Summary: To know Christ in the power of His resurrection and to demonstrate the reality of the Spirit filled life.
Intro: Paul begins this portion of scripture with a prayer for those who have faith in the Lord and love for fellow Christians. It would appear, according to most Christians of today, that they had it all together. But Paul, the great apostle, considered them in need of prayer. He began by saying, "I don’t cease to give thanks for you," but I’m praying for you to.
What was this man of God praying for them to receive? (read vs.17)
I. That God may give you knowledge of Him.
A. That He may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation to know Him.
The "spirit of wisdom" is often interpreted as an attitude of the mind, as when we speak of a spirit of meekness or courage. When understood in this way, Paul would be expressing a desire for his readers to have an attitude of mind, a spiritual disposition, to be able to comprehend divine truth. However, apart from the ministry of the Holy Spirit, which is the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, there can be no understanding of divine truth.
1. Jesus said in John 16:13,14 "Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come. 14 He shall glorify me:
2. To know Him is so important that Jesus said it was expedient that he go so the Spirit would come.
3. We need the knowledge of Jesus that the Spirit gives. We need our understanding enlightened.
"That ye may know" introduces the three specific elements of knowledge which Paul desires his readers to possess:. the hope of His calling, the glory of His inheritance, and the greatness of His power.
II. The hope of His calling.
His calling which is extended to us.
A. Is one of Hope!
1. The word hope can be both subjective and objective.
2. In the subjective sense it is an attitude of expectancy.
3. In the objective sense it is to hope in the outcome of redemption.
It appears that Paul was praying for us to know what the Lord has given us as the called of the Lord now, and what he has secured for us to come.
III. The glory of His inheritance in the saints.
This passage also can be interpreted in two ways: as our inheritance in God, and as God’s inheritance in us.
A. Our inheritance in God.
1. Abundant Life in Christ.
2. Victorious life in Christ.
3. Eternal life in Christ.
B. God’s inheritance in us.
1. He has taken us to be His and has made us examples of His grace and power.
2. We are God’s peculiar treasure secured unto Himself by Himself.
3. We are the redeemed of the Lord who He will present to Himself without spot or wrinkle.
IV. The exceeding greatness of His power.
The "call" refers to the past; the "inheritance" points to the future; the power," which suggests the limitless resources available to the believers, concerns the present. Eph 3:20, Unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.
A. Gods power is available to work in us and through us.
1. Acts 1:8 And ye shall receive power,
2. Luke 10:19. Behold I give unto you power,
3. Matt 10:8 Freely you have received, freely give.
B. Christ’s purpose for the church today is to demonstrate the power we have as the redeemed.
1. 1 Cor 2:4,5 And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power,
5 that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. (NKJ)
2. The purpose of evangelism is to point people to Christ.
3. Mark 16:15-20 describes the type of ministry we are to have if we are believers of the Word.
When Jesus said we would receive power after the Holy Spirit had come, it was to give witness of Him. What greater way than for the church to carry out his commands in the power of the Holy Spirit. After all didn’t Jesus say that we would do greater things than he had done? Give place to the Lord of Glory to confirm His Word with signs and wonders.