Ephesians 1:20 & 21
Closing in on the end of Ephesians 1, The apostle Paul lets us know about the authority of Jesus Christ. Given on March 28th 2021
Today is the last Sunday of the Month, which means the older Class will be staying upstairs, while the younger kids go out for snacks.
Next Sunday is EASTER!
Which means we’ll all be bowing down to a giant egg laying rabbit.
Next Sunday is also the first Sunday of the month, which is when we will be taking Communion together, so if you invite friends or family, let them know that were asking people to bring their own Bread & Wine.
We don't have a specific date set yet for the Chicken BBQ, but we should have one by next Sunday.
At the end of the Sermon today, ill be inviting you all to stand and sing the words of the Doxology as we close.
And the kids are dismissed.
We are almost done with Chapter 1 of Ephesians!
We’ll actually be finishing it, next week on Easter.
Easter ---- The day that Jesus Christ rose from the grave and defeated death for all who will believe
But today, we’ll be looking at Ephesians 1:20-21.
Were going to start at Verse 18, to give us some context and help us understand what God is saying here.
 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,  and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might  that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places,  far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.
( → → Opening Prayer ← ← )
The past few weeks we have been talking about how Paul has been praying for the Christian in Ephesus to receive the spirit of wisdom and revelation of the knowledge of God.
He wants them to grow
To move to a deeper and more personal level of relationship with one another and with God.
And when God answers this prayer, the eyes of their heart will be opened.
Two weeks ago we talked about how when the eyes of our hearts are enlightened:
We see God and we see ourselves more clearly.
And then we looked at verses 18 & 19 and saw that we can see God more clearly and see ourselves more clearly, because:
We can see the hope we are called to
We can be assured of our inheritance
And we can know the immeasurable greatness of God’s great might.
And then we have our verses this morning, and we can see that the power of God that works in us, is the same power that He used to raise Christ from the dead.
Im going to say that again, but much slower to help us really grasp it.
The power or might that God uses to work in the life of His children, is the same power He used to raise Jesus Christ from the dead (X2)
God doesn't just give us scraps
The power He works in the day to day life of His children
When they ask for help
When they hit their knees in prayer
When life is crushing them on all sides
When they offer up prayers for their family or for themselves
When they reach out to their heavenly Father for help and guidance and support-----He responds with the same might that He used to raise Jesus Christ from the dead.
It’s like that, because:
When God saved you, He didn't leave you alone.
He didn't rescue you from the depths of the ocean, and place you on a life raft to bob and drift upon the oceans of this world without compass nor bearing.
He didn't place you on an ocean liner capable of braving hurricanes
Your dead body wasn't hauled from its watery grave to be placed on anywhere but solid immovable ground
He didn't pull your dead corpse from beneath its earthen grave, breath life into you, and then said “goodbye” I hope you make it to heaven.
I hope life goes ok for you
I hope you don't have any issues moving forward
I hope nothing bad comes up in your life that you aren't able to handle by yourself
When God saved you, He intentionally chose to live within the deepest corners of your soul.
God lives within you
He is part of you
Your soul is inhabited by the God of all creation.
Everywhere you go, He goes
Everything you go through ----- He is there with you
He is not beside you, letting you lean on His shoulder when times get rough---
He is not directing you from afar, shouting out life lessons from His throne in the clouds---
He resides within the souls of His children ---
Carrying them everywhere they go
The next time life comes your way----
The next time pain sinks its teeth into your heart, like an unseen snake, striking from beneath the hedgerows of your daily life-----
The next time trials come your way, be they a mist from a passing cloud, or be they a flood of trauma that refuses to recede ----
Whatever the case may be ------ do not LEAN upon God, as if He were next to you and you need to reach for and work for help.
He is not beside you, He is within you.
If you have that poem about footprints in the sand on your wall, throw it away.
God carries us every step of the way.
He never stops carrying you.
He carries you through your pain
He carries you through your suffering and angst
He carries you through your hurt
He carries you through your joy
your times of plenty and celebrations
He carries you through good days and bad days
He carries you through the happiest moments of your life, and through the saddest moments of your life
Every moment, of every day, of your entire life, if you have repented of your sins and believed in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, then He will never set you down
He will never grow tired // He never grow weary or faint // He can carry the weight of every single one of His children
Don't think that your issues are too big for Him, and then He doesn't want to help you or that you don't want to place a burden on Him…..
