Sunday: A Stage Set for Our Victory
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The Christian would have no hope of victory over the forces of evil unless the stage was set for it.

Image © Pacific Press from GoodSalt.com

In last week’s study it became clear that Christ, through His death on the cross and His resurrection from the grave, gained victory over all sorts of evil and anti-godly “powers.” In a very real sense, the unmasking and disarming of these “powers” have placed a limit on them. The fact that the “powers” have been brought under subjection sets the stage for the victory of the Christian.

Study Ephesians 1:18-22. Paul prays for the enlightening of the eyes of the Christians in Ephesus. According to Paul, what did Christ accomplish for us? How do we understand these words in the context of the great controversy? What is promised to us here? How do we make these promises real in our own experience?

Paul is praying that a new and deep illumination will accompany the Christian. When this has happened their lives will be filled with Christian hope. They will know their privileges as God’s heirs, and they will know by experience the power of God in their lives, a power that is of the same magnitude as that which raised Jesus from the dead.

Notice Ephesians 1:20-22 in particular. What can we claim from these promises for ourselves and our struggles with forces stronger than we are?

As a consequence of Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection, all things, including principalities and powers, function in subjection to Him. The stage is truly set for the possibility of our individual victories over all that would spiritually oppress us.

Read the verses for today. What can you take from them for yourself in whatever struggles you are facing at the moment? Think about what is being said there and what is promised to us in Christ. How can this go from being mere theology to reality in our own experience?

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Sunday: A Stage Set for Our Victory — 8 Comments

  1. "the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places." (Eph 1:18-20)

    Again, the promise of the blessings of God through the victorious Son, that we would share in those promises that Jesus received, and because of this, we know of the greatness of His power through the enlightenment and subsequent calling out into His presence. And how do we know this? We know this as the Holy Spirit was sent from Jesus at Pentecost upon the disciples as one of the blessings that God bestowed upon His Son when the sacrifice for mankind was secured and the character of God was vindicated and Jesus was enthroned.

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  2. Give thanks to the Lord for He is good. I can't imagine the breadth of Christ's love for us that He gave up His life for His own creation so that we can have victory over the evil forces, wow! wow!! He deserves all the glory & honor He is worthy to be praised. AMEN.

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  3. Just to know that Christ has fought and overcome in my stead gives me peace and comfort to know that I can make it through.

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  4. The following is my personal opinion only and may be just a matter of semantics but I think it has implications in our view of God's character.

    First of all we know that God can do anything He wants to do without any restraint from anything or anyone. So one could say that, in human terms, He won the controversy before it even began. But that is not how He chose to do things. His love for His creation constrains what He does. For this reason He chose not to destroy Satan in the beginning but allow him to manifest his government and to allow his creation to decide which government they wished to be under.

    That concept is important because through it we can conclude that God values freedom of His creation above His own desires (2 Cor 3:17). With that in mind we can now ask what the victory consisted of. Ruthless oppression is not freedom. But God provides freedom for His creation to choose which government they wish to be under. If they choose God's government because they see nothing but problems with the devil's way of doing things, that certainly is freedom. Therefore, I would like to suggest that the choice of His creation is the real victory that God enjoys and He imposes restraints on Satan primarily because the majority of His creation has rejected Satan and his government and basically won't have anything to do with it.

    Earlier in the quarter we looked at Satan being thrown out of Heaven but we didn't ask why. To me it seems that to say that it was because He got tired of Satan's opposition would be to suggest that God is a hypocrite and a violator of His own counsel as pronounced in the Sermon on the Mount:

    You have heard that it was said, `You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you (Matt. 5:43-44 NKJV).

    However, He ends those words with, "that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust" (Matt. 5:45 NKJV; see also Mat 18:21-33). In other words He said do it because God does it - not "do as I say not as I do" (see Mat 20:25-28). If that is true then most likely Satan was cast out of Heaven because its inhabitants made a decision against Satan's claims and rejected his arguments and requested relief from his antagonism; so having Satan there wouldn't be of any further benefit to anyone. This way of looking at it could also answer why restrictions were put on Satan's activity after he was cast out.

    So what stage was set by the cross? As Ellen White states:

    "Satan saw that his disguise was torn away. His administration was laid open before the unfallen angels and before the heavenly universe. He had revealed himself as a murderer. By shedding the blood of the Son of God, he had uprooted himself from the sympathies of the heavenly beings. Henceforth his work was restricted" (Desire of Ages 761.2 https://egwwritings.org/?ref=en_DA.761.2)

    I would also like to suggest that it also opened up what God could do for His people without further affecting the judgment of Heavenly beings.

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    • Quote by Tyler Cluthe
      " If that is true then most likely Satan was cast out of Heaven because its inhabitants made a decision against Satan’s claims and rejected his arguments and requested relief from his antagonism; so having Satan there wouldn’t be of any further benefit to anyone. This way of looking at it could also answer why restrictions were put on Satan’s activity after he was cast out."

      Thanks for sharing that thought, it triggered a lot of thoughts in my mind.
      In connection with our prayers, it is evident that when we pray it somehow gives God permission to act in stronger ways to save. I used to wonder why we would have to give permission to God Who was exceedingly great in power and love? Why would He need our permission to do anything?

      But it comes down to molding our weak little minds into WANTING Him, into seeking Him, and no longer wanting sin to rule in our lives, or in the lives of the ones we love.

      The power of prayer, doesn't increase God's power, He is all powerful already, but somehow it opens the door for God to use His power for the people we are praying for.

      Jesus says, "behold, I stand at the door and knock, if any man hear and open the door I will come in ...Rev. 3:20

      "the choice of His creation is the real victory that God enjoys"

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  5. My prayer is that we comprehend and accept this act of love by our Lord Jesus and own it and personalize it in our daily lives. Because he has power over the devil and his agents, ours is to cling to him (Jesus) and accept him as our Saviour. Thank you Jesus.

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