Ephesians Chapter 3 – Paul’s Prayer to God.
For much of my life I have tried to understand who God is and what He wants of us. In my understanding, what pleases him most is our simple Faith.
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth by speaking them into existence. The world that we see evidenced all around us consists of matter and energy. In fact the branch of science concerned with the nature and properties of matter and energy is called Physics. Our five senses can sense and see the results of the existence of a physical world.
But since God created matter and energy, he is outside the box. His attributes are much more than we can reason, imagine, or assume. We try to keep God on our level, but He is much greater.
He has put in mankind a sense to search and serve Him. No matter where you go on this earth, no matter how remote and isolated from civilization you venture; mankind seeks and worships something or somebody. God put that nature into us, His creation.
He also says that He is looking for those who will worship Him in truth and in spirit. Mankind around the world is looking for some way to appease this creator. The evidence that points to this God is just too much to ignore. They have developed all kinds of religious acts and formulas to hopefully please this creator. All types of assumptions and acts are carried out to accomplish this. All the religions of the world have devised different ways to get this God’s attention and please him.
There is one religion that is different from the others, that is Christianity. Christianity provides a sinless savior who can redeem, rescue, and keep (or hold on) to a repentant person. The others have a method where they try to save and keep themselves by doing something and then keep doing it. Being a Senior Adult in this stage of my life, I don’t have much confidence in my ability to save myself. I look back over my life and see my shortcomings, my mistakes, and my just flat-out failures in certain areas and I know I want a savior god who will hold onto me. My strength to hold on is not in my ability, it is in my savior’s ability. Christianity is the only religion that provides that. You know that Jesus is the Savior in Christianity.
Jesus says in John Chapter six – whoever comes to me I’ll never drive away, and whoever comes to me I’ll never lose. That is the kind of savior that I want, and that is the kind of Savior that Jesus Christ is. Once we come to him and start a relationship with him, he holds onto us. In fact he says "I will never leave or forsake you!."
God loves it when we believe Him and trust in His method, “faith in His Son Jesus Christ.” In Hebrews chapter 11, the writer says that without faith, it is impossible to please God. God puts great weight on a person believing to the point where he acts on what He says. Faith - is believing to the point where we act. The whole chapter is about different individuals who carried out this very thing. One after the other in line – a whole cloud of witnesses files past.
It is interesting, the bible is not written in such a way to make it analytically proven. It is written in such a way that the evidence of truth is abundant, but we still must make a deliberate choice to believe and act on it; the very definition of FAITH! That is God’s method, God’s way; and we are given the freedom to choose to accept Him or reject Him.
For those who are repentant, those who have a sorrow and sadness about their state in sin, God has a solution – He will redeem and rescue and will give power to go forward in His strength and might. Wow, what a trade. We give to Jesus our sins; he gives to us his righteousness and redemption.
Now let’s jump from the introductory material to Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians in Chapter 3. If we choose Jesus Christ, then what do we pray and what do we do to please this God of the Bible?
Ephesians 3 from the Bible:
14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
As we briefly discuss the above verses notice that the Father, the Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit are all mentioned in this short passage of Bible Scripture.
We come before God humbly, knowing that he is God and we are not. We don’t demand, we ask humbly. God’s ways many times are above our comprehension, so we ask and wait patiently for his answer. Many times he accomplishes our needs in ways other than what we would do. All fathers are patterned after His authority; we are created in His image and that is where the role originated.
Paul asks God to strengthen us out of His riches by sending his Holy Spirit to help us.
Then Paul asks that we be rooted and grounded in love to understand how much Jesus loves mankind – the breath, and dept, and height of his love for us. He then asks that we know this love that surpasses all understanding. Remember the definition of Godly love in 1 Cor 13: 4-6
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
In the last part of his this prayer, Paul reminds us - more than we can imagine or understand, God can do in us aided by His Holy Spirit. We should honor and respect this God that loves us so much and holds out to us His salvation. This salvation is through trusting in His Son Jesus Christ.
Below are the Scriptures from John Chapter 6 that I read many times to shore up and reinforce my confidence in our Savior Jesus Christ. Beth and I were there in Capernaum, where Jesus spoke these words. See our pictures by clicking Link to Capernaum.
28 Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?”
29 Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”
33 For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” 34 “Sir,” they said, “always give us this bread.”
35 Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. 36 But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe. 37 All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. 38 For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. 40 For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.”
45 It is written in the Prophets: ‘They will all be taught by God'. Everyone who has heard the Father and learned from him comes to me.
50 But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which anyone may eat and not die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”
Paul said in 1 Corinthians15 Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. 2 By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,