He can handle every issues, from every one of His children
Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
his understanding is unsearchable.
29 He gives power to the faint,
and to him who has no might he increases strength.
30 Even youths shall faint and be weary,
and young men shall fall exhausted;
31 but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint.
God remains with His children in spirit, until the day they leave their body behind and then He is with them in person for all eternity.
The working of His great might, that exists in the hearts of His children, is the same might that He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead.
When Paul continues in this, he says something happened after The Father raised the Son back to life.
It says that He seated Him at His right hand, above rule, authority, power and dominion.
Paul is telling us this, because those things he just listed, are active and working in the world around us.
Rule // Authority
Power // Dominion
And while those words have meaning about human authority and human rulers, what Paul is referring to, is the supernatural.
Dark spirits that are active and work against the Children of God and work against the Church
As we said a few weeks ago, the Book of Ephesians is about what it means to be the Church.
How we become members of it--
Why we become members of it--
What it cost to save us--
What our roles are
What our duties are
How we live them out
And then he finishes the book, in chapter 6, talking about spiritual warfare.
Dark forces in the heavenly places that wage war against the Children of God
I am super excited to preach those verses when we get there.
And here in our verses this morning, Paul is giving us a preview of that.
But in his preview, theres a little bit of a spoiler.
Yes there are evil forces at work in this world
We have an enemy
Demons are real and they work against us
They influence people
They influence rulers
They influence governments
And here’s the spoiler, Christ is above them all.
Every evil force that comes against you, Christ is in charge of them
Every demon that torments you, Christ is in charge of
Every dark power that influences entire nations and cultures, Christ is their authority
He is in charge.
Christ is seated at the right hand of God in the heavenly places, not only above...but FAR above all rule, authority, power, and dominion.
Jesus is the authority over every rule, every authority, every power, and every dominion.
Every evil spirit, is under His feet
Every demon, bows to Him
Every dark influence, is beneath Him
Every demon, every angel, every spirit, every supernatural entity and power that exists, is under His authority.
In fact, if we look at the story of Job, we can see that all those evil forces that rage against God and His children, and even the devil himself,
Cant act, without permission
He cant move without God’s say-so
He cant sneak behind God’s back and do something without Him knowing about it
He cant usurp the throne
Not only cant the demons mess up God’s plans ------
Our own evil intentions can’t mess up God’s plans
Our sin, cant overpower or inhibit God
The bad choices that plunge our families into darkness, cant put God in handcuff and prevent Him from acting how He wants to act
He’s not up there saying “Oh I wish I could act and move in the life of my children, but they messed up last week, so now my hands are tied and I cant move.”
All supernatural power, sin, satan, demons and all of their authority ------- is under the feet of Jesus Christ
You see, through this whole section of Ephesians 1, Paul is praying for the readers to be strong.
To have the eyes of their hearts enlightened
To have hope
To be sure of their inheritance // To see God’s power
And he tells us that the power of God that rose Christ from the dead is the same power that lives in us
Then immediately after telling us about the power that lives within us------he tells us that Christ has authority over every supernatural force in reality.
You see, we already know that the individual words and sentences that we see in Scripture are the inspired word of God, but also the order in which they were written, was inspired as well.
It wasn't a coincidence that Paul wrote verse 21, immediately after verse 20.
God planned it that way
So when we read that the might of God that rose Christ from the grave, is alive and within His children---------immediately before telling us that Christ has authority over supernatural powers--------- we should pay attention.
We need to pay attention, because those dark powers that paul is talking about….still exist.
Demons are real and they are at work in our nation.
There are dark spirits that sway and swirl through the emotions of a lost and hurting generation, seeking whom they can devour.
There is a darkness that swoons and soothes the minds of our government
There is evil at work in our culture
There are dragons that prowl the dark of out towns and our schools.
You see, one of the tricks of the devil, is to rock us to sleep.
