Ephesians 4:14-16 The Allure of Unconditional Blessings
14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.
God has predestined blessings beyond what man could imagine for His church. However, the devil comes to steal and to destroy God’s plans for His children through alluring teachings of unconditional blessings and glory without obedience. The Spirit has given the church five-fold ministers to teach the whole truth and protect the church from losing her reward.
The apostles’ teachings are the immovable and uncontextualizable, which is the word. Therefore, the church must base all her teachings on the full counsel of the word and never to emphasize certain teachings and downplay other teachings of the Bible.
The prophets surface anomalies concerning the teachings of the church as directed by God. The consequence of ignoring their messages will result in the discipline of the church and the nation.
The evangelists keep the purity of the gospel working with signs and wonders while bearing witness with the Spirit and the Lordship of Christ. The basis of their message: salvation comes through the regeneration of the heart in repentance and acknowledging Christ as Lord and Master in every area of life.
The shepherds and teachers engage individual believers, connecting them to the foundational teachings of the apostles and the prophets; they discern and instruct the members of the church with grace and truth.
The end goal of the five-fold ministers: apostles, prophets, evangelists, shepherds and teachers is to keep believers focused and equipped so that they could fulfill God’s calling in their lives and receive their reward. Without accountability to the five-fold ministers, the church will fall into half-truths resulting in believers losing their eternal reward or their salvation.
So that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.
The purpose of the five-fold ministers is to mature the children of God: So that we may no longer be children, so that they may not be deceive and lose sight of their calling. The devil’s devices serve to devour immature and wounded sheep by appealing to the need for unconditional acceptance and the promise of blessings while downplaying the urgency for change. False teachings give an allure of glory without obedience and sacrifice. They play on the false premise that God has completely destined the believer for glory without teaching the call to Christ-likeness. The devil uses the clever manipulation of the word giving a false impression that God is incapable of being angry with them: every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.
Here are a few of the devil’s deceptions and half-truths that believers must be aware of:
- Half-truth: The whole purpose of our existence is to enjoy God’s blessings.
Whole Truth: The purpose of our existence is to do God’s work. Ephesians 2:10 say, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” God’s blessings come upon us when we obey Him and do His work. When God’s people focus on the pleasures of this world, it detracts them from their true purpose and causes them to lose their calling and eternal blessing.
- Half-truth: The way to maintain your salvation is to recognize God’s unconditional desire to save. God will still save you even when you no longer acknowledge God as Lord of your life.
Whole Truth: Salvation is received when you acknowledge God as the Lord and Savior of your life. Romans 10:9 say, “if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” To acknowledge God as Lord involves repentance from a sinful lifestyle and live for God’s purpose. Jesus says,
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name? ’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.” (Matthew 7:21-23).
- Half-truth: Focus on declaring God’s promises concerning your life and blessings will come.
Whole Truth: Blessings and provisions come when we focus on doing God’s will and walk in Christ-likeness; the object of our desire is God, not blessings per se.
The bible has never taught us to focus on acquiring God’s blessings; blessing is a by-product, not an object of focus. Jesus says, “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33). This universal principle is in operation even in our workplace: that you promote those who put the agenda of the company above their own. If believers would focus more on feeding on the solid food of wisdom for Christ-centered living, true and enduring blessings will come.
- Half-truth: God turns the wayward person towards a righteous lifestyle by blessing him continually and unconditionally.
Whole Truth: Only the righteous can enjoy enduring blessings, but the wicked with be destroyed: “For the wicked will be destroyed, but those who trust in the LORD will possess the land” (Psalms 37:9).
Whole Truth: Discipline is the very grace of God; God turns a wayward person back through discipline when He allows pain to enter a person’s life. The Bible says, “For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” (Hebrews 12:11). “Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent.” (Revelation 3:19). Very few people actually turn from their self-centered lifestyle to live for God after experiencing His grace. In Luke 17:11-19, when Jesus healed 10 lepers, only one came back with gratitude. By recognizing and submitting ourselves under God’s grace of discipline, we begin to become more like Jesus and blessed forever.
- Focus on being like Christ and doing the works of Christ and God will open the windows of heaven and rain down His blessings upon you; blessings of joy, health, wisdom and prosperity. Understand for each day what are the two things that God require of you and what kind of person He wants you to be and do it.
- Expose yourself to a balanced word diet of milk and solid food. Milk consists of God’s promises of provision and reward. Solid food consists of the wisdom and teachings that concerns Christ’s attributes and principles for living.
Dear Lord, help me understand Your truths so that I may not be deceived. Speak to me concerning Your truths so that I may grow in Your likeness and do Your works. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.