Understanding and Knowing the Book of Ephesians – Chapter 1
Scripture: Ephesians 1:15-23 (ESV)
15 For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, 16 I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, 18 having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might 20 that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. 22 And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.
HEART ATTITUDE and REVELATION
· God wants you to have a spirit of wisdom and revelation of His power.
§ – It is interesting that in the city called
the ‘Light of Asia’ Paul instructs the
Ephesians to pray for light! To pray for
revelation of God’s power.
o The term revelation is a term that is used lightly
§ Anything lightly spoken is easily broken.
§ By lightly I mean loosely – it is often used
to imply ‘a badge of spirituality’ Some
people think, “I am spiritual because I
have received a revelation from God”.
o We are not spiritual because we received
a revelation; we are spiritual when we do the revelation we have received.
§ Every real revelation requires a new dedication
§ Revelations will be few and far between if the Lord understands that you are not going to do much with what He tells you!
Exodus 3:2–4 (ESV)
2 And the angel of the LORD appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush. He looked, and behold, the bush was burning, yet it was not consumed. 3 And Moses said, “I will turn aside to see this great sight, why the bush is not burned.” 4 When the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.”
§ Look at the words here – ‘when God saw what Moses would do – then God revealed Himself to Moses by calling to Him out of the bush.
· Unless God knows that you are going to ‘turn aside and see’, He will not ‘light your bush’ or call to you out of one.
· How you do show God you mean business:
o Handle it right the first time and you get another chance!
o If you mishandled a chance, repent – tell the Lord you messed – and then handle it right the next time and you get another chance.
Mark 4:24 (ESV)
24 And he said to them, “Pay attention (take heed – KJV) to what you hear: with the measure you use, it will be measured to you, and still more will be added to you.
Luke 8:18 (ESV)
18 Take care then how you hear, for to the one who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he thinks that he has will be taken away.”
§ Jesus said, take heed what you hear and also take heed how you hear it!
· Content and attitude.
· Always remember it’s a big thing that you are asking, when ask God to disclose Himself to you.
§ Think of how little we disclose ourselves to one another yet we are asking God to disclose Himself to us.
o God does not uncover Himself, or His treasures casually to anyone.
§ Casual folks get very little from God.
· It’s those hungry for God and God’s glory that are filled and satisfied.
Powerful Points on Power:
We can understand God’s power by looking at God’s creation.
1. Solar Power
· The sun radiates more energy in one second than man has used collectively since the beginning of civilization. http://www.need.org/needpdf/infobook_activities/SecInfo/SolarS.pdf
· A typical quasar, in one second, throws out enough energy to supply the earth’s electrical needs for the next billion years. http://www.crecalde.com/Charlie/charlies_cosmos__quasar.htm
· You could fit 1 million earth’s into the sun, if you hollowed it out. http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/planets/profile.cfm?Object=Sun&Display=OverviewLong
· The Milky Way is a family of more than 100 billion stars.
· And these scientists say there may be as many as 100 billion other galaxies in the universe. And they believe that the billions of these galaxies stars may have millions of planets like our earth.
· All of that came of 4 words emanated from the throne ‘LET THERE BE LIGHT.’
· The distance to the nearest galaxy is nearly 2.5 million light years –that is the distance that light will travel in 2.5 million years going 186,000 miles per second (my car goes 100 miles an hour).
· HOW MUCH DISTANCE IS 2.5 MILLION LIGHT YEARS?
o One website http://www.rocketroberts.com/astro/howfar.htm has the nearest galaxy, the Andromeda Galaxy, at 2.5 million light years away, which is 14,696,563,427,345,637,530 (14 quintillion, 696 quadrillion, 563 trillion, 427 billion, 345 million, 637 thousands, 530) miles – that is 158,102,693,144 (158 billion, 102 million, 693 thousand, 144) times the distance between Earth and the Sun.
o Perspective on trillion.
§ A trillion dollars is so large a number that only politicians can use the term in conversation… probably because they seldom think about what they are really saying. I’ve read that mathematicians do not even use the term trillion!
§ Here is some perspective on TRILLION:
§ Trillion = 1,000,000,000,000.
§ Civilization has not existed for a trillion seconds.
