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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.

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Series: Experiencing God’s Riches

GOD, HELP THEM RECEIVE

Ephesians 3:14-21

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.

Examples

- 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.


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