Sermons

Summary: There is an expectation for the church that comes from above and is lived out in the here and now.

Palmyra First Assembly

February 3, 2019

Text: Ephesians 1:13-19

Subject: In Him

Title: Christ’s Fullness in the Church

This morning I want to share with you from the Book of Ephesians. It’s probably my favorite book in the bible, and at the same time it may be one of the most challenging to fully understand.

Ephesians can probably be broken into two sections. Chapters 1-3 speak to us about the power and authority we have as believers because we are “In Him”. 17 times in the NIV we see mention of our relationship with Christ by the phrases “in Him, in Christ, with Him, with Christ.” And those are in reference to what is available to us through that relationship. For instance, in chapter 1 and verse 4, he chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy… verse 7, in Him we have redemption… verse 13, you were included in Him when you heard the gospel and were sealed with the Holy Spirit.

Along with the examples found in Ephesians there are approximately 140 phrases with the same meaning in him, through him, in Christ, in whom… as you read through Paul’s letters it is important for us to see every benefit that is available to us as born-again believers. And as you see those benefits it is good for you to begin to confess them as yours. Our desire should always be to be in agreement with God’s word in every aspect of our Christian walk.

Amen?

17I 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. 18I 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, 19and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, 20which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.

I believe this is God’s word…

I believe it is for me…

I accept it as mine…

I will appropriate it to my life today…

I want to focus on verse 18 and the first part of 19…

18I 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, 19and his incomparably great power for us who believe.

I. The Hope to Which He has called you… Every one of us has a calling. First of all, you are called to be saved. The great hope that we have is that we believe Jesus is coming back for the church at the rapture. It is by grace you have been saved through faith… That is so important for us to get. We must learn to walk by faith and not by sight. Here is where hope and faith are connected. Hebrews 11:1 (NKJV) Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. When we connect both hope and faith in reference to God’s word, and specifically in this case what it means to be “in Him”, that when we hope ore believe for something that the Word says is ours, we must hold on by faith. For some that creates a problem. Does the Lord intend for it to be difficult for us to have the kind of faith we need to receive the things we hope for? No, He doesn’t. But it falls on us to have that kind of faith.

Paul said in 18, I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know… What does that mean? What are the eyes of your heart and how, are they enlightened? When the bible talks about the heart it is referring to your spirit man. It is that non-physical part of your being that lies dormant until touched and brought to life by the Holy Spirit at salvation. The word translated “enlightened” refers to revelation that comes from the Lord. 1 Corinthians 2:9-10 (NKJV) 9 But as it is written: "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him." 10 But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. The Weymuth NT says it like this… 9 But—to use the words of Scripture—we speak of THINGS WHICH EYE HAS NOT SEEN NOR EAR HEARD, and which have never entered the heart of man: ALL THAT GOD HAS IN READINESS FOR THEM THAT LOVE HIM. 10 For us, however, God has drawn aside the veil through the teaching of the Spirit; for the Spirit searches everything, including the depths of the divine nature. The hope that He has called us to is the faith that we need to hope for and receive every bible promise that is made on our behalf, but also every condition that needs to be met on our part to live lives that are holy and pleasing to the Lord. Romans 12:1 (NIV2011) 1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. One last thing…the word hope in the Greek means expectation. So the hope to which He has called you is the expectation that He will continue to give revelation to you in order that you may know him or experience him the way that He wants for you…

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