Summary: Paul prays for the church that we would know the surpassing Love of God which empowers His people to live holy lives and to be the church!
Focus: Paul prays for the church that we would know the surpassing Love of God which
empowers His people to live holy lives and to be the church!
Function: To illustrate the love of God from Scripture and challenge with the question: Do you
know the love of God?
Friday was Valentines Day! What did you do to celebrate? Of course, I’m convinced that Valentine’s day is one of those holidays secretly created by Hallmark and the
chocolate industry . . . but nonetheless- it is a day NOT TO BE FORGOTTEN- especially if you have a
sweetheart as wonderful as mine! What did you get your sweetheart this year? It’s wonderful this time of
year . . . you walk into a card store on Valentines’ day and all you see is row upon row of anxious men
trying to pick out just the right card. Where are the women? They were here two weeks ago! The shelves
are almost empty, all of the best cards have already been nabbed . . . I’ve left frustrated at not having found
the right card MORE THAN ONCE! Serves me right for waiting till Feb. 14th to think about it, I suppose.
The dilemma for me: How do you communicate the love you have for your sweetheart through a card or a
box of chocolates or a bouquet of flowers? What card . . . what chocolate . . . what flower could
adequately express my love? Here’s where my wife would chime in, “I don’t know, but at least you could
give it a shot!”
That’s the dilemma that Paul faces in the text that _____ just read to us! How do you express the love of
God in mere ‘words’ . . . human words? In my opinion, Paul does a pretty good job. Remember, to this
point, Paul has been building for us a theology of the church (so to speak.) He has revealed the mystery to
us . . . of what God has done for us in Christ by tearing down that Dividing Wall that has separated us
from Him and us from one another! We are now ONE in Christ! He has elaborated on the fact that God
has given us “every spiritual blessing in Christ!” He has emphasized how God has empowered us from
above to change our hearts and lives as he would have them changed. God has made us new creations-
having died to sin and born again to righteousness! All God did all of this for a purpose . . . “that through
the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known.”
If we think of the first part of Ephesians as Paul constructing his church, we might pause here to think of
this text as his “Dedication Ceremony.” When a new building is built, or a new ship is constructed there
is usually a ‘dedication ceremony’, right? It’s a time to stop, reflect on the purpose for that building, our
hopes for it and perhaps ask a blessing on it. The Building Committee is working and praying that we’ll be
doing this by this time next year over our new building addition. This text is Paul’s prayer for the church-
his ‘dedication’ prayer over it. You remember that he started it out last week, but interrupted himself to
talk a little bit about the ‘mystery’ that had been revealed. He’s back to it today . . . let’s read again.
14 For this reason . . . WHAT REASON? Paul is pointing back to the salvation and the privileges
he described way back in Chpt. 2
I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name.
Again, we are FAMILY . . . “fellow citizens with God’s people and members of His household.” 2:19
16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner
being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. Our strength comes not from
ourselves, but from God! Again, Paul makes reference to receiving POWER from his Spirit- a recurrent
theme throughout Ephesians. This Spirit indwells the believer through faith!
And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the
saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, He’s saying, “I pray that you can
understand the incredible . . . HUGE love of Christ!”
19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge-- that you may be filled to the measure of all the
fullness of God. What an amazing and incredible thought . . . “I pray that you may know the love that is