Search
  • Pastor Jacob Marchitell

Ephesians 1:15-17

From March 7th 2021

it is the first Sunday of the Month, which is when we here at Christ Community partake of Holy Communion together.


Because of everything surrounding COVID, we have asked that you all bring your own Communion Elements this morning.


We come together this morning, to follow through with a direct, from the mouth of God, instruction that He left His Church.


We join our Hearts and Spirits in Worship

We join our Minds and our Souls in the Sermon

And we join our Bodies in Communion


All of all of us, join together this morning, to declare to ourselves and those sitting in the pews beside us, the reality that Jesus Christ is God.


For that is why we take Communion. Not to make us holy, not because we are already holy, not because it will gain us favor with God.


But to outwardly express what we inwardly believe

That Jesus Christ is the King of all Creation

He was born of a virgin---

Lived a sinless life---

Died a substitutionary death for any and all who will believe in Him

And was raised to life on the 3rd day


And that only through repentance of our sins and belief in Him, can we live beyond the confines of this broken world, and join Him in Eternal Paradise when our time here is over.


When we take Communion, this is what our actions are saying.


----------


On the day that He was betrayed---

The day that all of Human History revolves around---


The day that God bore upon Himself the punishment for the sins of His Children---


26 ... Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.”


Let us partake together of the body of our King


27 Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. 28 This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.”


Let us partake together of the blood of our King.


Amen.


----------


We have just a few announcements this morning.

Part 4 of our Digital Bible Study will be this Tuesday at 630pm

We only have one more left after this, but the recordings of all of them will be available on our Facebook page

So if you're interested in nerding out on some theology and digging into the Bible, Tuesday, 630 on Zoom


Coming in the Spring, we will be having a Chicken BBQ fundraiser and I will make sure to let everyone know when we nail down a date for that.


At the end of the Sermon today, I will be inviting you all to stand with me and sing the words of the Doxology.


And that’s it, the kids are dismissed.


----------


Today we will be continuing our verse by verse study of the Book of Ephesians with Chapter 1 verses 16 & 17.


If you remember last week, in these verses, Paul is telling the Church in Ephesus that he is praying for them, and in verses 16 & 17 we see the first two things that he is praying for.

Starting with verse 15 for the context


Ephesians 1:15–17

[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 the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him,



( → → Opening Prayer ← ← )



Last week we talked about how we as Christians are supposed to love one another in ways that are different from the ways the world loves-------


And as a result of us loving one another, and not giving room to division and hurt, the unbelievers in our life will get a glimpse of God.


Our love must be different---

Entirely and thoroughly selfless---

Not based on us and our feelings, wants, and desires ----

But also not based on other people or their feelings, wants or desires ----


Our love towards other Christians, can not originate from a place of hurt, even if were using that hurt as the reason why we need to love past it


We love other Christians, because God loves us, and because God loves them.

God saved us, and God saved them ----- so we love them.


Period.

That is the starting and ending place of Christian love

That is what it is all about

Petty differences, hurt feelings, and anything else that would prevent us from loving one another must be set at the foot of the cross and given up


The blood that flowed from the wounds of our King saved me ---- and saved you.

The wounds of Christ that saved me, are the exact same wounds that saved you.

----------


The love that we show one another, comes directly from the reality that God intervened in our lives and saved us.


God saved me, and because of that, I love you

Not because we have the same interests and hobbies

Not because we are alike and click together

Not because you never said hurtful words or because you did do hurtful things but im just so good at letting hurtful things roll off of me----


No...I love you, because God loves me.


We are called to love one another from the reality that God lives within us, and when we do, nothing else matters.


----------


In fact, Paul says that he has heard of their faith, and has heard of their love for all the Saints.

And remember, Paul wrote this from a Prison Cell in Rome.


Meaning, that the Christians in Ephesus, loved one another so much so, that someone in a prison cell over a thousand miles away, heard about it.


That is the kind of love we must have towards the other Christians in our life.

Selfless

God -Centered

God originating

Over the top --- beyond the bonds of family --- kind of love.

