

The Most Dangerous Enemy America Faces is the LEFT Within Our Country

I have known this for quite  a while.  Most Conservatives have known this.

The LEFT make up the Shadow Government – Deep State.

They welcome terrorism. They revere Communist dictators.

The LEFT despise our Constitution and everything for which President Trump stands.  They hate our Flag. They are Globalists, and they will not rest until our borders are wide open and our government can no longer protect the American people.

They will not rest until our government is overtaken with Muslims whose goal is to see sharia law replace our Constitution.

MSNBC: The Worst of the Worst

After our president ordered the strike which took out Iranian General Qassem Soleimani – leader of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard – America’s Enemies within reared their traitorous heads for all to see.

Watch this short clip from MSNBC on the taking…

View original post 990 more words

Top Weekly Stories from ChristianNews.net for 01/04/2020

Armed Congregant Takes Down Gunman Who Opened Fire Inside Texas Church   Dec 29, 2019 07:34 pm

NEW: Video shows man opening fire at Texas church before he is shot by a security guard; 2 dead, 1 critical (blurred to hide victims, viewer discretion is advised) pic.twitter.com/hulXR7MYIy — BNO News (@BNONews) December 29, 2019 WHITE SETTLEMENT, Texas (ABC News) — Two victims were killed and three others were injured when a gunman opened fire inside a…

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Ore. Mother Thankful for Twin Blessings After Refusing Genetic Testing, Abortion   Dec 28, 2019 11:43 am

Photo Credit: Doubling Down Mom/Facebook MONMOUTH, Ore. — A mother in Oregon says that her twin daughters are blessings after ignoring advice to obtain genetic testing and a subsequent abortion as doctors feared both had Down syndrome. Rachael Prescott’s girls are now over a year old, but she well remembers being offered testing for Down syndrome and…

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Texas Church Had Fed Gunman Who Opened Fire During Service, Was Watching Him Before Rampage   Dec 31, 2019 01:45 pm

WHITE SETTLEMENT, Texas (USA Today) — A gunman who was fatally shot by parishioners after opening fire at a Texas church service had been given food by the church many times and was being closely watched before his rampage began, church leaders say. Keith Thomas Kinnunen, 43, slipped into the Sunday service at the West Freeway Church of Christ in White…

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‘God Has Done a Miracle in Me’: UK Man Who Once Identified as Woman Set Free by Jesus Christ   Dec 31, 2019 05:20 pm

A man in England who had lived as a woman for seven years says that he has been set free from transgenderism by Jesus Christ after seeking help from counselors and doctors and only being told that his problems needed to be addressed by having a sex-change operation. Peter Benjamin recently told Christian Concern that he never had thoughts about dressing like a…

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Remains of More Than 2,000 Aborted Children Found in Late Abortionist’s Garage, Car Unable to Be Identified   Jan 02, 2020 07:34 pm

INDIANAPOLIS — The remains of 2,400 aborted children who had been found stockpiled in an abortionist’s garage and in the trunk of one his vehicles will not be able to be identified due to decomposition and incomplete documentation, according to the Indiana Attorney General’s office. As previously reported, many of the preserved babies were found by family members…

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Report: More Than 1,000 Christians Killed by Islamic Militants in Nigeria in 2019   Dec 28, 2019 12:40 pm

(Fox News) — More than 1,000 Christians have been murdered by Islamic militants this year in Nigeria, according to a report circulated by Christian news outlets earlier this month. A militia of Islamic Fulani herdsmen murdered Christians as part of an aggressive and strategic land-grabbing strategy across the Plateau, Benue, Taraba, Southern Kaduna and parts of…

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Man Who Identifies as Woman Sues in Effort to Gain Entry Into Ladies’ Beauty Pageant   Dec 31, 2019 11:50 am

Screenshot YouTube PORTLAND, Ore. — An Oregon man who identifies as a woman, and who has been allowed to participate in other beauty competitions, has filed suit against United States of America Pageants for denying his application to the Miss Oregon United States of America pageant due to eligibility rules that limit contestants to biological women…

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‘Demons Ended Up Getting Ahold of Him,’ Says Sister of Man Who Killed Two at Texas Church   Jan 01, 2020 07:01 pm

WHITE SETTLEMENT, Texas — The sister of the troubled transient man who opened fire inside of a Texas church on Sunday, killing two before being taken down by a security guard within seconds, says that he likely carried out the attack because he was haunted by his brother’s suicide and that day was his brother’s birthday. “t was Sunday. It was his brother’s…

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ISIS Beheads 10 Christian Captives in Nigeria as Retaliation for Baghdadi Death   Dec 28, 2019 07:11 pm

Photo Credit: Elvis Santana (Fox News) — ISIS released a video Thursday that purportedly shows militants in black masks beheading 10 blindfolded Christian men and shooting an 11th in Nigeria, as part of a grisly campaign to avenge the deaths of its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and the group’s spokesman. The militant group’s video was produced by its own…

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Chinese Court Sentences Early Rain Covenant Church Pastor Wang Yi to 9 Years in Prison   Dec 30, 2019 05:03 pm

(Church in Chains) — Pastor Wang Yi of Early Rain Covenant Church (ERCC) in Chengdu, capital of Sichuan province, has been sentenced to nine years in prison following a secret trial on Dec. 26. The People’s Intermediate Court in Chengdu found the pastor guilty of “inciting subversion of state power” and “illegal business operations.” The pastor has…

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January 4 – The Interpreter: Spurgeon’s Devotional Bible

January 4.—Morning. [Or January 7.]
“The wages of sin is death.”

