Summary: Paul’s Prayer for a Greater Knowledge of God.– Ephesians chapter 1 verses 15 to 23 – sermon by Gordon Curley (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email email@example.com)
(1). That We Might Know God (vs 17b):
(2). That We Might Know Gods Calling (vs 18a)
(3). That We Might Know Gods Riches (vs 18b)
(4). That We Might Know Gods Power (vs 19-23).
• Many years ago, the prince of Grenada, who was an heir to the Spanish crown,
• Was arrested and sentenced to life in solitary confinement in Madrid’s ancient prison.
• The prison was so dreadful, so dirty, and so dreary nature,
• That it had earned the nickname, “The Place of the Skull.”
• Everyone knew that once you were in, you would never come out alive.
• The prince was would be in that prison and in solitary confinement for 33 years.
• He was only ever given one book to read during the entire time: The Bible.
• With only one book to read,
• You can imagine that he read it hundreds and hundreds of times.
• The book became his constant companion.
• After 33 years of imprisonment, he died.
• When they came to clean out his cell, they found some notes he had written,
• He made them by using nails to scratch on the soft stone of the prison walls.
The notations were of this sort:
• Psalm 118:8 is the middle verse of the Bible.
• Ezra 7:21 contains all the letters of the alphabet except the letter J;
• The ninth verse of the eighth chapter of Esther is the longest verse in the Bible.
• No word or name more than six syllables can be found in the Bible.
• This individual spent 33 years of his life,
• Studying what many believe to be the greatest book of all time.
• Yet he could only glean trivia.
• Sadly, from what we know from his etchings,
• He never made any sort of commitment to Christ.
• He simply became an expert at Bible trivia.
• TRANSITION: May God keep us from knowing facts about God,
• May our studies in the Bible lead us to a deeper knowledge of God.
• That was the prayer of the apostle Paul for this Church in Ephesus,
• And it should be the prayer echoed by all of God’s people.
Note: A true knowledge of God starts at a person’s conversion.
• If you are not converted, saved, born-again, a follower of Jesus,
• You will only ever have knowledge in the sense of facts about God,
• But when a person is saved they can start to experience friendship with God.
• In the News this week (August 2020).
• There was a story from Wellington, New Zealand.
• [Let’s watch it: YouTube: https://youtu.be/_Uzm33empvo]
• Three men were rescued from a tiny Pacific island,
• After writing a giant SOS sign in the sand that was spotted from above,
• The men had set out to reach another island called Pulawat,
• But something went wrong with their 23-foot boat,
• And they sailed off course and ran out of fuel.
• The men had been missing (in the Micronesia archipelago) for nearly three days
• And were living on the uninhabited Pikelot Island.
• When rescuers spotted their distress signal.
• The men were found about 118 miles from where they had set out.
• And you will be glad to know that they were found in good condition,
• And an Australian military helicopter was able to land on the beach
• And give them food and water until a patrol vessel was able to pick them up.
TRANSITION: We noted last week in the apostle Paul’s prayer of praise,
• That he gave thanks that these Christians had been rescued.
• 10 times in the first 14 verses of chapter 1.
• We read the expression or phrase “in Christ,” “in him,” or “in whom.”
• Without Christ we are like those stranded men lost on Pikelot Island.
• But when we cried out S.O.S. (Save Our Souls),
• God in his grace and mercy heard that cry and rescued us.
• And like those people in the Amazing Grace video we watched earlier on in the service*,
• Whatever country you are from and whatever language you speak,
• And whatever time you were born in history,
• Every Christian will tell the exact same story.
• They were unable to save themselves,
“'Twas Grace that taught my heart to fear,
And Grace my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear
The hour I first believed.”
• It was all of grace, of God.
• He saved us, he rescued us, he wanted us!
• [*Video: 50 Countries Affected By COVID-19 Sing Amazing Grace
And that is the start of when any person really starts to know God: