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  • Pastor Jacob Marchitell

Ephesians 1:18

Pastor Marchitell looks at the next verse in Ephesians 1.

Just a few reminders before we send the kids off---

We haven't been passing around the Offering Basket because of COVID, so if you want to leave a tithe or offering, the basket is up in the front Pew here

We also have digital giving set up through Venmo if you want to give in that way


We also have a text message reminder system, where we send out prayer requests and announcements---

If you want to be a part of that, come and see me,


At the end of the Sermon today we will be standing to sing the words of the Doxology together.

All of us joining our brains and our hearts and our mouths together to give praise and honor to the Author of Scripture


Last announcement, we will be having a Chicken BBQ fundraiser in the spring.

The Board is working on and talking about what we're going to be raising funds for, and to set a specific date, and we will let everyone know as it gets closer.


And the kids are dismissed.


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Last week we talked about the first two things that Paul is praying for, for the Ephesian Christians.

Today we’ll be looking at the effects of these prayers in verse 17

If you have your Bibles you can turn to Ephesians 1 starting at verse 15, which is where we started last week, but were going to read through to verse 19 so we can understand the Context, but were going to focus on verse 17.


Ephesians 1:15–19


[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, [18] having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, [19] and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might (ESV)


( → → Opening Prayer ← ← )


Because God has saved you, I love you ----

Because God has saved you ---- I am thankful for you ----


I am there for you

I want you to thrive and be happy

I will show you honor

Respect // Kindness

Love and patience


Yes I will show all of these things to the people in my life who aren't saved, but it will be because I want them to see the God in me ----- so that they themselves can know God better.

But as far as the people in my life who are already saved ----- everything in my heart that is directed toward them, is because God lives within me and within them.


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If we were to summarize the entire book of Ephesians, it would be an explanation of what it means to be the Church.


Yes there are principles and truths taught in this book about individuals----

But when we were saved, we were adopted into a family.

Brothers and sisters

Fathers and mothers

Children and grandchildren


We aren't alone

We aren't lone wolf Christians

There are no lone wolf christians


We belong to the body of Christ

We belong to the Family of God


We are a Church ---- and each of us is an important and vital member of our local Church, here at Christ Community ------ as well as the universal Church, all Christians around the world


And it is all because God has saved us

Freed us from our past

Freed us from the eternal consequences of our sin


Because God has saved us, and set us free from the salvery of sin we are able to be who we were made to be.


All attempts to find who we are, and forge our identity, outside of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, will end in failure

God knows you

God made you

Of all the biological factors that existed for thousands of years, trickling down through humanity into your grandparents and your parents, God intentionally built you with all of them.


There was nothing overlooked biologically

And there was nothing over looked spiritually


Your personality----

Your feelings and emotions

Your thoughts and actions----


Everything there is that makes you YOU ----- the REAL you, was planned in advance to do great things.

Not the you that is a by product of your hurt

Not the you that is an after effect of someone elses bad choices

Not the you that is a leftover of your own stupid choices


But the real YOU

The authentic YOU


Was planned, designed and intricately and intimately built on purpose, by the King of the Universe.


Jesus Christ is freedom


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Last week we talked about how to show God that you are thankful for the other Christians in your life.


You show them love and respect and kindness

And we continually point them to Christ.


All of which, is based on the foundation of Scripture.


We looked at verse17 where Paul asked God to grant them:


the “spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of God”


And when that happens, when God does that to and for His children, there is an effect on their life.


And we can see that effect in the very next verse. Verse 18.


It says that when we receive the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of God, the eyes of our hearts are enlightened.


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So if Paul is asking that we receive something that opens the eyes of our hearts, we have to ask what it is.


So what is it? What is the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of God?

Is it some mystical experience that human words fail in describing?

Is it some supernatural turning up of the Holy Spirit that already lives within us?

Is it The Holy Spirit Himself?


Well….when you become a Christian, when you repent and believe in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and ask the God of the Universe to forgive you of all of your sins, He does, and at that exact moment, the Holy Spirit becomes intertwined with your own soul.


The common phrase is “Jesus lives in my heart”

Which is fine to say

But the reality, is that Jesus is in heaven at the right hand of the Father, and the Holy Spirit is who lives within your heart.


There will never be more of the Holy Spirit living in you, and there will never be less.


If you have repented and believed in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, then God permanently entangles Himself with your soul.

Guiding you

Directing you

Loving you

Helping you


And He will always be there as strong and as powerful as He was when you first believed.


