Grace Bible Church
Robert R. McLaughlin Bible Ministries
The TREE OF LIFE is a weekly teaching summary.
The Tree of Life for week ending 09/09/01.
The Right Motivation in Relationships.
So far our corrected translation of PHI 4:7 says "In fact, that spiritual peace and prosperity from the source of the God, which surpasses or rises above and beyond all comprehension, shall garrison your hearts [right lobes] and your minds in Christ Jesus."
The phrase "and your minds in Christ Jesus," in the original language says kai [also] ta [the] noemata [which we will see means motivations] humon [your] en Christo Iesou [in Christ Jesus].
Literally it means "the motivations of yours in Christ Jesus" so we would say "also your motivations through Christ Jesus."
In this verse, motivation means a mental perception, but it also refers to evil purposes or evil motivations. In the New Testament this Greek word for motivation is "noeema" and was only used by the apostle Paul.
The issue is always motivation and it is either natural or spiritual, self-serving or God serving, from human viewpoint or divine viewpoint, evil or virtuous.
Our warfare in the spiritual life is neither physical nor of the flesh, rather it is spiritual and therefore in the mentality of our soul we have the opportunity to have divine motivation. Our Lord has provided the information and the means of having the proper motivation whereby we can possess divine viewpoint as a basis of advancing in the spiritual life and handling any situation.
The Apostle Paul writes in 2Co 10:4-5 "For the weapons of our spiritual warfare are not of the flesh [human attributes], but divinely powerful or attributes of power, for the destruction of fortresses. destroying or assaulting and demolishing with Bible doctrine speculations [cosmic thinking or human viewpoint thinking] and every obstacle of arrogance against the knowledge of God; and taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ?"
We are to take those evil motivations captive to the obedience of Christ. Any thoughts that you have which are not the thoughts of our Lord Jesus Christ must be taken prisoner or captive and pushed aside. This can only be done with correct thinking by metabolizing Bible doctrine. We all must take the challenge to evaluate our motivations in every aspect of our life.
Whenever a ministry or a group of individuals begin to have any form of success in the spiritual realm, there will be an attack made to try and sow discord. Once the serious student of the word of God who wants to have an impact in the spiritual realm recognizes this, the importance of God's word as far as relationships are concerned will be realized. These relationships can be between friends, fellow believers, members of the congregation, husbands and wives, or right man and right woman, if not yet married. When a believer discovers the biblical reasons for proper motivation in all these areas, they will begin to see them in light of objectivity rather than subjectivity.
One of the most subjective and sensitive areas to deal with in this realm is the relationship between a man and a woman. It is a sensitive subject unless it is looked at from divine viewpoint.
We are about to see a fantastic doctrinal principle that will build you up and set you free, whether you're in a good or bad marriage, single and looking to get married or whether you have failed in a marriage and are divorced, this will be a subject to enjoy.
Let's begin with a mystery.
EPH 5:22-32 "Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her; that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she should be holy and blameless. So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, because we are members of His body. For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh. This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church."
What is the mystery?
It cannot be the institution of marriage because marriage has always existed since the beginning of the human race and has its precedence from the garden of Eden. In this verse we have three words, mystery, Christ, and church, we don't have marriage mentioned although it is implied.
In EPH 5:32 Paul writes; "This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church."
This mystery is not the general institution of marriage nor is it referring to the Lord as the bridegroom and the church as the bride because that is no mystery. That same analogy is found in the Old Testament where Israel is said to be the bride and the Lord is said to be the husband, ISA 54:5, JER 3:14. This mystery goes back to the Garden of Eden and the principle regarding what the first Adam lost in the fall and what the last Adam restored and how it all relates to the angelic conflict.
Our Lord Jesus Christ not only restored all that Adam lost in the Garden but He gained back for us all of things that the first Adam lost. We can understand and experience a measure of these principles now in the spiritual realm, however, we will abide in them and experience them in totality in the eternal state. There are many overlooked similarities from the Garden of Eden and the first Adam and the last Adam who of course is our Lord Jesus Christ.
1. The perfect environment in the Garden of Eden which the first Adam lost, is now duplicated in the spiritual realm in the Pre-Designed Plan of God (PPOG) for the Church-age but will be consummated in the eternal state with perfect environment for all of eternity, REV 21:1-4.
