Faithlife Sermons

Riches of His Great Love

Sufficency of Christ  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  39:01
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Love is a splendored thing as the old song goes, but it is more than that, isn’t it? Today we are looking at the riches of His great love. The invocation, the petition and the benediction.
Do you remember the first time you heard that, “I love you?” What about when someone showed you their love?
There is great wealth, great riches in love, especially in the riches of God’s love.
Love is a verb, an action word, Christ demonstrated it, and He displayed the riches of His great love for us so we can live them out before others.
God’s love is displayed in Christ
In the riches of His grace
In the riches of His glory
In the riches of His mercy
In the riches of His peace
And, in the riches of the mystery!
All of this is leading us to what Paul is trying to explain so we can comprehend and apprehend the glorious riches of His (Christ’s) love for us.
Paul is picking up on a prayer started back in Eph1:15-23, and now again. But there is a shift that happens
From enlightenment to enablement
From knowing more to being empowered to do more
From position in Christ to possession the riches of His great love
This prayer as well as Paul’s other prayers seen in Php1:(-11 and Col1:9-12 are about the spiritual condition of the spiritual man, not the material things in this world. By faith we know God will take care of our physical (material) needs.
let me give you a peace of the previous 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 now its time for us to journey together as we look at this great section of scripture. Scripture that builds on the foundation of God’s great love for us.

I. The invocation

Invocation, not a word you hear much of, it is the summoning of a deity, it is a form of prayer or petition, a form of possession. So our invocation here is about possession not position or posture.
Our spiritual posture is more important than our physical posture. For in scripture you can find many physical postures with one intended spiritual one.
Abraham stood before God (Gen18:22)
With Abraham it was in prayer about Sodom and Gomorrah
David sat before the Lord (1Chr17:16)
With David it was after God spoke a covenant to David
Jesus fell before God (Mt26:39)
With Jesus it was in petition in the garden before His arrest.
Paul also draws on the spiritual posture here in Ephesians
Buried in graveyard (Eph2:1)
When we were dead in our trespasses
Ephesians 2:1 NASB95
1 And you were dead in your trespasses and sins,
Seated in the heavenlies (Eph2:4-6)
When we received Christ through baptism we were raised up and seated in the heavenlies
Ephesians 2:4–5 NASB95
4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),
Ephesians 2:6 NASB95
6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,
Walking to please Him (Eph4:1, 17; Eph5:2, 8, 15)
So we may walk in a manner that is pleasing to Him
Ephesians 5:2 NASB95
2 and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.
Standing (Eph5:10-13)
Learning to stand so we can withstand, or having done all we can to stand, stand for the spiritual battle. Wait, here is the scripture in stead of a paraphrase of it.
Ephesians 5:10–11 NASB95
10 trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. 11 Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them;
Ephesians 5:12–13 NASB95
12 for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret. 13 But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light.
Through prayer we are able to lay hold (apprehend) God’s riches that enable us to be Christian’s, act like Christian’s and battle like Christian’s.
What is your position in possessing the riches of God’s great love?
Now this leads us to (v.15); All may be fathered by God, but not all are children of God.
Ephesians 3:15 NASB95
15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name,
Adam was son of God by creation (Lk3:38)
Believers are children of God by rebirth (Jn1:11-13; 1Jn3:12)
It is important to understand many are children of wrath (Eph2:2-3)
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 it is not about going back to the severity of sin, but looking at the riches of God’s great love for us. Paul wants us to understand (comprehend) so we may apprehend (take hold of) it!

II. The Petition

Oh the glorious petition that Paul offers up for the church in Ephesus and what glorious riches we can from his petition too. Strength, power, so we can see, hear, taste, feel and put to use.
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 to have someone pray these things for you. Or, hey, can you pray these things for someone else?
To apprehend something is more than just grasping something (that would be comprehend). It is more than knowing something. It is to get it, to receive it, to take hold of something. The something here is the greatness, the riches of God’s great love for us, the fulness of His love in us and for us.
Notice the progression of the prayer
For strength and power (v.16)
So that you can be rooted and grounded (v.17)
To comprehend the great love of God (v.18)
And apprehend it; and be filled (v.19)
Petition one: Strength and power (Eph3:16; Rom8:9; Lk4:14; Rom8:4)
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,
Strength and power that should be 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.
Strength that we receive when we have the Spirit of God that dwells in us.
It is the strength, the power of the Spirit that enables us to day 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 today.
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 and not the flesh, for it is 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.
If a billionaire gave you $20.00, he is given out of his riches, but if he gave you $1,000,000.00 then he is giving according to his riches. The first is a portion and the second is a proportion of his riches.
Strength/power work in you (Ep2:1, Eph3:6; Psm11919; Mt13:9; Psm34:8; Act17:27; and 1Tim4:7-8)
We were raised from the dead, to sit in the heavenlies Eph2:1; Eph3:6); all our senses come to life too, let me show you.
So the inner man may have eyes to see, see the spiritual things
Psalm 119:18 NASB95
18 Open my eyes, that I may behold Wonderful things from Your law.
So you can have ears to 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 finally that we may put to use, or to exercise
This is the Spirit that gives us strength, gives us power, that cleanses us, feeds us, empowers us, roots us and grows us (Psm51:7; Mt4:4; 2Cor4:16-18; Eph3:17)
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 though is being empowered by the Spirit so we can succeed.
2 Corinthians 4:16–17 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,
2 Corinthians 4:18 NASB95
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 the fullness of the faith. This Spirit helps us to then start to comprehend the incomprehensible.
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 all starts with love, is that not what we are talking about today, the riches of His great love? The great love of God in Christ Jesus received through obedient faith. So we can be rooted and grounded in His great love.
The roots are what hold us in the storms of life
The grounding is the foundation in which our faith is founded
Rooted and grounded; deep roots make a strong and well nourished tree!
Grounded - it’s an architectural term meaning the foundation in which something is built on. The grounding and the rooting is vital. I once read:
“The most important part of the building is the foundation. 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 word comprehend and apprehend come from the Latin word “prehendere” which means to grasp.
Our word comprehend carries the idea of mentally gasping something and apprehend suggests the laying hold of it yourself. (expand on this, time permitting - - - be sure to look at the clock though)
To Abraham he was to walk the length and the breath of the Land according to Gen13:17), but we today are called to our inheritance in Christ Jesus which is four dimentional.
Ephesians 3:18 NASB95
18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth,
Paul wants the church to take hold of, to grasp, to apprehend the riches of His great love. The love that passes all knowledge (Eph3:19; Col2:9-10)
Ephesians 3:19 NASB95
19 and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.
why does Paul want us to know? So that we may be filled up to all the fullness of God, something that He says we already have are 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 Paul wants us to be practically, or in regards to 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)

Doxology; a liturgical formula of praise. After comprehending and apprehending the riches of His great love how could you not break out in praise?
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.
From position to possession to prayer and praise (Eph3:20-21; Eph3:7; Eph3:16; Php2:12-13).
Paul prays to the father
About the indwelling of the Spirit
Spirit made available through the Son
To all generations, forever and ever amen
This is the power that is at work in us
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.
His power in Paul; His power in you to accomplish His will. 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 if we had time you could see how Paul says it in Php2:12-13, you can look that up yourselves in your own personal study.
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.”
Don’t let it be cut off by unbelief
Don’t let it be cut off by careless living
Don’t let it be cut off by unconfessed sin or worldliness
Don’t let it be cut off by being stagnant in your walk.
(insert picture stayed plugged in)
For without power you 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.
(Lead to invitation)
We are given 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 action plan in place.
(insert invitation slide)
(insert exit slide)
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