Too often Christians in our day are divided into two separate camps. On one side are the intellectual types who focus exclusively on doctrine, and on the other side are the emotional Christians who focus more on love, experience, and practical Christian living.
But according to Paul in Ephesians chapter 3, this division does not appear to be justified. In verses 14-19, he prays that the saints in Ephesus would be “rooted and grounded in love,” and that they would also “have the strength to comprehend… the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge.” Join us as the hosts continue their series through the book of Ephesians on the White Horse Inn.
“Paul says we don’t lose heart even in our suffering. Look, I’m in jail writing to you. Don’t lose heart. If Christ’s suffering was the means of him trouncing Satan, our suffering is part of that. Our suffering can only tear down the remnants of Satan’s kingdom. So, Paul can turn and say, ‘For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.’”
Term to Learn
“Turning Your Gaze Away from Yourself”
If you want health for your souls, and if you want to be the instruments of bringing health to others, do not turn your gaze forever within, as though you could find Christ there. Nay, turn your gaze away from your own miserable experiences, away from your own sin, to the Lord Jesus Christ as He is offered to us in the gospel. “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up.” Only when we turn away from ourselves to that uplifted Savior shall we have healing for our deadly hurt.
It is the same old story, my friends—the same old story of the natural man. Men are trying today, as they have always been trying, to save themselves—to save themselves by their own act of surrender, by the excellence of their own faith, by mystic experiences of their own lives. But it is all in vain. Not that way is peace with God to be obtained. It is to be obtained only in the old, old way—by attention to something that was done once for all long ago, and by acceptance of the living Savior who there, once for all, brought redemption for our sin. Oh, that men would turn for salvation from their own experience to the Cross of Christ; oh, that they would turn from the phenomena of religion to the living God!
That that may be done, there is but one way. It is not found in a study of the psychology of religion; it is not found in “religious education”; it is not found in an analysis of one’s own spiritual status. Oh, no. It is found only in the blessed written Word. There are the words of life. There God speaks. Let us attend to His voice. Let us above all things know the Word. Let us study it with all our minds; let us cherish it with all our hearts. Then let us try, very humbly, to bring it to the unsaved. Let us pray that God may honor not the messengers but the message, that despite our unworthiness He may make His Word upon our unworthy lips to be a message of life.
(J. Graham Machen, “The Importance of Christian Scholarship,” What Is Christianity?)