The third in a short 5 sermon series entitled – “RESURRECTION REALITIES” considering some of the blessings on offer as a result of Christ’s resurrection.
Every local church has a reputation within its own community which can either be good or bad. Fortunately the church in Ephesus had a positive reputation based on their faith in Christ and their love for their fellow Christians.
This prompted the apostle Paul to want to give thanks and to pray for the church that they might possess their possessions and enter more fully into all the blessings that were rightfully theirs in Christ Jesus. He consistently and regularly prayed that they might know four things:-
1 – Know God better (v 17.)
God is knowable, but the Ephesians needed to know him more intimately through personal knowledge and experience, because the Christian faith is relational and that relationship needs to deepen and mature (Jeremiah 9 v 24, John 17 v 3; Philippians 3 v 10 & 1 Corinthians 13 v 12.)
2 – Know the assurance of their calling (v 18a.)
God calls believers to a hope, that is not based on wishful thinking, but rather on something that is certain and guaranteed. The person outside of Christ is – “without hope” (Ephesians 2 v 12); while the believer has – “a living hope” (1 Peter 1 v 3) which is the return of Jesus Christ, with the incentive that such a momentous event gives to live out the Christian calling.
3 – Know the riches of their inheritance (v 18b.)
This valuable future inheritance is – “being kept in heaven for you” (1 Peter 1 v 4) and involves seeing God’s face (Revelation 22 v 4); worshipping him (Revelation 7 v 10); being transformed into his likeness (Philippians 3 v 21); all of which will occur in the context of corporate heavenly fellowship (Revelation 7 v 9.)
4 – Know the greatness of God’s power (v 19 – 23.)
Such great, incomparable power is only available to the believer and has been demonstrated in three great events:-
The resurrection of Christ from the dead.
We cannot escape the clutches of death; but Jesus has done so by conquering the grave, as God raised him to a new dimension of experience that was both immortal and glorious.
The enthronement of Christ in the heavenlies.
We cannot overcome the power of evil; but via the ascension Jesus is now exalted at God’s right hand and all his enemies are under his feet (Psalm 110 v 1 & Ephesians 6 v 12) and ready one day to yield utterly and completely to his great victory.
The headship of Christ over his church.
We cannot rule the church, even though we sometimes try! But Christ indwells and fills his church by his Spirit, exercising sovereign control as its supreme head.
So this great power then, based on these three monumental events, is available to all who believe, raising Christians with him; giving them victory over the enemy; and resourcing his church with all that it needs to be powerfully effective.
Challenge – Will YOU pray that you and your fellow believers might know these four things, not just in terms of knowledge, but also experience?
Theme: “A transfer of power”
Reading: Ephesians 1 v 15 – 23
Preacher: Chris Hughes
Led by: Beverley Sills