February 17, 2019
If you’ve been here the last couple weeks, Pastor Justin has been speaking on the book of Ephesians and today I am going to be continuing on verses 15-23. Now I know that sounds a little funny because Pastor Justin has spoken for two whole services and we are only on Ephesians 1 verse 2. But I want to assure you that everything will be all good because Justin’s talent is his ability to take 2 verses and expound on them for 60 minutes. My talent is the ability to take 60 verses and expound on them in 2 minutes. So by the end of today’s service we may be on Ephesians chapter 3.
If I could start out by giving a short synopsis which Pastor Justin will expound on next week, Ephesians begins by calling us up as Saints. To be a Saint is to be Holy and Set apart. God calls us Saints not because of something we have earned or deserve, it is something we are granted through being in Christ. And being in Christ we are chosen and we are accepted in the Beloved meaning that we deserve everything that Jesus earned. We find that God has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in Christ.
And then in verses 4-14 Paul begins to spell out the blessing that we have received in Christ…He chose us in Him, He predestined us as sons, He bestowed His grace on us freely in the Beloved, He provided us with redemption through His blood, He forgave all of our sins, He gave us wisdom and insight, He made known the mystery of His will, and He gave us an inheritance.
Then we get to verse 15-23
Ephesians 1:15-17 Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, 16 do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers: 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him
After writing this long sentence of thanksgiving to God for all the spiritual gifts God has bestowed upon the Saints, in verses 15-17 Paul describes the purpose of writing this whole letter. He’s so thankful for where there at and the faith they have in Christ and the Love they have for God’s people, and as their Pastor he prays and yearns for them that they would know God better. This word knowledge means to experience. I believe Paul’s prayer was that the Ephesians would experience God in the way He had. It relates to how I think about my kids. I don’t want them just to play church and go through the motions, there is this yearning that they would experience God in ways like I have.
• What is this whole book for….isn’t it to show us and demonstrate to us that God wants to know us.
• The story of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation communicates that God’s desire is that we might live a life of intimacy with Him.
• From the creation, Adam and Eve were able to walk in the cool of the day with God. The consequence of their sin was that they were separated from God. Not only were they separated but now they hid from God because they were ashamed and fearful.
• The rest of the story of the Bible is God seeking to draw people to Himself.
• The heart of Israel’s calling was that they would be a people of God’s own possession, that he would live among them. He commands them in Exodus 25:8 to build Him a sanctuary that He may dwell among them.
• When God’s presence was there, Israel flourished, they were blessed, they were prosperous, and they won victories and battles.
• But like Adam and Eve we read many times in the Old Testament mankind rebelled against God and His presence left and so did His blessing.
• Jerusalem was destroyed, Israel was exiled to Babylon, and there was a long period of time where God was silent.
• But despite Israel distancing themselves from God, he never walked away from them. Actually, He decided to get closer.
Matthew 1:20-23 But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is [g]conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 21 And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name [h]Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” 22 So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: 23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.”
Whether you are here for the first time and you’ve never been to church or you have been a believer all your life, I want you to know you are here because God has been pursuing you. The whole reason Jesus came was to restore you and I back to God….
John 17:3 And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.
A book of the Bible I didn’t really like to read for a while was the book of Psalms…It was hard for me to understand….Schizophrenic….But about three years ago I started prayer journaling and Psalms made a lot more sense to me.
Reading through Psalms you’ll find many that were written by King David.
Psalm 27:4-5 One thing I have desired of the Lord, That will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord All the days of my life, To behold the [a]beauty of the Lord, And to inquire in His temple. 5 For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion; In the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me; He shall set me high upon a rock.
Psalm 139:7-8 Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? 8 If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in [a]hell, behold, You are there.
It was God’s presence that gave David comfort and strength
Psalm 23:4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
Psalm 51:1 Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.
Psalm 42:1-2 As the deer [b]pants for the water brooks, So pants my soul for You, O God. 2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and [c]appear before God?
This image isn’t an image of Bambi prancing around the forest with streams and rivers. It’s an image from the scorching Middle East. A deer is desperately needing and panting for water; its throat is burning for that which gives it life.
Have you ever wanted to know God that bad? Secret place story…There is more New Day.
In verse 18 Paul continues his prayer:
Ephesians 1:18-23 the eyes of your [f]understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power 20 which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all principality[g] and [h]power and [i]might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.
22 And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, 23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.
Brother Andrew Story – stick close to Jesus
God’s Power follows His presence
Old Testament remembering the God who delivered them out of Egypt
New Testament resurrection