1/1/18

"THE EPISTLE TO THE EPHESIANS" Paul's Prayer For The Ephesians (1:15-20) by Mark Copeland

                     "THE EPISTLE TO THE EPHESIANS"

                Paul's Prayer For The Ephesians (1:15-20)

INTRODUCTION

1. We have seen Paul describe how richly blessed we are in Christ in the
   "doxology" of verses 3-14 in this first chapter of Ephesians.

2. Paul now proceeds to reveal what sort of things he has been praying 
   for on behalf the Ephesians...
   a. Paul does the same thing in his epistles to the Philippians and 
      Colossians - cf. Php 1:9-11; Col 1:9-12
   b. In noticing such prayers, I find it helpful to remember that Paul
      is writing by inspiration
      1) I.e., the things mentioned were not just Paul's desire for his 
         readers, but the desire of God as well!
      2) And in most cases, what concerns are expressed in these prayers
         are just as applicable to us as they were to the original 
         recipients of these epistles

3. With that thought in mind (i.e., Paul's prayer is God's desire for us
   as well), let's take a close look at this prayer...

[Beginning with a recognition of their faith and love (verse 15) and a
mention of his unceasing thankfulness for them (verse 16), Paul then
states that in his prayers his concern for the Ephesians is...]

I. THAT THEY MIGHT KNOW GOD (17)

   A. TO "KNOW" GOD IS OF UTMOST IMPORTANCE...
      1. More important than human wisdom, glory, or might 
         - cf. Jer 9:23-24
      2. It is eternal life itself! - Jn 17:3
      3. Failure to know God will lead to everlasting destruction! -
         2Th 1:7-9
      -- Of course, we are speaking here of knowledge that comes through
         close and personal association, not casual awareness

   B. THIS KNOWLEDGE OF GOD COMES BY "A SPIRIT OF WISDOM AND
      REVELATION" (17)
      1. Paul could have reference here to either the Holy Spirit 
         Himself, or a spiritual gift that the Holy Spirit gives
      2. In either case, it likely refers to that process that was still
         going on in the first century, where the Spirit of truth was 
         guiding the apostles and early Christians into all the truth 
         (cf. Jn 16:13; 1Jn 2:20,27)
      3. Today, we have the full and final revelation in the pages of 
         God's Word, where we can go to learn the truth about God (e.g.,
         cf. Ep 3:3-4)

[Do you "know" God?  Many people know "about" God, but it is God's will
that we come to know "Him".  Through the Word of God as we have it
today, you can allow  the "spirit of wisdom and revelation" give you
that "saving knowledge" of God Himself!

We now observe that Paul's concern for the Ephesians included their
"eyes being opened"...]

II. THAT THEY MIGHT KNOW THE HOPE OF GOD'S CALLING (18a)

   A. IN CHRIST, WE HAVE BEEN "CALLED" BY GOD...
      1. This "calling" occurred through the preaching of the gospel -
         2Th 2:14
      2. God is "calling" us into His own kingdom and glory - 1Th 2:12
      3. We have been "called" out of darkness into God's marvelous
         light - 1Pe 2:9

   B. PAUL'S DESIRE IS THAT THEY MIGHT KNOW THE "HOPE" OF THIS CALLING...
      1. The word "hope" means "desire with expectation"
      2. What is the expectant desire of this "calling" by God?
         a. Paul has already revealed some of this hope in verses 4-5
            1) To be holy and without blame
            2) To be adopted as sons
         b. Paul will reveal more about it later in the epistle - cf. 
            Ep 2:19-22
      3. In this way, Paul is helping to fulfill his own prayer by the 
         writing of this epistle

[Do we appreciate the "hope" of God's calling?  Again, it is through the
revealed Word of God (like this epistle to the Ephesians) that we are 
able to have our own eyes enlightened.  There is no reason for us to be 
ignorant of our wonderful "hope"!

In addition to their knowing the "hope of His calling", Paul prays...]

