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All Scripture Marker ESV: The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001. Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.
Paul, The Transformed persecutor of Christians
Paul, The Preacher for Christ throughout the Roman Empire
Paul, The letter writer to young churches
Paul, The apostle to the Gentiles
Writes in Ephesians 3:14
14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, (EPH 3:14-15, ESV)
When Paul thinks of all of the wisdom…and of the scope of God’s plan…He falls on his knees and prays.
He is the Pastor of many different churches, including the one in Ephesus.
All of these churches need his leadership.
And Paul sees God’s plan. Paul sees God’s wisdom. And what does Pastor Paul pray for?
He prays for the Ephesians and that they will receive five things:
1. That the Holy Spirit will give then strength.
2. That Christ will be at home in their heart.
3. That they will have deep roots.
4. They will have Power to understand.
5. That they will Experience the love of Christ.
And that is my pastoral prayer for you as well.
1. Strength is the first thing that Paul prays for.
Look in verse 16:
16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, (Eph 3:16, ESV)
Paul prays that the Holy Spirit will give them strength. What kind of strength?
Is it some kind of metaphysical inner strength that will help you survive on some remote FOB in Central Iraq?
No, he prays for spiritual strength, which comes from the Holy Spirit.
It is a similar pray that he prayed to the Colossians,
11 May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy,(Col 1:10-11, ESV)
But this strength is more powerful that simply our own strength.
In Paul’s letter to the Philippians, Paul writes;
13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me. (Php 4:13-14, ESV)
This is the strength that can help you do everything. It is strength that is not your own but from Christ Jesus.
It was this strength that the men in the book of Acts used when they spoke.
• In Acts 4:8 we see, Peter, who denied Christ on the night of the crucifixion, was filled with the Holy Spirit boldly preached the Gospel.
• In Acts 4:31,The believers were filled with the Holy Spirit and the building where they were meeting shook. What happened? They preached God’s message with boldness.
• In Acts 7:51, Stephen was filled with the Holy Spirit when he was about to be killed and said And he said,
“Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.”(Ac 7:56)
Boldly proclaiming the gospel.
• In Acts 11:24,Barnabas was a man full of the Holy Spirit and strong in faith. He boldly proclaimed the gospel.
Do you see a trend?
We are given strength to boldly proclaim the gospel.
But, it is not by our strength. It is Christ strength.
Roy Fish says “the Holy Spirit is to lift us to the level of Christ.”
And we are to use that strength to proclaim the gospel.
If our purpose in life is to glorify God, and the subsequently lead others to do it, the power is to declare his Glory to the world…in the face of opposition.
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