He will always be there for you---

Everywhere you go---

When you wake up--

When you fall asleep--

When stress seems to overcome you---

When life sucks and you just want to go live alone in the mountains ----


When governments exert their tyranny upon the people they swore to protect and defend---


When riots fill our streets---

When plagues cripple our planet----


Always, always, always, always, God will be there for His children -------


Will there be times when we ignore His leading? - yup

Will there be times when we ignore His help and comfort? - yup


Will there be times when we focus on ourselves, our problems, our own way of understanding? - yup


Will ignoring the God who lives within us ------ hurt us? - yup


But none of that changes the reality that when we first believed, the Holy Spirit came to live within your soul forever.


Through wars and plagues---

Through ups and downs---

Life and death -----


God will always be there for you ---- because He lives inside of you


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So what is Paul praying for then, when he asks God that the Christians in Ephesus receive the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of God?

He is asking for God to show them who they truly are.


To grow and change and live into the reality that they are no longer the people they used to be ----- they are who they are supposed to be.


When we receive the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of God, the eyes of our hearts are enlightened to see the truth of who God truly is, and who we truly are


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The eyes of our heart


Our heart, being the core of our being---


Our understanding---

Why we think the way we think

Why we feel the way we feel

How we arrange our lives

How we raise our kids

Treat our spouse

How we work

How we play

How we worship

How we view God


Our heart, is the “who we are” ------ the totality of us ------ our identity


Paul is praying that people who already believe, will have the eyes of their hearts opened to see the reality of who God truly is and who they truly are.


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And when that happens, when we see beyond the layers of hurt


When the years of stuff that this world just piles on top of us is peeled back and we see God and see ourselves ----


Things in our life change

Our wants change // Our abilities change

What can hurt us --- changes


We being to seek after God all the more

Spend time in prayer // Spend time in the Bible


We want to volunteer at the Church

Give, love, and support other Christians

Forgive them

Build relationships with them

Join in their life with them

Point them to Jesus


When we see the heavenly family that we belong to ----- we begin to do all of those things that we have been talking about for the past few weeks


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What specifically happens----- when the eyes of our hearts are enlightened, are three things that Paul mentions, int he upcoming verses and we’ll be talking about them next Sunday. We can see them in the second half of verse 18, and then in verse 19.


The three things that happen, are:


We can know the hope to which God has called us to

We know what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints

And we can know what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe


All of which aren't according to us and our level of faith or our level of understanding------- but are according to the working of his great might


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So next week, we will be talking about those three things, and why they do everything that were talking about today.


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Paul is praying that people who already believe, will have the eyes of their hearts opened to see the reality of who God truly is and who they truly are.


People who already believe


They have already fallen from their own strength and looked to God

They have already admitted that they are broken, fallen, dead in their sins and trespasses


They have already admitted that the way they lived their life and the emotional foundation that they once built was wrong ----- and that they need God


They already admitted they were guilty and asked for forgiveness ----- and received it.


God forgave them


But not just because He is a nice and friendly God that does sweet things for his children----


But because He laid the punishment for their sin, onto Jesus Christ.

God took the punishment His children deserved ------ upon Himself


Justice was carried out, and forgiveness was given

Love and justice

Peace and righteousness


God didn't overlook evil, or act unlovingly.

But punished your sins and forgave you by the exact same means------

The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.


That is who God truly is.

Perfectly loving and perfectly just


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Paul is asking for people who already believe to have the eyes of their hearts enlightened,


Because when the eyes of our hearts are enlightened, we see who we truly are.


Not who our parents say we are

Not who society says we are

Not who our political party or the political party we oppose ---- says we are.

Not who our culture or hobbies say that we are


You see, this world wants to classify you, contain you, and keep you in your niche.


They build parameters for people, and say everything you do and who you are fits nice and neat in this little box, and yeah maybe theres a little variation between you and someone elses box, but for the most part we know who you are and what kind of person you are and allllll of these things that we create and build, are suited for people like you.


We know your tastes

We know how you love

Who you love and why you love them

We know your wants and desires and needs and the deepest longing of your soul, is something we have identified and quantified and boiled down and you fit perfectly right where we say you fit.


Our culture wants us to conform to their standard and listen to them as the ultimate guide for life and reality and as soon as we reject their identity building ---- we are shunned and ostracized.


And not only that----


Not only does our society and our culture want to identify you and forge you into their own image-----


But our enemy wants to as well---


Satan-- that disgusting, goat faced, pile of leftover boiled garbage ------- holds dearly all of your mistakes and sins


All of your failures and mess ups----

And he parades them before you to remind you of the sin that is within your own heart.


He says things like:


You have lied before ----- all you are is a liar

You have cheated before ------ all you are is a cheater

You have hurt people // You have betrayed them

You have spurned God // You have ignored God

Youve given in to lust and anger and pride


And because the slander he brings against you ------ is actions that you have actually done ------ we believe him.

