TV Transcripts

“God’s Plan for Our Lives” Part One
Broadcast #1619
October 15, 2023

Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 1619 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

Phil: Well, as often is the case, I’ve had a lot of thoughts and I’m just asking the Lord to direct and organize ‘cause they’re usually a whole lot more than you could think about getting out in one message. But anyway, I think I’m gonna go to Ephesians, chapter one. You could take almost any verse in here and make a message out of it. I’m gonna just try to move through it because I want to get to something.

But anyway, beginning of verse three, after the greeting, he says this: “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Okay, what about him? “Who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.”

So, he starts right off with the fact that everything we need is already there. It’s been given to us. He has blessed us. And it’s a past tense thing. He’s not waiting for me to meet a certain standard and then, okay, I’ll give you something. This has been given to us. Thank God!

Do we realize that in a practical sense? You know, it’s one thing to realize the theology of this and the truthfulness of the theology, but for me to be able to take it out on Monday morning and walk in it, that’s what I need. Yeah, praise God!

For he chose us, “for he chose us in Him,” when? When we measured up? “Before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.” My God, what an amazing statement that is for God to even know about us, let alone say, “That one’s mine.”

Now, this is a God who is able to look into the future. He knows the future from the past. Everything is history to Him. It’s as real as if it’s already happened. We’re the ones who are living out that history. But with God, He is able to see down the stream of time. He knows the choice of every human being. He knows how to weave it all together so that we have responsibility and yet God has sovereignly purposed to see a plan happen.

And that’s what he’s trying to get across, that the foundation is not that I chose Him and oh God, I better hang on, I better do everything right. Yes, God wants us to live a certain way, but the foundation is not commandments and depending upon some virtue in me and some strength in me. I don’t have it, folks.

And I discover that, and I suspect many of you do too as well, I discover that more and more the further I go. The Lord has ways of showing us our need and He allows us to sometimes fall in the mud, not because He’s mad at us but because He loves us enough to say, You thought you were doing so good in your own strength and I need to show you the truth here. Need to remind you who I am. I need to remind you that I’m the one who’s your foundation for everything. I didn’t save you because I saw good in you. I saved you because of my loving purpose. Praise God! Thank God!

We are so prideful. We want it somehow to depend on us but thank God it doesn’t. And the more we go along, the more thankful I am that it doesn’t because I see what’s lacking in me. But anyway, so that’s His predestination, that we should be holy and blameless. Wow. Can’t even say, Well, you’re guilty of this. You’re guilty of that. God’s gonna take all of that away. Has taken it all away. “In love,” — now we got the motivation behind all this — “In love he predestined,” He decided our destiny ahead of time. For what? “For adoption to sonship.”

And that, you know, I have to drop this in every time because we use the word adoption differently than they did. We think of an orphan being adopted officially into a family and becoming part of that family. But this adoption has to do with grownup sonship where a man would grow up in a household, and of course he’s a child, he has to learn, he has to grow, but there comes a time when that son is presented to society saying, This is my son. I give him full authority to act as an adult in my name. I stand behind him. He is….

Isn’t that where God’s going with this? When God gets through with this, he is going to absolutely present us to all creation, and to a brand new creation. These are my sons and daughters. I grant them full authority to exercise the dominion that was part of my purpose in the beginning over a brand new, beautiful creation. Every one of them has a place and they are fully authorized to act in my name.

Can you imagine being brought to a place where that’ll happen and we won’t mess it up because He’s changed us from the inside out? We are brand new. Praise God! What a purpose this is! Wow!

Okay. So, the adoption of sonship through Jesus Christ, again, the means by which that happens. Now what’s this in accordance with? In agreement with what? His pleasure and will. We didn’t think this up. This was His plan. Before the foundation of the world, before He created anything. Before He said, Let there be light. He said, I see Carl, I see Kenny, I see Mildred, I see all these ahead of time, I know all about them. I know every hair that will ever grow on their heads. And they’re mine. I love them. I have an eternal purpose for them and I’m gonna make it happen.

Man, I wanna be part of that, don’t you? I wanna be part of something that’s real because this world is full of fear and uncertainty. But thank God. All right. In accordance with his pleasure and will. It’s what He wanted and what He decided and He’s able to make happen.

“To the praise of his glorious grace.” Now, grace again is more than just an attitude. It’s a power that literally is at work. His glorious grace, which He has grudgingly given. Wait a minute, “Freely given us in the one he loves. In him, we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins.”

