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THAT YOU MIGHT KNOW
Intro: Up to this point in the book of Ephesians, Paul has been praising the Lord. In one long sentence that begins in verse 3 and ends in verse 14, Paul ascends the heights of the glory and majesty of God. In this great song of praise, Paul describes in great detail the amazing riches we possess in Jesus. He also tells us all that God has done for us to bring us to Christ and to guarantee our eternal salvation.
After telling these Christians much of what God had done for them, and how wealthy they were spiritually, Paul tells them how he feels about them. He wants them to know that they are not just on the mind of the Lord, but they are on the mind and in the heart of the great Apostle.
As Paul begins to bear his heart to the people of God, his first words are for this reason. This phrase lets us know that Paul wants to help them understand the things he has already told them about. He is saying, In light of all the blessings that flow to the saints of God from God, I want you to know that I am praying for you that you will understand everything you have been given in Jesus Christ.
Paul knows that he has given them a lot to think about. He has talked about subjects far too deep for most people to grasp. He knows they are confused by some of the things they have heard and that they are concerned about other things. He wants them, to know that he understands.
If you have been here for the other sermons in this series, you may have encountered some ideas and teachings that have concerned and confused you. Thats all right because we are all at different levels of understanding when it comes to the doctrines of our faith.
As Paul pours out his heart to the Ephesians, he does so in an effort to help them understand what he has been writing to them. In reading his words to them, there is help for us as well. In verse 18 Paul tells them he is writing that ye may know... I want to borrow that phrase as the title of my message today.
There are two thoughts in view in these verses. First, there is A Word Of Praise For The Saints, then there is A Word Of Prayer For The Saints. I want to consider these thoughts So That You May Know. Lets see if we can find some help for your journey in these verses.
I. v. 15-16a A WORD OF PRAISE
FOR THE SAINTS
(Ill. Paul has been writing about the way of salvation. He has already told us that we are saved by grace. Salvation is all Gods doing from start to finish. He put us in His plan; He sent His Son to die for us; He called us to Himself; and when we came, he fully cleansed us from all our sins and saved us by His marvelous grace. Paul wants these saints to know that, while they may not understand everything they have heard thus far, they have understood enough for them to place their faith in Jesus for salvation. So, as he writes to these believers, he offers some words of praise regarding their relationship with Jesus Christ.)
A. There Is Praise For Their Profession Paul tells them that he has heard of their faith in the Lord Jesus. When Paul refers to faith, he is not talking about mountain moving faith, or sycamore plucking up faith, he is talking about the simple act of believing the Gospel. In other words, Paul commends them for having placed their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation. He was glad they were saved.
· Just so we are clear today, and I know that I sound like a broken record, but believing the Gospel is the only means of salvation for any soul. This is made clear in several passages of Scripture:
Ψ Rom. 10:9, That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
Ψ Acts 16:30-31, And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.
Ψ John 6:47, Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.
Ψ John 8:24, I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.
Ψ Eph. 2:8-9, For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.
· The reason I stress that salvation comes only by believing the Gospel is that so many churches are not preaching the Gospel any more. What is the Gospel? That is also answered in a few precious passages of Scripture.
Ψ 1 Cor. 15:3-4, For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
Ψ Rom. 4:25, Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.
Ψ Rom. 4:25, Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.
· So, the Gospel is as simple as understanding that Jesus Christ died for our sins on the cross and rose again from the dead. If you can believe that, you can be saved.
What kind of relationship do you have with the Gospel? Far too many people are trusting in some formula prayer they prayed, in some emotional experience, in being baptized, or joining the church. None of those things will save the soul. The only thing that will save the soul is faith in the Gospel of grace.
· I would also point out Who Paul mentions as the object of their faith. Paul says their faith is in the Lord Jesus. There is a lot of preaching today that deemphasizes the Lordship of Jesus Christ. The kind of preaching I am talking about says, When you get saved, you simply need to come to Jesus and believe that He died for your sins. After you are saved there will come another day when you make Him the Lord of your life. The only problem with that kind of preaching is that is it unbiblical!
