Summary: Do you ever feel that you can't do what God wants you to do? Well, we can't except for the power of God working through us.
Filled with the Fullness of God
Do you ever feel that you just can’t do what God wants you to do?
I mean, you know what He wants, but it is just too hard.
Have you ever felt that way?
I am sure we all have at times.
I know Paul has and he knows that the Ephesians have as well.
That is why Paul is about to pray for the Ephesians for the second time in this letter.
If you remember last week’s message, I spoke about how Paul was just about to pray for the Ephesians, but paused to talk about the administration of God’s grace through him and we learned how God wants to administrate his grace through us as well in the gifts He has given each one of us.
And now, Paul, having finished telling them about that grace given to him, returns again to pray for them for the second time.
In Paul’s first prayer for the Ephesians, Paul prayed for them to be enlightened, to know God more. We find that prayer in
17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 18 I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe.
In this second prayer, in our text today in Ephesians, 3:14-21
Paul prays for their enablement so they can accomplish the things that the Lord wants them to do and the life that the Lord wants them to live, a life worthy of the calling they have that Paul is going to outline for them in the last half of his letter.
So let’s read Paul’s prayer so that the Ephesians and you and I will be enabled to live the life worthy of our calling.
14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge — that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
Ok, so this prayer of Paul’s for the Ephesians is just what I think Christians in America need.
Much of our experience, or lack of experience, of Christ’s fullness in our lives is a result of lacking the things that Paul is praying for the Ephesians.
So what are these things that he prays for so that the Ephesians, as well as us, can experience the fullness of God?
To start he emphasizes what he has been talking about throughout the first part of this letter.
And that is our need to be united in Christ.
To be filled with the fullness of God, we need to be United as Family with Christ
For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name.
Who is “his whole family in heaven and on earth”?
It is those who have been “adopted” as he tells us in Ephesians 1, into his family.
It is those who have received Him, who have believed in the name of Christ, as John tells us in John 1:12, that are children of God.
So it begins with trusting and receiving Jesus Christ as your Savior, but it goes beyond just that to being united in the body of Christ, the church.
So have you received Jesus as your Savior?
Are you part of the family of God?
And are you united together with His family as part of the church?
Those things, receiving Christ and connecting with a church are absolutely essential if you are going to be filled with the fullness of God in your life.
There is no hope apart from that.