We have it. My God, do we live in that? Every one of us is going to all the time run into things where we just aren’t all that He wants us to be. And we struggle with it. But how many times do we do like a song that brother Jim down in Florida used to sing about, you know, blowing another day instead of coming to him right then and saying and believing his promise and his provision? We don’t have to wallow in defeat. We don’t have to earn our way back into his favor. We just need to come with an honest heart, a repentant heart, and say, Lord, cleanse me, help me. Help me to move forward.

But Lord, I thank you for the power of the blood of Jesus that we just sang about this morning. Thank you for that power that gives me a basis to have hope this morning. Thank God I don’t have to wallow in all that I am not. I can glory in all that you are. Wow, that’s worth everything, isn’t it? You wanna live for something else?

All right, “We have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance,” in agreement with the riches of God’s grace that he grudgingly pour, wait a minute, he lavished on us. Wow, it’s like there’s no end to what He’s able to do in the face of our need. Thank God”

All right, With all wisdom and understanding. He’s got it all, He knows everything, He understands everything. “He made known to us the mystery of his will.” Now, that word mystery is often used, particularly in the New Testament, and what it basically means is something that is true but man cannot discover it on his own. I don’t care who you are, whether you’re Plato or Aristotle or whoever, nobody’s gonna figure this one out.

Eye has not seen, neither ear heard, neither has it entered the heart of man the things that God has prepared for them that love him. We apply that to heaven and that’s true enough. But God has revealed them to us by his Spirit. So, he’s not talking just about that, he’s talking about what we’re talking about this morning. These are things the natural man cannot figure out or understand.

That’s why so many people will take this Bible and try to understand it with their intellect. And you’re gonna make a mess and go in all kinds of directions. We need God to open up the reality of what this book is about. Praise God! All right. Thank God, I believe he’s doing that, don’t you?

All right. So, the mystery of his will, wisdom and understanding, he made known to us the mystery of his will, what he planned, not what men planned, “according to his good pleasure which he purposed in Christ to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.” Praise God!

There’s gonna come a day on God’s calendar, it’s already set and there’s not a thing the devil can do about it, when everything is going to be complete. We will be gathered to him, our very bodies will be changed. And that’s identified in Romans with this adoption. When he’s gonna say, This is what I have been doing. This is what this entire age has been about. It’s gathering and preparing a family to live with me and to share my glory forever and ever. Praise God! Man, is that something to get involved in and to say, Lord, that’s what my life is about? It sure is. Okay?

All right, so you’ve got this fulfillment to bring into unity, all right? In him, in Christ, we were also chosen, having been predestined, our destiny established ahead of time, what? According to or based on the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will.

Boy, you got a lot of important words there. You’ve got His will, His power, all of that. But the purpose, the sense of this is what it’s about. But I’m not just sitting there and saying, I got this purpose but I don’t know how to do it. He’s got a plan. His plan involves us being here this morning together. It’s something He’s thought about and seen. Do you know that God has already seen this service? He knows exactly what’s gonna happen and He knows who’s here. He knows what your need is. What a great and awesome, amazing God we serve!

But to think about how Paul is able to talk about this as something has been done, it’s already happened, and yet here we are experiencing the outworking of something that is so real, so certain, that it is as certain as if it has happened. Wow, that’s amazing. Just aren’t they saying something to meditate on?

Folks, go to this passage. You remember the movie, “Overcomer,” how critical this passage was to that movie and to that young lady finding out who she really was. Do you ever get to the place where you think, I’m nobody, I don’t matter. Oh, poor me. I just can’t get it right, and all the things that the devil will plant in our minds to make us think we’re nobody.

You’re not nobody to Him. Do you know what? You want to know how much value you have to Him? Look at the cross. Look at the price that was paid. Look at the love that was shown. That wasn’t just shown to this vague multitude of people; that was shown to you. Praise God!

Praise God, I’m gonna get encouraged here in a minute. What words, chosen, predestined, plan, purpose, will, all those things in one verse. What a powerful verse. So, to what end, where’s he going with this? “In order that we who were the first to put our hope in Christ might be for the praise of his glory.” So, He did all this to set something in motion. He’s wanting to produce something in and through us, okay? So, you see the laying of a foundation, that all has to do with God and His plan and purposes, but now He wants us to step into that. And because of that, we can be something that we are definitely not as natural human beings. It lifts us out of that realm and says, Wait a minute, I’ve got a whole different life planned for you. Okay?

Now you come back, you step back into time, and he says, “And you also were included.” You wanna be included today? You wanna be included in what he’s talking about? “You were included when you heard the message of truth, the gospel or the good news of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession to the praise of his glory.”

Wow. I mean, you could take every word in that almost and just focus on it. And I just want to, I see the wisdom of God in laying such a foundation for us. Folks, if we can’t stand on that, there’s no point in telling people how to live, ‘cause I can’t do it. I don’t, it’s not in me to do any of that.