2. The absolute righteousness that the first Adam lost is now imputed in the spiritual realm to the believer in the Church-age and he will remain in a state of perfection in the eternal state forever and ever, Rev 22:11 (see graphic).
There was one more thing that the first Adam lost that because of the angelic conflict, the last Adam, The Lord Jesus Christ, gives some believers the opportunity to recover and to glorify Him.
3. The original design of marriage that the first Adam lost can now be experienced in the spiritual realm for two believers in the Church-age. This becomes analogous to the eternal marriage between The Lord Jesus Christ and His bride for all of eternity, REV 21:9.
What the first Adam lost in the Garden at the fall, the last Adam restored in the Christocentric dispensations which is the rebuttal testimony of the prosecution in the historical trial of the angelic conflict.
In EPH 5:18-2 1, we have a dissertation on spiritual motivation concerning our relationships. Paul writes EPH 5:18-22 "Stop being intoxicated with wine by which is dissipation [living a lifestyle of self-absorption in an attempt to try and solve the problems of life], but keep on being filled with the Holy Spirit. Speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father; and be subject to one another in the fear of or respect for Christ. Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord."
In these verses we have the same Greek work used for subject, which is "hupotasso" but they do not mean the same thing.
In verse 21 the word means to honor or prefer one another in the congregation as per ROM 12:10.
In verse 22 it is a command for the wife to honor and obey her husband.
In verses 18-21, we have a dissertation on spiritual motivation concerning our relationship with other members of the congregation.
In verses 22-33, we have a dissertation and spiritual motivation on marriage and the marital relationship.
Then in EPH 6:1-4 we have a dissertation and spiritual motivation on the family, parents and children, "Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother that it may be well with you, and that you may live long on the earth. And, parents, do not provoke your children to anger; but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord."
Then in EPH 6:5-9, we have a dissertation and spiritual motivation on the employee an employer relationship,"Slaves, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in the sincerity of your heart, as to Christ; not by way of eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart. With good will render service, as to the Lord, and not to men, knowing that whatever good thing each one does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether slave or free. And, masters, do the same things to them, and give up threatening, knowing that both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no partiality with Him."
Then in the context of spiritual motivation and relationships; EPH 6:10-12 "Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. Because our struggle is not against blood [people's souls] and flesh [their old sin nature], but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places or against the spiritual forces of evil in the atmosphere around the earth,"
For those who are living the adult spiritual life these areas will be under attack. When Satan can convince us that the battle is with flesh and blood and not with the rulers, the powers, the world forces of this darkness, and the spiritual forces of wickedness, he succeeds in destroying the spiritual energy and potency that could blow him away, 1JO 4:4"because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world."
Remember that whenever a believer begins to have any form of success in the spiritual realm, there will be an attack made against that believer to try and stop momentum in the plan of God.
We now need to focus in on the spiritual motivation for the Church-age believer when it comes to this mystery ofEPH 5:32 "This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church."
This is marriage, but it is only Christian marriage and the mystery behind it. This information is some of the greatest intelligence for the defeat of Satan and his plot in human history. Satan and his fallen angels have done such a good job in this area that the average believer disregards and rejects the biblical information concerning this subject. It was Solomon who said in PRO 24:5 "A wise man is strong, And a man of knowledge increases power."
Information or knowledge is power.
When that information is the metabolized mind or thinking of Jesus Christ we have everything we need to understand and combat the situation. This spiritual intelligence or information was once classified information, but it is now revealed in the Church Age, it only remains secret to willful ignorance on the part of believers in Jesus Christ. If a believer desires to know the truth about any biblical subject, it will be revealed, JOH 7:17, JER 29:13.
There is in the most elevated section of heaven, in the very place in which the Lord Jesus Christ is dwelling something that's on deposit in EPH 1:3, and 1PE 1:4, and that deposit is a great and phenomenal wealth for the soul of the believer throughout time, and the eternal state. As born again believers in Jesus Christ, we have the ability in our local assembly, our marriage, our family, on our job, to have the most phenomenal, magnificent privilege and potential and opportunity. The unique spiritual life that was pioneered by the Lord Jesus Christ had been passed on to us. No one ever lived it before the humanity of Christ became incarnate and pioneered it, and then passed it to the church with two added extras, both of which we need desperately, Rebound and Occupation with Jesus Christ. But again it all goes back to motivation and the reason why you are here which is given in REV 4:11 "Worthy art Thou, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for Thou didst create all things, and because of Thy will they existed, and were created."
