Sermon Title: “Be Aware of God’s grace and power in you: A Prayer of Thanksgiving and Intercession”
Date: Sunday, January 28, 2018
Speaker: Pastor Joseph
Making Connections in Acts and Ephesians: Taking the Gospel in the City
Paul’s ministry at Ephesus: Acts 18 and 19
- The Christians at Ephesus also showed good attitude and reception to the Gospel. They wanted to learn more about the works of God in Christ (Acts 19:2-3)
- They demonstrated true and genuine repentance and belief in Christ (Acts 19:18-19)
- They abandoned their former life as sorcerers, idol worshipers (worshipers of Artemis), and magicians (Acts 19:19); in other words, they renounced sorcery, polytheism, magic, and other forms of sins so they could follow Jesus Messiah. This new life came about through the boldness of Paul’s proclamation of the Gospel, genuine repentance, and daily sanctification through obedience to the Word of God, and total surrender to Christ.
- The Word of God became more influential and prominent in the lives of the people at Ephesus because of Christian public witness and their worthy character (Acts 19:20).
Lessons on how church growth happens:
- The Christians in Ephesus took the time to learn more adequately about Scriptures. This was done through their active participation in Bible study and discipleship meetings.
- They sat down under a mature Christian teacher and spiritual mentor who taught them how to grow spiritually and become independent learners and God-fearing teachers of the Word of God.
- The Ephesian Christians spread in public that passion for Christ (Acts 19:10)
- The Ephesian Christians were not afraid of their commitment to Christ or to Christianity; they demonstrated it through their zeal and communication of the Gospel in the public with the people they knew and for the salvation of the lost and the unchurched in their city.
“A Prayer of Thanksgiving and Intercession”
- that God, through the Holy Spirit, will give the Ephesian Christians wisdom and revelation (verse 17)
- that God, through his Spirit, will provide spiritual enlightenment/divine illumination (verse 18a)
- that the Ephesians Christians to be aware of their status as God’s (glorious) inheritance (verse 18b)
- that they will be aware of the demonstration and strength of God’s power for their sake (verses 19-23)
Some Theological Truths about the Passage
1.The character of sound faith brings inspiration and produces a consistent prayer life (vv.15-16)
- The compelling reason of Paul’s prayers: because he has heard of the Faith and Love of the Ephesian Christians. Their salvation in Christ and reciprocal love lead Paul to prayer and intercession
- Faith: (conversion to Christianity and commitment to following Jesus Christ)
- Love: a Christian virtue emerged from one’s abiding in Christ
The primacy of love in Ephesus
- Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ—Jesus as the object of the Christian salvation, that they have exercising confident trust in the Lord Jesus Christ
- Love toward all the saints—fruit of salvation. Love seems to be a concentrated theme in the letter.
- The love of God for believers (2:4; 3:17; 6:23)
- The love of Christ for believers (3:19)
- The love of believers for Jesus Christ (6:24)
- The love of believers for each other (1:4; 4:2, 15, 16; 5:2, 35, 28, 33)
2. The role of the Spirit of God in fostering the spiritual life (vv. 17-19)
- The role of the Spirit is to reveal the wisdom of God and lead the people to God’s revelation. He is also the one who enlightens the believer. So, this is a prayer in which the Spirit of God takes precedence in the believer’s life.
- Enlightenment/illumination by the Spirit will bring “spiritual awakening, maturity, and freedom in Christ”
3. The manifestation and workings of God’s majestic power (in The Messiah Jesus) for us (vv. 20-23)
- The demonstration of God’s power is for the advantage or benefits of followers of Jesus
How did God manifest the vastness or greatness of his power for the believers?
1.He demonstrates his power (dynamis) in a particular way:
2.In the resurrection of Jesus Messiah: He raised Jesus from the dead for our sake. The Spirit who raised Jesus victoriously from the dead is the same one God has given to us.
1.In the enthronement of Jesus Messiah as King: He positioned him at his right hand and above all spheres of authority and power, and above every name, incorporating both the present and future ages. Read Ps. 110:1 (“The right hand position symbolizes the highest honor, closeness to Yahweh, and the received delegation of his authority and power. Psalm 110 promises that God will defeat all of the exalted Kings’ enemies,” Arnold, Ephesians, 111)
2.He placed everything under Jesus’s controlling and sovereign power. Read Ps. 8:6
3.He is given as the Head of the Church, that is the Chief authority over the people of God.
Powers and Principalities
Four types of powers identified here in the heavenly places (epouraniois):
1.arches (rule/principality) and
3.dynameos (power) and
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