Experiencing the Unexplainable-Eph. 3_14-20
- Experiencing God involves the Right Attitude (14-15) Ill-submission/humility
- Submission, Adoration, humility (14)
i. Kneel: They stood more but it was not uncommon.
-it is a sign of submission and humility
ii. Before: Coming into his presence, being able to face him.
We need to come to God in submission and adoration, with every knee bowed and every tongue confessing his majesty. Through Christ we have access to God. We are able to come before him, face to face. We are able to be in his presence, not as outsiders and interferers but as his Children. As his children we come not in fear, but we call him our loving father.
#. Member of God’s Family (15)
i. Whole Family: Refering to Christians.
-As believers we share our common father
-As believers our faith makes us related as family
Every Christian as one family receives his or her identity from the relationship we have with God. Our purpose, significance, life and every breath comes from God. Without him we can never experience his power and his love.
- Experiencing God Involves the Right Conditions (16-19) ILL-focus: helicopter
- Through God’s power, Christ indwells in us through faith (16-17a)
i. Glorious Riches: His mercy through his love ref. 2:4.
ii. Power: The same power he used to raise Jesus from the dead
iii. Strengthen: In the greek it is the opposite of the word discouraged
iv. Inner being: Holy Spirit penetrates deep within our soul
v. Dwell: Christ’s presence is a continual, living, vibrant action
vi. Hearts: It is the focus of the mind, feelings and will-entire person
vii. Faith: Trusting in Christ is the key to his continued indwelling
Christ’s presence in our lives is connected to our faith. If we keep our trust and focus on him, he stays the center of our lives and continues to dwell. It would seem his “indwelling” is a condition of our faith. If we focus on other things they become the indwelling of our hearts.
- The resulting Love of Christ through faith may be understood (17b-18)
i. Rooted and Established: References to nature and architecture.
ii. Love: The result from Christ that comes from his indwelling
iii. Power to Grasp: This comes from the love in Christ’s indwelling.
iv. Full scope of Christ’s love ILL-Christ’s love unexplainable
The indwelling of Christ roots us in his love. The concept here is of a tree with its large network of roots firmly sustaining the life of the tree. Without the roots the tree would not be fed. Without the roots the tree would be suseptable to wind and forces of nature that would destroy it. The indwelling of Christ also establishes us in his love. The imagery here is of a building, built upon a firm foundation. It is secure against the conditions of life because it has been built with care and skill on a solid base.
Through his love he wants us to have ability to grasp how large his love really is. It is wide enough to reach the whole world and beyond. It is long enough to stretch from eternity to eternity. It is high enough to lift all people from every race, ethnic group and every geographical location to heavenly places. It is deep enough to rescue all people from the depths of their sin and depravity.
- The knowledge of this love results in the fullness of God (19) ILL-maturity
i. To Know: to have an intimate relationship with this love
ii. Surpasses Knowledge: It is knowing it in a way that cannot be explained
iii. Fullness of God: becoming mature in our relationship with the Father
The love talked about is beyond comprehension. We can at some human level understand love, but never at the level that God embodies it. To know something that surpasses knowledge such as love, it is known in a way that defies explanation. It is something tangible and real but beyond words. It is word defying, a mystery that is eagerly embraced but never understood. It is the love that would cause the king of kings and Lord of lords to exit his throne, embrace humanity and endure the cross. To die for a friend, a brother, and loved one but for a stranger, a sinner undeserving of grace. It is a love eargerly sought, but never understood.
Through Christ we have access to be made mature in God. It is by Christ’s love, covering us that we can even begin to experience all that God is.
- Experiencing God involves the right response (20-21) ILL-Worship
- Awe-God’s power in us is more than we can envision (20)
i. To Him: All credit is to be given to God
ii. Immeasureably: It does not have limits or can be contained
iii. Ask or Imagine: It is beyond our ability to comprehend
iv. Power: The mercy of the cross, Christ’s resurrection
v. Within us: Christ’s presence and love
God is able to do much more that we could ever think possible. This goodness, power, love, glory are beyond our finite imaginations. There is never anything that we could ask that would even begin to scratch the surface of God’s resources. All of this comes by way of his power. It is this indescribable God that deserves our awe and worship.
b. Perpetual worship-He is worthy of praise forever (21)
i. Glory: Praise and adoration
ii. Church: The people through whom God is to be exalted
iii. Christ Jesus: The one through whom we have access to God
iv. All Generations: From young to old through all time
v. For ever: It is to never cease for eternity
God is to praised by the church at all times for all times. Through the proclamation of the Church, Christ is proclaimed and given his proper place among the nations. This exaltation is to be made forever into eternity.
Ephesians 3:14-21-Experencing the Unexplainable.
Greatest experiences/memorable moments
9/11 The bombing of the twin towers
The first time the Blue Jays won the world series
The destruction of the NASA space shuttle.
