Summary: When we expect great things from God and are prepared to be part of His kingdom work of seeking and saving that which is lost. He will do things beyond our imagination to enable and propel us for His Glory.
Intro: Writing Ephesians probably from a place of house arrest Paul is trying to encourage the Christians in Ephesus to love God and love one another. The reason is that the love of God and love of the brethren will unify the body of Christ.
In this letter we see that the first prayer for the Ephesians is for enlightenment. That they might know all, that God has for them as His children. Here in chapter 3 we see Paul praying for their and our enablement. He wanted them not to simply know what was available to them as blood bought born again children of God, He wanted them to be all that God had for them. Paul’s desire and mine is that you would lay hold of all that God has for you and make it a central part of you every day life.
Jesus spoke and acted beyond imagination in His earthly life and ministry. He spoke as one with authority and commanded the creation with the same authority. He took care of the needs both spiritual and physical of individuals with signs and wonders. They were needs that required Jesus to go beyond the imagination of the onlookers as well as the recipients of His miracles.
There are spiritual needs today that are so large in our cities, state, and world that the only way they will be met is for God to work beyond imagination, outside the normal, natural, or conventional means.
According to Paul’s writing we should expect that God will go beyond imagination. Often we find that God works that way through us in missions, at home or abroad in order to reach people in physical, or spiritual need.
I. Encouraged to expect more from God. (3.10-18) (Ephesians 3.13) (don’t loose heart)
Why should Paul’s writing in this passage encourage us?
Because, in this passage we find six foundation stones we can stand on to expect more from God!
A) Unstoppable church revealing God’s truth (God’s eternal plan) (10, 11) (Matt 16.18)
1) Built on Solid Rock foundation of Jesus
2) Basis for nature of the church and expectation of God
It is the unstoppable church alone that has the next five foundation stones that allow us to expect more from God.
B) Unrestricted access to God “to approach God with freedom and confidence” 3.12
1) No hesitation about accessing God (bold based on Christ’s finished work)
2) No reservation about addressing God (no fear)
a) of being heard
b) of being answered
c) of being scolded (James 1.5 without reproach)
reproach: to express disproval, criticism, disappointment.
C) Unquestioned ability “The Creator of everything in heaven and on earth” (3.15 NLT)
1) God can
2) God will
3) God does (Let us make this our conversation, our mediation)
D) Unlimited riches (resources) “according to His glorious riches.” (3.16)
“Out of His glorious riches.”
“According to His glorious riches.”
1) Out of – In Part
2) According to -- in proportion!!
E) Unmeasurable love. “how wide, long, high, and deep is the love of Christ.” (3.18)
1) Width – Whosever will, it includes jews, and gentiles, men and women, old and young, God’s love is available for all people.
Christ’s arms reaching to all the world
2) Length – From before the creation to the redemption of all creation the love of God never runs out.
Christ Stretched between heaven and earth the bridge to eternity
3) Depth -- God reached into the depths of our sin with the bloody
hand of Christ and raised us up to walk in newness of life.
Christ in the tomb, death has no power on those that God in Christ has reached down and made clean
4) Height – Raised up and enthroned with Christ
F) Unending Faithfulness
Our Daily Bread
Missionary statesman Hudson Taylor had complete trust in God’s faithfulness. In his journal he wrote: Our heavenly Father is a very experienced One. He knows very well that His children wake up with a good appetite every morning...He sustained 3 million Israelites in the wilderness for 40 years. We do not expect He will send 3 million missionaries to China; but if He did, He would have ample means to sustain them all...Depend on it, God’s work done in God’s way will never lack God’s supply.
It is often our lack of expecting God to use us that causes many needs physically and spiritually to go unmet.
II. Prepared to participate beyond our own thinking (imagination) (3.12-20)
God is the central figure in the movie we call life. Even though he is the director, producer, and scriptwriter, He has chosen that the movie cannot be made without the key grips, associate gophers, and otherwise necessary crew.
It is His script, His resources and His Plan. So where do believers figure into the grand movie of life? He includes believers when we are prepared and persistent in reaching people for Christ.