Faithlife Sermons

The Riches of His Great Love

A Walk through Ephesians - The Sufficiency of Christ  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Trying to comprehend the uncomprehendable love of God through Christ

Notes & Transcripts


Do you remember the first time you heard that from someone? (Expand on this; the feeling); - insert personal illustration
What about when someone showed you their love (Mom, Dad; friend, husband/wife)
There is great wealth, riches in love, especially in the riches of Gods love.
Love is a great thing, it is verb, an action, Christ has showed us His love and the riches of His love.
(Slide) God’s love is displayed in the Sufficiency of Christ
(Slide) In the Riches of His grace
(Slide) In the Riches of His glory
(Slide) In the riches of His Mercy (and grace too)
(Slide) In the riches of His peace
(Slide) and then there is you, the riches of the mystery!
All of this leading to Paul trying to explain so we can apprehend the glorious riches of His love for us.
Paul is picking up on a prayer started back in 1:15-23, and now again, but the shift is from enlightenment to enablement, from knowing more to being empowered to do more. More than position it is about possessing the riches of His great love. This prayer as well as Paul’s other prayers in Phi1:9-11; Col1:9-12 are about the spiritual condition of the inner man, not the material things. By faith we know God will take care of all of our needs. Maybe a reminder of some of the previous part of prayer
Ephesians 1:17–18 NASB95
17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,
Ephesians 1:19–20 NASB95
19 and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might 20 which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places,
So let’s journey together as we look at this great section of scripture that builds on the foundation of God’s great love for us.

I. The Invocation

Ephesians 3:14–15 NASB95
14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name,
(Slide) Our spiritual posture is important more than our physical posture, we can see several physical postures listed in the scripture
(Slide) Abraham stood before God (Gen18:22) - his prayer was about Sodom and Gomorrah
(Slide) David sat before the Lord (1Chr17:16) - his prayer after God’s spoken covenant with him
(Slide) Jesus fell on His face in the Garden (Mt26:39) - his prayer just before His arrest
(Slide) Paul draws upon spiritual posture her in Ephesians
(Slide) Buried in graveyard (Eph2:1) -dead because of our trespasses and sins
(Slide) Seated in the heavenlies (Eph2:4-6) - when we received Christ through baptism we were raised up and seated
(Slide) We walk to please Him (Eph4:1, 17, 5:2, 8, 15) - so we may walk in a manner pleasing to Him.
(Slide) We stand (Eph5:10-13) - so that we can withstand, or stand for our battle against the spiritual forces
Through prayer we are able to lay hold (apprehend) God’s riches that enable us to be Christians, act like Christians and battle like Christians.
(Slide) What is your position in possessing the riches of God’s great love? (Expand on this)
Now that brings us to (v.15)
All may be fathered by God, son’s of God, but not all are children of God.
Adam was a son of God by creation (Lk3:38)
Believers are sons of God by rebirth (Jn1:11-13; 1Jn3:12)
It is important to understand many are children of wrath.
Ephesians 2:2–3 NASB95
2 in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. 3 Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.
Now today is not about going back to the severity of sin, but the riches of Gods great love for us and Paul’s desire for us to understand, comprehend and apprehend it!