Do we here at Christ Community, love one another in such a way that it is possible for Christians thousands of miles away to hear about it?

I hope so.


----------


Then Paul actually gets into his prayer with our Verses this morning.


The first thing he prays, is thanksgiving.


He is thankful to God for the people he has saved.


He is thankful, because he knows about the reality of the verse he literally just worte ---- in that none of them could have saved themselves.


Other Christians, like us, -------- were lost and wandering sinners, sentenced to death because of our sins------ but God intervened and saved them.


So next time we pray for other Christians, we should start our prayer exactly like Paul is starting his.

Say thank you to God for saving and forgiving someone who could never save themselves.


We show gratitude---

We show thankfulness--


We tell God thank you that me own sins have been punished, but also thank you for taking the punishment of the other people in my life that I love

Thank you for forgiving them

Thank you for going to the Cross and dying so that we could be free

Free from a life of meaningless and hopeless pursuits

Free form a heart that screams at me

Free from the punishment of a holy and righteous God


When we do say thank you to God-----for saving people, we acknowledge that the other Christians in our life, people we call brothers and sisters, were incapable of saving themselves.

We weren't smarter or holier

We had no advantage

How we were raised or not raised, did not give us “one up” on other people


We had no privilege when it came to salvation


All of us ------ were lost

Wandering

Dead in our sins


Alienated from God and doomed if God did not intervene.


If the Christians that Paul is writing to ------ were able to save themselves, then he would be congratulating them instead of thanking God for them.


Be thankful to God for the people in your life that He has saved, and be in constant unceasing prayer that He saves those who don't know Him yet.


----------


So if we take this prayer as the model for how we are to pray for other Christians, the first thing we see is that we need to be thankful for them-----


But, how do we show God that we are thankful for the people in our life He has saved?


We show them honor

We show them respect

We listen to them---

Put their feelings before our own---

Put their rights before our own---

We volunteer

Give

Support

Help

We show them love and kindness ------- regardless of any Earthly thing


We give them the benefit of the doubt


That doesn't mean we don't correct them when they fail or fall, or wander into false teaching ----- but we do it lovingly, with their best interests at heart.


We build relationships with them, so that there is an avenue for that alllll of that stuff I just listed ------ to travel down ------


and we never lift ourselves over them as if the fall they may have experienced, or the false teaching they may have propagated ----- is something that we are immune to.


We stand by them while they work through their falls------


We spend time talking with them, helping them, going out of our way to be of benefit to them, in whichever way would be of benefit to them-----


But above all, most importantly ----

Beyond any earthly thing we do

Past volunteering

Past inviting them to our house

Past crying on their shoulder and offer our shoulders for them to cry upon

Beyond financial help

Beyond car rides and food stamps

Beyond long phone calls where all we do is listen to them as they get stuff off of their heart


Beyond all of that good and valuable help that we can offer


We show God that we are thankful for the other people in our life that HE has saved---- by:


constantly and consistently, pointing them to Jesus Christ.


Our words and our feelings and thoughts about a situation can be helpful and may bring some healing and be all nice and warm and fuzzy ------


But the words of God, and the principles of God that are taught in Scripture, will never fail.


Isaiah 55:10-11

“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven

and do not return there but water the earth,

making it bring forth and sprout,

giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,

11 so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;

it shall not return to me empty,

but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,

and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.


The words of God---

The Word of God---

That words which God has spoken---

Will never return empty---


So yes, use your human mind and human feelings to help the people in your life who may need it, but do it in such a way that it points them to Scripture or to principles and truths taught in Scripture.


We don't rely on ourselves, and our understanding and our words based on our experiences ------ we rely on God, His words, and His experiences


And when we do that, were telling God that we trust Him over ourselves, we go to Him when issues arise, when feelings are overwhelming, when anxiety strikes, when life happens


And every word that came from the mouth of God ------ that He wanted humans to hear, is literally written down for us.


----------


You see this can be kind of hard to do, pointing people to Scripture ------ if we ourselves don't get our own strength and spiritual food from Scripture.


