The Letter to the Ephesians Message Eleven
VII. Perception. Ephesians 3:14-21
A. Last week we learned of Paul’s reliance upon God and we began to look at –
B. Paul’s Request from God –
Paul began his request from God that believers will be –
Ephesians 3:16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;
2 Corinthians 4:16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.
Preparing, not the guest room, but the dwelling place of the very special Friend. The work is too much for the individual, help is needed, and that help can only be given by the Holy Spirit. The Spirit leads the believer to prepare the inner man not only for the Saviour’s presence, but also His leadership. This is a daily work in the believer.
2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new
We must have the willingness, through faith, to do the will of God before we know what His will is. We might prepare ourselves through the Word of God –
1 Thessalonians 5:16-21 Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. Quench not the Spirit. Despise not prophesyings. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
As Christians, we begin our new lives with God by faith, trusting Him and His Word.
We begin to “Rejoice evermore” because we are saved and life with Him is settled forever!
We continue by “praying without ceasing” because we need time with our Lord, we have questions that we need answered, help when in trouble, compassion for others, and as we rejoice and pray –
Grow into being able to “In every thing give thanks” because we have peace that we did not have before. We have excitement as prayers are answered. We have friendship with one another in church –
But we need to be careful that we do not say “Lord, I have faith to be saved, and I have faith to rejoice, and I have faith to pray, and I have faith to give thanks, but Lord, I do not want to obey you in this.
Lord, I will obey in many things, but not this. God knows our weaknesses and so He has commanded us in this also –
“Quench not the Spirit”. Do not throw water on the fire of God.
“Despise not prophesyings”. Do not reject the Word of God confirming God’s will for you today.
“Prove all things”. Obey God and see that His will is best.
“Hold fast that which is good”. You might say “I trusted God, read His Word, and obeyed His direction, but it sure did not seem good today”!
Romans 8:27-28 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
We have been given help from God that we may know how to exchange wrong for right. Integrity is only possible when new actions are in accordance with our new nature. By the Word of God, the Bible, we learn what to put behind us, and also what to accept into our lives –
We need help because it is difficult!
Colossians 3:8-17 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: ……Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.
Why do we need strength from God? Because the things that God identifies as wrong are accepted by the world as being right – in their place. They justify themselves by claiming there is a time for cheating, for lying, for putting themselves first – before anyone else.
Proverbs 17:15 He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, even they both are abomination to the LORD.
Isaiah 5:20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
When the believer, you, say that these things are wrong, always wrong, you will be ridiculed, mocked, shunned. You will need the strength of God to stand in truth.
1 Peter 4:1-5 Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God. For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries: Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you: Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead.
Will you desire and pray for His strength today?
Will you read God’s Word so that you can know what is right and what is wrong?
Will you choose to do right instead of doing wrong?
Paul also requested of God that believers might be –
2. Stable – nothing wavering, every day enjoying the presence of God in us –
Ephesians 3:17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
a. Christ is in us – “…dwell in your hearts by faith…”
Colossians 1:27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:
We might ask what is Paul writing about here – “That Christ might dwell in your hearts by faith…”? The truth he is expressing is understood by the meaning of the word “dwell” that he used as led by the Lord. He is helping us understand that Jesus Christ has moved in permanently, He has settled His place in our hearts and our faith can be sure of this.
We should be confident that Christ is in us and that –
b. We are in Christ –
1 Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.
How can I be steadfast? How can I be unmovable? By remembering that I am in Christ!
Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
1 Timothy 1:12 And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;
We are vitally connected to the Lord, He in us and we in Him –
John 15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
Is your life an example of Godly strength and Godly stability?
Are you depending on Him each day?