08/24/14 Knowing God & His Power!

Posted by Pastor Steve Siegrist on Monday, August 25, 2014 Under: Sermon
Worthy Walk Series - Week 4 (Ephesians 1:15-23)

Text: Ephesians 1:15-23 (NKJV)

“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, 18 the eyes of your 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 and power and 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.”

Intro: The entire letter was written within a framework of prayer. This section of chapter one is an extended prayer. Paul prayed that his readers would have the spiritual insight to perceive the truth that is hidden in God. It can be unlocked only in the experience of life and fellowship with Him. This is a prayer that Paul hopes triggers the idea of really Knowing God and his power! He made four request to the church: To know and experience God, to know the hope of His calling, to know of His great power and to know of His glorious inheritance.

1. To Know and Experience God: vs. 15-17

“Ever since I first heard of your strong faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for God’s people everywhere, 16 I have not stopped thanking God for you. I pray for you constantly.” Ephesians 1:15-16 (NLT) Paul’s prayer began with thanksgiving for their faith and love.

The Ephesian church had a strong testimony, a testimony so strong that it was being buzzed about all over the world. Their testimony and its strength had reached the ears of Paul. He had heard: the church had a strong faith in the Lord Jesus and had a strong love for all the saints (believers) of God. Imagine having that kind of testimony! They not only knew God they experience Him. Our association had its annual prayer conference how many of you went? I didn’t! Nothing to brag about – the church that prays together stays together! I offer a time set apart for prayer every Sunday @ 6:00 pm. For almost the first year less than a handful showed up for prayer. I am thankful more are now getting involved. We are still guilty as a church with the little dab will do it mentality when it comes to prayer. To experience God, to know God you must be active! Are you active? The Ephesian church had strong faith and love for God’s people. Knowing and experiencing God requires growing, it’s not an option it is a command!

Paul wanted the Ephesian believers to grow in their knowledge and power of God. He had just shared the great blessings of God which was theirs when they first came to know God: “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.” Ephesians 1:3. The Christian life can never sit still. A person has to grow or else he slips backward. Let’s pray for growth!

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. If the believer is to grow in the knowledge of God, he must seek the wisdom of God more than anything else on this earth. It is the person who hungers and thirsts after God and His righteousness that is filled. “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” James 1:5

    1. To Know and Experience God

2. To Know the Hope of His Calling: vs. 18

“The eyes of your 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.”

To know God and His power we must know the hope of our Calling. “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His possession, so that you may proclaim the praises of the One who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” 1 Peter 2:9 (HCSB)

God has called us to stand before Him in the name and righteousness of Jesus Christ—to stand before Him just as Jesus Christ stands before Him: perfect. It is evident that we are not perfect—not now, not yet. But the day is coming when we shall be. Right now we experience the blessings of God only in part, only imperfectly. But when the glorious Day of Redemption comes, we shall be made just like our Lord Jesus Christ, righteous and perfect, enabled to live in God's presence, worshiping and serving Him forever and ever. This is the believer's hope; this is the believer's calling. “But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior. 21 He will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies like his own, using the same power with which he will bring everything under his control.” Philippians 3:20-21 (NLT)

    1. To Know and Experience God
    2. To Know the Hope of His Calling

3. To Know of His Great Power: vs. 19-21

“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 and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.”

It is impossible to fully understand God’s power, but try to imagine to some extent what He has done and what He is going to do. This power raised Him up from the dead! Just tap into it!

“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.” Ephesians 3:20

    1. To Know and Experience God
    2. To Know the Hope of His Calling
    3. To Know of His Great Power

4. To Know of His Glorious Inheritance: vs. 22-23

“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.”

Christ is positioned in heaven; He occupies the exalted place at the right hand of the Father himself. Christ position on earth has been appointed head of the church. A believer comes to know God's inheritance—His inheritance in the saints. Believers are themselves the inheritance, that is, the heritage and possession of God. When we come to know God, we learn who we are—the glorious position God has given us: He has made us His very own possession and heritage. It’s that simple, do you know?

Conclusion: KNOWING GOD AND HIS POWER! You Can: “But as it is written: "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him." 10 But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. 11 For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.” 1 Corinthians 2:9-12

To Know God and His Power: IS TO KNOW! To know and experience God, to know the hope of His calling, to know of His great power, and to know of His glorious inheritance.

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