Ephesians Series (Goals)
Ephesians Week 3
1:15-23 Prayer of realization.
15 For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love[a] 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 20 that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21 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. 22 And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church,23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.
Garbage Mary (Max Anders)
Those who knew her called her, “Garbage Mary” and for good reason... Her neighbors
would see her scrounging through garbage cans looking for food and for garbage that she
collected. She then hoarded this garbage all throughout her car and in her 2-bedroom
apartment. There were mounds of garbage stuffed in the refrigerator, in the bathroom, in
the cabinets... there was no place to sit, no room in the bathtub, only piles of garbage.
Police picked her up in a shopping mall in Delray Beach, Florida, thinking that her mind
had faded away, this woman who was living in garbage.
But when they dug into her life, they found some fascinating things. Her Father had been
a successful banker who had died and left her a massive inheritance of money. She had
passbooks for 8 large bank accounts. She had Mobil stock worth more than 400 thousand
dollars as well as stock from many major companies. She owned oil fields throughout
Kansas. “Garbage Mary” was a multi-millionaire.
There was this amazing life that she could live, that she could have, I mean it was hers...
but she did not know how to appropriate it into reality. She had a miserable existence
instead of living in that which was rightfully hers.
Paul is going to pray that we would take everything that we just learned and live
like that is part of our daily reality. Live with these characteristics...
Since I heard of these things... I’m praying for 2 things.
1. -Spiritual wisdom 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,
2. -Eyes of your heart enlightened 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,
-(not just that your eyes would see or that your heart would feel... but that the eyes of your heart would be opened.)
-Mindset and Heart set (echoes of Colossians 3)
If so... Then certain Characteristics will happen.
What is Biblical Hope?
Edwards “Let us live this life with eternity stamped on our eyes!”
This life is not all there is... C. S. Lewis called it the “Shadowlands” We live in
the shadows of the bright reality that is yet to come!!!
The Glory of His inheritance. (not the inheritance that is ours, but the Glory
inheritance that is His. We magnify His glory back to Him and therefore we are
to live like people that are immeasurably valued.
-Psychologists tell us that the need to feel valued is one of the highest
needs of man. The more you feel valued by other people the more your life takes on significance.
(We’ve got to show people that they hope in God and they are valued by God!)
Toy Story -
A movie about Value. Woody not feeling valued...
“Check your boot” - ANDY!
You are valued by Andy!
* One of the main thing that you need to know about Ephesus is that it was the very
center of the world for magic, the occult, witchcraft, and Spiritism. Crystals, spells, and
evil spirits were a part of everyday life. Magic was glorified, kids were trained to be little
* It was a culture obsessed with powers. The goal of everyday life was to try to get a
hold of supernatural powers that could be worked towards you for your benefit.
1. Cults, mystery religions, secret magic clubs. And people would join these
secret cults because they wanted to gain access to the powers that each cult
claimed that they had. And when you were initiated into one of these clubs, it
was said that you were “enlightened”, meaning, you now had new access to a
the higher reality of power.
2. In Ephesus, they also believed that the Spirit world was divided into a
power structure. Some Spirits were higher than others and they divided the
ranks of evil spirits into rulers, authorities, powers, and dominions.
3. And the main magical procedure that we need to know is that when someone
was engaging in a spell or incantation, they would name the name of a spirit or
god. And when they named that name they believed that they invoked that god to
work his power towards the individual.
-And you would show respect and worship towards your spirit or god by
chanting, “great is_____”
** So Paul enters the scene of Ephesus. And you may remember in Acts 19, that Paul
comes to Ephesus, people start coming to Christ, and one of the first things they do is
bring out their scrolls, and magic books. They burned them in a big fire and it was
estimated that the value of these burning magic books was 50 thousand days of wages.
And then, when the non-Christians thought that Artemis was being threatened, do you
remember what they did? They rushed the temple and they chanted for over 2 hours,
“Great is Artemis of the Ephesians. Great is Artemis of the Ephesians.!”
-So suddenly, you have got this new Christian Church and most of these believers have
been converted out of the occult. And these Christians are scared. They are afraid of the
demonic spirits that they once worshipped. They are afraid that their enemies will name
names to work powers against them. They afraid of the rulers and authorities and powers
and dominions, that the whole power structure will unleash power against them!
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 20 that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21 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. 22 And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church,23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.
- Do you see what Paul just did? He used their language, He used their cultural
dynamics, He used the very concepts that were a part of their everyday life, and
most importantly, he went for the very fear of their hearts. And did you hear
what He said?....
Enlightened... Everyone is all concerned about being enlightened in their own
little groups, My brothers and sisters, I want you to be truly enlightened. I want
your new life to radically alter your reality. Enlightened towards what?
The immeasurable greatness of his power towards us who believe... That
word immeasurable in Greek is something like “Super-beyond anything”
the greatness of God’s power. Your city is obsessed with magic power being worked
towards them, God worked immeasurable power towards you... it is the power
that God used when He raised Christ from the dead. That resurrection power is
yours!!! And where is Christ in the whole power structure?
He is high above every rule and authority, power and dominion and every
name that can be named. .... Ephesians, don’t you worry about some sorcerer
trying to name a name over you and work magic powers against you. The
greatest power in the universe has been given to you. The one high above any
name that can be named has been given to you.
*** Because of all of these Spiritual blessings that I have told you... I pray that you
would realize that you have hope. I pray that you would realize that you have value. I
pray that you would realize that you have power!
22 And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church,23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.
fills all in all.
Meaning, The King is on His throne. He is in control of everything. And as it
says in Habakkuk, His Glory will one day fill the earth, as the waters fill the sea!
(Discipleship appointment #6 -- Read the prayer of realization together in verses 15-23. Help people understand their hope, value, and Power that are theirs because of Christ.)