Look back for a moment at Rom. 10:9 and Acts 16:31. Both of those verses declare the truth that Jesus is Lord. In the Gospels Jesus is called Jesus, Lord or Christ, or various combinations of those titles. He is called Jesus about 625 times; Lord about 200 times and Christ about 60 times. Jesus is only called Lord Jesus once in the Gospels in Luke 24:3. After the Gospels, Jesus is called Lord Jesus some 117 times. He is called Jesus Christ some 119 times. I want you to see what Peter tried to get the Jews to see in Acts 2:36, Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.
· The point of all that is this: Jesus is not a buffet! You do not come to Him today and get Him as Savior, and then make Him Lord later. You cannot make Him what He already is. You see, He is Lord whether you bow to His Lordship or not. No, when you come to Jesus Christ, you must be willing to bow to His Lordship in your life.
I know that most people who come to Jesus for salvation are just coming because they do not want to go to Hell. They are looking for fire insurance. They are looking to get out of the wrath they know they deserve; wrath that has been made clear to them through the convicting power of the Holy Spirit.
However, a part of being saved is having a willingness to repent of sin. When a lost sinner comes to Jesus under Holy Ghost conviction, that lost sinner knows that he is in serious spiritual trouble. The Holy Spirit has made the sinfulness of the sinner very clear. The Holy Spirit has brought that lost soul to a place where they are willing to turn from their sins and embrace a new life. They are willing to turn their backs on Satan and yield to Jesus as the Lord of their lives.
· The bottom line is this: You cannot have Jesus as Savior, unless you are willing to have Him as Lord also. You will not understand all that involves at the time, but there will a yielding of yourself to Jesus Christ and His dominion in your life.
As you walk with the Lord, there will be times when you are in complete submission to Him and His will, when you love Him with all your heart. During those times you will acknowledge, appreciate and obey His Lordship in your life. There will be other times when will resist His will for your life. There will be times when your love for Jesus will not be as strong as it is at other times. Just because you are not loving Him and obeying Him as you should does not diminish His Lordship. He is still Lord whether you are in a place of obedience to Him or not, Rom. 14:9; 1 Cor. 12:3!
· Some people will hear this and reject it as Lordship Salvation. Regardless of how some people feel, the Word of God teaches Lordship salvation. Jesus is Lord! And you cannot have Him as Savior unless you are willing to take Him as Lord!
To try and divide Jesus the Savior from Jesus the Lord would be like trying to divide His nature. By His very nature He is both Savior and Lord at the same time. You simply cannot have one without the other.
· Does that describe the kind of salvation you have?
B. There Is Praise For Their Practice After commending them for their faith in Jesus, Paul goes on to praise them for the fact that their salvation is real. How does Paul know that it is real? It is bearing fruit! Paul tells them that he has heard about their love unto all the saints. The Ephesian believers are proving the reality of their profession by the way they are living their lives.
· One of the defining characteristics of the true Christian is the love they have for others. This love is especially true for other Christians. Consider the following passages:
Ψ 1 John 3:14-15, We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. 14 Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.
Ψ 1 John 4:7-12, Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. 8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. 9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. 10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. 12 No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.
Ψ 1 John 4:20-21, If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? 21 And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.
Ψ John 13:34-35, A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. 35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
· Paul is telling us that love for the brethren is our calling card. If we do not possess genuine love for our fellow saints, we are simply not saved. The characteristics of genuine, spiritual love are found in 1 Cor. 13:1-8. If those characteristics are missing, then we are just a sounding brass and a tinkling cymbal.
True salvation flows from the heart of the believer out to others. True salvation produces true love in our lives. It produces a love that does more than talks, it acts. Ill. 1 John 3:18, My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.
· Sadly, the love of the Ephesians did not last forever. Rev. 2:4 tells us they left their first love. That is, they allowed their love for Jesus and for others to become cold and lifeless. They were still active in their service of the Lord, but they were no longer serving out of love, they were serving out of habit. The Lord Jesus warned them that chastisement was coming if they did not repent, Rev. 2:5. Ephesus failed to heed that warning and today, there is no Christian church where that great city used to stand.
Their fate stands as a warning to the rest of us. We need to examine our own hearts and look to see if our love for the Lord and for others is as it should be. If it isnt, we must repent or there will be a price to pay for our disobedience.
