Friday, September 16, 2011

Paul's Prayers Part 1 in Eph 1


1. Opening comments
· Bulletin announcement: 
“The elders invite you to come for a time of prayer in the OASIS Flock each Wednesday evening this summer.  We will have a short devotional brought by on of our elders or pastors at 7:00 p.m. and spend the remaining time praying for our church. Nursery will be provided from 7:00-8:00 p.m. Prayer guides are available at the Welcome Center.”
· Challenge to come to Wednesday prayer at least once this summer.
· Discuss reason for preaching about prayer.
2. Occasion for the writing of  Ephesians
Reasons the occasion is important
· The epistles were written as “the Holy Spirit moved holy men to write God-breathed words that were without error and authoritative for our doctrine and practice.”
· However, they were “occasional.” That means that there was a particular occasion for their being written. They “arose out of and were intended for a specific purpose” (How to Read the Bible for All It’s Worth, p56-59)
· Usually there was a behavior or some kind of false teaching that needed to be corrected. 
Details of occasion for Ephesians
· One of the four “prison epistles (letters)” written from Rome (Acts 28:16-31) around AD 60-65
· Similar in its content to his letter to the Colossians. “...55 verses in the two letters are verbatim the same.” —Barclay
· “Ephesians is the most impersonal letter Paul ever wrote,” which is curious given his close association with the church.
· John records a message to the Ephesian church about 30 years after Paul’s letter that gives us a glimpse into the church at Ephesus. Revelation 2:
1 "To the angel of the church of Ephesus write,' These things says He who holds the seven stars in His right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands:
2 I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; 3 and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name's sake and have not become weary. 4 Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love.
5 Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place--unless you repent.
6 But this you have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. 7 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God." '

3. Overview of  chapter one
1-2 Greeting
3-6 We are blessed and chosen by the Father.
7-10 We have redemption & an inheritance in the Son.
13-14 We are sealed with the Holy Spirit.
Notice the Trinitarian structure of the first part of this chapter.
15-23 Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians.
(2:1-10 You who were dead - God … made us alive)

4. Stand to read the text and pray.

5. Main Thrust:
When we pray for others, what do we ask for?  What should we ask for? What did Paul ask for?

I. The reasons for the prayer.   vs. 15-16
A. The foundation of their salvation.
i) The Father  - Chose us to be holy; predestined us to the adoption of sons  v. 3-6
ii) The Son -  redemption through His blood; forgiveness of sins, obtained an inheritance v. 7-12
iii) The Spirit - sealed with the Spirit; guaranteed until the redemption of the possession v. 13-14

B. The evidence of their salvation.

i) faith in the Lord Jesus    —-A continual active reality in their walk with the Lord.
5 For though I am absent in the flesh, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ. 6 As you have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him,
1 O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified? 2 This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? 3 Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?

ii) love for all the saints
“Sometimes it seems difficult to get Christians to really love one another.  They resist opening up to each other and bearing one another’s burdens. They have been taught and trained somehow to live in isolation from each other, keeping clear of involvements with anyone else.”  Riches in Christ by Ray Steadman

Swift once said: "We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another."   ——William Barclay

C. The constant memory of the Ephesians and the compulsion to see them benefit spiritually.
Without ceasing  constantly

· To often we are like the widow, who prayed, “Lord I ask not for myself, but give my mother another son-in-law.”
· Why do we pray? Who do you pray for? What kind of attitude do you have as you pray. 
· “When we become glib in prayer, we are most certainly talking to ourselves.” Tozer
1) We should strive to be spiritually minded and God-focused as we pray.
2) We need to allow God to implant a burden for others in our heart? We should by moved for others?

II. The heart of the prayer.   vs. 17-18a
A.  He prayed to the Father

B. He prayed for the spirit of wisdom and revelation in Him
i) spirit (only NIV capitalizes Spirit)   probably refers to an attitude rather the to the Holy Spirit
Isa11.2 1 There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse, And a Branch shall grow out of his roots. 2 The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him, The Spirit of wisdom and understanding, The Spirit of counsel and might, The Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord. 3 His delight is in the fear of the Lord, And He shall not judge by the sight of His eyes, Nor decide by the hearing of His ears;

ii) Wisdom sofiva emphasizes the use of knowledge and understanding
     Revelation ajpokavluyiß emphasizes the receiving of knowledge and understanding
“a special ability to understand and apply the mysteries of God” 
————“Ephesians” by Harold W. Hoehner in the  Bible Knowledge Commentary

C. Their eyes being enlightened  
“It is not enough to hear the gospel and say, “Okay, I’ll buy that.” 
——“The Prayers of Paul” by Ron Julian
comp w/ Lk24:32
30 Now it came to pass, as He sat at the table with them, that He took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him; and He vanished from their sight. 32 And they said to one another, "Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?"
Ill.— “I was in that church for years and never heard the Gospel.”  true, buy why?