If we get our spiritual food from anything besides Scripture and the expounded word of God, then we will be left to run on our own strength and wisdom and intellect.

We’l have to look at ourselves---

Our own brain

Our own heart

Our own soul

We’ll have to look bac at our past and see if theres anything there thats of value that can apply to my current hard situation


And I don't know about you guys, but I’m not that smart or wise or strong.

Ive failed

Ive fallen

My mistakes don't make me stronger ------ they are cracks in a window that distort how I view God

I cant mine and dig through my past looking for gems and one liners that can bring me support


I could never be the kind of person who holds their mistakes as their identity and gives THEM the credit for making me strong.


There might be some people that can do that and last and be productive -----

There might be some people that are super smart

Super wise

Super holy

And have no need of any external from their own heart and mind influence ------ to conquer the issues in their life that come up


but the first time they face an issue that they can’t handle of their own human strength ------ they’ll panic and get angry and bitter


----------


If we want to show God that we are thankful for the people in our life that He has saved, then we must be getting our own spiritual food from Him and His word.


----------


When Jesus Himself was tempted by Satan in Matthew 4 -----

He didn't answer out of His own strength and His own mind;

He said this:


But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”


Do you see what happened there??

Jesus quoted Deuteronomy 8:3 ------



Meaning ------ Jesus quoted Scripture, to tell the devil to shut up.


And if looking to Scripture for help against temptation is good enough for Jesus ----- it is good enough for me.


----------


We are to get our Spiritual food from God


Not cliche little one liners, with a picture of a sunset in the background----- that we like and share on social media


Not motivational speakers who touch our feelings and get our hearts all wobbly


Not from spending time in the woods or with family or watching our favorite show ----- or doing any of the things in our life that we like and may give us motivation and energy ------ but aren't the literal words of God.


When we ourselves rely on God for our comfort and strength and direction ------ we will be able to show the other Christians in our life that God is reliable---- so much so, that we rely on Him as well.


You see, not everybody can relate to the little one liners that may have even come from a respected Preacher----


Not everybody can relate to your hobbies that help you----


Not everybody can listen to human words come from some likeable motivational speaker and relate to them----


Not everybody has a healthy family that loves and supports them---


But Scripture ----- Scripture is for everybody,

from every generation,

from every culture,

from every social sphere,

For people from every level of intellect and mental ability

from every race,

from every time,

from the first of us to the last of us.


Scripture is for everyone-

It applies to everyone

Relates to everyone // and it describes everyone

----------


This is why, when Paul moves on to verse 17 he says this:


“That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him.”


The spirit of wisdom and revelation


Wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him


He doesn't say make them smart----

Make them likable

Make them have clever little sayings that can be snippets for their next Instagram post----


He doesn't pray to God that other Christians will understand the political landscape of the culture they live in ---


He’s not praying that they will have a better understanding of humanity---


He asks the God who saved them, to give them the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of God


This is what he talks about later on in this same letter, in:


Ephesians 3:4–5

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.

When we read the Bible, we receive insight into Christ-----


When we read the Bible, God touches our heart and touches our mind.


Even if we don't understand it -- keep pressing on

If it is confusing -- keep reading


If we feel that reading the Bible is pointless ------ and that we can live a faithful, healthy, godly life without Scripture, your wrong ---- keep reading


When you read the words of Scripture, written down by the holy apostles of God, whom the Holy Spirit inspired ------- you can perceive insight into the mystery of Christ.

-----

4 But he answered, “It is written,

“‘Man shall not live by bread alone,

but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

-----


You see, in our verses this morning Paul is praying:


“That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him”


Not the revelation of human physcology

Not the wisdom of what motivates and encourages people

Not the spirit of how people react to trauma or suffering or joy


He prays that Christians receive the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of God.


Do you want the other Christians in your life to be healthy and happy and move forward into a Godly life?


Then pray that they receive the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of God


Can one liners that your great aunt shared on facebook help? --- sure

Can spending time with family help? --- sure

Can enjoying a healthy hobby help us? --- sure

Can counseling help? --- Yes

Can listening to a motivational speaker or your favorite song help? --- sure why not


Are any of them the actual words of the God who created you and molded you and forged your personality and identity in the furnaces of this world?


