Summary: Power For the Church is found in depth of relationship with Christ.
I. Our foundational verse this morning is Ephesians 3, verse 16 - 16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man;
II. The letter to the Ephesians, and in particular Chapter 3 is speaking of the ministry of the church of Jesus Christ.
A. Some commentators have said that Ephesians 3, verse 10 is the hinge pin, or the reason that Paul wrote this particular letter.
1. Ephesians 3, verse 10 reads - “...in order that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.”
a. In other words, it is the work of the church is to make the glory of God evident, even as high as heaven itself.
b. The glory of salvation, made known to the angels, through the church.
c. The glory of the power of Christ to work in the lives of people, people that had once even despised each other, made known through the brother-hood of the church.
d. The glory of the power of Christ to give life, where once there was only death.
III. Verse 16 is part of a longer prayer, in which Paul is informing the Ephesian church of his prayer for them.
A. “...that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man;”
B. The work of the church can only go forth as it’s members fully embrace the reality of Galatians 2:20 - “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered Himself up for me”
1. I no longer live for myself.
2. I live to see Christ glorified.
3. That is Paul’s prayer in Ephesians chapter 3.
IV. Let’s look together at Ephesians chapter 3, verses 14-21.
A. 14 For this reason, I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, 16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man; 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fulness of God. 20 Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, 21 to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.
B. In verses 14 and 15 Paul gives a reason for his prayers, which is still a valid “Reason To Pray” for each of us. A Reason To Pray
14 For this reason, I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name,
I. For this reason; for what reason
A. The answer actually lies in verse 10.
B. Paul prays for the Ephesian church, in order that the “manifold wisdom of God” may be made known.
1. When he writes “every family in heaven and on earth” he is referring possibly to the angelic host, but certainly he is speaking of the Christian families.
II. Most of us have probably heard, and maybe even said something along the lines of, “Prayer is the greatest power that the church possesses.”
A. And I would imagine that at least some of us even believe that to be true.
B. But two questions?
1. Question one - “Do you actually make use of that power?”
2. Question two - “When you do make use of the power of prayer, what do you pray for?”
III. I did a quick count of how many times in the New Testament we are instructed to pray for the sick.
A. In my New American Standard, the words “pray for” occurs 9 times.
1. Matthew 5:44 - Christ says, “pray for your enemies.”
2. Luke 6:28 - Christ says, “pray for those that mistreat you”
3. 2 Cor. 13:9 - Paul prays “that you may be made complete”
4. Col. 1:9 - Paul prays “that you may be filled with knowledge of His will”
5. 1 Thess. 1:5 - Paul simply says, “Pray for us”
6. 2 Thess. 1:11 - the prayer is that “you may be worthy of your calling.”