What did you learn from last week’s sermon, “That You Will Know” ?
Q1: Where was Paul when he wrote Ephesians?
Q2: Can Jesus be your savior but not your Lord?
Q3: Why do many people come to Jesus?
Q4: How does William Randolph Hearst’s search for a painting fit into Sunday’s sermon?
Q5: Do you love the Lord and allow Him to live through you, or do you claim one thing but live another way?
Q6: What are Paul’s two main thoughts?
Q7: Is the same resurrection power at work inside of us?
Sermon Summary & Answers
This past Sunday, Pastor Mike Troyer took us to Ephesians and asked that we look back at the first chapter of Ephesians for context, before venturing into Ephesians 1:15-23. So, during his second missionary journey, Paul was in Ephesus and was able to see a lot of people come to the Lord; in addition, he faced persecution. Ephesus was known for the goddess, Artemis. And, as we reflect on this letter, Paul was in Rome and most likely in prison or in chains around AD 60-61. In Ephesians 1:3-14, Paul writes a huge passage about the majesty and glory of God and the amazing riches Christians possess; in addition, to all God has done for believers to guarantee salvation. That’s the context/setting. Paul reminds the Ephesians that they’re on his mind as well as the Lords. Can you imagine? Paul is in prison and thinking about others instead of his own present condition.
His first words are for this reason, he wants to help the Ephesians understand what he’s already told them. Paul knew it would be difficult for them to understand, but he is praying that they would understand everything they’ve been given in Jesus. In Ephesians 1:18, Paul writes so that you may know.
Paul shares 2 thoughts: 1) is praise to the saints and 2) is prayer for the saints. In the first part of his letter, Paul wants them to know that they are saved by grace, which is ALL God’s doing through His plan, through His son, and through His call to bring us to Himself. The Ephesians have understood enough to place their faith in Jesus for salvation, which is why Paul offers words of praise. Praise for their profession, which is illustrated in verse 15 when Paul says he’s heard of their faith in Jesus and that they believe the gospel. Believing the gospel is the ONLY means to salvation for any soul as noted in Romans 10:9 and Ephesians 2:8-9.
So, what is the gospel? 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 and Romans 4:25 tell us the gospel is simple; Jesus died for our sins on the cross and rose again from the dead. Pastor Troyer shared that a lot of people are currently trusting in some prayer formula or emotional experience or baptism as an infant and think they are saved but have not yet come to the point of profession. None of that will save you, you can only be saved through faith in the gospel. Pastor Troyer shared that John MacArthur wrote a lot about this 10-15 years ago. Specifically, how many people get saved one day and then eventually, they’ll make him Lord of their life. That is not biblical. Luke 24:3 is the first time Jesus is called Lord Jesus.
Peter shares in Acts 2:43 that God made him both Lord and Christ. He isn’t a dinner buffet. You can’t come today and ask Him to be your savior and then make him Lord at a later date. You can’t make him wait to be what He already is. When you come to Jesus, you have to bow down to His Lordship. Have you done that? If not, better get on it!
Many come to Jesus for eternal insurance or to get a “get out of hell free pass”. Part of being saved is to have a willingness to repent of sin. Lost sinners are now in serious spiritual trouble, and the Holy Spirit has made sins clear. They have to be willing to turn from them and yield to Jesus as Lord of their lives. You can’t have a Savior without having a Lord, you must submit to His dominion in your life. Some people reject this. You can’t have Jesus as savior unless you’re willing to have Him as Lord of your life! By his very nature, He is savior and Lord at the same time. Ask yourself, what kind of salvation do I have? Am I fully submitted to the Lord Jesus Christ?
So, Paul goes on to praise the Ephesians for their salvation that is tangible from the messages he received about it. But, how does he know it’s real? He heard their lives were bearing fruit and of their love for each other. They were proving the reality of their faith by the way they were living their lives. One way to spot Christians, is through the love they have for one another as stated in 1 John 3:14-15, 1 John 4:20-21, and John 13:34-35. A lot of people claim to have salvation but bear no fruit for His glory. They bear fruit, but it is the unfruitful work of darkness as seen in Galatians 19. People that are truly saved bear fruit for God’s glory, the fruit of the Spirit; Galatians 5:22-23. Ephesians 2:10, James 2:18, and Matthew 12:33 all illustrate that the tree is known by its fruit.
