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His name was Victor, but he felt like a loser. He didn't do very well in school a when he was 16 years old, a teacher advised him to drop out of high school and get a job. He didn't do much better in the working world so that, by the time he was 32, he had failed at 76 different jobs.

But applying for job number 77 was to change Victor's life. As a part of the interview process, he was required to take an I.Q. test - a test designed to measure his intelligence. A score of 100 was considered to be normal. Victor scored 161. He had never before realized it, but Victor was a genius. The knowledge of that fact was transforming in his life. Victor Serienko went on to become famous for his research in laser surgery and to become president of MENSA, an organization for geniuses - all because a test said that he was special.

God has said some tremendous things about YOU. He has said that you are special to Him. And in this chapter, he calls you to open your eyes and see what it is that HE says about you.

We have already noted that the verses 3-14 are made up in the Greek text of one very long run-on sentence. Paul begins talking about the blessings which we have in Christ Jesus and he does not stop to take a breath until the end of verse 14. Verses 15-23 form a second overly long sentence, although our English translation breaks it up into several shorter sentences.

Verses 3-14 give Paul's praise. Now verses 15-23 give Paul's prayer. He begins His prayer with thanksgiving to the Lord.

A PRAYER OF THANKS.

For this reason I too, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which exists among you and your love for all the saints, 16 do not cease giving thanks for you, while making mention of you in my prayers (Ephesians 1:15-16).

When Paul says, "For this reason," he is referring back to everything he has said up to this point. The truth that we have been blessed and chosen and predestined and adopted as sons and redeemed and forgiven and given an inheritance and sealed and made a special possession of God. Because of all those things, Paul gives thanks.

He has heard some news about the Ephesians. It is news that drives him to his knees in thanksgiving. He has heard news that makes him believe that Christ is working in the Ephesian church.

1. He has heard of their FAITH in the Lord Jesus.

For this reason I too, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which exists among you... (Ephesians 1:15).

Notice that he does not say that he has heard of THEIR faith. He has heard of THE faith which was among them. You see, Paul had already warned the Ephesians that not everyone in the church would necessarily be in the faith. He warned that there would come a time when the world would get into the church. He told the Ephesian elders that men would arise within their own church "speaking perverse things to draw away the disciples after them" (Acts 20:30).

If you are a part of a local church, then there is faith among you today. But the key question is whether there is faith IN you. Have you entered into the riches of the blessing of Christ Jesus? Or are you an outsider looking in? There is a litmus test given by Paul. It is your love for other Christians.


Talk about it...

Elmara Billones

commented on Nov 5, 2008

I am so blessed of your message hope that you will continue to share your gifts to everyone. God bless you.

Eric Foggitt

commented on Nov 7, 2008

Cracking sermon! Great structure, powerful arguments and excellent stories. You apply the passage very skillfully and challengingly. I loved the story about Sarita and Lohnny Lingo! Keep on keeping on, brother!

Gerald Van Horn

commented on Oct 8, 2010

Great sermon on difficult text. Thanks for the insight. G.B.

Gene Beezer

commented on May 29, 2013

Excellent sermon! Great outline, good insights and wonderful illustrations. Gene Beezer

Gene Beezer

commented on May 29, 2013

Excellent sermon! Great outline, good insights and wonderful illustrations. Gene Beezer

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