So That You May Fully Know Eph. 1:15-23 ebc 6/27/10
In V.3-14, Paul advises the Ephesians what God has done for them and how wealthy they were spiritually. Now Paul begins to bear his heart to them. In V.15, “wherefore” goes back to what he has previously told them. He wants us to understand those deeper things with the Lord. He doesn’t want us to have with him and relationship that is just skimming across the top. He wants our relationship to be deep with him. He, at one point told the disciples to “launch out into the deep”. The big catches are in the deep water.
I.A Word of Praise (15-16a)
Paul has been writing about the ways of salvation.
*V.3- He has blessed us with all spiritual blessings. God is the originator of all our blessings. Goodness can only come from God. Us- we are the receiptants of all these blessings. In his wonderful marvelous sovereign plan he has chosen to bless us. Spiritual blessings- this is the source of our blessings. All our blessings come from the Holy Spirit.
Many Christians continually pray for things God has already given us. We pray for more love (Rom. 5:5), we pray for peace (John 14:27), we pray for joy (John 15:11).
John MacArthur- Our resources in God are not simply promised; they are possessed. Every Christian has what Paul calls “the provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ” (Phil. 1:19). God cannot give us more than He has already given us in His Son. There is nothing more to receive. The believer’s need, therefore, is not to receive something more but to do something more with what he has. Heavenly places- the full extent of his divine operation. 2 Peter 1:3.
Although we have been given everything we need, we are presently trapped in an ungodly world- what is the key then to spiritual success- walking in the spirit (Gal. 5:16).
A.Praise for their Profession (15-16)
1. Faith- simple faith in believing the gospel. Paul commends them for placing their trust in Christ.
a. 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.”
b. 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.”
B. Praise for their Practice
1. Paul having praised them for their faith now praises them for the fact that their salvation is real. How do we know it is real – it I bearing fruit.
a. John 15:16-
2. 1 John 3:14-15-
3. 1 John 4:20-21-
4. John 13:34-35-
a. 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. We need to examine our hearts do we have genuine love for the brethren. Love that is self-sacrificing. Our love must be unconditional. Our love of others must not be based on their actions towards us. Someone once said, “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”.
b. A life that is truly saved will give evidence of the Lord’s presence in his life.
1. Matt. 7:17;16-23-
II.A Word of Power (16-23)
Paul wants these believers to know they are complete in Christ. The Colossian believers always believed that were missing out on something. Paul has shared some deep truths with these Ephesians. Some things that many have had trouble grasping.
*we have been promised sufficient grace (2 Cor. 12:9)
*we have been told we can do all things thru Christ (Phil. 4:13)
*we have been given peace that passeth all understanding (Phil. 4:7)
Someone said, “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”. 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. Sounds a lot like us doesn’t it. Always searching for that next great feeling or experience. Always looking for greener grass. Grass is no greener than right here.
A.Paul gives us three things we wants us to understand
1.The Mysteries of God (17-18) what God’s people need can only comes from God
a. Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him. Paul wanted them to understand what their position and possessions were in Christ. 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 is talking about wisdom he is talking about using their revealed knowledge in living for the Lord. He is asking God to open their spiritual eyes to understanding all he has done for them thru salvation. He is asking also that they would have a teachable spirit and be willing to learn.
b. Enlightened- God doesn’t want us to live our lives on emotions and feelings he wants us live based on the truths of God’s word.
1. Col. 3:16- when the word of God takes up residence in us we are able to understand the deep things of God and how they relate to life.
2. Some truths we hear but we will never understand them until the spirit opens our heart and minds to them.
c. Hope of his calling- earthly and eternal destiny of the believers. God’s plan is that we are conformed to the image of his son
d. Riches of his glory – Paul wants us to know there are better things awaiting us down the road. We are heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus.
2. The Might of God (19-20) we might comprehend the greatest of God’s power working in our lives.
a. Power (dunamis)- Where we get our English word dynamite. It refers to “inherent power residing in a thing by virtue of its very nature”.
1. Exceeding great- more power than we will ever need. This is the power that only the child of God has. The lost world doesn’t have it.
b. Working- the working of the Holy Spirit within us. This enables us to live for God every day.
c. Mighty- ability, strength. God enables us to do things that are impossible for the natural man.
d. Power (kratos)- dominion, strength. The Spirit of God gives us the ability to have dominion over our lives. Why is all this so important. Because we don’t have to ask God for power we already possess it. We just have to appropriate it.
3. The Majesty of God (21-23)- Paul wants us to better understand the person of Christ. Allan Carr- 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.
a. You see the Lord isn’t a poor little fellow who was crucified and lost his life. He is God who came out of the tomb they had for him and is now seated at the right hand of the father making intercession for us.
b. Head and fullness- He is our authority and he issues out the marching orders. We are to bow to his will as we serve him in the world. Allan Carr- 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.