Sermons

Summary: What Paul found important to pray about

Prayer for Knowledge

Ephesians 1: 15 – 23

The Christians that first received this letter had a great reputation. Eph 1:15, 16 For this reason I too, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which exists among you and your love for all the saints, 16 do not cease giving thanks for you, while making mention of you in my prayers;

This would be a great thing for any church to have said of them that they had great trust in Christ and a great love for each other.

These beginning verses say such wonderful things about what God has provided us in Jesus Christ. God has chosen us from the beginning of time to be a part of His family. That God sent His own Son to be our ticket to heaven by His death on the cross. (Risen Lord) That God has poured out on us wisdom and insight and that we are part of a great inheritance, culminating in the glories of heaven. That God through Christ as implanted in our very being a part of His divine essence through the presence of the Holy Spirit. It is all enough to make you jump up and yell- Hallelujah!

Paul knew we were a great distance from being perfect but in Christ we are set on the road to eternal greatness. We should not get the big head about all this – in reality it is very humbling because we are so undeserving.

Some of the people receiving this letter were veteran Christians; they had developed much in their knowledge of God and in Christian character; their reputations were wide spread.

Yet on of the things we learn from these verses is that no matter how long we have been Christians, spiritual growth is always of vital importance. If you are satisfied with your present spiritual growth as a Christian then you could be on the road to spiritual death!

We should never be satisfied with our present condition- there is always more to learn, more to do, more to be, more people to reach out to, more lives to be changed, more creative opportunities to dream, more ground to cover, more challenges to accept to and more devil behind to kick! Amen?

It is very difficult to summarize the thoughts expressed in the 1st chapter of Ephesians. For purposes of simplicity and in an effort to understand this chapter it has been divided into two sections.

The first section – verses 1- 14 has been called

Paul’s Praise of Christ

The 2nd section – verses 15-23 is

Paul’s Prayer for the Church

Paul realizes the need for regular growth within any church and mentions this in his prayer for them. Paul’s 1st prayer request is this

Eph 1:17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him.

Paul does not pray that they have wisdom to carry on business activities or the knowledge to achieve great things for themselves or how to solve the economic problems of the Roman Empire. He initially prays that they might know God better.

The Ephesians along with many other Christians at this time came out of a heathen background. They had a very limited knowledge of the one true God. The minds of the Gentiles was filled with foreign gods and philosophies ( lit. love of wisdom)

They not only needed to grasp the new knowledge about Jesus but the needed to unlearn and disregard they pagan ideas and thought patterns. Wisdom and knowledge from God were of great need to the early church. They did not have a NT like we do today. They had to depend on the Apostle’s teachings, some circulated letters and orally transmitted stories. (Bible)

For us today the wisdom and revelation of God has been delivered once and for all- we simply call it the Bible. We do not need anything else. We do not need any extra revelations, visions, opinions, books or hidden false gospels. We do not need the Koran, or the Book of Morman, or some TV evangelist that acts like he or she has a direct line to God.

Here is something real important- and horribly misunderstood in many corners of Christendom.

We do NOT need a spirit of revelation because we have the revelation of the Spirit in the Bible. (on top of Bible)

Our faith is not and should not be based on a person’s personal experience of God. Your personal testimony and mine are NOT the revealed word of God. Our faith is based upon the Bible and the Bible alone – not church tradition, not a person’s opinion, not on visions, impressions, intuition, feelings, or spiritual fits, or some seemingly dedicated saint be it Mother Teresa, Father Time, Brother Bubba or Sister Sledge.

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