Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Praying Paul's Prayers

Praying Paul’s Prayers

Ephesians 3:14-21 NASB - "14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, 16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God. 20 Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, 21 to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen."

Read Ephesians 3:1-13. What reason could Paul be referring to as a basis of his bowing his knee to God the Father? 

Vs 14. What does it mean to bow the knee?

Do you ever bow your knees physically when you pray?  Why?

Vs. 15  Every family or “every fatherhood” derives its authority (name).  All governments at home, clan, and community ultimately get their authority from God the Father.   (Romans 13:1-7)

Why is it important to remember that if we have authority it has been delegated to us and given to us by God?

Vs 16.  His Glory =  Perfect C_____________________ & Perfect C_____________________

Have you ever asked God to make your soul stronger through the Holy Spirit?

Have you ever asked God to make the souls of other people stronger through the Holy Spirit?

Why or why not?

Vs. 17 Messiah rooted in our heart would be the gospel proclaimed inwardly which would lead us to love in a deep and stable manner.

That we may see Messiah more clearly, that we might love HIM more dearly, and follow HIM more nearly day by day. 

Vs. 18 ,19  - Vision of the greatness of the love of Messiah will lead to us being filled with the fullness of God.  This is has knowledge in it but is beyond knowledge.  (1 John 3:1-3)

There is more to reality than meets the eye. It is possible to see and still not see, hear and still not hear. In order to truly see we must be recipients of God's gift of transforming vision through the illuminating work of God's Spirit. In other words, in order to see, we need light--the divine and supernatural light that only God can give. This is Jonathan Edwards' central contention in his sermon entitled A Divine and Spiritual Light, Immediately Imparted to the Soul by the Spirit of God.[1]

What then is the spiritual and divine light?

It is to have "a true sense of the divine excellency of the things revealed in the Word of God, and a conviction of the truth and reality of them" (p. 111).

This "sense" goes beyond a mere mental apprehension, penetrating to the very heart of a person. It is not merely an intellectual knowledge of God's glory, holiness, or grace, but a spiritual perception of the beauty of God's glory, the loveliness of God's holiness, and the preciousness of God's grace.

It is to go from mere rational reflection to a heart-felt desire and delight in God.

 It is the difference between knowing honey is sweet and actually delighting in the sweetness of honey by tasting it with one's own lips (p. 112).

This knowledge is not just rational, but transformational. It is not just different "in degree and circumstances [and] effects; but it [is] entirely different in nature and kind" (p. 116).[1]

How could we seek for such knowledge of Christ’s love?

Have there been moments in your spiritual journey when you felt you had a better vision of the Love of God made clear in Jesus?

What do you think hinders us gaining such a vision of the Love of Christ for us?

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