Ephesians– overview of 3:1-9; tapping into the power of God, part 21.
Sunday November 24, 2019
Title: Ephesians– overview of 3:1-9; tapping into the power of God, part 21.
Where are we?
Eph 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,
Eph 1:4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him. In love
Eph 1:5 He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will,
Eph 1:6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.
All believers have been blessed immeasurably. Paul begins his list with redemption (vs. 7), wisdom and understanding (vs. 8), the mystery of His will (vs. 9), and an inheritance (vs. 11).
Added to this is hope and power.
Eph 1:15 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,
Eph 1:16 do not cease giving thanks for you, while making mention of you in my prayers;
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.
Eph 1:18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,
Eph 1:19 and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might
This was all brought about when Christ was raised from the dead.
It was the whole purpose for Him – to bless us.
Chapter 2 is about our origin in sin and death and the wonderful news, the gospel, that Christ made us together alive, raised, and seated with Him. It continues that God erased all distinction between Jew and Gentile and made us all who believed in Him to be one new man blessed with the first fulfillment of the New Covenant promised to Israel so long ago.
Eph 2:5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),
Eph 2:6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places, in Christ Jesus,
Eph 2:7 in order that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
Eph 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;
Eph 2:9 not as a result of works, that no one should boast.
Eph 2:14 For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one, and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall,
Eph 2:15 by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace,
Eph 2:16 and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity.
Chapter 3 begins with Paul’s second prayer in this letter, which he immediately breaks off when another thought enters his mind.
Eph 3:1 For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles —
Perhaps Paul paused as he contemplated the reason.
Eph 3:14 For this reason, I bow my knees before the Father,
Eph 3:2 if indeed you have heard of the stewardship of God's grace which was given to me for you;
Eph 3:3 that by revelation there was made known to me the mystery, as I wrote before in brief.
Eph 3:4 And by referring to this, when you read you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ,
Eph 3:5 which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit;
Eph 3:6 to be specific, that the Gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel,
Gentiles are fellow heirs, fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise (New Covenant) by means of faith in the gospel.
Eph 3:7 of which I was made a minister, according to the gift of God's grace which was given to me according to the working of His power.
Eph 3:8 To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ,
Eph 3:9 and to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God, who created all things;
Eph 3:10 in order that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places.
Eph 3:11 This was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord,
Eph 3:12 in whom we have boldness and confident access through faith in Him.
Eph 3:13 Therefore I ask you not to lose heart at my tribulations on your behalf, for they are your glory.
Eph 3:14 For this reason, I bow my knees before the Father,
Eph 3:15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name,
Eph 3:16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man;
Eph 3:17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love,
Eph 3:18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth,
Eph 3:19 and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fulness of God.
Eph 3:20 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,
Eph 3:21 to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.
Keep it simple: If you wish God’s love accept it; if you long for holiness, take Christ as your Friend; if you see no greater joy than to serve in His great cause, do His will and follow Him.
Paul didn’t say that the purpose of his instruction was to make everyone Calvinists, or premillennial dispensationalists, or to fill their minds with facts, though there is need of understanding in all of these.
And alas, with some it is not misunderstanding that prevents a close connection between soul and Christ, but some worldly purpose or some entangling and deeply cherished sin.
I cannot offer any remedy that allows you to stay on the road to destruction and avoid the destruction that is sure to come. That road always goes where it does. The behavior has to stop and you have to stop it. If you understand that whatever it is is filling some void, although not very well, know that God loves you and desires to fill that void Himself. Will you let Him? Yet, don’t be a fool, you cannot let Him fill the void in you while you continue to try and fill it yourself. You have to give it over to the loving hands of your Father. It is silly to think that He will do nothing with such authority; we know that to be true, what we fear is giving it over to Him. If you are breathing, there’s still hope.
Phi 3:17 Brethren, join in following my example, and observe those who walk according to the pattern you have in us.
Phi 3:18 For many walk, of whom I often told you, and now tell you even weeping, that they are enemies of the cross of Christ,
Phi 3:19 whose end is destruction, whose god is their appetite, and whose glory is in their shame, who set their minds on earthly things.
Phi 3:20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ;
Phi 3:21 who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.
Follow Paul’s example – the road to life.
The road to destruction – god is the appetite, shame, and mind set on earthly things.
The believer’s citizenship is in heaven (made alive with Him, raised with Him, seated with Him). The road to destruction doesn’t fit him at all.
Instead of bodily appetite ruling him, he knows that his body is going to be transformed into the same as Christ’s heavenly body. Instead of earthly things, he is a citizen of heaven, surrounded by heavenly things. Instead of shame as glory, he has the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, sharing in His glory.
1Co 3:6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth.
1Co 3:7 So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth.
1Co 3:8 Now he who plants and he who waters are one; but each will receive his own reward according to his own labor.
1Co 3:9 For we are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, God's building.
1Co 3:10 According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building upon it. But let each man be careful how he builds upon it.
1Co 3:11 For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
1Co 3:12 Now if any man builds upon the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw,
1Co 3:13 each man's work will become evident; for the day will show it, because it is to be revealed with fire; and the fire itself will test the quality of each man's work.
1Co 3:14 If any man's work which he has built upon it remains, he shall receive a reward.
1Co 3:15 If any man's work is burned up, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved, yet so as through fire.
A church or a person that choses to build upon the foundation of Christ with poor work will only see charred ruins and a cloud of dust good for nothing.
The foundation stone is Christ, and that stone is as a polished slab of marble, having its upper surface smooth as a mirror, whereas we are like stones that have been lying on the seashore, encrusted with shells and lichens, drilled with holes, grown all round and round with unsightly inequalities; and if we are to rest with entire stability on the foundation, these excrescences (outgrowths) must be removed. Even a small one at one point is enough to prevent close adhesion. Don’t be fooled. One sin retained for self, one command or expression of God not responded to, makes our whole connection with Him unsettled. (I didn’t say that we lose our connection to Him, that we always have, but that it will be unsettled)