The second idea Paul has after praising them for their genuine faith, is to tell them he is praying for them. Is that what we would do if we were bound in chains? Paul wants them to know they are complete in Jesus and to avoid traps like those the Colossians fell into. The Colossians felt something was missing. They had Jesus but weren’t sure He was enough. They were searching for deeper knowledge to make them more spiritual. They resorted to philosophy to find something above and beyond what they heard from the apostles then added legalism in Colossians 2:16-17 tokeep rules and deny their flesh to make them complete. So, Paul reminded the Ephesians that if they are truly in Jesus Christ; they are complete forever.
“The truth is, we are always looking for something more than what the Bible says or more than what we hear from brothers and sisters. We pray for strength and love, but all has been given to us already. My grace is sufficient and His power is made perfect in weakness. We have everything we have in Christ. His Prayer is for the saints to grasp who they are, Christ’s possession.”Pastor Mike Troyer
Story Time! William Randolph Hearst was a multimillionaire that loved to collect art. One day, he read about a painting and was determined to get it. He sent agents all over the world looking for it, and after months they came back and found he already owned it, and it had been in his warehouses for years. He was searching for something he already possessed. Much like us, we search for fulfilment and do not understand that everything we want and need is already ours in Jesus.
Therefore, Paul’s prayer for the saints, is what we should pray for ourselves and others. Ephesians 1:17-18, what people need isn’t found in books or a class, we should pray they receive the spirit of wisdom and revelation and understand their position and possessions in Jesus. We should pray for a teachable spirit, so they can learn from God. We base what we believe on what we are taught or tradition and not the clear word of God. Ask the Lord to reveal and accept it when He does.
When our hearts and minds are controlled by God, we are able to understand the deep things of God in our daily lives. These great truths summarize Gods plan for the ages. Ephesians 4:13, this power will change your life. You will see blessings and disruptions as God working to make you more like Jesus! He does whatever it takes to make that happen. Paul says that better things are waiting down the road. We’re joint heirs with Jesus and receive God’s blessing in this life and our heavenly home! The Spirit of God reveals these truths of all we have in Jesus. We can only understand a very small part of that, but He reveals more every day. Paul also prays that they might also understand the might of God and the greatness of His power in their lives. Ephesians 1:19-21 says He has more power than we could ever need, use, or want, and it has been given to us who believe in great abundance when we come to Jesus. This is the energizing power of the Holy Spirit to live for the Lord, and the Spirit gives us dominion over our lives and the power to live for God. Why is this so important? The Ephesians always asked for strength. But, they already have all the power they need, they just didn’t realize it. Like us! We pray for power to do God’s will, but it’s already been given to us. As it says in Acts 1:8, all power was given to us when we were saved, it just needs to be exercised. Do you believe that?
Well, the same power that raised Jesus from the grave is the same power at work in our lives. We don’t need more power, we need wisdom on how to tap into that power and use it every day. God’s power is ours now. He also prays that they understand the majesty of the Lord. And see that their focus needs to be on Jesus alone. Our problems are less important as Jesus becomes more important. Jesus is the head and fullness of the church. He issues the marching orders, and we bow to His will in everything. He is centerpiece and to be honored in everything we do. He lives in us through His spirit and is united with His church and is incomplete until His church is fully formed.
In conclusion, Paul is praising the church of Ephesus for believing the gospel and proving it through their profession and lives. We need to examine our own lives, and where we stand in relation to Jesus. Are you saved? Is He your Lord? Are we bearing fruit for His glory? Do you love the brethren, His word, and His church? Do you desire holiness and hate sin? We’re all hypocritical, but we will turn from our sins and will not stay in sin forever. The time to obey His voice is right now. Let him have His way in your life and do it today!
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- Most likely in prison in Rome
- For eternal insurance to escape hell
- He was searching for something he already possessed. Much like us searching for fulfilment, but everything we want and need is already ours in Jesus.
- Only you can answer that
- 1) is praise to the saints and 2) is prayer for the saints