There Is Not Any Comparison!  (Ephesians 1:19-23)

Introduction:

I.                   THERE IS NOT ANY COMPARISON BETWEEN THE PROPOSED MEDIATORS OF MEN TO THE ONE MEDIATOR RECOGNIZED BY THE HEAVENLY FATHER. 

1 Timothy 2:5, “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;”

John 14:6, “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life:  no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” 

Hebrews 4:15-16, “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.  Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” 

Discussion:

I.                   THERE IS NOT ANY COMPARISON BETWEEN THE GODS CREATED BY FINITE MEN AND THE ONE TRUE AND LIVING GOD.

A.        No, there is certainly not any comparison between the God that created man and the gods that were created by men. 

Genesis 1:26-28, “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness:  and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.  So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.  And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it:  and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.”   

Genesis 2:7, “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”

1.      But, in comparison of the one true and living God that created man, let us now consider the gods made by finite men. 

(Read Isaiah 44:10-17). It is pathetic to think of some men who will turn from their creator to an inanimate object and worship it.  Yet, Isaiah revealed that there were those who cut down a tree for the purpose of not only cooking their food and warming their bodies, but also to make them a god.

2.      The Apostle Paul pointed out that those who did so were without excuse because the physical universe provided adequate evidence of the one true God. 

Romans 1:20-25, “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:  Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.  Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beast, and creeping things, Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves:  Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the creator, who is blessed for ever.  Amen.”

3.      The Apostle Paul commended the Christians at Thessalonica because they had “turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God;” (1 Thessalonians 1:9).

4.      The seven basic truths of Christianity include the fact that there is one God. 

Ephesians 4:3-6, “Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.  There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” 

5.      The love of God is seen in the sacrifice of His Son for our sins. 

Romans 5:8, “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”   

II.                THERE IS NOT ANY COMPARISON BETWEEN THE BOOKS WRITTEN BY UNINSPIRED MEN AND THE INSPIRED WORD OF GOD, THE BIBLE.

A.        Many books are considered obsolete as soon as they come off the press.  This includes books on scientific theories.

1.       However, in contrast to such books, the principles of the Bible are just as applicable today as when first given by inspiration in the first Century A. D. 

Matthew 24:35, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.”

2.       The Bible’s contents are given by inspiration and are the complete revelation of the Lord. 

2 Peter 1:3, “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:” 

2 Timothy 3:16-17, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:  That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”

                                  3.   The inspired Word of God is His power to save lost humanity. 

Romans 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ:  for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” 

Hebrews 4:12, “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”

3.       The doctrines and creeds of men are vain and those who adhere unto them will be eternally lost. 

Matthew 15:9, “But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” 

Matthew 7:21-23, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.  Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name?  And in thy name done many wonderful works?  And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you:  depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” 

III.             THERE IS NOT ANY COMPARISON BETWEEN THE CHURCHES ESTABLISHED BY MEN TO THE CHURCH ESTABLISHED BY THE LORD.

A.        The church of Christ was within God’s eternal scheme of redemption before the foundation of the world.  Whereas the churches of men are in violation to the will of the Heavenly Father. 

Ephesians 3:8-11, “Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:  To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:”

1.       Jesus Christ shed His blood and died that His church, which is the redeemed, would become a reality. 

Acts 20:28, “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.” 

Ephesians 5:25, “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;”

2.       Obedient believers are added to the church, which is made up of the saved. 

Acts 2:47, “…And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.” 

B.        Denominationalism is contrary to the spirit and authority of the New Testament.

1.       The Son of God prayed unto the Heavenly Father that those who believed in Him would be one as He and the Father are one. 

John 17:20-21, “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us:  that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.”

2.       The Apostle Paul condemned religious division. 

1 Cor. 1:10, “Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.”

                                 3.   Our Lord warns concerning those who would plant the doctrines and creeds of men. 

                               Matthew 15:13-14,   “…Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up.  Let them alone:  they be blind leaders of the blind.  And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.”                                                                          

IV.              THERE IS NOT ANY LIFESTYLE THAT COMPARES TO THE STANDARD SET FOR A CHRISTIAN AS REVEALED IN THE NEW TESTAMENT.

A.        Those who reject the life of a Christian have “short changed” themselves by accepting a lower standard of life which is detrimental to both their physical health and their spiritual wellbeing. 

                   1.  We are not to allow the world to set our standard of life. 

Romans 12:1-2, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.  And be not conformed to this world:  but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

2.       Our standard of conduct is the fruit of the Spirit, not the works of the flesh. 

Galatians 5:19-25, “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like:  for the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance:  against such there is no law.  And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.  If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”

3.       Why, we are to:  “Abstain from all appearance of evil” (1 Thessalonians 5:22).

4.       Those who place their trust in earthly riches above the spiritual are being foolish.

 

Luke 12:16-21, “And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully:  And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits?  And he said, This will I do:  I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods.  And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years: take thine ease, eat drink and be merry.  But God said unto him. Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?  So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” 

1 John 2:15-17, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world.  If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.  And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof:  but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.”   

V.                 THERE IS NOT ANY PLACE THAT COMPARES TO HEAVEN, WHICH IS THE ETERNAL HOME OF THE FAITHFUL CHILD OF GOD.

A.        After obeying the gospel of Christ, we are to set our affections on things above.       

Colossians 3:1-4, “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.  Set your affection on things above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.  Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.  For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.  When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.” 

Matthew 6:19-21, “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:  But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:  For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” 

B.        The blessings of Heaven will be far beyond ability to comprehend in this present life. 

1 John 3:2, “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be:  but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.” 

Revelation 21:4, “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain:  for the former things are passed away.” 

(Revelation 21:10-23 is a vivid description of that eternal home.) 

John 14:1-3, “Let not your heart be troubled:  ye believe in God, believe also in me.  In my Father’s house are many mansions:  if it were not so, I would have told you.  I go to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” 

C.        If by the grace of God, we enter into Heaven, it will be home forever. 

1 Peter 1:4, “To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you.” 

D.        There will not be anything there that will defile us. 

Revelation 21:27, “And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie:  but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.”  

Conclusion:

I.                     IN THIS LIFE, THERE IS NOT ANY GREATER OPPORTUNITY FOR YOU AND ME THAN THAT OF OBEYING THE GOSPEL. 

Matthew 16:26, “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?  Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? 

2 Corinthians 6:2, “…behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” 

Proverb 27:1, “Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.”

--Dub Mowery

 

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