Teemu Salanie winning the scoring race as a rookie
The 1997 flood
The Death of Princes Diana
All or some of these events may have been part of your experience as a person. You may remember where you were or what you were doing or even what you felt at the time. We can describe the event and much about it because they were events that were publically announced and known. But your experience may be very different than the person actually in New York on September 11. You may not have the same emotional attatchment to the flood of 1997 as a person who lost their house would be. You may not understand the full scope of winning the rookie scoring title if you are not a fan of hockey.
Some time ago my family took a trip to the Grand Canyon. How many here has ever been to the Grand Canyon? For those that have never been there, let me give you a description of what it is all about.
- One of the great natural wonders of the world. * First set aside as a forest reserve in 1893 by President Benjamin Harrison, established as Grand Canyon National Monument in 1908 by President Theodore Roosevelt.
- Doubled in size in 1975 through an act of law signed by President Gerald Ford.
- Named World Heritage Site in 1979.
- Averages 5 million visitors per year.
- Spans 1,217,403.32 acres or 1,904 square miles.
- Is 277 river miles long.
- Measures minimum width of 600 feet (Marble Canyon); average width, rim to rim, 10 miles; maximum width, rim to rim, 18 miles.
- Drops almost one mile at deepest point.
- Rim elevations: South Rim 7,000 feet; North Rim 8,000 feet; Lake Mead Boundary 1,200 feet.
- Is home to 75 species of mammals, 50 species of reptiles and amphibians, 25 species of fish and more than 300 species of birds.
- Boasts approximately 2,500 species of plants, mosses and other vegetation.
- Averages temperatures of 18-85 degrees Fahrenheit, South Rim; 15-77 degrees, North Rim; 38-105 degrees, Phantom Ranch.
These fact and figures give you some of the details of what the Grand Canyon is all about. But they do not give an adequate picture unless you have personally experienced it yourself.
That is what it is to know God. We can know all about him, read of his amazing attributes and tremendous activities. We can hear testimony after testimony of his love and power. But there is a difference between knowing of him and knowing him personally.
Paul the writer of Ephesians, in his second prayer for the church, calls us to come to a personal experience of God. He wants us to understand the fullness of God.
If you have your Bible, I would encourage you to open to Ephesians 3:14-21 as we explore what is involved in experiencing the fullness of God.
We have seen together that experiencing God involves approaching Him with the right attitude: You or I as a person in the family God must come to God in humility and respect knowing that all we have is because of him.
We have seen that in order to experience God there needs to be an acknowledgement and embracing of the conditions of experiencing God. Through Christ’s love that indwells us through faith, we can begin to grasp the Maturity of God and our place in his family
We have also seen that experiencing God leads to a proper response. To know the love of Christ compels us to be in awe of God and his place as the provider for all that we have. When we understand this we live lives that are continually in praise to him.
I have described the raw essentials of the Grand Canyon. The statistics alone are quite amazing. I could also tell you what it looked like as I stood with my wife and daughter against a rail that overlooked a drop of almost a mile. I could describe the trees, the wildlife. I could describe the endless layers of earth as I gazed lower and lower into the canyon. I could describe the trail I walked down and its steepness. I could tell you what the earth felt like as I worked my way out of the Canyon. I could describe the Colorado river and its color as it wound its way through the Park. I could describe the smells of pine and earth. I could try to describe the way the Canyon looked as I gazed to the other side of the Canyon, nearly 10 miles away.
I could show you pictures of everything I have described. You could look at this book and marvel at the beauty of this creation. You could be awe inspired to write songs or paint pictures or compose poems. Based on the wonder of these pictures you may be inspired to plan your next vacation and see it for yourself. Because You see, nothing I have said or described or shown you, even comes close to actually being there yourself. It is much greater and magnificent than words or pictures could ever describe.
So it is with experiencing God. I could explain to you my experience with the living, powerful God and it would never add up to the wonder of who he is until you had experienced him yourself. His love and wonder are beyond description.
My challenge to all of us today is to heed the words of Paul to the Ephesians, to embrace the length and width, the depth and height of Christ’s love so that we may fully understand the power and perfection of God in our lives.
Experiencing The Unexplainable
2. Experiencing God involves the Right Attitude (14-15)
a. Submission, Adoration, humility (14)
b. Member of God’s Family (15)
3. Experiencing God Involves the Right Conditions (16-19)
a. Through God’s power, Christ indwells in us through faith (16-17a)
b. The resulting Love of Christ through faith may be understood (17b-18)
c. The knowledge of this love results in the fullness of God (19)
4. Experiencing God involves the right response (20-21)
a. Awe-God’s power in us is more than we can envision (20)
b. Perpetual worship-He is worthy of praise forever (21)