III. THAT THEY MIGHT KNOW THE RICHES OF GOD'S INHERITANCE (18b)

   A. PAUL HAS ALREADY MADE REFERENCE TO...
      1. The fact that we were predestined to adoption as sons - Ep 1:5
      2. The fact that we have obtained an inheritance - Ep 1:11
      3. The fact that the Holy Spirit was given as a guarantee 
         - Ep 1:14

   B. HE WILL WRITE MORE CONCERNING OUR "INHERITANCE" LATER ON...
      1. Speaking of the exceeding riches of God's grace in the ages to 
         come - Ep 2:7
      2. Speaking of how Gentiles can be "fellow heirs" - Ep 2:12-13;
         3:7

[Again we see how Paul by writing this epistle is attempting to help 
answer his own prayer for the Ephesians.

There is one more thing that Paul wanted the Ephesians, and if the way 
he elaborates is an indication of its importance then Paul more than all
else prayed...]

IV. THAT THEY MIGHT KNOW THE POWER OF GOD (19-20)

   A. A "POWER" DESCRIBED AS...
      1. Exceedingly great ("the exceeding greatness")
      2. Shown toward those who believe ("toward us who believe")
      3. In accordance with the same power that...
         a. Raised Jesus from the dead!
         b. Seated Him at the right hand of God in the "heavenly places"
            (cf. Ep 1:3)
      -- How can it be said that such power is available to us who 
         believe?  (The next section suggests how)

   B. CONCERNING THIS GREAT "POWER"...
      1. Paul gives an example in Ep 2:1-6
         a. We who were "dead in trespasses" (2:1-3) were "made alive"
            (4-5) and "raised up" (6)
         b. I.e., in Christ we who were spiritually dead have been made 
            spiritually alive - cf. Col 2:12-13
         c. This may not sound as impressive as being raised from the 
            dead physically (as Jesus was), but it cannot happen without
            the same sort of Divine Power!
         d. As Jesus said when He raised the paralytic, "Which is 
            easier...?" - Mt 9:2-8
            1) To raise the sick (and the dead), or to forgive sins (and
               make the spiritually dead spiritually alive)?
            2) Both require Divine Power!
      2. Paul speaks of its source in Ep 3:16
         a. It is through God's Spirit in the inner man that we can be 
            "strengthened with might"
         b. Just as we were "renewed" by the Spirit upon our baptism - 
            Jn 3:5; Tit 3:5
         c. So we can be strengthened by the Spirit in our daily battles
            against sin - Ro 8:12-13
      3. Paul speaks of its greatness in Ep 3:20
         a. It comes from Him (God) "who is ABLE to do"
         b. With ability that is "exceedingly", "abundantly", "above 
            all" that we ask or think!
         c. Such ability is "according to the power that works IN us" 
            - cf. Ep 3:16 ("through His Spirit in the inner man")
      4. Finally, Paul charges the Ephesians to stand strong in this 
         power in Ep 6:10ff
         a. By putting on the "armor of God" - Ep 6:11a
         b. For we are in a battle against the devil and his forces - 
            Ep 6:11a-13 (dare we fight this battle dependent upon our 
            own strength alone?)
         c. The "armor of God" described - Ep 6:14-18

CONCLUSION

1. It appears that Paul followed that saying "Pray as though it all 
   depends upon God, but work as though it all depends upon you!"
   a. For while he prayed for the Ephesians that they might know...
      1) God
      2) The hope of God's calling
      3) The riches of God's inheritance
      4) The power of God
   b. Paul takes it upon himself (with the aid of inspiration, of 
      course) to write of these things in this epistle

2. How is our knowledge of God, the hope of His calling, His riches, His
   power?
   a. Certainly it is God's will that we increase in our understanding, 
      appreciation, and application of these blessings!
   b. With the help of God's Word, especially a book like Ephesians, we
      can grow in all these things!

But before growth can occur, there must be life.  Have you been "made 
alive together with Christ"? - cf. Ep 2:5-6; Col 2:12-13

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2016

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What does God require of us? by Roy Davison

http://www.oldpaths.com/Archive/Davison/Roy/Allen/1940/031-require.html
What does God require of us?
"He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?" (Micah 6:8).