We say things like Well, I love them in the Lord. This is a telling statement. It signals that our love is not unconditional and perfect, but it indicates that our love for others is based on their treatment of us. We must learn to love regardless of how we are treated by others. We must love in spite of injury. We must love without thought for our own feelings or desires. Our love is the greatest indication that we are saved.
· Paul is praising these believers because their profession in Jesus Christ is bearing fruit for His glory in the world. Their faith is real and it manifests itself in works for His glory.
There are many people in our world who claim to be saved by the grace of God, but who bear zero fruit for His glory. They bear fruit! But, the fruit they bear is the unfruitful works of darkness, Eph. 5:11. The fruit they bear is really the works of the flesh, Gal. 5:19-21. On the other hand, every person who is truly saved by the grace of God will bear fruit for His glory. What kind of fruit? They will demonstrate the fruit of the Spirit, Gal. 5:22-23. They will display works of righteousness, Eph. 2:10; James 2:18.
Jesus put it this way: Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit, Matt. 7:17. He also said this: Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit, Matt. 12:33.
· A life that has been saved by grace will give clear evidence of the Lords presence in that life. A life that has never been converted will also give clear evidence by displaying the works of the flesh.
Listen again to the words of Jesus in Matt. 7:16-23. Now, look at your life and consider where you stand with Him today.
Conc: That is a good place for us to stop in our study. Paul is praising these ancient saints because they have believed the Gospel unto salvation and they have proven the reality of their profession through their lives.
The message to us from this passage seems clear to me. This is a call for us to examine our own lives. We need to look within and see first of all where we stand with the Lord Jesus. Are you saved? Have you believed the Gospel of grace? Is your faith in Jesus and Jesus alone for salvation? Have you come the Bible way, repenting of your sins and trusting the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ for your souls salvation? Is He your Lord?
We need to examine our lives today to see whether or not we are bearing fruit for His glory. Do you love the brethren? Do you have a hunger for the things of the Lord? Do you love His Word, His people, His church? Do you possess a desire for holiness and a hatred for sin? Do you love the Lord and allow Him to live through you for His glory? Or, is your life a contradiction? Do you claim to be one thing while you live another way? That is called hypocrisy! We are all hypocritical from time to time, but true believers will repent of their sins and turn away from them through the Lords help. In other words, you will not go on in your sins forever.
Where do you stand with Him today? Has He spoken to your heart about being saved? Is He calling you to submit to His Lordship in your life? Has He put His finger on the fact that there is a lack of love in your life? Has He shown you that you are bearing the wrong kind of fruit?
If the Lord has touched your heart, the time to obey His voice is right now. Let Him have His way and do as He is telling you to do. Come as He calls right now.
I. A Word Of Praise For The Saints
II. v. 16b-23 A WORD OF PRAYER
FOR THE SAINTS
(Ill. Paul has been praising the Ephesians for their faith in Jesus Christ. Theres was a real faith in the crucified, risen Lord of glory. They had received the Gospel by faith, and it had changed their lives. They proved their faith was real through the fruit that was evident in their lives. Primarily, they loved demonstrated the truth of their profession through love one for another. They fleshed out the spirit of Matt. 22:39, which says, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Having praised this congregation for their genuine faith in Jesus, Paul now takes the time to tell them how he is praying for them. Paul has shared some deep truth with these folks. They have heard things that some of the greatest minds of history have had difficulty understanding. They have heard truths that are mindboggling and hard to comprehend. So, Paul tells them that he is praying for them that they will be able to grasp what he has been trying to tell them.
Paul wants these believers to know that they are complete in Jesus. He wants them to avoid the trap that befell the believers in the Colossian church. Reading that book lets us know that the Colossians believed they were missing out on something. Oh, they had Jesus, but they were not sure that He was enough. They seemed to be searching for some extra, deeper knowledge that would make them more spiritual. They resorted to human philosophy to try and find what they were looking for, Col. 2:8. When that didnt work, they added legalism, Col. 2:16-17, believing that the keeping of rules and the extreme denial of their flesh would make them complete, Col. 2:21, 23. They were also guilty of seeking some mystical experience to round out their spiritual walk, Col. 2:18-19. What they discovered was that none of those things could give them any more than they already possessed in Jesus Christ, Col. 2:9-10.
