Summary: The evidence given in the Scriptures shows us that God desires that we know exactly who we are in Christ and what that means to us.
March 2, 2008
Text: Ephesians 1:15-23
Subject: Paul’s Prayer for the Church
Title: Who Are You In Christ?
One of the things that mankind has always sought for was the meaning of life. Who are we and what are we doing here? I suppose every one of us has asked that question in one form or another. Now, since I am talking to the church the question you might ask is, “Lord, what do you want for my life?”
I want to ask you today, “Who are you in Christ?” The better question would probably be, “Who can you be in Christ?”
When I was in high school back home, being the brilliant student that I was, (you can laugh now) I enjoyed biology class. I wasn’t too crazy about my teacher, but I loved science and biology. I remember studying about the characteristics we have and how some of them are inherited and some of them are acquired. For instance, your physical make-up, hair color, height, the color of your eyes etc. are determined by you ancestry. But there are many things about you that may have been influenced by your environment. Your family life as a child was not a happy environment so you may not have joy in your life. Your parents were smokers so you smoke. You were raised in church so you go to church. In some cases we have things that are inherited that we have allowed to be altered by our environment.
Your spiritual life operates in very much the same way. When you become a Christian you have a specific inheritance – things that are guaranteed. Yet because of your environment you have not become everything that God intends for you to be.
Where I want to take you today is to the place where you can see who you are in Christ. In the process we will also show you what God desires you to be.
Get ready! God is going to do something great in your life today. Listen, because faith comes by hearing! I’M GOING TO LISTEN BECAUSE I WANT TO HEAR. Faith is coming!
I. YOU CAN HAVE WISDOM AND REVELATION (17) I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation… I want you to notice this – Paul didn’t tell the church in Ephesus that they were lacking in this area, but he knew they needed it. You can be a Christian without wisdom and revelation. But he knew they would be more effective in ministry is they would receive the Spirit of wisdom and revelation. Paul went to the right source. It is the glorious Father who gives revelation and wisdom. Now because Paul wrote that he was praying for these two things for the church, it does not mean that they were to get them in that order or that one is more important than the other. One without the other is incomplete. If you receive a revelation from God and don’t have the wisdom to know what to do with it what good does it do you. This wisdom is spiritual wisdom that gives spiritual insight to spiritual things. Those spiritual things are God’s revelation of Himself to His people. 1 Corinthians 2:9-10, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him” 10but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit… What is Paul’s reason for praying this way for the church? … So that you may know him better! So that your faith will be increased. Knowing God the way He wants to be known helps us to understand His nature – His awesome power, His eternal being, His power, His understanding of all things… When we understand His nature our faith increases because we know that because of who He is, He is able to respond to our faith according to His nature. Now, how is it that God reveals Himself to us? It’s through the word, so if you want to receive revelation you need to be in the word, and when you are in the word your faith will increase. Romans 10 doesn’t say, “faith might come by hearing and hearing by the Word of God” but he says, “Faith comes by hearing…” The truth is that you have been given the Spirit of wisdom and revelation. What is lacking is that many times we don’t put it to use. In the natural you may be gifted with a good voice or a winning personality but if you don’t sing or stay cooped up in your house what good do those things do? If you are a child of God you have His Spirit in you so you have the Spirit of revelation. But for that Spirit of revelation to do you any good you have to read the word. God is waiting to reveal Himself. What are you waiting for?