----------


You see, Scripture isn't some words written by generic impersonal strangers 2 thousand years ago---


It was written by The very God who created you from nothingness ------

The one who made you ---- wrote the Bible (EXPAND HOPEFULLY)


The God who knew how your parents would raise you---

Who knew your hardships and trials---


the sins you would give into // And the sins other people would bring against you---


And it is His words that give you life


His words that give you peace

Comfort

Strength

Humility

Direction

Meaning

And all the things necessary for us to live a Godly life


What is contained in Scripture is not some accidental coincidence that happened to be preserved for 2 millenniums


It is the literal

Intimate

Alive and breathing words of the God who saves His children


And He communicated specific words that all of His children would be able to read and be fed with.


He communicated to us in such a way that His children would not only be able to understand, but be able to respond to-----


In John 10:27 Jesus talks about this very fact, when he says:


“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me”


Do you want to hear from God?

Read your Bible


Get your spiritual food from Him.

Not from yourselves and your own human thinking and problem solving abilities

Not your great aunts motivational facebook memes

Not your favorite song or hobby


Get your spiritual food from the Word of God----

And then tell everyone in your life about it.


Because when we do ----- when we keep Scripture first in our arsenal used to help other Christians, we are showing God thankfulness


We're telling God that His words are more important, accurate, loving, truthful and more reliable than any of ours could ever be.


[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 the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him,




In closing, and as a little preview for next week, Paul is praying in this verse:


“That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give people who already have repented and believed in Him ------ the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him”


Paul wants people who already believe, to receive this wisdom and revelation


People who have reached the end of themselves and said Jesus Christ you are God, please forgive me of all of my sins and the selfish pride on which I once stood… forgive me Father


I need you

I need meaning

I need an identity beyond my pain

Forgive me Father and save me from my sins.


Paul is praying for people who already believe:


People who have a healthy and thriving relationship with God, so much so….that word of their faith and love traveled over a thousand miles to reach the ears of someone in prison -------- to receive the spirit of wisdom and revelation.


And it’s like this, because God grows us.


God causes us to continually grow in our relationship with Him

To continually be transformed more and more into the image of His Son


To live into the reality of Romans 8:29 and be conformed into the image of Christ


This is what we will get into next week.


----------


So --------- how do we show God that we are thankful for the people in our life that He has saved?

We show them honor

We show them love

We show them respect and patience

We give them the benefit of the doubt

We are there for them in their times of need

We build relationships with them so that when their times of need come up, we can speak into their life in such a way that we are heard


And when we are heard, we are sure to point them to Scripture and the principles taught in Scripture


When we do these things, we are telling God that we care for and love the people that He saved.


Above all things, a bottom line summary of how do you show God that you are thankful for the other Christians in your life?


----- we treat them like they are someone for whom Christ died.


----------


Because when we are thankful for someone, it is impossible to hold a grudge against them.


Or at the very least, that grudge doesn't control us and manipulate our feelings and thoughts.


If we don't think this is true, try it out:

Next time you're in prayer, tell God: “Dear God, thank you for that person that your Son bled and died for, thank you for laying their sins and mistakes and evil actions on the back of Christ, and punishing Him instead of them ----- but also, I hate them and am angry with them because of whatever reason.”

Being thankful to God for saving the other Christians in our life, allows us to move past the hurt they may have caused us, whether it was intentional or not.


And allows us to love them in such a way that when unbelievers look at the Church of God, they will wonder how love can exist untarnished by the hurts of this world


Do you want the unbelievers in your life to see that love and meaning can exist unfettered by the hurts and traumas of this world?


Then be thankful for ----- and ----- love the other Christians in your life, like God loves you



( → → Doxology ← ← )



Praise God from whom all blessings flow;

Praise Him all creatures here below;

Praise Him above ye heavenly hosts;

Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost



( → → Closing Prayer ← ← )


0 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All