The book of Ephesians in the Bible is a deep book. If we read it too quickly, it is easy to miss God’s thought. We start to explore God’s full salvation in this deep book.
Praising in the Midst of a Chaotic World
Do you enjoy reading the Psalms in the Bible? We do too! In this Bible study we find many psalms and other scriptures full of praises to our God. Read on to enjoy 1) the deep significance of the praises and why we praise God, and 2) how and when we should praise the Lord. As we open ourselves to God and cover these 7 posts prayerfully, our daily life will start to get filled with praises to God. We will be joyful persons and, even in the midst of the chaotic world around us, God will get all the glory.
“Once the sacrifice of praise ascends to God, the enemy, Satan, is defeated by the praise. The sacrifice of praise is very effective before God. Let your loftiest praises burst forth to God, and you will surely withstand and overcome. When you praise, you will find the way of victory opening wide before your eyes!” (Praising, by Watchman Nee, published by Living Stream Ministry)
The Tripartite Man and the Exercise of our Spirit
1 Thessalonians 5:23 And the God of peace Himself sanctify you wholly, and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and operative and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing even to the dividing of soul and spirit and of joints and marrow, and able to discern the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
Luke 1:46-47 And Mary said, My soul magnifies the Lord, 47 And my spirit has exulted in God my Savior.
Proverbs 20:27 The spirit of man is the lamp of Jehovah, / Searching all the innermost parts of the inner being.
John 4:24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truthfulness.
John 5:39-40 You search the Scriptures, because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is these that testify concerning Me. 40 Yet you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.
Fellowship to help us know Christ and pursue Him
The quotation below comes from the book, God’s Plan of Redemption, by Mary E. McDonough
The terms “inner man” and “outer man,” or their equivalents, are employed in modern psychology, but the psychology of the Bible is more analytical inasmuch as it indicates a subdivision of the invisible part of man, thus teaching us that man is not dichotomous but is a trichotomous being. We find this plainly taught in 1 Thessalonians 5:23 and indicated in Hebrews 4:12 and Luke 1:46-47.
This tripartite being may be illustrated by a third piece of cardboard containing three circles. Within the inner circle print the word “spirit.” Within the second circle (surrounding the first) place the word “soul,” and within the outer circle the word “body.” (See Figure)
With the spirit we know God and our relation to Him and our relation morally to every created object. With our soul powers—the intellect, sensibilities (affections, emotions) and will—we are able to deal with the intuitions of the spirit, the claims of these various soul faculties and the record of the bodily senses.
“The spirit of man,” not the soul, is said to be “the candle of the Lord” (Prov. 20:27). Caution the class in reference to a careless use of these terms. Do not say “soul” when “spirit” is meant and vice versa. Avoid the phrase “body, soul and spirit,” as it inverts the Divine order of arrangement. In a normal condition the powers of the spirit control the powers of soul and body.
(God’s Plan of Redemption, by Mary E. McDonough, http://marymcdonough.ccws.org/redemption/index.html)
The Recovery Version of the Bible renders 1 Corinthians 2:14-15 with the word “soulish” and we find it most appropriate, especially in its context. “But a soulish man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him and he is not able to know them because they are discerned spiritually. But the spiritual man discerns all things, but he himself is discerned by no one.” (1 Corinthians 2:14-15)
Instead of soulish, many translations of the Bible use “natural”. In any case, The footnote on “soulish” in the Recovery version goes right along with sister McDonough’s admonition that we distinguish between the spirit of man and the soul of man: “A soulish man is a natural man, one who allows his soul (including the mind, the emotion and the will) to dominate his entire being and who lives by his soul, ignoring his spirit, not using his spirit, and even behaving as if he did not have a spirit (Jude 19).”
We need to pursue Christ with an exercised spirit. Calling on the name of the Lord, crying to Him from our deepest part, “Oh, Lord Jesus”, is one way to exercise our spirit. We can also exercise our spirit by praising the Lord. Praising Him with “Praise the Lord!” and “Hallelujah” is to worship the Lord with our spirit.
If we read the Bible merely with our mind we will be like those who search the scriptures yet are not willing to come to Christ. To exercise the spirit means to contact the Lord Himself. When we come to verses in the Bible we should read and pray, pray and read, always contacting God as we read the scriptures. This is to exercise the spirit. This is why pray-reading is recommended. We don’t advocate pray-reading as a form, but we exhort the believers to continuously contact the Lord in their reading.
If man does not exercise his spirit, no matter how noble his deeds, no matter how deep his thoughts, no matter how scriptural his words, the transmission of God to that man will be absent. Let us make a strong resolution to be the spiritual men, ones who receive the things of the Spirit of God and discern all things. In our personal time with the Lord and in our corporate pursuit with others, let us come in this way, with an exercised spirit.
