Bible Studies & Devotionals
From Olive Branch Ministries
By Mark and Tinsley Baker
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Let's start by reading Ö
1 John 5:14. Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.
If we do not know Godís will then we need to first find out His will in His Word. Godís Word is Godís will.
In Paulís letter to the Ephesians, he prayed two prayers for the Ephesian Church by the unction of the Holy Spirit, Paul was the man God chose to reveal the greatest part of the New Covenant to. I believe Paul knew the correct way to pray for people. OK, lets look at the prayers.
Ephesians 1:16-23. do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers: that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, 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, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come. And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.
Ephesians 3:14-21. For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father, of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.
These prayerís of Paul are Holy Spirit anointed prayers that we can pray for ourselves, and for others as well.
Notice, Paul did not pray for God to bless them, or for Gods blessings to be upon them. We often pray for God to bless people, or for Gods blessing to be upon us. The truth of the matter is, we are praying for God to do something that He has already done through the completed work of Christ Jesus. What He says in His Word has already taken place. In Godís eyes, we are, already blessed. Weíre not going to be blessed someday, we are blessed now. We wouldnít be praying this way if we had true revelation, and saw ourselves as God sees us.
No, Paul prayed their spiritual eyes would be opened. Why did he pray that way, instead of praying for God to bless them? So that they would receive the revelation of what has already happened. The revelation of their redemption, and it is ours as well , So that they would know who they are, and what blessings already have been freely given to them! So that they would be able to receive the blessings that already belong to them in Christ Jesus.
You canít receive something if you donít know itís yours, can you?
Paul says in Vs.3, Who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, We have been blessed with EVERY SPIRITUAL BLESSING We canít be blessed with any more. There are no more we can be blessed with. The Blessings are already ours. Weíve already got them all. EVERY ONE!!
-- Simple English- Ephesians 1:3. Praise God! He is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. In Christ,
God has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in heaven.
We have been blessed with every spiritual blessing in Heaven. Weíve already got them all. We need to stop asking for them and learn how to receive them by faith.
We often miss it believing God is going to bless us someday somewhere in the future if we can just hold on. NO, now! We are blessed now. Our blessings are now. Our redemption is now. Praise God!
Faith is always now, and will bring Godís promises into the present tense. Always! Grab a hold of the promises of God and bring them into the present. Lay hold of the promises of God for yourself!
Hebrews 11:1. Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Faith begins where you know and understand the will of God. Not taking a blind leap into the dark. Taking a blind leap in the dark is not knowing and understanding! God is light there is no darkness in Him.
No, His Word brings light. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. (Ps:119:105)
We can depend on Him. Jesus said, in Matthew; Heaven and earth will pass away but My Word will never pass away! (Mt:24:35)
Then why arenít we walking in these blessings that are already given to us.? I believe itís because we donít comprehend what belongs to us. Thatís why Paul prayed the way he did. The new birth, the remission of sins has already been provided for every single sinner, and every single lost person. Every single one.
Heb:9:12: Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.
For everybody. The Gospel is the good news!!
Spiritual death is a result of sin, separation from God was a result of that spiritual death, along with that came sickness and disease, poverty, lack, and a break in our fellowship with God.
II Co.5:17-21. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
Amplified translation vs. 19: It was God [personally present] in Christ, Reconciling and restoring the world to favor with Himself, not counting up and holding against [men] their trespasses [but canceling them]. And committing to us the message of reconciliation (of the restoration to favor). You can hear it, but if you donít act on it, it wonít do you any good. The world has been restored to favor with God , and they just donít know it. In the end, mankind will be convicted of only one sin, the sin of not accepting Jesus Christ as their savior. We have to tell people to lay hold of eternal life. We are His representatives. We are His ambassadors. The divine favor belongs to you and me and everybody. Sinners are restored to favor with God just as much as we are!!! They donít know it, and because they donít know it they canít act on it, and because they donít act on it, they wonít receive it.
Is. 43: 25-26. I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins. Put me in remembrance: let us plead together: declare thou, that thou mayest be justified.
Jn:8:32: And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
So knowing the truth, and acting on that knowledge will set you free.
Eph. 1:3. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
All means all, If you donít have it, it is because you donít know what the Word teaches. If you donít know the truth, how are you going to be set free? The good new is, the remission of sins belongs to the world. As we read in 2 Co. 5:19. Not imputing their trespasses. We have a new and better covenant than the Old Covenant.
He.7:22-25: By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament.And they truly were many priests, because they were not suffered to continue by reason of death:But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.
He10:17: And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.
He.8:12: For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.
Your faith will operate on your knowledge of the plan of redemption. It wonít operate beyond that. Thatís why Paul prayed open their eyes. Let them see. Jesus sent the comforter to lead us and guide us unto all truth.
I pray that you will pray these prayers of Paul for yourself, and begin to seek the true knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. If you donít know Him and would like to know that you are born agin then pray this prayer.
Dear Heavenly Father, I come to you in the name of Jesus. Your word says, "Öand the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out." (Jn.6:37), So I know You wonít cast me out, but You take me in, And I thank you for it. You said in your Word, "whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.'' (Ro. 10:13).
I am calling on Your name, So I know You have saved me now, You also said, "Öthat if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes to righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made to salvation. " (Ro.10:9,10).
I believe in my heart that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. I believe He was raised from the dead for my justification.
And I confess Him now as my Lord, Because Your Word says, "Ö with the heart one believes to righteousnessÖ" and I do believe with my heart, I have now become the righteousness of God in Christ. (2 Cor. 5:21),
And I am saved! Thank You, Lord!
I can now truthfully say, I see myself as a born again child of God!
Glory to God!!!! Amen.