Sermons

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 gcurley@gcurley.info)

SERMON OUTLINE:

(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).

SERMON BODY:

Ill:

• 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.

Ill:

• 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

• https://youtu.be/BA7pdABvpnc]

And that is the start of when any person really starts to know God:

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