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The Human Spirit
Zechariah 12:1 The burden of the word of Jehovah concerning Israel. Thus declares Jehovah, who stretches forth the heavens and lays the foundations of the earth and forms the spirit of man within him,
John 3:6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
Ephesians 2:22 In whom you also are being built together into a dwelling place of God in spirit.
Ephesians 5:18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissoluteness, but be filled in spirit,
Ephesians 6:18 By means of all prayer and petition, praying at every time in spirit and watching unto this in all perseverance and petition concerning all the saints,
Romans 1:9a For God is my witness, whom I serve in my spirit in the gospel of His Son
Romans 8:16 The Spirit Himself witnesses with our spirit that we are children of God.
2 Timothy 4:22 The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you.
Fellowship to help us know Christ and pursue Him
God created us with a human spirit for good reason. The human spirit matches God’s Spirit so that God can dispense Himself into us. We know from John 4:24 that God is Spirit, and by all the verses above (and so many more) we also see that we have a human spirit. By it we contact God and receive Him! John 3:6 shows us that the part in our being where we were born again was our human spirit.
A hymn titled “There’s a Life That’s Deeper than our Mind” talks about touching our human spirit. In this hymn there is also a call to the Christ who is in our spirit to come make home in our heart– that is, to spread out from our human spirit to our whole being. (You can see the lyrics to the whole hymn here: https://www.hymnal.net/en/hymn/ns/217 ).
When we touch our spirit—such a thrill!
This is far beyond emotion, mind, and will—
It’s within our hidden part—
Come, make home in all our heart;
Let Your presence flow as rivers deep within.
All the genuine spiritual experiences in our Christian life are experiences in our human spirit.
We may have previously thought that we were only made of an inner part and an outer part, but the Bible reveals a third part, the human spirit. How wonderful it is to discover our human spirit!
We invite you to read this excerpt on the human spirit. It is only a small portion from a series of lessons designed to impart the truth of the Bible to young people.
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A Life Which Produces Glory and Praise to God
Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers, what things are true, what things are dignified, what things are righteous, what things are pure, what things are lovely, what things are well spoken of, if there is any virtue and if any praise, take account of these things.
Praise For Our Resurrection with Him
Ephesians 2:1 And you, though dead in your offenses and sins,
Ephesians 2:5-6 Even when we were dead in offenses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved) 6 And raised us up together with Him…
Praising the King in His Victory
Psalms 45:3-4 Gird Your sword upon Your thigh, O mighty One, / In Your majesty and Your splendor. 4 And in Your splendor ride on victoriously / Because of truth and meekness and righteousness; / And let Your right hand teach You awesome deeds.
Praise For His Incarnation
Psalms 113:6 Who humbles Himself to behold / The heavens and the earth
Philippians 2:5-6 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 Who, existing in the form of God, did not consider being equal with God a treasure to be grasped,
Praising, Victory, and Rejoicing
2 Corinthians 8:1-2 Furthermore we make known to you, brothers, the grace of God which has been given in the churches of Macedonia, 2 That in much proving of affliction the abundance of their joy and the depth of their poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality;
Out of the Mouth of Babes and Sucklings
Psalms 8:1-2 O Jehovah our Lord, / How excellent is Your name / In all the earth, / You who have set Your glory over the heavens! 2 Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings / You have established strength / Because of Your adversaries, / To stop the enemy and the avenger.
Praise and Gratitude to God for the Past
Psalms 66:1-3 Shout joyfully to God, all the earth; / 2 Sing forth the glory of His name; / Make glorious His praise. / 3 Say to God, How awesome are Your deeds! / Because of the greatness of Your strength, Your enemies come cringing to You.
The Body of Christ
The Body of Christ is that body of the crucified and resurrected Christ. In this Bible study, we see how the One who passed through death and resurrection and who was glorified, this One, as the Spirit, has come to live in the spirit and heart of His believers. By being sown into them, He makes them the members of His Body. The Body of Christ has a head, Jesus Christ, and a body which is constituted of all His members who have the life and nature of God. This Body is none other than the church. Come find out more about the church, the mystical union of God and man.
One with God for the Mutual Abode
John 14:1-3 Do not let your heart be troubled; believe into God, believe also into Me. 2 In My Father’s house are many abodes; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.
The Mystery of Godliness: He who was Manifested in the Flesh
1 Timothy 3:15-16 But if I delay, I write that you may know how one ought to conduct himself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and base of the truth.
The Recovery of the Church as the Family of God
Ephesians 2:19 So then you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,