Faithlife Sermons

Gospel-Rooted (Ephesians 3:1-21)

Ephesians  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Hook

Pass out note cards to all the kids along with pencils. Ask them to write down three things that are most important to them. Ask them to write down what their purpose is. Ask them to write down what makes up parts of your character.
Those things make up a part of what you’re “rooted” in. What does that mean? Think of it like a tree. A tree has roots that grow down into the soil and cause it to grow. So, what kind of soil are you rooted in? What kind of tree will you be? Will your soil cause you to be healthy or unhealthy?
Lots of people root themselves in different things. Some people root themselves in themselves. This means that they are seeking primarily what is important to them, looking for their own interests, and seeking to serve themselves.
Some people root themselves in things. The more money, stuff, and possessions they can have the better. This can be money, cars, technology, houses, collections, or whatever. Their entire life is built around this.
Some people might root themselves in fun. The more fun stuff they can do, the better. They’re always looking for the next thrill, the next thing that brings them happiness and enjoyment. They root themselves in always having a good time.
Some people even root themselves in relationships. These people might look for as many relationships as possible (friendships or romantic), or they might thrive off of having that one person they connect with deeply. Either way, they entirely seek these relationships and root themselves in them.
Being rooted is a good thing. Everyone needs to be rooted in something. What matters is what you root yourself in. There is good soil, but there is a lot of bad soil. People who root and plant themselves in bad soil will have a life where they may grow, but they grow poorly. They’ll grow in a life filled with hurt, disappointment, betrayal, anger, suffering, and dissatisfaction. Tonight we’re going to see what Paul recommends being rooted in. Pay attention, and compare what you might be rooted in and look at what Paul says.

The Beautiful Mystery

Paul starts talking about a mystery in this passage. He says that this is a mystery that was not known by people in the past, but it was just starting to be understood now through the messengers God sent; the apostles and prophets. He says,

When I think of all this, I, Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus for the benefit of you Gentiles … 2 assuming, by the way, that you know God gave me the special responsibility of extending his grace to you Gentiles. 3 As I briefly wrote earlier, God himself revealed his mysterious plan to me. 4 As you read what I have written, you will understand my insight into this plan regarding Christ. 5 God did not reveal it to previous generations, but now by his Spirit he has revealed it to his holy apostles and prophets.

For this reason I, Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles— 2 assuming that you have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace that was given to me for you, 3 how the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I have written briefly. 4 When you read this, you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ, 5 which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit

So what is this mystery? I think he’s hyped us up long enough, so let’s find out what it is.

This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.

6 And this is God’s plan: Both Gentiles and Jews who believe the Good News share equally in the riches inherited by God’s children. Both are part of the same body, and both enjoy the promise of blessings because they belong to Christ Jesus.

Paul says that the mystery is that Gentiles (who we talked about last week, we’re all Gentiles), also have the opportunity to be heirs and can enjoy the promises that come from Jesus Christ. What he’s saying is that the Gospel is for everyone!

The State of the Gentiles

I touched on this last week when we talked about Jews and Gentiles. There was a lot of division and hatred between Jews and Gentiles. They couldn’t stand each other. The Jews thought that they were the only ones to inherit blessings from God, and that the Gentiles were outside of this. What Paul said here must have rocked their world.
Instead of a distinction between who the Gospel is for, Paul says it’s for everyone!
So tell me, what is the Gospel?
The Gospel is good news from God. The Gospel is the news that God saw our hopeless state as we are lost in our sinful ways and separated from Him, that He sent Jesus to die in place of us sinners. He payed the price and suffered the cost. He rose from the dead to prove that He had beaten the power of sin and death. This is all so that ANYONE who trusts this and turns to Him will be saved from their sins, and offered a new identity and purpose.

Mission of the Church

Paul next talks a little about himself, let’s read what he says.

7 By God’s grace and mighty power, I have been given the privilege of serving him by spreading this Good News.

8 Though I am the least deserving of all God’s people, he graciously gave me the privilege of telling the Gentiles about the endless treasures available to them in Christ. 9 I was chosen to explain to everyone this mysterious plan that God, the Creator of all things, had kept secret from the beginning.

10 God’s purpose in all this was to use the church to display his wisdom in its rich variety to all the unseen rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. 11 This was his eternal plan, which he carried out through Christ Jesus our Lord.

12 Because of Christ and our faith in him, we can now come boldly and confidently into God’s presence. 13 So please don’t lose heart because of my trials here. I am suffering for you, so you should feel honored.

7 By God’s grace and mighty power, I have been given the privilege of serving him by spreading this Good News.

8 Though I am the least deserving of all God’s people, he graciously gave me the privilege of telling the Gentiles about the endless treasures available to them in Christ. 9 I was chosen to explain to everyone this mysterious plan that God, the Creator of all things, had kept secret from the beginning.

Paul says that he had the PRIVILEGE to share this wonderful news to Gentiles, to you and me. It was Paul’s job to share this mystery. It changed him so much that he couldn’t help but to share it. He then says...