THE present portion of Scripture contains the sad record of the Fall, in which through our first parents we all fell.

Genesis 3:1–19

Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? (The devil often begins as if he were an enquirer.)

And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:

But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. (She should have been more precise. God did not say, “lest ye die,” but “ye shall surely die.” Error commences in little departures from truth.)

And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:

For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. (He cruelly slanders God. He hints that God was afraid that man would grow too great.)

And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. (See the progress of sin, she listened, she saw, she took, she gave to Adam. She had been wiser if she had turned away at first.)

And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.

And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden.

And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?

10 And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.

11 And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?

12 And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. (He throws the blame on God for giving him a wife. Alas! what wretched ingratitude.)

13 And the Lord God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat. (Sinners are ready with excuses, and yet they have never a good one. Open confession of our wrong-doing is far better.)

14 And the Lord God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:

15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. (Here a blessed promise lies like a pearl in a shell. The serpent’s curse is for us a blessing, for Jesus our Saviour is therein foretold.)

16 Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.

17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life. (See how obliquely the curse falls. It glances rather on the ground than on man. Wondrous is God’s mercy.)

18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;

19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return. (Thus sin when it is finished bringeth forth death.)

Yet, mighty God, thy wondrous love

Can make our nature clean,

While Christ and grace prevail above

The tempter, death, and sin.

The second Adam shall restore

The ruins of the first,

Hosanna to the sovereign power

That new creates our dust.

January 4.—Evening. [Or January 8.]
“The Lord our righteousness.”

THE New Testament is the key to the Old. There we find an explanation of the position of Adam in reference to the race of man. He represented us all, and we all share the sad effects of his transgression. He was the door through which both sin and death entered into our world. So the apostle Paul teaches us in

Romans 5:12–21

12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: (All men sinned in Adam who stood as representative for them all, and therefore all men die.)

13 For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.

14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, (It is clear that there was sin in the world before the law because men died; that sin came in through the fall,) even over them that had not sinned, after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, (even infants die through Adam’s sin, though without personal guilt,) who is the figure of him that was to come. (For Jesus is the second head of the race, the second representative man. As we fell by our union with Adam, so if we are in Christ we shall rise by virtue of our union with the Lord Jesus, who is here intended by the term, “him that was to come.” But he is the Head and Leader of a believing people: the great question is, are we believers in him?)

15 But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. (Note that salvation is not the reward of merit, but a free gift; and mark how God’s grace outruns human sin. The apostle speaks of “much more,” as if he meant, more likely, more easily, more abundantly. It was God’s strange work when he condemned the race for Adam’s sin; but it is his delight to accept men far the sake of his dear Son.)

16 And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. (One sin destroyed us, but grace blots out many sins.)

17 For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ. (Ruined by one man’s sin, restored by one man’s righteousness. The rise will be greater than the fall.)

18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.

All in Adam fell by Adam, all in Christ are restored by Christ.

19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

This is the fundamental doctrine of the gospel; Jesus makes us righteous in his righteousness. We are accepted in the Beloved.

20 Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. (The law of Moses makes us conscious of sin, it probes our wounds, it brings out into action the evil which lurks in our hearts, and so by the blessing of the Holy Spirit it drives us from self-dependence, and compels us to look to the grace of God in Christ Jesus.) But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: (The floods of grace prevail above the mountains of our sins. Almighty love paints a rainbow on the blackest clouds of human transgression.)

21 That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.

Happy are those in whom reigning grace has implanted spiritual life, for the same grace will sustain, increase, and perfect that life till it melts into glory. Are all the members of this family saved in Christ Jesus? Endeavour every one of you to answer the question. Let us not be divided, but let us together seek the Lord, and may we all meet in heaven.

We were lost, but we are found,

Dead, but now alive are we;

We were sore in bondage bound,

But our Jesus sets us free.

Strangers, and he takes us in,

Naked, he becomes our dress,

Sick, and he from stain of sin

Cleanses with his righteousness.

Therefore will we sing his praise

Who his lost ones hath restored,

Hearts and voices both shall raise

Hallelujahs to the Lord.[1]


[1] Spurgeon, C. H. (1964). The Interpreter: Spurgeon’s Devotional Bible (pp. 7–8). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House.