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Faithlife

3 Eph 14-21, FBC

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Empowered to Love

Ephesians 3:14-21

14 For this reason

I kneel before the Father,  

                        15 from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name.

                         16 (I pray) that out of his glorious riches

                                    he may strengthen you with power

                                                through his Spirit in your inner being,  

                                                17                      so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.

            (And I pray) that you, being rooted and established in love,  

                                                18 may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp

                                    how wide

                                    and long

                                    and high

                                    and deep

                                                is the love of Christ,  

                                                19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—

                                    that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

 

20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine,

            according to his power that is at work within us,  21

            to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

What is love? 

“Love means never having to say your sorry.”  Carol Burnett parody:  “That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.”

Love is a 50/50 proposition.

Doing something that is important to someone else, even when it’s not important to you.

The nursing Mom, who has a Master’s degree, and a toddler who also wants a book read.

The teenaged young man who chooses to enhance the purity of the young women he associates with.

When we evangelicals don’t understand and experience something, we define it.  But, how helpful is it to have a definition of love?  Some, to be sure.  But a definition is a cheap substitute for the real thing.  The operative question is, Have you felt the depth of God’ love for you?  When have you truly loved someone else?

class=Section2> Having introduced us to the cosmic struggle for the souls of men, the author of Ephesians now turns his thoughts to the issue of love within that setting.

( 12 In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.)

 

14 For this reason I kneel before the Father,  15 from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name.

FAMILY IN THE NEW TESTAMENT:

Galatians 6:10

  10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

Hebrews 2

 11 Both the one who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers.  12 He says,

“I will declare your name to my brothers;

in the presence of the congregation I will sing your praises.”

13 And again,

“I will put my trust in him.”

And again he says,

“Here am I, and the children God has given

me.”

14 Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil—  15 and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.  16 For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham’s descendants.  17 For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people.  18 Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

I Peter 4

12 Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you.  13 But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.  14 If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.  15 If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler.  16 However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.  17 For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God?  18 And,

“If it is hard for the righteous to be saved,

what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?”

19 So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.

Also, consider Romans 8, “heirs with Christ.”

 14 because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.  15 For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”  16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.  17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

Loving is an inside enablement, evidenced by the presence of the living Christ shining out the windows of a person’s life.

16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being,  17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.

 

 “Dwell” (katoikhsai) refers not to the beginning of Christ’s indwelling at the moment of salvation. Instead it denotes the desire that Christ may, literally, “be at home in,” that is, at the very center of or deeply rooted in, believers’ lives. They are to let Christ become the dominating factor in their attitudes and conduct.

And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,  18 may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,  19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Empowered by the living, loving Christ to love.

20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,  21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

1:4 (NIV

class=Section3>  4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love

1:15 (NIV)

15 For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints,

2:4 (NIV)

 4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy,

3:17 (NIV)

 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,

3:18 (NIV)

 18 may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,

 

3:19 (NIV)

 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

4:2 (NIV)

 2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.

4:15 (NIV)

 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.

4:16 (NIV)

 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.

5:2 (NIV)

 2 and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

5:25 (NIV)

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her

5:28 (NIV)

 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.

5:33 (NIV)

 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

6:23 (NIV)

23 Peace to the brothers, and love with faith from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

6:24 (NIV)

 24 Grace to all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with an undying love.

What does this look like?

1.  Abbott Loop guys

2.  Grace v.  forgiveness

3.  Denée and Sudan

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