Summary: As beloved children of God we must remember that we are in Christ & in God. It is through His power that we have become what we now are in Christ – through that same power which raised Christ from the dead.
No less than a few years ago, you would have looked suspiciously at people walking down the street talking to themselves. You might have even crossed the road to avoid them. Today, however, we immediately assume that such people are on their cell phones and using a wireless Bluetooth connection. The guy talking to himself is no longer crazy -- now he’s really important. How quickly age-old perceptions can change
- Without the knowledge of bluetooth connections, you may think the person talking to themselves is a little loony
- But with the knowledge comes a greater perception
1. A Matter of Knowing (Perceiving)
v.18 Paul prays that the church may “know”
- We can know “about” something & it may have no effect on us
- In the NEWS, you may learn about stuff that is totally unrelated to your life – it is mind junk
- I learnt this week that Jessie Metcalfe from the show “Desperate Housewives” has checked himself into Rehab to be treated for alcoholism
Q. How has that bit of NEWS changed or effected me in a positive way?
- The issue here is that the “knowing” of God has more to do with “perceiving, grasping” to the point that it has an impact on your life
- If your knowledge of God has not impacted your life, then you have to ask whether you have perceived, grasped that knowledge
- It not only implies understanding, but acceptance
- Remember, Paul says, that the “eyes of your heart be enlightened”
- That the lights come on & you say, “now I get it”, & it changes your life for the good
- We may ask, “What is the point of having this knowledge of God
Q. What is the point of this Spirit wisdom & revelation of God?
- Last week I suggested to you that change was the reason
- Well that was rather general, but it is still true
- Positive change is what we all need
- Paul describes this as a glorious change
2 Co 3:18 .. 18 And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
- Change is good & means that God is at work in our lives
- Constructive pain is also good – though we don’t like it at the time – it is good because God uses it to grow us
In Eph. 3 the point of knowing richly & fully about what God has done in Christ helps us in many ways
3:16 – that we would be strengthened in the inner man
3:17 – that we would be rooted & grounded in love
3:19 – that we would be filled with the fullness of God
- In Col. 1:10 – that we would walk in a manner worthy of the Lord – to please Him – bearing fruit in every good work
1:11 – that we would attain steadfastness & patience - & that we would joyously be giving thanks to the Father
- The way you live depends a lot on what you think about God
- In your mind, if God is a tyrant, then you’ll keep your distance from Him
- If God is a loveable cosmic teddy bear, then you won’t care how much you sin against Him or others, because there is nothing to fear from a big loveable teddy bear
- If people think that God expects you to be absolutely perfect before He’ll accept you into heaven, then many will give up & “go home”
- If people think God doesn’t expect them to bear fruit – to bring Him a return – then they will just lay back & take life & His commands easy
Q. Can you see how important it is to have a thorough knowledge of God, not only to know about, but to perceive and grasp in the heart – in the inner man – the wonderful riches of God
Ps 119:18 .. 18 Open my eyes, that I may behold Wonderful things from Your law.
- For the church, His riches are our resources
- Paul prayed specifically for the Ephesians to know...
1. The hope of His calling
2. The riches of His Glorious Inheritance
3. The Surpassing Greatness of His Power
- Today we will be dealing with this last point
2. To Know the Surpassing Greatness of His Power
- This is fascinating & I often wonder how many Christians truly grasp this topic
- This passage means that there is no reason for a Christian to live a defeated life
- Remember the song that goes... “Jesus Loves Me, This I Know! For the Bible tells me so. Little ones to Him belong. They are weak but He is strong!”