(Unfortunately we have no audio from this morning's message.)
Date: 1 June, 2018
Text: Ephesians 3:14-21
Title: Getting God's Grant
Theme: The Apostle's Paul's prayer for the church at Ephesus.
Proposition: You need to get God's grant.
Rhetorical: Have you received from the riches of God's glory what God's great Apostle preacher (Paul) desires you to possess?
ill. This past week - received a letter from the State of Wisconsin saying that due to budget surplus for this past year families were receiving a child tax credit of 100 USD per child. Wow! That was good news! We pay a considerable amount of State tax in WI and it was great to get some of that back. THEY TOOK OF THEIR SURPLUS AND SHARED IT WITH US CITIZENS.
NOTE: IN OUR TEXT TODAY - Paul is seeking to get something from the surplus of Heaven. The wise old preacher apostle was seeking something of real value for the body of Christ for the glory of God.
14 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
15 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,
16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory,
exp. A grant is to agree to give or all something requested.
ill. Different government have at times given land grants.
Roman Soldiers pensions were like that - they could have money - up to 5,000 denari or land.
Australia - New South Wales - colonized by the British - non commissioned marine officers were given 100 acres - private 50 acres - to settle the land.
ill. Katie and I received a mortgage grant (loan) by the US government because we were first time home buyers.
exp. Without that grant we couldn't have purchased our home in MI. and so it came with many blessings.
ill. Students often seek financial grants to allow them to persue degrees which they could otherwise not afford.
exp. Grants are both a blessing and enabling. They are given for a purpose and allow an individual to pursue what otherwise was out of their means.
IF I KNEW OF ONE YOU NEEDED I WOULD ENCOURAGE YOU TO GET IT!
POINT - GOD HAS GRANTS THAT HE STANDS READY TO GIVE YOU.
HE WANTS to enable us for the purpose of His glory to do that which otherwise we can not do - PAUL KNEW THAT and so he went to the treasure house of God's glory.
IN PRAYER -
ASKING GOD TO GIVE A GRANT TO THE CHURCH FOR HIS GLORY.
We need to get God's grant.
Have you received from the riches of God's glory what God's great Apostle preacher (Paul) desires you to possess?
I. Grant that they be renewed in the inner man.
...to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;
exp. Paul knew how much this was needed.
2Co 4:16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.
exp. THAT INWARD RENEWAL WAS SO EFFECTIVE HE COULD SAY IN THE NEXT VERSE.....
17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;
exp. In chapter 11 he speaks of his light affliction and it isn't something I would want to go through.
24 Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one.
25 Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep;
26 In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;
27 In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.
28 Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.
exp. Paul didn't love his trials - but he loved the strengthening of God.
2Co 12:9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
ill. Hymn Writer - Annie Johnson Flint - knew this inner strengthening given by God's Spirit.
orphaned with her sister in her childhood. Her foster parents both passed away in her early adult life. She became an invalid in her 20's as she had crippling arthritus. And yet she wrote incredible hymns of the grace of God.
One of the most well known - He giveth more grace.
"He giveth more grace when the burdens grow greater,
He sendeth more strength when the labors increas;
To added afflictions He addeth His mercy,
To multiplied trials, His multiplied peace.
When we have exhausted our store of endurance,
When our strength has failed ere the day is half done,
When we reach the end of our hoarded resources,
Our Fahter's full giving is only begun.
His love has not limit, His grace has no measure,
His power knows no boundary known unto men;
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus,
He giveth, and giveth and giveth again.
app. Do you know what it is to have God strengthen you internally? Are you being regularly renewed in the inner man. Or are you just trying to bite your lip and endure? (We need to get God's grant of inner strengthening.)
II. Grant that they be indwelt by Christ.
17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith;
exp. When you got saved you received Jesus Christ into your heart by faith.
Colossians 1:Christ in you, the hope of glory:
1Jn 5:12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.
note: If you are here today and you don't have Jesus - you don't have salvation.
Rom 8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
exp. You receive Him by faith.
Act 16:31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.
Rom 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
exp. However, in this passage I believe the Apostle is speaking of a consciousness of the abiding presence of Christ in the person of the Holy Spirit. (RECEIVED BY FAITH.)