God has shown us what is good.
Man has a general knowledge of good and evil. According to Romans 1:18-32, man has sufficient knowledge about God and about righteousness to be held responsible for his actions. This applies to all men, including those who do not have God's written word.
In Scripture it is assumed that we can recognize good and evil: "Depart from evil and do good" (Psalm 34:14). "Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. He who does good is of God, but he who does evil has not seen God" (3 John 11). "He who would love life and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips from speaking deceit. Let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their prayers; but the face of the LORD is against those who do evil" (1 Peter 3:10-12).
Since God has shown us what is good, He holds us responsible: "The eyes of the LORD are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good" (Proverbs 15:3).
In judgment we must give account for what we have done. "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man's all. For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil" (Ecclesiastes 12:13,14).
What does God require of us? "He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?" (Micah 6:8).

God requires that we do justly.
"Thus says the LORD of hosts: 'Execute true justice, show mercy and compassion everyone to his brother' " (Zechariah 7:9). "For I, the LORD, love justice" (Isaiah 61:8). "To do righteousness and justice is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice" (Proverbs 21:3).
"It is a joy for the just to do justice" (Proverbs 21:15). "Blessed are those who keep justice, and he who does righteousness at all times!" (Psalm 106:3). "So you, by the help of your God, return; observe mercy and justice, and wait on your God continually" (Hosea 12:6). "Let justice run down like water, and righteousness like a mighty stream" (Amos 5:24).
What does God require of us? "He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?" (Micah 6:8).

God requires that we love mercy.
To love mercy includes appreciation for God's mercy and a willingness to extend mercy to others.
"The LORD takes pleasure in those who fear Him, in those who hope in His mercy" (Psalm 147:11). "Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear Him, on those who hope in His mercy" (Psalm 33:18). "Let Your mercy, O LORD, be upon us, just as we hope in You" (Psalm 33:22). "I will be glad and rejoice in Your mercy" (Psalm 31:7).
If we truly love mercy, we will be merciful to others. "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy" (Matthew 5:7). "For judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment" (James 2:13).
"The wisdom that is from above is ... full of mercy" (James 3:17). "He who shows mercy" is to do so "with cheerfulness" (Romans 12:8).
What does God require of us? "He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?" (Micah 6:8).

God requires that we walk humbly with Him.
"Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him" (Genesis 5:24). "Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God" (Genesis 6:9).
"And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments of the LORD and His statutes which I command you today for your good?" (Deuteronomy 10:12,13).
To walk with God means to walk in all His ways and to be in continual fellowship with Him.
A mortal man who walks with God must do so humbly. "Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths" (Proverbs 3:5,6).
"Good and upright is the LORD; therefore He teaches sinners in the way. The humble He guides in justice, and the humble He teaches His way. All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth, to such as keep His covenant and His testimonies" (Psalm 25:8-10).
"Humble yourselves in the sight of the LORD, and He will lift you up" (James 4:10). "For the LORD takes pleasure in His people; He will beautify the humble with salvation" (Psalm 149:4). "God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you" (1 Peter 5:5-7).
What does God require of us? "He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?" (Micah 6:8).
Roy Davison
The Scripture quotations in this article are from
The New King James Version. ©1979,1980,1982, Thomas Nelson Inc., Publishers.
Permission for reference use has been granted.
Published in The Old Paths Archive
(http://www.oldpaths.com)