Paul writes to the Ephesians to let them know that they do not need to be wasting their time looking for other things to make them complete. If they are truly in Jesus Christ, they are perfectly complete forever.
We may not like to admit it, but the truth is we are always looking for more. We pray for grace, strength, light, peace and love, when all those things have already been provided to us in great abundance.
· We have been promised sufficient grace, 2 Cor. 12:9.
· We are told that we can do all things through Christ Who is our strength, Phil. 4:13.
· We have all the light we need in the Word of God; we merely need to follow it. We have been given peace that surpasses all our understanding, Phil. 4:7; John 14:27.
· We have been given an ocean of love in our hearts; we merely need to let it flow from us to others, Rom. 5:5.
What we really need is to understand what we have already been given in Jesus. What we need is to understand what we have in Him and how to appropriate those things in our lives. That is what Paul talks about in these verses. His prayer for the saints is that they will grasp who they are and what they possess in Jesus Christ.
There is a story told about William Randolph Hurst. He was a multi-millionaire and an avid collector of expensive and rare works of art. He read about a particular painting and he became determined to acquire it for his collection regardless of the expense. So, he sent his agents out all over the world to find this painting. His search costs him thousands of dollars and lasted several months. When his agents reported back to Hurst, they told him that the paining has been found, but that he already owned it and that it had been stored in one of his many warehouses for years. He was searching for something he already possessed.
That sounds like us doesnt it? We are always looking for the next great thing, the next great feeling or the next great experience. We search for spiritual fulfillment and contentment and wear ourselves out looking for more. Yet, we fail to understand the truth that everything we think we want and need is already our in Jesus. That is what Paul wants the Ephesians to understand and that is what we need to grasp as well.
So, lets take some time to dissect the prayer Paul prayed for the saints. This is a prayer that we might want to pray for ourselves. This is a prayer we might want to pray for others. It is a prayer that I pray for you. Notice the requests Paul makes in these verses.)
A. v. 17-18 That We Might Understand The Mysteries Of God What the people of God need cannot be found in a book or in a class. What the people of God need can only come to us from the hand of God. That is why Paul prayed that God would give them the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him.
· When Paul prays that they would receive the spirit of wisdom and revelation in verse 17, he was praying that they would have a complete understanding of their position and possessions in Christ Jesus that is the revelation part. He is asking God to open their spiritual eyes and let them grasp the reality of all that Jesus has done for them in salvation. When he mentions wisdom he is talking about using that revealed knowledge to live for the Lord. The word spirit has the idea of an attitude or a humble, teachable spirit. In other words, Paul is praying that they will be open to hearing the things God is trying to teach them. He prays that they will have a teachable spirit and be willing to learn.
We need to pray this prayer for ourselves on a daily basis. We need to ask the Lord to help us keep a humble spirit and an open mind so that He can teach us His truth. Far too often, we base what we believe on what we have been taught, or on tradition, and not on the clear Word of God. We should ask the Lord to reveal His truth to us, and we should be willing to accept it when He does. We must be careful not to resist the things God wants us to learn about Him and His Word. A teachable spirit would help us to grow in grace.
· In verse 18, Paul prays that the eyes of their understanding might be enlightened. The word understanding refers to the mind as the place where we think, understand and feel. It is the same idea we have when we refer to the heart.
We talk about something being on our heart. Or we talk about getting our hearts right with God. When we use this language, we are talking about how we feel and what we think. Paul wants us to move beyond just feeling and thinking; he wants us to come to a place of understanding. So, he prays that God will turn the light on in our minds so that we will comprehend the deep truths of God.
That is why Paul prays that they might be enlightened. Paul does not want the people of God to operate solely on feelings and emotions. He wants us to live our lives based on the truth of Gods Word. That is why Col. 3:16 says, Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom When our hearts and minds are controlled by the Word of God under the direction of the Spirit of God, He enables us to understand the deep things of God and how they relate to everyday life. When that happens, the Bible and the truths it contains become intensely practical in our daily lives.
This truth is seen in the episode with the two disciples who walked with Jesus on the road to Emmaus the day He rose from the dead, Luke 24:13-35. Their hearts burned in them as He talked with them, v. 32, but they did not see Him until their eyes were opened, v. 31.