1. When we got saved we were indwelt by Jesus in the person of the Holy Ghost.
Joh 14:18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.
23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
28 Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you.
2. But, Paul wants us to know His indwelling presence by faith.
4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
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.
6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.
7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
exp. The vine branch both abides in the vine and the vine in the branch. (Because the life of the vine flows through the branch.) WE ABIDE BY FAITH AND CHRIST INDWELLS US!
app. Is Christ dwelling in your hearts by faith this morning. Are you abiding in Him by faith? Or have you thought that it is enough to have come to him in faith for salvation? PAUL WANTED GOD TO GRANT SOMETHING BEYOND THAT - AN AWARENESS OF THE INDWELLING CHRIST.
III. Grant that they be planted in God's love.
that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;
exp. In Christ I am ROOTED AND GRANTED in God's love.
exp. Do you think you are abiding in Christ this morning?
John 15:10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.
note: We are coming up to a glorious truth (following points) BUT THEY CAN NOT BE KNOWN BY THOSE WHO REFUSE OBEDIENCE TO JESUS - BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT ABIDING IN HIM.
ill. The prodigal son didn't know the Father's love in the far country. The father loved him but he had removed himself from the father's love. His life was a mess. He was in financial and spiritual ruin. To experience the Father's love - HE HAD TO RETURN TO THE FATHER.
question: What do you know of the love of God this morning?
song: The Love of God
The love of God is greater far
Than tongue or pen can ever tell
It goes beyond the highest star
And reaches to the lowest hell
The guilty pair, bowed down with care
God gave His Son to win
His erring child He reconciled
And pardoned from his sin
Could we with ink the ocean fill
And were the skies of parchment made
Were every stalk on earth a quill
And every man a scribe by trade
To write the love of God above
Would drain the ocean dry
Nor could the scroll contain the whole
Though stretched from sky to sky
O love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure
The saints' and angels' song
app. Are you planted in the rich place of God's love this morning? God can grant this only to those who are willing to put themselves by His grace in that place of obedience.
IV. Grant that they be experiencing God.
19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge,
exp. Now - if I have received that which Paul is asking
I'm strengthened by God's Spirit internally.
I'm concious of the indwelling Christ by faith.
I'm in the place of His wonderful love.
AND I AM EXPERIENCING SOMETHING FAR MORE WONDERFUL THAN AN ACADEMIC KNOWLEDGE OF GOD.
ill. What is a better knowledge
1.) Knowing about how pizza tastes or tasting pizza.
2.) Knowing what Israel is like or going to Israel.
3.) Knowing about the queen or knowing the queen.
question: Is your relationship with God academic or personal? Do you know about Him or know Him?
ill. I'm a hunter in the States - harvesting meat for our families as God intended. (I'll save the defence of hunting for another time.) However, - I watched a hunting show here (which I was very excited to see) and watched a man stock a stag with a guide. He raised the gun, pulled the trigger, the gun went click (no bullet) and he proceeded to speak with exhileration about what an incredible experience he had hunting! (HE WAS NOT HUNTING, HE WAS NOT A HUNTER, HE HAD NO AUTHORITY - BECAUSE HE HAD NO EXPERIENCE NO MATTER HOW CLOSE HE THOUGHT HE HAD COME.)
exp. There are many people who speak with exhileration about how they think it is to know God and about their religious experiences AND THEY HAVE NO AUTHORITY BECAUSE THEY DO NOT KNOW THE LOVE OF GOD WHICH IS BEYOND BOOK LEARNING!
app. Do you know my Jesus? (as the hymn says) Do you know my friend? Have you heard he loves you and that He will abide to the end? God stands ready to grant you an experience of himself that goes WAY BEYOND ANYTHING YOU COULD LEARN ACADEMICALLY FROM HIS WORD. Paul prayed God would grant that experience to the church!
V. Grant that they be filled with the fulness of God.
that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
exp. We ought to stop right here in awe of what Paul has so boldy asked of God. And yet it is the same thing our Lord desired for His men to experience.
John 14:23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
note: JESUS HAD THIS INDWELLING PRESENCE.
ill. Jesus -Col 2:9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
exp. Have you ever read about the Glory of God filling in the OT and thought about how incredible that would be to behold?