Bible Reading January 1, 2 by Gary Rose

Bible Reading January 1, 2
(World English Bible)
Jan 1
Genesis 1
Gen 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
Gen 1:2 Now the earth was formless and empty. Darkness was on the surface of the deep. God's Spirit was hovering over the surface of the waters.
Gen 1:3 God said, "Let there be light," and there was light.
Gen 1:4 God saw the light, and saw that it was good. God divided the light from the darkness.
Gen 1:5 God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. There was evening and there was morning, one day.
Gen 1:6 God said, "Let there be an expanse in the middle of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters."
Gen 1:7 God made the expanse, and divided the waters which were under the expanse from the waters which were above the expanse; and it was so.
Gen 1:8 God called the expanse sky. There was evening and there was morning, a second day.
Gen 1:9 God said, "Let the waters under the sky be gathered together to one place, and let the dry land appear;" and it was so.
Gen 1:10 God called the dry land Earth, and the gathering together of the waters he called Seas. God saw that it was good.
Gen 1:11 God said, "Let the earth put forth grass, herbs yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit after their kind, with its seed in it, on the earth;" and it was so.
Gen 1:12 The earth brought forth grass, herbs yielding seed after their kind, and trees bearing fruit, with its seed in it, after their kind; and God saw that it was good.
Gen 1:13 There was evening and there was morning, a third day.
Gen 1:14 God said, "Let there be lights in the expanse of sky to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days and years;
Gen 1:15 and let them be for lights in the expanse of sky to give light on the earth;" and it was so.
Gen 1:16 God made the two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He also made the stars.
Gen 1:17 God set them in the expanse of sky to give light to the earth,
Gen 1:18 and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness. God saw that it was good.
Gen 1:19 There was evening and there was morning, a fourth day.
Gen 1:20 God said, "Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth in the open expanse of sky."
Gen 1:21 God created the large sea creatures, and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarmed, after their kind, and every winged bird after its kind. God saw that it was good.
Gen 1:22 God blessed them, saying, "Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth."
Gen 1:23 There was evening and there was morning, a fifth day.
Gen 1:24 God said, "Let the earth bring forth living creatures after their kind, livestock, creeping things, and animals of the earth after their kind;" and it was so.
Gen 1:25 God made the animals of the earth after their kind, and the livestock after their kind, and everything that creeps on the ground after its kind. God saw that it was good.
Gen 1:26 God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the sky, and over the livestock, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth."
Gen 1:27 God created man in his own image. In God's image he created him; male and female he created them.
Gen 1:28 God blessed them. God said to them, "Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, and subdue it. Have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the sky, and over every living thing that moves on the earth."
Gen 1:29 God said, "Behold, I have given you every herb yielding seed, which is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree, which bears fruit yielding seed. It will be your food.
Gen 1:30 To every animal of the earth, and to every bird of the sky, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food;" and it was so.
Gen 1:31 God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. There was evening and there was morning, a sixth day.

Jan. 2
Genesis 2
Gen 2:1 The heavens and the earth were finished, and all their vast array.
Gen 2:2 On the seventh day God finished his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.
Gen 2:3 God blessed the seventh day, and made it holy, because he rested in it from all his work which he had created and made.
Gen 2:4 This is the history of the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that Yahweh God made the earth and the heavens.
Gen 2:5 No plant of the field was yet in the earth, and no herb of the field had yet sprung up; for Yahweh God had not caused it to rain on the earth. There was not a man to till the ground,
Gen 2:6 but a mist went up from the earth, and watered the whole surface of the ground.
Gen 2:7 Yahweh God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
Gen 2:8 Yahweh God planted a garden eastward, in Eden, and there he put the man whom he had formed.
Gen 2:9 Out of the ground Yahweh God made every tree to grow that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the middle of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
Gen 2:10 A river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from there it was parted, and became four heads.
Gen 2:11 The name of the first is Pishon: this is the one which flows through the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold;
Gen 2:12 and the gold of that land is good. There is aromatic resin and the onyx stone.
Gen 2:13 The name of the second river is Gihon: the same river that flows through the whole land of Cush.
Gen 2:14 The name of the third river is Hiddekel: this is the one which flows in front of Assyria. The fourth river is the Euphrates.
Gen 2:15 Yahweh God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.
Gen 2:16 Yahweh God commanded the man, saying, "Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat;
Gen 2:17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat of it; for in the day that you eat of it you will surely die."
Gen 2:18 Yahweh God said, "It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him."
Gen 2:19 Out of the ground Yahweh God formed every animal of the field, and every bird of the sky, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. Whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name.
Gen 2:20 The man gave names to all livestock, and to the birds of the sky, and to every animal of the field; but for man there was not found a helper suitable for him.
Gen 2:21 Yahweh God caused a deep sleep to fall on the man, and he slept; and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place.
Gen 2:22 He made the rib, which Yahweh God had taken from the man, into a woman, and brought her to the man.
Gen 2:23 The man said, "This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh. She will be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man."
Gen 2:24 Therefore a man will leave his father and his mother, and will join with his wife, and they will be one flesh.
Gen 2:25 They were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.


