Summary: This is the last in a series on Ephesians 3. It was prepared for Easter Sunday, 2002.
Compelled... To Kneel In Thanksgiving and Praise
Introduction to Sermon: Video on Kneeling…
People kneel for many different reasons
We are here today to worship God
We may not physically get on our knees to praise and give the Father glory and honor but that is why we are here. For us today it is more than creaky old bones – physically – there just isn’t any way to kneel here in these theatre seats!
A mother repeatedly told her little boy to sit down. The boy continued to stand, disobeying his mother. Finally, the mother went to him, and plopped him down in a chair. Fuming, the boy said, “I may be sitting down on the OUTSIDE, but I am standing on the INSIDE!”
We may be standing to sing and sitting to listen to the word of God and bowing our heads in prayer during communion – but we are kneeling on the INSIDE.
But why do we kneel in worship on this Resurrection Day – indeed on any Sunday?
Paul says it this way in Ephesians 3:14-15
Eph 3:14-15 (ISV)
This is the reason I bow my knees before the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom every family in heaven and on earth receives its name.
Can we really understand?
Augustine, while puzzling over the doctrine of the Trinity, was walking along the beach one day when he observed a young boy with a bucket, running back and forth to pour water into a little hole. Augustine asked, "What are you doing?" The boy replied, "I’m trying to put the ocean into this hole."
Who can comprehend God?
No one can truly and completely understand the work but all of us should resolve today, with the innocence of a child, begin to try to embrace the work and wonder of God…
He is the author of our faith, the very definition of our love, and the essence of our hope.
Gods Gift: A Rich, Strong, Powerful Faith
Eph 3:16-17a (ISV)
I pray that he would give you, according to his glorious riches, strength in your inner being and power through his Spirit, and that Christ would make his home in your hearts through faith.
Faith is a decision that is rooted in something
It comes from somewhere…
Mark Coppenger tells about visiting newcomers to the community when he spied a man across the street putting sod around a big tree in front of his house. Mark hustled over to hand him a couple of items from our church, only to be rebuffed. He called Christianity nonsense and refused to take the handout.
Smiling, Mark asked him what he meant by "nonsense." He began by saying that the Gospels were full of contradictions, and when asked to give an example, he said that the genealogy of Jesus in Matthew was different from the one in Luke.
Mark noted that some prominent scholars found the former to be the line through Joseph, the latter through Mary.
At that point, the man exclaimed, "My goodness. How silly of me. It never occurred to me that I could be leaning on such a flimsy prop in my resistance to Christianity. You know, if I was wrong about that, I could be wrong about other Bible difficulties. Have you got a minute? This is pretty important stuff. I’m not ready to buy what you’re selling, but I sure need to give it a second look."
You know how it went
He wasn’t interested in more evidence that the Gospels were harmonious. He’d made up his mind, and it was impervious to anything that would upset it. Yes, I suppose he’d had a liberal arts education in the current secular sense, but it was obvious he’d not enjoyed the richer sort that incorporates biblical perspectives at every turn.
His faith was rooted in something… And Obviously it wasn’t God! It may have been rooted in hedonism (pleasure seeking), atheism (anti-God), or Nihilism (God is Dead and some day I will be too.) What ever it is – Whatever philosophy, “ism”, or system – religious or secular it is rooted in something… and eventually it comes down to faith.
Christian Faith is a gift from God…
A trusting faith in God is limited only by His riches; energized by His personal power; and rooted in His very real love.
And it’s a good thing – we’re tough nuts to crack! Love is the only power that will break us open and expose the bruised and tender inner parts to the healing us touch of the God who created us.
God’s Truth: A Wide, Long, High, & Deep Filling of Love
Eph 3:17b-19 (ISV)
Then, having been rooted and grounded in love, you will be able to understand, along with all the saints, what is wide, long, high, and deep- that is, you will know the love of Christ, which goes far beyond knowledge, and will be filled with all the fullness of God.