Exo 24:16 And the glory of the LORD abode upon mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days: and the seventh day he called unto Moses out of the midst of the cloud.
Exo 40:34 Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.
Exo 40:35 And Moses was not able to enter into the tent of the congregation, because the cloud abode thereon, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.
Lev 9:6 And Moses said, This is the thing which the LORD commanded that ye should do: and the glory of the LORD shall appear unto you.
Lev 9:23 And Moses and Aaron went into the tabernacle of the congregation, and came out, and blessed the people: and the glory of the LORD appeared unto all the people.
exp. That glory of God was manifest when God came - IT WAS HIS GLORY REVEALED TO HIS PEOPLE OF HIS COMING AND ABIDING.
question. Could you be filled with ALL THE FULNESS OF GOD and it not be known?
2 Corinthians 3:7 But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away:
8 How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious?
9 For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory.
10 For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth.
11 For if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious.
exp. Impossible to hide the glory of God if we possess what Paul desired us to possess.
exp. Paul didn't want the church to be just a bunch of sinners who professed faith in Jesus. He wanted a bunch of Saints who demonstrated the glory of the fulness of God filling them!
app. Are you filled with the ALL the fulness of God today? YOU CAN'T HIDE IT IF IT IS SO OR IF IT IS OTHERWISE. Paul knew God would grant this blessing to those who would receive it.
VI. Grant that they be blessed beyond conception.
20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think,
exp. Is that more than you can comprehend to ask this morning? Paul had a desire to experience God that went beyond mortal man's ken. He was asking the God WHO WORKS in the realm of those kind of INCREDIBLE ANSWERS to give the grant.
ill. Dodge Diesel quad cab pick up truck - super chipped it to open up the diesel cummins engine to more power (same engine powered huge equipment). Would you believe me if I told you my truck was powerful - but when you rode with me we could hardly pull any load.
exp. Should I believe someone this morning who claims to be living in the fullness of God who is pulling nothing for the Lord Jesus Christ and complaining while they do so?
question: Do you believe that God's church is living in the place of knowing the powerful spiritual truths of which Paul is speaking? Why not?
1.) If we think that it is because God is unwilling or unable to give that kind of blessing, we are wrong - Paul under inspiration of the Holy Spirit has asked God to do so and the Spirit of God has recorded it for our edification.
2.) Or is it because the church isn't looking to God for that kind of grant - unbelief - unsanctified living, carelesness,....?
app. We have every reason to pray in faith with Paul (if we have met the conditions of the blessing - abiding in Christ) that this would be our experience.
VII. Grant that they be connected to God's power.
according to the power that worketh in us,
exp. Again Paul says - THE POWER SOURCE IS INTERNAL. It is the life of the vine flowing through us in the person of the Holy Ghost.
Joh 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.
ill. I'm thankful that we live in the day of understanding electricity. I love power tools. They are incredible time and energy savers. BUT NO MATTER HOW GOOD THE TOOL YOU CAN'T USE IT WITHOUT POWER. Without power it is worthless.
exp. No matter how talented, smart, capable, you are - you are worthless spiritually if you are not connected to the power source.
app. We can understand now why Paul is so passionate about these wonderful truths and wanted God to grant them ACCORDING TO THE POWER THAT WORKETH IN US. Are you plugged into God's power?
CONCLUSION: GRANT THAT THEY BE THAT - All for God's glory!
21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.
exp. Paul was praying for us as well. "throughout all ages GORY IN THE CHURCH BY CHRIST JESUS."
note: If the church does not have what Paul prayed for - does it bring glory to God as God intended? No. PAUL WASN'T ASKING THIS FOR THE CHURCH HE WAS ASKING IT FOR GOD'S GLORY. THAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THE GRANT.
We need God's grant this morning?
Have you received from the riches of God's glory what God's great Apostle preacher (Paul) desires you to possess?
1.) Are you being renewed by God's Spirit in the inner man?
2.) Do you know the indwelling Christ?
3.) Are you rooted and grounded in God's love?
4.) Do you have an experiential knowledge of God?
5.) Are you filled with the fullness of God?
6.) Are you blessed beyond comprehension?
7.) Is God's power flowing through you?