EPHESIANS

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EPHESIANS Powered By Docstoc
					                                     Delivered From This Present Evil Age
                                    Message by Pastor Pete Cropsey @ First Love Church

Galatians 1:3-5 Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, 4 who gave Himself for our sins,
that He might deliver us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, 5 to whom be glory forever
and ever. Amen.
This is such a marvelous description of salvation. Simple, clear and complete. So that we might live by and in and
because of grace and so that we might have peace in God and peace with God Jesus died an excruciating death. Let
me say here that for it to be efective, for the sacrifce to be great enough to cover the magnitude of the sins of all of
us it had to be an excruciating sacrifce. It had to be the most humiliating form of execution and it had to include all
of the hatred, and bitterness with which it was administered. It had to be prolonged and it had to be seen by the
whole world. It would not have been sufcient for Jesus to have died any other way. He made this sacrifce to
provide an eternal altar on the basis of which our sins could be forgiven but there was so much more in the area of
provision. His sacrifce provided a way for the saved person to live in this world without being overcome by this
world. Paul says He did this that He might deliver us from this present evil age and that He did it because it was the
will of God the Father.
John 8:28-29 "When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and that I do nothing of Myself; but as
My Father taught Me, I speak these things. 29 And He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone, for I
always do those things that please Him."
Our message is titled DELIVERED FROM THIS PRESENT EVIL AGE. I have noticed a few things about folks and the way
they feel about God. People have a lot of diferent opinions or maybe I should say perceptions about the character
of God. There are those who feel that God is all love and nothing but love which is true to a degree but they bristle
at the notion that God would ever punish or judge. Their sensitivities won’t allow them to respond to a God who
might punish people for their ungodliness and sin. These people if they pursue any spiritual path are going to be
found more than likely on the tie dye and Birkenstock path and have bumper stickers that say stuf like, Don’t drive
faster than your angel can fy. Or Coexist with the letters each representing a diferent religion. Or maybe a Love
Animals Don’t Eat them sticker, and of course a Bob Marley sticker. I am just kidding but they fnd a home in places
like the Universalist life church which is one big coexist sticker. They become Buddhists or Taoists or New Agers or
they get involved with a supposed Christian church which is watered down biblically and heavy on the
emotionalism. No talk of sin, or sacrifce, or hell, or the blood of Jesus. The liberals and the love only folks like to
point at the Old Testament and say that the Biblical God is a bloody God. Well is He a bloody God or a Father
protecting His children? If you read the Bible with eyes open to the true character of God you will fnd that He has
always protected and carried, fed and clothed, loved and healed all those who call on Him and Him only as God. So
it is true that God is all love, pure love but He is the original Father and the architect of everything that fatherhood
implies. Would you consider me a good father if I never disciplined or punished my children? What do you normally
see in children who have no parental discipline? So you see that whatever age it has been it has always been God’s
desire to deliver His people from their present evil age. God is all love, all of the time but the face of love is not
purely permissive with no consideration for boundaries and consequences for stepping outside those boundaries.
So then there are those who are obedient to God because they believe He does judge and does punish and so their
relationship to God is based on fear and their adherence to His commandments is a kind of fre insurance. ‘I obey
God because I am scared to go to hell.” Catholic school mentality. They are like the Jewish Pharisees who so
distorted the Word of God as to make it a yoke of bondage based on works and it sufocated the people with the
minutia of its rules and regulations. They get involved in extremely separatist and elitist religious expressions like
Mormonism or the Jehovah’s Witnesses or they land in an overly legalistic church where very little of God’s love is
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taught and everyone is snifng around looking for sinners and you and I don’t have to worry about that because
they wouldn’t allow us in there. They become so concerned with cleaning up the ocean that there is no room to be
fshers of men. But who is God really to us and who are we if we put our trust in Him. All we have to do to fnd out is
read His Word and If we do it with a heart to fnd His true nature it will be revealed as will our position both saved
and apart from salvation. We will fnd both Him and our destiny. Saved or unsaved. The scriptures spell out clearly
the future of us all. For those who have placed their trust in Him the promises are rich and made up of the tender
mercies of relationship. Look there will be sufering and there will be adversity but as it says in;
1 John 3:21-22 We have confdence toward God. And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His
commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.
 What is pleasing in the sight of God? I think that frst and foremost it is that we rise each day with a hunger to seek
Him. It must be that we are driven by a need to be in His presence. Jude says, “But you, beloved, building yourselves
up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God. I believe that it pleases
God when we are more concerned with staying in His love than with any other thing. I have a friend who had a
moment with the Lord in which the Lord impressed upon her that He, God was looking through my friends eyes.
What a revelation it was for me to hear this. So often I think I need to be looking at everything through the eyes of
the Lord and this is true. I need to see others the way the Lord sees them. But the idea that the Lord is looking
through my eyes sheds entirely new light on David’s statement in
Psalm 119:37 “Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things, and revive me in Your way.”
 When I live in the reality that everywhere I focus my eyes, everything that captures my attention the Lord is looking
at as well it should give me great caution. We have confdence toward God. And whatever we ask we receive from
Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight. Is what I am looking
at pleasing to the Lord or is it ofensive to Him? What is the negative of this? Well it is simply a reversal, we can’t
have confdence toward God and we don’t receive what we ask from Him because we don’t keep His
commandments and we don’t do those things that are pleasing in His sight. Honest self-examination is needed
here. I myself have to confess that this is too often my condition. It is not so much gross sin or rebellion or
disobedience but the gradual eroding of my relationship with God brought about by the small seemingly
inconsequential things. We so often like to think that God’s love and blessing is unconditional and automatic for the
believer. Well his love is but His blessing is not. Look again as we have in the past at
Jeremiah 29:11-14 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to
give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek
Me and fnd Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you, says the Lord, and I will bring you back
from your captivity.
God has thoughts toward us to give us peace and a future and a hope but as we read through the passage it seems
clear that there is a condition and that condition is that in order for Him to bring us back from our captivity we must
pray and search for Him with all of our hearts. While is His desire to give us peace we must seek Him before all else
in order to be set free. He says, “When you search for me with all your heart.” That my friends is a frst and foremost
kind of searching. We need to understand as we read our passage for tonight;
Galatians 1:3-5 Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, 4 who gave Himself for our sins,
that He might deliver us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, 5 to whom be glory forever
and ever. Amen.
It is God the Father’s desire to deliver is from this present evil age and through His Son Jesus Christ He has
purchased us a ticket to a life of freedom. It is up to us to get on the train. I’ll say this again. God has thoughts
toward us to give us peace and a future and a hope but as we read through the passage it seems clear that there is a
condition and that condition is that in order for Him to bring us back from our captivity we must pray and search for
Him with all of our hearts.

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posted:12/2/2011
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