Summary: Paul so desired the Ephesians to receive everything thing God had prepared for them. But he understood that the question was not whether God wanted to give them His blessings, but were they ready to receive God s blessings.
Series: Experiencing God’s Riches
GOD, HELP THEM RECEIVE
Paul so desired the Ephesians to receive everything thing God had prepared for them. But he understood that the question was not whether God wanted to give them His blessings, but were they ready to receive God s blessings.
PAUL’S PRAYER (3:14-20)
14For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,
PAUL PRAYED FOR US TO EXPERIENCE ...
I. THE STRENGTH OF THE SPIRIT (3:16)
That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;
We live daily in a world with powerful forces at work to tear us down.
- Powerful Adversary
(1 Peter 5:8) Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
(Eph 6:10-12) Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
- Powerful Flesh/Sin Nature
(Rom 7:18-20) NIV I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do-this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
- Powerful World Influences
o Worldly Friends, Aquaintances
o Movies, Music
o Alcohol, Drugs
- Powerful Circumstances/Life Altering Events
Paul knew well of each of these forces as he continuously battled them, yet he was the man whom we received these great words of encouragement.
(Phil 4:13) I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
(2 Cor 12:9) And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
1) Source of the Strength
...by His Spirit
(Zech 4:6) Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the Lord unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might , nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.
2) Quantity and Quality of the Strength
...according to the riches of His glory
3) Location of the Strength
...in the inner man
As a pastor the greatest joy I experience is when I personally witness the power of Christ enter someone’s life and set them free from powerful bondages.
- David from 28 years of drug addiction
- Bonnie from her husband committing suicide
- Young wife and mother from years tormented from sexual abuse
II. THE INDWELLING OF CHRIST (3:17a)
That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith;
1) Location of the Indwelling
-in the heart, not the mind
(Prov 4:23) Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
(Matt 12:35) A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.
Many know about Christ, but do not know Christ
James Dobson recently interviewed a lady who had went through much tragedy and is now ministering to others. In her testimony she explained that for many years she was a God lover but not a Christian.
2) Means of the Indwelling
-by faith, not by sight, nor works
III. THE FULLNESS OF GOD (17b-19)
that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.
To be Filled with the Fullness of God One....
1) Must be Grounded in the Love of Christ
that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
(1 John 4:16-20) 16And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. 17Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. 18There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. 19We love him, because he first loved us. 20If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?