To give us so much freedom and peace and stability, that we stop relying on God.
When everything is good in our life, we get comfortable
When everything is quiet, we never look up
When there are no storms…..we don't look for the lighthouse.
And it is there, in those times of quiet and peace and freedom, that the demons in this world quietly encroach.
When they work
When they plot
When they move
When they slither into our government
Slither into our culture and our entertainment
When we are at peace and comfortable and we let our guard down….
---- musicians simulate sex acts on live TV and are celebrated for it
---- politicians lie and extort the weak
---- people who even claim to be Christians, are found out to be perverts
---- drugs grip and rip families to pieces
When death and disease move
When Governments flirt with tyranny
When self indulgence becomes the norm
When sexual immorality becomes celebrated and men and women take pride in mutilating their genitalia
When the blood of thousands of unborn children stain the steps of our capitol, the demons that play in our Nation shriek with joy and glee
Take heed brothers and sisters, there is demonic power at work in our culture and in our Nation
Do not let your guard down because your bills are paid
Do not let your guard down because you can turn on your heat when the snow begins to fly and because your refrigerator is never empty
Do not let your guard down because no one has tried to take your Bible
Do not let your guard down because your Church is still open
Do not let the delicious poison of 21st century America into your faith
Stay in prayer
Stay in Scripture
A time is coming for us when being a Christian will be seen as a crime and if you do not prepare for it now, then you will crumble and fall when that time comes.
There are evil forces of demonic origin, swaying our culture and influencing our lawmakers
BUT - BUT - BUT - the demons that dance in our streets are only doing so because they have the permission of our God
He is doing a work in this world and calling His children to Him….and the more those demons dance and hypnotize the people of this world, the more the Children of God go running to Him
The more freedom God gives those demons, the more His children run to Him
The more influence He gives them…
The more power they are allowed to exert….
There is darkness God, save me
Its everywhere I turn, God save me
My family is falling apart, God save me
I am falling apart, God save me
I see evil every time I look at the world
I see brokenness and pain being swept under the guise of self importance
I’m afraid God, save us
My nation is falling apart, God save us
My community is falling apart, God save us
I see the pain in the eyes of people I love and the world is tempting them to give into that pain as their identity and I know that you and you alone are freedom, God save them
Let your will be done here on Earth as it is in heaven
Jesus Christ is far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.
In closing, we could talk about this for quite sometime.
And we will get deeper into it when we get the Spiritual Warfare verses of chapter 6.
The powers of this world seem overbearing----
Reaching into every area of life
Our culture’s demon-born definition of right and wrong, is being forced onto us at every turn, and all I want to do is go live alone in the mountains.
How can we combat them?
How do we wage a culture war, when our opponents are demons?
We fight them, by:
Going to Church every week
By taking Holy Communion together
By baptizing new believers and then discipleing them
By reading our Bible every, single, day
By teaching the Bible to our Children
By teaching them to pray
By worshiping at home, with our families
By starting and ending every day in prayer
By repenting of our sins, no matter how many times we fall to them
By proclaiming, outloud, with our mouths, the reality that Jesus Christ is God and He died and rose again and if you repent of your sins and believe in Him, then you will have everlasting life.
We fight the evil forces of this present darkness, by living our lives like we are members of the body of Christ.
When we put everything in our life in His hands, and live our lie for Him…. the darkness is scary---
Overbearing and threatening---
But it will all come to an end.
That is what Paul was talking about when he said that Christ is far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.
The devil has his authority….for now.
The demons act however they want….for now.
The degenerate culture that celebrates and encourages moral debauchery has the say for how this world is run ------ for now.
They have been given permission and authority to act in ways that we all feel deep within our bones and pray against on a daily basis----
But their time is coming to an end.
Their authority will be short lived.
Every disgusting pig faced demon, including satan himself, is eternal under the authority of Jesus Christ, and they will unwillingly surrender their authority whenever our King tells them to.
Take heart ---- the reign of evil is coming to an end
Be loud---- we win
Be vigilant--- they lose
Live your life differently than the way this demon influenced culture says is acceptable and
Proclaim the kingship of your heavenly Father in everything that you do.
( → → 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 ← ← )