APPLICATION: Are the truths of Scripture theological lumber stored in a stuffy warehouse, or tools that you are using in building your life?

III. The “what's” of the Prayer  vs. 18b ff.
That you might “know.”

A. The HOPE    The action of hoping and the object of that hope.

“If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.” 1Cor15.19
i)  Creation groans and waits to be set free   Rom8.19-21
ii) Believers groan and waits to adoption as sons and redemption or our bodies Rom8.22-25
ii)  Christians are currently being transformed in the inward man 2Cor4.16-17


Refer back to the first part of the chapter emphasizing the ideas of
· God individual choice of his own
· The great sacrifice of his Son
· The anxiousness to secure the investment by the sealing of the Spirit

Sweet corn in the farmers garden (compared with the feed corn in the fields)
Eight cow wife illustration
Long ago, in a primitive culture, it was required that before they married, the young men had to bargain with the girl's father for her. The fathers of the village demanded payment for their daughters generally in the form of cows. Three cows could buy an above-average wife, and four or five cows a very beautiful wife!
Johnny, the brightest, strongest, and most handsome man in the village loved Sarita. Sarita most henerously could have been described as being plain. She was not truly ugly, but neither attractive. She was shy. She was also older than most girls at the time of marriage.
The villagers' loved to gossip about the bargaining price of a girl. Some said Johnny might offer two or three cows. Others said Sarita's father might take one cow since nobody else was interested in her.
Johnny went to meet with Sarita's father and offered eight cows for her.
Everyone was astonished. That was the highest price ever paid for a bride in their village! Soon, Johnny herded eight cows to his future father-in-law. The wedding was held the same evening.
Time passed, Sarita changed. Her eyes dazzled, and she moved and spoke with striking grace and poise. People who came to the village and had never seen Sarita before remarked that she was the region's most beautiful woman.
Much later, someone asked Johnny why he paid such a high price for her. Why offer eight cows when he could have had her as his wife for less? Did he make such an offer to make her happy?
"Yes, I wanted her to be happy, but I wanted more than that. The most important thing that changes a woman is how she thinks about herself. Sarita believed she was worth nothing. Now she knows she is worth more than any other woman in the village." Johnny concluded, "I loved Sarita and no other woman. And I wanted to marry her. But I also wanted an eight-cow wife."             ——-
from Winning in the Land of Giants, p. 43

“ precious the saints are in God’s eyes as His inheritance.”  K Wuest

i) exercised toward believers

19 and what is the exceeding1 greatness of His power2 toward us who believe, according to the working3 of His mighty4 power5
· 1“exceeding; is huperballon (ὑπερβαλλον), literally, “a throwing beyond,” thus metaphorically, “superiority, excellence.”
· 2the first use of “power” is dunamis (δυναμις), “natural ability, general and inherent;
· 3“working” is energeia (ἐνεργεια) from which we get our word “energy.” It speaks of energy put forth,
· 4“mighty” is kratos (κρατος), “manifested strength ;”
· 5the second use of “power” is ischuos (ἰσχυος), “strength, power as an endowment.” To put these together we have, “And what is the superabounding greatness of His inherent Dower to us who are believing ones as measured by the operative energy of the manifested strength of His might.”

ii) Manifested in three instances toward Christ
1) resurrection, ascension exaltation
2) subjecting all things to Him
3) made Him head of the church

“There is a story of a man in Canada and he was trying to cross a frozen river.  He got down on all fours, and first of all he put his first hand ahead of him and just tested the ice, and then his second hand, and gingerly he gradually got on to the ice.  He crouched, trying not to put too much pressure on it.  He slowly, cautiously inched his way out onto the ice. Suddenly to his horror, he heard a clamorous noise behind him and turned around to see just a team of run away horses coming toward the river! He thought, “What am I going to do!?” He heart choked with panic as the horses stormed onto the ice … and he turned bright crimson as they galloped across to the other side.   He felt foolish as he got to his feet because if he had only know how firm the ice was, he would have confidently walked across.”   ——David Legge

“God’s power is made perfect in weakness. Your problem is that you are trying to feel strong.”

“What a Wonderful Saviour”  page 81   1891

Elisha Albright Hoffman A min­is­ter’s son, Hoffman at­tend­ed Un­ion Sem­in­ary in New Ber­lin, Penn­syl­van­ia, and was or­dained in 1868. Af­ter­ward, he worked with the Evan­gel­ic­al As­so­ci­a­tion’s pub­lish­ing arm in Cleve­land, Ohio for 11 years. He pas­tored in Cleve­land and Graft­on, Ohio, in the 1880s; at the First Presby­ter­i­an Church in Ben­ton Har­bor, Mich­i­gan, around the turn of the cen­tu­ry; and in Ca­bery, Ill­i­nois (1911-1922). In his life­time, he wrote over 2,000 Gos­pel songs. The 50 song books he edit­ed in­clude:

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