Summary: Paul’s Prayer for the Ephesian Church shows how Christians can be "filled to your measure with all the fullness of God."
Being Filled To Your Measure
“that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God”
By Chris Nerreau – 03/27/06
· One New Year’s Day, in the Tournament of Roses parade, a beautiful float suddenly sputtered and quit. It was out of gas. The whole parade was held up until someone could get a can of gas. The amusing thing was this float represented the Standard Oil Company. With its vast oil resources, its truck was out of gas.
· At one point or another most Christians find themselves in the same place, although created in the very image of God, with the ability to tap into the endless possibilities and power of God, (Ge. 1:27) they are left stalled out and sputtering.
· In today’s passage Paul prays a prayer of intercession (vs. 14 kneel) for Christians just like that, Christians in Ephesus who were sputtering and stalling out.
· If you look at vs. 19 you will get the gist of the prayer - “that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”
· You see, it was Paul’s prayer that the believers in Ephesus be filled to their measure and made complete.
And the reason Paul prayed this prayer was because he knew it was possible for Christians to be filled to their full measure with God.
So today, We will see that being filled to our measure with all the fullness of God has (3) requirements:
I. God’s Strength - Vs. 16 “Strengthened with Power thru His Spirit In your inner being (so that) Christ may dwell in your heart thru faith”
II. God’s Insight - Vs. 18 “power, together with all the saints, (to grasp) how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,
III. A God Moment - Vs. 19 “and (to know) this love that surpasses knowledge.”
TRANSITION: Jesus spoke of having eyes to see, ears to hear and a heart to understand, lets pray that this be so for us as we begin…
I. God’s Strength vs. 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 ”
· Paul’s prayer is that God’s strength would meet the inner beings of the Ephesians, so that Christ may dwell in their hearts.
o Lets take a closer look at the passage:
· “I pray” – Paul spent most of His time praying for others even when he himself was in need. (Eph. 1:16; Phil. 1:4; Col. 1:3, 9)
· “God’s glorious riches (vs. 16)” - For God to give according to the riches of His glory is absolutely staggering, because His riches are limitless, completely without bounds! Yet that is exactly the measure by which Paul implores God to empower the Ephesians.
· “Strengthen you” – The point is that we are weak and God is strong, thus being filled to our measure means God does the filling, you cannot strengthen yourself, you cannot give yourself faith.
· “Inner being” –The inner man, is where God most wants to work. His work begins with salvation, and after that His main field of work is still the inner man, because that is where spiritual life exists and where it must grow.
· “That Christ may dwell in your heart” – Paul has already made clear that all believers are in Christ (1, 3, 10, 12; 2:6, 13). He is therefore not here referring to Christ’s indwelling believers in salvation but being strengthened in the process of sanctification.
· This is not a prayer of salvation or “if Jesus” is in your heart but rather one of sanctification “to what measure Jesus is in your heart”.
Have you ever considered a seed, you can plant it and water it but something has to happen to it in order for it to grow and only God can do it! The same is true with us, In order for us to grow in the fullness of God, even if we have all the right conditions we still require Gods strength.
· Thus today I am calling upon you to pray that God would strengthen you that you may be filled to the measure with all the fullness of God.
· The result will be a deeper and more intimate relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.
TRANSITION: In order to be filled to our measure with all the fullness of God, we need to be filled with God’s strength but we also need to be filled with…