ISA 43:7 "Everyone who is called by My name, I have created for My glory, the ones whom I have formed, even whom I have made."
We have been created to bring glory to God and to glorify Him in what we call the appeal trial of Satan and the angelic conflict.
The formal trial or Satan's presentation of his appeal was presented between the creation of the first Adam and the incarnation of the second Adam, or the last Adam the Lord Jesus Christ. Between GEN 2:7, the creation of the first Adam and MAT 1:25, the birth of the last Adam, we have the presentation of the formal trial.
The first man Adam fell, the second man Adam, the Lord Jesus Christ, would come on the scene and strategically resolve the angelic conflict and share that resolution with winner believers throughout the ages.
In the dispensation of the Hypostatic Union and the dispensation of the Church, the prosecution has its answer to Satan's presentation of his appeal, this is what is known as the rebuttal phase of the trial. In this phase there are several kinds of witnesses, there are three specifically even though only two were needed. The Lord Jesus Christ was the first witness and any believer who becomes an invisible hero of the Church-age becomes a part of the second category of witnesses. The third and final category witnesses belongs to two believers in a Christian marriage.
Christian marriage has been taken from the general institution of marriage and is unique in that it requires the fulfillment of special standards and the values.
There are two major problems in this area between the man and the woman. The predominant problem with the woman toward the man is lack of respect. This is why we have passages given to the adult female believer, Eph 5:22-24 "Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord."
EPH 5:23-24 "For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything."
While the predominant problem with the woman toward the man is lack of respect, the man's predominant problem is bitterness and hypersensitivity, COL 3:19 "Husbands, love your wives, and do not be bitter against them."
The way this can be done is found in EPH 5:25 "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her;"
Christ loved the church with an impersonal unconditional love and it was an aggressive and passionate love! He gave Himself up for her, so how should a husband love his wife? The answer in EPH 5:28-29 "So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church,"
The husband is to love his wife as Christ loved the Church and the husband is to love his wife as himself.
Christian marriage is unique because the requirement to fulfill these standards and values which are higher than any standards that have ever been communicated to mankind. They can only be fulfilled through the spiritual life.
When a marriage fulfills the spiritual life corporately, that marriage becomes a corporate or collective witness for the prosecution of Satan, and that marriage receives the very highest and best from God. It also receives the recognition throughout the eternal state, that is fame in the place where it counts.
As we have seen, the first star witness in this rebuttal trial is the Lord Jesus Christ Himself from the Hypostatic Union. A period of time between about 4 BC and 30 AD, in which Jesus Christ pioneered this great spiritual life. He passed every kind of testing, including evidence testing in MAT 4:1-10. He went to the cross without sin in 2CO 5:21, 1PE 2:22-24.
On the cross He offered Himself without spot to God by means of the Holy Spirit in Hebrews 9:14. Therefore, He became the star witness.
Then we have individual witnesses, any believer who becomes an invisible hero in the Church-age becomes a part of the second category of witnesses in this dispensation. Invisible heroes can come from anywhere in any dispensation, such as in Hebrews 11:2 all the way to 12:1, where we have a great cloud of witnesses surrounding us from the Old Testament.
Finally, the third witness is the corporate witness which is Christian marriage in the Church-age only, between 30 AD to the rapture of the Church, the termination of the Church-age.
Because of this, assembled in the heavens, in the universe are the entire angelic hosts, who are observers in this stage of history. Elect angels observe human history while fallen angels are designed to oppose human history.
In 1CO 11:10 angels observe the attitude that the woman has toward her husband and the symbol of authority that it represents.
Satan and the kingdom of darkness that are observing human history hate when passages of scripture are like this are understood.
Because the angels are observing how the woman treats her man.
The fallen angels do not want the man and the woman to be restored to the original design of God. One is not better than the other, it is just a reference to the divine order and both the elect angels and fallen angels are observing to see whether or not it is happening. The fallen angels do not want the man and the woman to be restored to the original design of God.