Summary: Ephesians contains ever item necessary to live the Christian life. In this passage, Paul prays that we GET IT, and that it will be the springboard into the abundant life.
Live Out Loud - Our PROVISON April 15, 2007
Recap: Last week we kicked off a new series in Ephesians entitled – Live Out Loud. The intent of this series is to help us learn how to live in the grace and power of Christ in us so we might experience the abundant life Jesus promised. To help us, God gave Ephesians to address the fundamental issues of the Christian life – God, Jesus, H.S., salvation, morality, marriage, parenting, work, and even spiritual warfare. You could say that Ephesians is Christianity in a nutshell.
Note: Last week we began our series by considering the one element necessary to experience a life out loud – you have to be saved. We discussed how our salvation was planned by the Father, purchased by the Son, and is being preserved by the H.S. We discovered that we need to know who we are, where we are, and what we have in Christ, before we can live a life out loud.
Intro: Jerry Clower tells of (4) men driving in Mississippi who entered the town of Kosciusko. One of them said, “This is Kas-ciusko.” The other said, “No, you mispronounced it. It’s Kozy-us-ko. A third one said, “You’re both wrong. It’s Kusy-asko.” They argued until they pulled into a fast food restaurant. To settle the issue they asked the teen behind the counter to help, “Ma’am, perhaps you can help us. We have a disagreement. We don’t know how to pronounce the name of this place. So slowly, would you pronounce the name of this place for us?” She gave them an odd look and said, “Daaar-eee-queen.”
Trans: If you’re a Christian, you’re in Christ, and God has a plan for you. He wants you to know that the Christian life doesn’t end at the cross, it begins there.
Note: In Eph. 1:15-23, Paul offers a prayer of encouragement in the hope that we’d GET IT! He prays that we’d grasp the reality of God’s grace made available by the cross so that it might come to life in us. Specifically, He prays that we might come to grips w/ the priority and provision of God’s abundant grace.
I The PRIORITY – Know WHOSE You Are v. 17
Text: For this reason, (planned, purchased, and preserved) ever since I heard about your faith in Christ Jesus and your love for all the saints, I haven’t stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.
Trans: As a side note, if you don’t know how to pray for someone, this is a good place to start. Pray that God would give them wisdom and revelation to know Him.
A The WISDOM of God
Word: spirit of wisdom (pnema sophia) Paul prays we’ would discover the depth and reality of the power of God in us. He prays we’d have a spiritual disposition to comprehend w/ insight the true nature of our relationship w/ God.
B The REVELATION of God
Word: revelation (apocalypsis) to unveil and is often used of future events. But in this case, it’s not a reference to the future, but of what has already occurred. Paul prayed the Ephesians would grasp the reality of what already existed – Christ in you! He prayed God would unveil the mystery of salvation to them.
Note: This speaks to our IDENTITY in Christ. We need God to reveal to us who we are b/c of who He is.
Funny: A crowded flight was canceled and a single agent was rebooking a long line of frustrated travelers. Suddenly an angry passenger pushed his way to the desk, and slapping his ticket down exclaimed, "I HAVE to be on this flight and it has to be 1st CLASS." The agent replied, "I’m sorry sir, but I’ll be happy to help you when it’s your turn, but I’ve got to help these folks first." The passenger wasn’t happy, so in a loud voice he said, "Do you have any idea who I am?" W/out hesitating, the agent smiled, grabbed the P.A., and said, "May I have your attention? We have a passenger here at the gate who doesn’t know who he is. If anyone can help him find his identity, please come to the gate."
Note: One of the great problems in the Christian life that prevents us from experiencing the abundant life God promises is our misunderstanding and misappropriation of the grace and power of God.
Note: Quite frankly, most Christians live like paupers even though they have unlimited access to the abundance of God. The Bible says that in Christ we have all that we need for life and Godliness. And yet, few believers ever come to the realization of what it means to have Christ in you.