üOne trillion seconds is 31,688 years.
üThe Bible records 6000 years of human history.
§ To make it to Andromeda in a Honda Civic (38 miles a gallon) we would need about 36,500 trillion gallons of gasoline! A standard Honda Civic would have to be modified to carry this amount of gasoline. The gas tank would need to have the capacity of about 730 million ocean going supertankers (with capacity of 50 million gallons each)! And, we’ll be waiting a long time to “fill up” at the gas station. It would take 2300 years to fill the tank if the pump had the flow capacity of Niagara Falls. (Average flow of Niagara Falls is 500,000 gallons/sec. This is the same as 15,768,000,000,000 gallons per year. This would take 2314 years to fill the 730 000 000 supertankers!)
§ The fastest rocket we have is a Saturn 5 – it would take over 15 billion years to make it to Andromeda.
§ The total universe is 8-10 billion light years long!
3. Nuclear Power
One tone of natural uranium can produce more that 40 million kilowatt-hours of electricity. This is equivalent to burning 16,000 tons of coal or 80,000 barrels of oil. http://web.ead.anl.gov/uranium/guide/facts
God’s creation pulsates with power!
God’s creation pulsates with this image – I am a really big God
Romans 1:18–20 (ESV)
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.
· You can understand God’s power in nature by looking at the things that have been made.
o God’s power in nature is not what is referenced in Ephesians 1 – it can’t be – understanding God’s power in raising Jesus from the dead – the knowledge of that – the understanding of that comes by revelation – the stats listed above did not come by revelation – it came by the internet!
§ Revelation is an operation by the Spirit of God – it is not natural!
§ It comes by prayer – which means – it comes by faith and believing that you receive. It is a spiritual thing.
§ Revelation is not simply being taught something naturally that you do not know – if it is, then revelation goes on in everyday in every grade school, middle school, junior high, high school and college.
o Revelation comes by an operation of God whereby knowledge of God is imparted to your spirit by the Holy Spirit within you.
§ What takes place in the education systems of the world is merely natural facts being shared through natural means. This is teaching – this is information transfer – it is not revelation.
o Why do we need revelation of the exceeding greatness of God’s power used to raise Jesus from the dead?
§ Because there does not exist anything in nature that you can compare it to.
§ Any power found in nature is below the power God the Father exerted in raising Jesus from the dead.
POWERFUL WORD DEFINITIONS:
· It is found in these words
o “what is the immeasurable greatness of his power”
o DEFINITION: immeasurable/ὑπερβάλλω/hyperballō – go beyond, surpass, outdo – tremendous, exceed, surpass, far above; an exceptional amount or degree.
o DEFINITION: greatness/μέγεθος/megethos – the upper range of a scale. Loftiness, majesty, size, magnitude, height or stature – only use of the word in the New Testament.
o DEFINITION: power/δύναμις/dynamis – power, might, strength, force, capability, the potentiality to exert force in performing some function. The word occurs 119 times in scripture. The power in dynamis is the potential to get ‘it’ done or inherent power. The word does not mean dynamite as that makes an attempt to read a 20th century phenomena back into a first century word. No dynamite existed in the first century. The idea by that was an attempt to express in modern language a comparable concept to Gods power but the idea falls short because ‘dynamite’ is entirely too small to convey the greatness of God’s capability.
§ You put these three words together and you have a power exerted in raising Jesus that is so large it dwarfs solar power, it dwarfs Galactic power, it minimizes nuclear power; it makes any power seen and known in nature s.mall
§ And here is the awesome part of this: that power is…
· To usward who believe!!!
· God exerted this great power on your behalf!
Accessing that Power
o This power, in a measure, is what comes upon you when you receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit
· Did you notice the opening words of Paul to this passage:
o 15 For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints,
Faith accesses God’s power
Love does the right thing with power once its accessed.
Paul says I prayed for you when I realized you were doing well at believing God and you were doing well at walking in love and now I know you can handle it and so I am praying that you might receive a spirit of wisdom and revelation of God’s power because now, now!, now!! you can handle it.
And so start – start now – pray this prayer for yourself!!!
Make this prayer – part of your spiritual arsenal.