We continue with our sermon series on the book of Ephesians. Preaching from Nathan Gordon and our worship service will be led by Brian Dickson.
Paul under Roman imprisonment for preaching the good news of Jesus Christ explains the importance of God’s master plan to unite both Jews and gentiles together as members of one body, and sharers together in the promise of Christ Jesus. Paul closes chapter 3 with a heartfelt prayer for power and strength to express the love of God in the world.
A prisoner for the sake of Christ – v1
- Paul was under house arrest in Rome proclaiming the Gospel
- Paul was even more so constrained in a positive way to preach the Gospel
- The church today must embody the complete position of surrender to the will of God, and to serve His purposes in the world
Challenge – have you completely surrendered to the will of God for your life? are you holding back or onto certain parts that you find difficult to let go of?
Be Resolute despite of setbacks – v13
- Paul encourages the church in Ephesus to avoid becoming discouraged by their leader’s imprisonment
- embracing the perfect will of God will not avoid challenges and difficulties for Christians
Challenge – when things don’t go our way, or we don’t see the results intended in ministry, evangelism and in our personal lives, like Paul are you able to remain resolute in God’s call despite immense pressure in our world?
God will exceed our expectations – v17-21
- Paul prays for strength on behalf of the church in Ephesus
- The doxology = a prayer of praise to God brings an end to part one of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians
- despite immense persecution and opposition, Paul still believed that God had a wonderful plan and vision for the church.
-  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,
Whatever is going on around us today in our world, and irrespective of negative statistics concerning denominational and church decline, God has equipped the church to be effective from generation to generation.
Challenge – whatever we pray for this week, trust God, and take Him at His word that God can do even more than what we ask or imagine.
- Why was it so important to Paul for the Jews, and the Gentiles to understand their equal position before God? How would this help them overcome their animosity towards each other?
- How does the power of the Holy Spirit working through God’s grace enable us to do things that are well beyond our own abilities, and transcend social norms?
- How does the Holy Spirit help strengthen our inner man or woman, and increase our faith?
- What are some of the worldly influences today that challenges the church to conform to its pattern?
- Discuss examples of where God has exceeded your expectations through answered prayer (See Eph 3:20)
Sermon Title: Paul’s passion for the Ephesian Church
Bible Reading: Ephesians 3
Preacher: Nathan Gordon
Worship Leader: Brian Dickson