Sunday, September 25, 2016

Paul's Epistles - Ephesians - Part 7: Prayer for the Ephesians

Paul's Epistles - Ephesians - Part 7:
Prayer for the Ephesians
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 I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family[a] in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
20 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, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen.

Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians

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

Scripture again begins with “Therefore”, which is a reference to the previous verses where Paul explains that God has revealed His plan, to make all people one in Christ, both Jew and Gentile. To God there is no difference. This is accomplished through the mystery which has been revealed, the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Today, Paul tells the Ephesians of his prayers for them.

a.  The reason he is praying
                                                                                  i. Because of unity within the Body of Christ, and equalization of all believer’s

b. I kneel before the Father (greek = patèr)
                                                                                  i. I kneel (lit. I bow my knees)

1. Meaning showing reverence in our hearts to God

2. Some show this outwardly by physically kneeling

3. However, as with all symbolic ordinances, what takes place in the heart far exceeds any outward work or action.

                                                                               ii. The Father (patèr in Greek)
1. Meaning simply Paul is showing his reverence to God the Father

2. Defining Father in the Greek is important because of understanding the next verse!

c. From whom every family (greek = patria / where we get patriarch)
                                                                                  i. From whom (Paul is speaking of the Father in heaven)

                                                                               ii. Every Family (patria in Greek)

1. Where we get the word Patriarch

2. Meaning the male figure (related by birth or covenant) who rules over those who belong to him.

                                                                            iii. In other words, Paul is sating
1. I submit in reverence praying to the Father in heaven

2. Who is the Father of those who belong to Him

3. Praying for you

II.      I PRAY
a. That you (Family – Patria)
                                                                                  i. Speaking specifically of those who belong to the Father in heaven
1. Out of His glorious riches

2. He may strengthen you (those belonging to Him)
a. With power

3. Through His Spirit (the Holy Spirit)
a. In your inner being

b. And I pray
                                                                                  i. That you, being rooted and established in Love
1. In other words, belonging to the Father through Christ Jesus

                                                                               ii. May have power (speaking of the strengthening through the Holy Spirit) together with all the Lord’s Holy People
1. Remember Paul’s words from the last few weeks.
a. No Greeks and Jews
b. No Jew’s and Gentiles
c. No denominations
d. No division
e. No bond or free

2. The Church get’s its POWER through the Holy Spirit when the church (meaning all of God’s Holy People) are TOGETHER!
a. Then we will understand or be able to grasp

c. To grasp how wide, long, high, deep is the love of Christ
                                                                                  i. Platos, mekos, bathos, hoopsos
1. Breadth, length, depth, height

                                                                               ii. LIT Breadth - meaning the scope, compass, scale, degree

                                                                            iii. Length – measured from end to end (also, the distance, span, reach, duration)

                                                                              iv. Depth – measured from top to bottom (also, how profound, deep, wisdom, understanding, intelligence, insight)

                                                                                 v. Height – the size, elevation, stature, the high place, high ground, the peak, zenith, pinnacle

                                                                              vi. .In other words, Paul is saying, “I pray that you who belong to the Father through Christ Jesus, will find strength together in unity from the Holy Spirit and discover the great extent, might, extreme depth and high position of God the Father!”

a. According to His power that is at work within us
                                                                                  i. The Holy Spirit

b. To Him be glory in the church
                                                                                  i. Him (God the Father whom Paul just described)

                                                                               ii. Be glory in the church
1. The church = those who belong to the Father
2. Who are in UNITY as one people in Christ Jesus

c. And in Christ Jesus throughout all generations
                                                                                  i. And glory in Christ Jesus

                                                                               ii. All generations (dispensations) to come

CONCLUSION – Forever and ever, amen!
Paul prays that the body of Christ (believer’s) or “The Church” would be one people in unity with the Holy Spirit, finding strength and understanding of the greatness and unimaginable power of God the Father which can be understood through “unity” of believer’s.

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