But boy, can God reveal to me this incredible plan and purpose that’s going to happen? And then say, Are you gonna live your life in a temporary world for your own lusts and purposes? Is that gonna be your choice? I’ll tell you what your destiny is. You’re gonna perish.

But when I show you what I have done and I call you to put your trust in me, that is a point of surrender. That is when my life no longer becomes mine. It becomes his. And then what He does, when He cleanses, when the work begins in my own heart through the gospel and I surrender to that, then He comes in and lives by His Spirit and gives me a new heart and a new life.

And then what is my life’s purpose after that? Is it just to do my own thing or stick the ticket to heaven in my back pocket and just live my life like other people? You see where God, where Paul and where the Lord’s going with all of this. And you see where Paul, I mean, he has such a trouble expressing himself. He can’t find a period for most of these statements! They just go on and on and on and on because there’s so much to it.

And he’s just caught with the reality of this and then the deep desire in his heart to convey this to the people. My God, do you have any idea who you are and what, what you have? Because if we don’t really get that, everything else kind of is a struggle, isn’t it? Anybody here been struggling? Yeah. In a lot of ways, we all do. But oh, even in that, God shows us his mercy because he wants us to let go and let God have his way.

You know, I was thinking so much, Wednesday, I think, Wednesday morning, I had some wonderful thoughts that had to do with just relaxing my life in His hands and letting go. And then lo and behold, it seemed like over and over and over again, that theme came up in the gathering on Wednesday evening, and I just sat there and listened and said, Boy, this is just exactly what I’ve been thinking about.

But isn’t that what the Lord wants for us? To enter into his purpose, to live for the very reason we were created, to understand that? And you see where Paul is going? That’s what he’s longing to convey.

“For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, I have not stopped giving thanks for you.” Thank God. “Remembering you in my prayers. I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the spirit of wisdom and revelation.” Why? “So that you may know him better. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you. The riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people.”

You realize if you’re one of His people, that’s what He’s glorying in. God’s excited. We’re the ones who get all bogged down. But God’s just anticipating, there’s something in His heart of love that thinks about you and says, I just can’t wait. I know what I’m doing. I know where this is going. Oh, I just want them to understand so they can live a happier, more victorious life, take the struggle out of it. My God, help us. He is, isn’t he?

All right, and “his incomparably great power.” No way to compare his power. Don’t care what the devil does, God’s got the final word. But his incomparably great power is not just so we can say, wow. It’s for us. Do you need God to do something in your heart? I do. I need him to do a whole lot of stuff. Can He handle it? You think He’s got enough? Yeah, incomparably great power for us who believe.

“That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms.” Remember, Jesus said, All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore. See, you see the gathering of the proclamation of the kingdom, of the good news of what God had done through Christ, and the gathering of a family. All authority is behind it in heaven and earth. He sits there, he reigns. It’s not like he’s sitting in a chair somewhere but it’s a symbolic picture of absolute authority.

You know, God allows many things in our lives, but every one of them we know has a reason and has a purpose behind it. It’s to set us free from the old and to bring in the new, to bring us to a place where we are more ready to trust Him, to believe His promises, and to grow up in Him. Everything is already orchestrated to the end that He has absolutely declared. Thank God!

So, it’s “far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age, but also in the one to come.” These people had come out of heathen darkness and they were people who invoked the names of Zeus and Apollo and all these heathen gods. Well, you forget about them. There’s one name. His name is Jesus. He has all authority in heaven and earth. That’s the only name that matters.

“And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.” Now this ties in with, you know, something we said last week. We think of Christ only in the sense of Him the head. But when God sees Christ, He doesn’t just see the head, He sees the body that’s joined to Him, that’s connected with Him.

And isn’t that what this says? We’re “the rest of him,” we’re the fullness of him. I don’t feel like that a lot of times, do you? But this is what God has said. This is what God is able to make happen if we will learn how to rest in Him and trust in Him. Oh, how we struggle when He wants us to understand, okay? These are scriptures we’ve read many times, but I think it’s a good thing to see them afresh.

“As for you,” now he goes back to where we were, “you were dead in your transgressions and sins in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.” Is that the world we live in? It sure is.

But now Paul includes himself when he says, “All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But” — praise God, one of the most glorious buts in scripture — “because of his great love.” That’s the motivation. It’s not pity, it’s not anything else but love, and it’s great love and it’s for us. It’s for you this morning. I don’t care how you feel and how you see yourself. This is God talking to you, saying I love you. I’ve given you what you need. Step out into that. Believe it.

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