We look at our sins

We look at our mistakes


And because we are the ones who carried them out, we degrade ourselves and drown in self pity and begin to work against ourselves


We believe his lies

We believe our own lies

We believe the lies of our degenerate culture


From three different fronts, the battle of who we truly are -------- rages against us.

From our culture

From our enemy

And from ourselves


Paul knows about this, which is why he is praying that the eyes of our hearts are enlightened.

So we can know what is the hope to which God has called us

So we know what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints

And so we can know what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe


All of which aren't according to us and our level of faith or our level of understanding------- but are according to the working of his great might


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You see, God wants us to see Him as He truly is, and to grow into who we truly are.


Which means, when God saves us ----- He changes us ------ He grows us


There is as a big word for this, it is called “sanctification”

It is the day to day living out of who we are and what we believe


It is a progressive change.


Not that we aren't saved when we first repented and believed

If we had a heart attack and died on the day of our conversion, then we would be in heaven with Him right now


But i'm going to go out on a limb and guess that that doesn't apply to anyone here this morning.


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And because we are all still alive ----- we are all still growing into who God made us to be.

In fact, we can see this reality in the nature that He made. The only things that don't grow and change ------ are dead things.


If you are alive, it means you are growing and changing.

And if you aren't growing and changing, then you need to examine your heart and what you believe about God.


We are being sanctified:

Hour by hour

Day by day

Year by year


We are living in to the truth of:


2nd Corinthians 3:17-18

“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.”


We are being transformed into the image of Christ, from one degree of glory to another.

We are being changed

Grown

Moved

Sanctified


If our faith is alive inside of us, we will grow and change.

Not that we will change what we believe about God, who He is, and what Scripture teaches ------ but how we will grow in how we live that out, express it to the world, and express it to our God.

If were worshiping God with the exact same words and actions as when we first believed, and haven't grown at all, then we need to ask if were still alive.

Because being alive means growth and change.


In fact, when we first came to believe to begin with, it is because God changed us.


He breathed life into our dead soul ---- changing us and saving us


God changed us to save us

And He saved us to change us


As we wrap this up ----- remember,


That we are to grow and change and move deeper and deeper into knowing Him.


It is a guarantee

It is going to happen

We can welcome it and wade into the pool

We can not think and dive into the deep end and be forced to learn

Or we can ignore it and hurt ourselves until God says enough


We as members of the family of God, are going to grow and change and live into who we were created to be.


God is a bottomless well of wisdom and understanding and patience and knowledge and love and peace and joy ----- and He wants us to grow and know Him as much as we are fully able to.


This is what Hebrews 6:1 is talking about when it says:


“Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity…”


Do you want to grow in your understanding of God?

Do you want to grow in your understanding of yourself?

Do you want to grow in your faith?

Do you want your faith to get stronger?

Bolder? // More secure?

More thorough? // More well rounded?


Are there areas of Christianity that you don't really know too much about?


Are you in the middle of the road about certain issues or topics?

If we think that’s good, we need to understand that standing in the middle of a road ----- is something our parents warned us about since we were children.


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Are you brand new to the faith?

Just beginning your journey?

Have you just recently seen the error of your ways and turned to Christ---- and everything is new and exciting and waiting to be explored?


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Have you grown weary and tired in your faith?

Has it been years and decades of just a daily grind and nothing is new or exciting or changing or challenging or fresh?


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Are you an old stubborn Christian that looks down on any change or growth?


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Have you reached the limit of your own understanding?


Do you stretch your brain?

Stretch your heart?


Change your mind?

Go outside of your comfort zone?


Go outside of what you feel comfortable with because that is where you have always lived your faith out?


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I can tell you, that when I pray for each of you here this morning, I pray this exact same prayer, that God will give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him:

Causing the eyes of your hearts to be enlightened


Which means we can know:

the hope to which God has called us

the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints,

And we can know what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe


All of which aren't according to us and our level of faith or our level of understanding------- but are according to the working of his great might


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I’d like to close with this, before inviting you all to stand and sing the doxology with me:


Who we truly are ----- and how we can live into that, is defined for us in: Colossians 3:1-17.


These verses allow us to see who we truly are:

Beyond your pain

Beyond your hurt

Beyond your fears and doubts

Beyond your bad choices or the bad choices that others have made against you


Who are you?


Colossians 3:1–17


[1] If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. [2] Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. [3] For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. [4] When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.


[5] Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. [6] On account of these the wrath of God is coming. [7] In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. [8] But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. [9] Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices [10] and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. [11] Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.


[12] Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, [13] bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. [14] And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. [15] And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. [16] Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. [17] And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (ESV)


If you have repented and believed in the Gospel of Jesus Christ ---- then you are God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved.


If you haven't, then what are you waiting for?


( → → 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 ← ← )


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