Sunday, August 28, 2016

Paul's Epistles - Ephesians - Part 3: Thanksgiving and Prayer

Paul's Epistles - Ephesians - Part 3:
Thanksgiving and Prayer
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith Church | |

In Paul’s 35 years of ministry, since his conversion in Damascus, we have recorded in the Holy Bible many of his epistles, or letters.

Paul’s first journey took place from 33AD (the year of his conversion), through 46AD, leaving Damascus in 38AD.

Paul’s 2nd journey began in 50AD, four years later; during this time he wrote 1st and 2nd Thessalonians, and Galatians, with his second journey ending in 54AD.

Paul’s 3rd journey began in 55AD and lasted until 58AD where he found himself imprisoned in Judea from 58-60AD. During his 3rd journey Paul wrote 1st and 2nd Corinthians, and Romans. We have no record of writings from Paul during his prison time between 58-60AD in Judea.

After his release from Judea, Paul traveled on his voyage to Rome from 60-61AD, writing Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians and Philemon, and finding himself in a Roman prison in 63AD.

Released soon after his incarceration, Paul then writes the epistles Hebrews, 1st Timothy, Titus and his final letter before his death 2 Timothy, which was written from a Roman prison he was placed in during 66-68AD.

Though the bible does not tell us when or how Paul died, it is believed by scholars that he was beheaded in 68AD in May or June.

For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, 16 I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. 17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the {a} Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church,23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.

Paul’s Thanksgiving and Prayer for the Ephesians

The message of this epistle to the church is “The Church, The Body of Christ”.

a. Vs. 13 & 14 “you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.”

                                                                                  i. The Wycliffe English Bible of 1382 was the first Bible to use chapter patterns. 

                                                                               ii. This is why we need to ensure we are taking scripture “in context” when reading.

                                                                            iii. We may need to go back or read ahead to understand a scriptures meaning.

1 Kings 3:16-28
One day two women[a] came to King Solomon, 17 and one of them said:
Your Majesty, this woman and I live in the same house. Not long ago my baby was born at home, 18 and three days later her baby was born. Nobody else was there with us.
19 One night while we were all asleep, she rolled over on her baby, and he died.20 Then while I was still asleep, she got up and took my son out of my bed. She put him in her bed, then she put her dead baby next to me.
21 In the morning when I got up to feed my son, I saw that he was dead. But when I looked at him in the light, I knew he wasn’t my son.
22 “No!” the other woman shouted. “He was your son. My baby is alive!”
“The dead baby is yours,” the first woman yelled. “Mine is alive!”
They argued back and forth in front of Solomon, 23 until finally he said, “Both of you say this live baby is yours. 24 Someone bring me a sword.”
A sword was brought, and Solomon ordered, 25 “Cut the baby in half! That way each of you can have part of him.”

-      If we stop here, we chop babies in half when there is a custody battle.

26 “Please don’t kill my son,” the baby’s mother screamed. “Your Majesty, I love him very much, but give him to her. Just don’t kill him.”
The other woman shouted, “Go ahead and cut him in half. Then neither of us will have the baby.”
27 Solomon said, “Don’t kill the baby.” Then he pointed to the first woman, “She is his real mother. Give the baby to her.”

b. BECAUSE (for this reason)
                                                                                  i. The reason being
1. You heard the message of Truth (Gospel of Salvation)

2. You responded appropriately (believed = trusted in)

3. You therefore were marked in Him (Holy Spirit)

4. THE deposit guaranteeing our inheritance

                                                                               ii. For THIS reason

c. Ever since I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and your love for all God’s people
                                                                                  i. Daily Faith, day by day living.

                                                                               ii. I have never stopped giving thanks for you
1. Paul says 23 times in this letter!

                                                                            iii. And remembering you in my prayers
1. Paul’s intercessory prayer life was one of his Spiritual Gifts, however, we should all pray!

2. Remember, why do we pray?

3. We are instructed in scripture to pray
a. This is the manner in which you pray
b. Pray for those who persecute you
c. Pray in the Spirit on all occasions
d. Do not be anxious but with prayer and petition with thanksgiving present your request to God

4. Jesus Prayed regularly

5. Prayer is how we communicate with God

6. Prayer allows us to participate in God’s works

7. Prayer gives us power over evil

8. Prayer is always available

9. Prayer keeps us humble before God

10. Prayer is bringing things to light, situations, needs, and for those who cannot pray for themselves.

a. God does not hear the prayers of the unrighteous, unrepentant, sinners, we pray for them.

b. The only prayer God hears for them is the prayer for Salvation.

a. So you may know Him better
                                                                                  i. Knowledge of Christ we receive through the Word enables the Holy Spirit to increase our wisdom and revelation.

b. I pray the eyes of your heart {having been} enlightened
                                                                                  i. They are in a present state of enlightenment.

                                                                               ii. So you may know the hope to which He has called you

                                                                            iii. The riches of His glorious inheritance (in the Saints!)
1. Saints are God’s inheritance, since we are adopted in!

                                                                              iv. And His incomparably great power for us who believe (put trust in)
1. The power to live a Holy life

c. That power is the same He exerted raising Christ from the dead
                                                                                  i. And seating Him at His right hand

a. Far above all rule and authority
                                                                                  i. Far above power and dominion
                                                                               ii. Above every name that is invoked

b. Not only in this present age (dispensation) Church Age
                                                                                  i. But also in the one to come
                                                                               ii. Now we are in the “Church Age” or the age of Grace
                                                                            iii. Next (after Rapture, Tribulation and Judgment) is the Kingdom Age, or Age of Christ

c. God placed ALL things under His (Jesus) feet
                                                                                  i. And appointed Him to be head over everything for the church

CONCLUSION – The church, which is his body

The church, His body, which is the fullness of Him who fills everything in every way

Christ is the absolute, ultimate authority because of the cross.

The church has its source of life in Him. Sustained by His power, we are to be the instrument by which He works.

Want to learn more about Salvation and Getting Saved?    CLICK HERE!

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