The same is true with us. There are some truths that we will hear, but we will never believe them or understand them until the Spirit of God gives us the ability to grasp them. So, we should pray that the Holy Spirit will always guide us to the truth. That is one of the things He was sent here to do, John 16:13.
· As Paul prays for these believers, he prays first that they might comprehend the deep mysteries of God that are revealed in His eternal plans. He wants them to be able to comprehend the mysteries of election, predestination, adoption, redemption, forgiveness, wisdom, our inheritance in Jesus, and the sealing work of the Holy Spirit. The very things we have been preaching about in verses 3-14.
These great truths summarize Gods mysterious plan for the ages, and they cannot be understood apart from the aid of the Spirit of God. If you ever grasp these deep truths, it will be because the Spirit of God enlightens you and enables you to understand them. If He doesnt, they will remain a mystery to your mind.
Paul wants them to understand the spiritual mysteries of Gods plan. He mentions two parts of that plan in verse 18.
Ψ He wants them to understand the hope of His calling This refers to the earthly and eternal destiny of the believer. Gods plan for us is that we are to conformed to the image of His Son, Rom. 8:29. Gods plan for us is that we will come to the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ, Eph. 4:13.
When you grasp this truth it will change your life. You will see every blessing and every disruption in the light of God working in your life to make you more like Jesus. That is what He is up to and He will do what it takes to make it happen!
Ψ He also wants them to understand the riches of the glory of His inheritance Paul wants believers to know that there are even better things waiting on us down the road. We are the heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus, Rom. 8:17. As a result, we are the beneficiaries of Gods best blessings in this life. We are also the heirs of a heavenly home someday, where we will spend eternity with the God Who loved us, and saved us for His Own glory. It takes the Spirit of God revealing eternal truth to us for us to understand all that we have in Jesus. I can only comprehend a small portion at this point in my Christian walk. As I pray and study the Word of God, the Spirit of God will reveal even more of Gods truth to me.
· So, Paul prays that we will understand the mysteries of God. That should be our prayer as well.
B. v. 19-20 That We Might Understand The Might of God Next Paul prays that they might comprehend the greatness of Gods power working in their lives. In these verses, Paul uses four different words to describe the awesome power of God.
Ψ Power This is the word dunamis. This is the word which gives us our English words dynamite and dynamo. It refers to inherent power residing in a thing by virtue of its very nature. Paul tells us that this power is exceeding great. This means that it is more power than we will ever need, or could ever want. This power is given to us-ward who believe. This is power that only the child of God has. The lost person cannot know this power, but it is given to us in great abundance when we come to Jesus.
Ψ Working This is the word energia. It refers to energy. It speaks of the energizing power of the Holy Spirit within us that enables us to live for Jesus day by day. As the Lord works within us, He gives us the energy to live for the Lord.
Ψ Mighty This is the word ischus. It speaks of ability, force and strength. The power of God within our lives gives us supernatural spiritual ability, force and strength. God enables us to do things that would be impossible for the natural man.
Ψ Power This is the word kratos. It speaks of dominion, or great power and strength. The Spirit of God gives us the ability to have dominion over our lives. We have the power to live for God.
· Why is this important? It is important because we are always asking the Lord for strength and power. But, did you notice that Paul did not pray that they would be given power? Why not? He knew that they already had all the power they would ever need. They just didnt realize it.
Neither do we! We pray for strength all the time. We pray for power to witness, when we already possess a Gospel that is the power of God, Rom. 1:16. We pray for strength to endure sufferings, when God has already promised us all the power we need, 2 Cor. 4:7. We pray for power to do the will of God, when that power has already been given to us, Phil. 2:13.
All I am trying to tell you in that all the power we need was given to us when we were saved by the grace of God, Acts 1:8. The power to serve God and see Him do great things in us and trough us is already in us, it just needs to be exercised, Eph. 3:20.
· An illustration of this awesome power is given in verse 20. The same power that invaded the tomb of Jesus, raised Him from the dead and carried Him home to Heaven, is the power that is at work in our lives. Thats right, death conquering; life-changing, resurrection power is at work in our lives all the time. Our need is not for more power; our need is for wisdom concerning how to use that power for the glory the glory of God. Our prayer should be that God will help us to tap into that power minute by minute.