10 God’s purpose in all this was to use the church to display his wisdom in its rich variety to all the unseen rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. 11 This was his eternal plan, which he carried out through Christ Jesus our Lord.

12 Because of Christ and our faith in him, we can now come boldly and confidently into God’s presence. 13 So please don’t lose heart because of my trials here. I am suffering for you, so you should feel honored.

The effect of the Gospel has amazing results. The first, is that the Gospel and the wisdom of God is so powerful that it’s going to effect heaven. When Paul says the “rulers and authorities in the heavenly places”, he’s talking about angels and heavenly beings. The church has been so affected by the Gospel that even the angels see it and realize the amazing things God is doing.
Finally, he says that anyone who is in Christ, who is a christian, can come into God’s presence. Jesus-followers have direct access to God. There’s nothing stopping them.

Find your Roots

Paul starts this chapter with the amazing Mystery that is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He closes the chapter with a prayer for the church. This all stems from the beauty of the Gospel. In this prayer we’re going to see what a Christian should be rooted in.
What does it mean to be rooted?
To be rooted means to be firmly established. It means to know where you come from, to know who you are, to know your purpose, to know what is important, and to know where you’re going. So we are all rooted in something, we saw that at the beginning.
Now what matters is that we know what to root ourselves in. Paul wants the church he is writing this letter to to be rooted in Jesus and the Gospel. This is my desire for you as well. Paul prays that the church would be established and that their identity would be molded in four different ways.

Take the power

14 When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, 15 the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. 16 I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit.

The first thing that someone who is rooted in Christ should be is full of strength and power. The Holy Spirit lives in anyone who has trusted Christ as their savior and chosen to follow Him. Shen the Holy Spirit is living you, He gives you strength and power from God. There are so many things we can’t do on our own. We can’t understand the Bible fully without the Spirit’s help. We can’t share the Gospel without the Spirit’s help. We can’t worship without the Spirit’s help. We can’t pray without the Spirit’s help. We can’t deal with trials in our faith without the Spirit’s help. Honestly guys, I can’t even get up here and teach without the Spirit’s help. The power and strength I see in my life I give credit to Him.

Be Christ’s home

17 Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.

Jesus Christ wants us to act like a house for Him. He should be so central to our lives that it’s as if we’re a house that He lives in. Paul says that as we continue to trust Jesus more and more, we will continue to be His home. As we continue to trust, our “roots” will keep growing down into the “soil” of God’s love. This is what will keep us life. When we’re so firmly planted in God’s love, and Jesus makes up everything about our lives, no storm of life can shake us. We would be like a tree that stands tall in the middle of a hurricane.

Understand God’s love

18 And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is.

God’s love is amazing. No one will fully able to grasp it, but if you want to be someone who is firmly rooted in Jesus, you need to get it through your head how amazing God’s love is. No matter how far we run from Him, He still loves us. No matter how much we screw up, He still loves us. Even when it takes us forever to understand that He loves us, He still waits patiently for us. There’s not even enough words to describe God’s love. It’s that amazing! Work toward understanding this. Root yourself in Christ by always reminding yourself of God’s amazing love.

Experience the love of Christ

19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.

Experiencing the love of Christ is not something that can be measured or tested. It is something personal. You know when you have experienced the love of Jesus. When the realization of all that He has done for you falls on you like rain and it all makes sense, you know you have experienced the love of Jesus. And it’s not just a one time thing! I often experience the love of Christ. It sometimes just breaks me down thinking about how much He loves me. Paul says that when we are able to experience and understand all of this, you will be made complete. That means you don’t need anything else. You don’t need the riches, or all the relationships, or the things, because you have Jesus! Jesus can make you complete and give you the “fullness of life” and the “power” that comes from God. Experiencing the love of Christ means that you’re complete.

All for the Glory of God

You might be thinking, “there’s no way all that can happen to me. There’s no way I can do all that. I’m gonna read these next verses, and pay attention as I do.

20 Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. 21 Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.

God is able to do way more than we ever think He could. He can change murderers to saints. Sinners to pastors. Runaways to His beloved children. Imagine what He can do in your life. When you root yourself in Christ and the Gospel, you are giving God so much glory. You’re saying “God, you are so amazing. You are everything. You are the only thing that matters. You are the only one who can bring happiness, joy, satisfaction, peace, and completeness. You are the only thing worth living for.”
I can’t tell you enough guys, God truly is the only one worth living for. I get lost sometimes, but I know that He is the only one who can satisfy. His love has transformed me and countless others.
So choose here tonight what you are going to root your life in. What kind of soil will you choose? Riches, things, relationships, power, or yourself, but that is only rooting yourself in imperfect things that will never be able to complete you. It’s possible you’ve been chasing after these kind of things, and nothing seems to work. If you haven’t seen it yet, I believe you will in time. God is the only thing worth rooting your life in. He’s the only one we can really trust. Make the choice tonight. Talk to me. Talk to one of the leaders. Tell them your ready to make a change in your life. Don’t wait. God promises so much for you, just turn towards Him.
Let’s pray.
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