Jan. 1, 2
Matthew 1
Mat 1:1 The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.
Mat 1:2 Abraham became the father of Isaac. Isaac became the father of Jacob. Jacob became the father of Judah and his brothers.
Mat 1:3 Judah became the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar. Perez became the father of Hezron. Hezron became the father of Ram.
Mat 1:4 Ram became the father of Amminadab. Amminadab became the father of Nahshon. Nahshon became the father of Salmon.
Mat 1:5 Salmon became the father of Boaz by Rahab. Boaz became the father of Obed by Ruth. Obed became the father of Jesse.
Mat 1:6 Jesse became the father of David the king. David became the father of Solomon by her who had been the wife of Uriah.
Mat 1:7 Solomon became the father of Rehoboam. Rehoboam became the father of Abijah. Abijah became the father of Asa.
Mat 1:8 Asa became the father of Jehoshaphat. Jehoshaphat became the father of Joram. Joram became the father of Uzziah.
Mat 1:9 Uzziah became the father of Jotham. Jotham became the father of Ahaz. Ahaz became the father of Hezekiah.
Mat 1:10 Hezekiah became the father of Manasseh. Manasseh became the father of Amon. Amon became the father of Josiah.
Mat 1:11 Josiah became the father of Jechoniah and his brothers, at the time of the exile to Babylon.
Mat 1:12 After the exile to Babylon, Jechoniah became the father of Shealtiel. Shealtiel became the father of Zerubbabel.
Mat 1:13 Zerubbabel became the father of Abiud. Abiud became the father of Eliakim. Eliakim became the father of Azor.
Mat 1:14 Azor became the father of Sadoc. Sadoc became the father of Achim. Achim became the father of Eliud.
Mat 1:15 Eliud became the father of Eleazar. Eleazar became the father of Matthan. Matthan became the father of Jacob.
Mat 1:16 Jacob became the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, from whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.
Mat 1:17 So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; from David to the exile to Babylon fourteen generations; and from the carrying away to Babylon to the Christ, fourteen generations.
Mat 1:18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was like this; for after his mother, Mary, was engaged to Joseph, before they came together, she was found pregnant by the Holy Spirit.
Mat 1:19 Joseph, her husband, being a righteous man, and not willing to make her a public example, intended to put her away secretly.
Mat 1:20 But when he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, don't be afraid to take to yourself Mary, your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.
Mat 1:21 She shall bring forth a son. You shall call his name Jesus, for it is he who shall save his people from their sins."
Mat 1:22 Now all this has happened, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying,
Mat 1:23 "Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son. They shall call his name Immanuel;" which is, being interpreted, "God with us."
Mat 1:24 Joseph arose from his sleep, and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took his wife to himself;
Mat 1:25 and didn't know her sexually until she had brought forth her firstborn son. He named him Jesus.

Just a couple of words... by Gary Rose


Fireworks and introspection; two words that pretty much describe New Year's for me. The passage of time affects us all, like the celebration of our birthdays and how much our children have grown.

In light of these things, consider the words of the apostle Paul and those of Jesus...


 Philippians, Chapter 4 (World English Bible)
4 Rejoice in the Lord always! Again I will say, “Rejoice!”

 8 Finally, brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are honorable, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report: if there is any virtue and if there is any praise, think about these things.  9 The things which you learned, received, heard, and saw in me: do these things, and the God of peace will be with you. 

Matthew, Chapter 10, (WEB)
 24  “A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his lord.  25  It is enough for the disciple that he be like his teacher, and the servant like his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more those of his household!   26  Therefore don’t be afraid of them, for there is nothing covered that will not be revealed; and hidden that will not be known.   27  What I tell you in the darkness, speak in the light; and what you hear whispered in the ear, proclaim on the housetops.   28  Don’t be afraid of those who kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul. Rather, fear him who is able to destroy both soul and body in Gehenna.


Paul admonished his fellow Christians to rejoice in the Lord, to reflect upon positive concepts and to live as he did. Jesus told his followers to also be like him, but the difference between the two is that Jesus is LORD! Reflect on that awhile and then take another look at that "mirror" picture. If you can answer "YES" to the question it poses, fine, if not, 2018 presents you with an opportunity to change things.

Don't waste the time God has given you- be all you can be!!!