The same power that brought Jesus back from the dead will bring our bodies out of the grave someday. The same power that took Jesus home to Heaven will take us home to Heaven some day. What we need to grasp is that the awesome power of God is ours right now. We need to understand that, it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure, Phil. 2:13.
· Paul prays that we will understand the mighty power of God that is at work within us. That should be our prayer as well.
C. v. 21-23 That We Might Understand The Majesty Of Christ Pauls third request for the Ephesians is for God to give them a better understanding of the Person of the Lord. If they can grasp His plan and His power, understanding Who He is will help them weather anything life can bring their way.
· Once, when Timothy was overwhelmed and discouraged by those who were against him, Paul gave Timothy a recipe for joyous living in the face of difficulty, Ill. 2 Tim. 2:8-10. When we understand that Jesus understands us because He became a man, He was crucified and rose from the dead. Now He is seated at the right hand of power in glory, where He ever lives to intercede for us, Heb. 7:25.
Paul is trying to get all believers to see that our focus needs to be on Jesus Christ alone. When we have a proper perspective of Who Jesus is, our problems in all the areas of our life become less important as He becomes all important.
· You see, the Lord we serve is not some poor, pitiful fellow Who was crucified and lost His life. Our Lord came out of that tomb in which they placed Him, v. 20. Now He is seated at His Fathers right hand in Heaven. He is exalted far above all the powers of this earthly world, or even the spiritual world, v. 21. Paul is telling us, by the words he uses, that Jesus is vastly superior to all earthly rulers. He is also reminding us that Jesus is superior to Satan and all His demonic forces.
Everything in the physical realm and in the eternal spiritual realm bows before Him in humble submission. In this exalted position, everything is placed beneath His feet. Like a conquering general, our Lord stands in victory with His foot on foot on the neck of all human and spiritual power. He is Lord, and He is Lord of all. In fact, He has been given perfect and absolute Lordship over all things and all being, Phil. 2:9-11.
· Then, in verses 21-22, Paul tells us that Jesus is both the head and the fullness of the church. He is our authority. He issues our marching orders. We are to bow to His will in all things as we serve Him in this world. He is the Head of the church! He does not give His authority to a man, to a board, or to an influential family. He and He alone is to be praised, worshiped and exalted. (Ill. Col. 1:15-20.) He is to honored and He is to be the centerpiece of everything we do!
Not only is He our head, He is also our fullness. That is, he is in such an intimate relationship with His people that He fills His body. He is in us, through His Spirit, and we enjoy perfect intimacy with Hi. Christ is so united with His church, that He is incomplete until His church is complete. When the body is fully formed, Christ will be fully formed in us.
In the meantime, we are to move through this world honoring Him, worshiping Him, loving Him, serving Him and telling a lost world about Him. We are His arms, His legs, His hands, His mouth; we are His body in the world today. Everywhere we go, Jesus is seen. In every word we speak, Jesus is heard. In every life we touch, Jesus is felt. Our duty it to walk in Him and allow Him to live through us, so that we can show Him off to a world that needs Him until He comes.
· When we understand Who Jesus is, we are brought into a position of worship. When we understand who we are in Him, it should cause us to praise His name for the grace He has demonstrated to us.
Conc: Paul prayed that we might come to understand the Plan of God, the Power of God and the Person of God. He wants us to comprehend the Mysteries of the Lord; the Might of the Lord; and the Majesty of the Lord. It is His will that we all come to that knowledge.
I know that we are all in different places in our journey with the Lord. Let me speak to you where you are for a moment.
· Some here have never been saved by Gods grace. What you need to know is that Jesus died to pay for sin and He rose again to offer eternal life to all who would believe on Him. I invite you to come to the Lord today.
· Some are saved, but do not yet have a good grasp of the things we have been talking about. You need to come before the Lord today and ask Him to open your spiritual eyes. Ask Him to give you understanding concerning the deep things of God. He will hear that prayer and He will answer it.
· Others are beginning to get an idea of Who He is and who you are in Him. You should mark you off a place down here to praise and worship Him for His glory. If He has allowed you to get a glimpse of the power of His grace in your life, you should praise Him for that and you should ask Him to reveal even more of His truth to your heart.
If the Lord has spoken to you through these verses, do as He is telling you to do today.