II. The Petition

Ephesians 3:16–17 NASB95
16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love,
Ephesians 3:18–19 NASB95
18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.
Several items Paul puts in his petition. I’m sure you would love someone to pray these things for you, or maybe you pray for others.
To apprehend something. is more than just to grasp something, to know something, but to get it. hold of something. The something here is the greatness of God’s love and the fullness of God (v.19) This is progressive prayer, let me show you.
(Slide) First is strength and power (v.16)
(Slide) So that you can be rooted and grounded (v.17)
(Slide) To comprehend the great love of God (v.18)
(Slide) And apprehend it; and be filled (v.19)
A. Petition one - Strength (v.16)
The strength the power is the Spirit of God that is evident in the believer.
Romans 8:9 NASB95
9 However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.
It is the strength, the power of the Spirit that enables us today to do the Lord’s work today and to live for Him today. The same power Jesus had in His ministry is available to us, minus the miracles that are no longer needed.
Luke 4:14 NASB95
14 And Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about Him spread through all the surrounding district.
We are called to walk in the Spirit not the flesh, God’s power at work in us
Romans 8:4 NASB95
4 so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
This strength, this power is given to us according to the riches of His glory (v.16). This is not power out of His riches, but according to His riches, let me give you an illustration.
Ephesians 3:16 NASB95
16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man,
If a billionaire gave you $20.00 he is given out of his riches, but if he gave you $1,000,000 then it was be according to his riches. The first is a portion the second one is a proportion or his riches.
(Slide) This strength/power works in you
(Slide) Raised you from the dead (Eph2:1, 3:6) - while you were dead, he raised you up to sit in the heavenlies
(Slide) So all your senses come to life too. - let me show you.
So the inner man, since we are talking about spiritual things today, can see
Psalm 119:18 NASB95
18 Open my eyes, that I may behold Wonderful things from Your law.
So you can hear
Matthew 13:9 NASB95
9 “He who has ears, let him hear.”
so we can taste
Psalm 34:8 NASB95
8 O taste and see that the Lord is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!
so you can feel
Acts 17:27 NASB95
27 that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us;
and then put to use (or exercised)
1 Timothy 4:7–8 NASB95
7 But have nothing to do with worldly fables fit only for old women. On the other hand, discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness; 8 for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.
This Spirit that strengthens us cleanses us
Psalm 51:7 NASB95
7 Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Feeds us
Matthew 4:4 NASB95
4 But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.’ ”
while in this body we are decaying, our spiritual body is empowered by the Spirit so we can succeed.
2 Corinthians 4:16–18 NASB95
16 Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. 17 For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, 18 while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
We are strengthened by the power of the Spirit so we can grow in the Lord to the unity and fullness of the faith. This Spirit helps us to then start to comprehend the incomprehensible
Hebrews 5:12–14 NASB95
12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food. 13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant. 14 But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.
Ephesians 3:17 NASB95
17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love,
It starts with love! The great love of God in Christ Jesus through faith, we are rooted and grounded in that. The roots are what holds us in the storms of life, the grounding in the foundation in which our faith is founded.
rooted - deep roots make a strong and well nourished tree.
grounded - an architectural term meaning the foundation in which something is built on. The grounding and the rooting is vital, for I read:
“if you don’g go deep
(Slide) “the most important part of the building is the foundation. If you don’t go deep, you can’t go high.” -Author Unknown
“If you don’t go deep, you can’t go high.” -Author Unknown
Now I have mentioned the word apprehend a few times today, the words comprehend and apprehend come from Latin word prehendere which means “to grasp”
Our word comprehend carries the idea of mentally gasping something and apprehend suggests laying hold of it yourself. (Expand on this)
To Abraham he was to walk the length and the breath of the land (Gen13:17), but we today are called to our inheritance in Christ Jesus which is four dimensional.
(Slide) Breadth, length, depth and height. (v18)
Paul wants the church, them then and we can take it for today too the love of Christ or in other words the rich love of God. The love that passes all knowledge (v.19).
why does Paul want us to know, so that we may be filled up to all the fullness of God (v.19)- interesting thing, Paul tells us we are full already in col2:9-10
Colossians 2:9–10 NASB95
9 For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, 10 and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority;
So positionally we are full, complete in Him, now what Paul is talking about is practically or possession wise (apprehension). He wants them to apprehend the faith and to enjoy the benefits of the inheritance in Christ Jesus.

III. The Benediction (doxology)

Ephesians 3:20–21 NASB95
20 Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, 21 to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.
Ever wonder what doxology means?
(Slide) Dox-ol-o-gy (n)
(Slide) dox-ol-o-gy (n)
A liturgical formula of praise to God.
a liturgical formula of praise to God
So you know who you are in Christ (position) and now what you have in Christ (possession) so now with Paul we could break out in praise to God.
(Slide) No wonder Paul breaks out in praise as should we when we understand our position in Christ and our possessions in Christ.
(Slide) Look at the at the doxology. The prayer here is to the Father regarding the Spirit made available through the Son to all generations.
(Slide) Look at the break down. Paul
Think about the flow of Ephesians and the greatness of God’s love that is displayed through the words of Paul.
(Slide) Prays to the Father
Christ’s power at work in us started in Him made available to us.
(Slide) About the indwelling of the Spirit
(Slide) When Christ rose from dead and ascended on high (Eph1:19-23
(Slide) Made available through the Son
(Slide) His power broke the dividing wall between Jews and Gentiles (Eph2:19-22)
(Slide) To all generations, forever and ever amen.
And now here in (Eph3:20-21) His power is exceedingly, abundantly more!
This power is at work in us.
Ephesians 3:17 NASB95
17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love,
Ephesians 3:7 NASB95
7 of which I was made a minister, according to the gift of God’s grace which was given to me according to the working of His power.
This power works on the inner man.
Ephesians 3:16 NASB95
16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man,
or maybe look at another way Paul put it to the Philippians.
Philippians 2:12–13 NASB95
12 So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.
(Slide) Let the power be at work in you, stay plugged into the power, the source of power. Don’t let your power get “cut off”
Not by unbelief (This is not on a slide and don’t put on slide; just read and expand on each)
Not by careless living
Not by unconfessed sin or worldliness
or even by being stagnant in your walk.
Without the power, we can do nothing
John 15:5 NASB95
5 “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.
we need to stay attached, we need to abide for we are to be His glory
Ephesians 3:21 NASB95
21 to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.
We are giving the power not for our glory but for His, and when we allow His power to work in and through us we are His glory, His plan in action!
Get your hands on the riches of His great love!
Lead to invitation
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