The Letter to the Ephesians Message Ten 1 May 2022
Two weeks ago we read the first thirteen verses of chapter three and learned of God’s –
VI. Promise Ephesians 3:1-13
Through these verses we learned that God revealed His plan –
A. To enable all men to come to Him by grace through faith –
B. To explain that Paul was called of God to salvation and once saved, to service as he wrote in –
Ephesians 2:8-10 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. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
As we saw, he was to declare the message to all men, but particularly the Gentiles.
1. Paul was touched by conviction, as they were.
2. He was taught by revelation –
a. The Authority of this revelation was God.
b. The acceptance of this authority was of God
3. He was tasked with the preaching of the gospel to the Gentiles.
4. He was training others to follow the commission of God –
C. To exalt the Lord Jesus Christ
D. To ease their concern for him
Ephesians 3:13 Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you, which is your glory.
Today we turn from God’s promise to Paul’s –
VII. Perception. Ephesians 3:14-21
He perceived (understood) the Greatness of God and the need (emptiness) of men which we see in his reliance, his request, and his regard for God.
A. Paul’s Reliance on God
Paul knew that the distance between man and God is infinite. We can travel forever and never arrive into His presence! We learn from Paul’s message to those in Athens as recorded in Acts 17 that they could not know God, except that He revealed Himself to them.
Acts 17:19-23 And they took him, and brought him unto Areopagus, saying, May we know what this new doctrine, whereof thou speakest, is? For thou bringest certain strange things to our ears: we would know therefore what these things mean. (For all the Athenians and strangers which were there spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing.) Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars’ hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious. For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you.
Paul knew that God was not conceived in the imaginations of man, and even that knowing the truth of God, all of the praying and all of the preaching would be of none affect except that God’s power was in it. Therefore Paul stated –
Ephesians 3:14 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
In the Old Testament at the rebuilding of the Temple following the Babylonian captivity, Zerubabble was reminded that even though the building was constructed by the labour of men, it was God through His power who enabled them to build it and it was God who would consecrate and establish it as the House of Prayer.
It was through the account given by Zechariah in chapter 4, verse 6 that we are reminded of our need to rely on God – Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.
It was through the words of Jesus that we are reminded that while men built the house, it was through His power and for His purpose that it was built –
Matthew 21:13 And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer…..
Paul both learned this truth and he practiced it, relying on the Lord –
1 Corinthians 2:4-5 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.
He prayed that others would learn and lean on the Lord for power in their lives.
2. The picture of what is, but even more, in holiness what should be.
Ephesians 3:15 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,
When we think of ‘family’, we should be reminded that ‘family’ began in the mind and heart of God.
Man separated himself from God through sin, but in doing this, he did not destroy the concept of family set forth by God. This being true, we understand more about why Satan attacks the family with more energy and hatred than any other institution. The family has been under attack since the beginning in the Garden of Eden. Even after these thousands of years, the family unit still brings glory to God.