Tuesday 12 September, 2017

Ephesians 1:15-23

15 I have heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus. I have also heard about your love for all God’s people. That is why 16 I have not stopped thanking God for you. I always remember you in my prayers. 17 I pray to the God of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is the glorious Father. I keep asking him to give you the wisdom and understanding that come from the Holy Spirit. I want you to know God better. 18 I pray that you may understand more clearly. Then you will know the hope God has chosen you to receive. You will know that what God will give his holy people is rich and glorious. 19 And you will know God’s great power. It can’t be compared with anything else. His power works for us who believe. It is the same mighty strength 20 God showed. He showed this when he raised Christ from the dead. God seated him at his right hand in his heavenly kingdom. 21 There Christ sits far above all who rule and have authority. He also sits far above all powers and kings. He is above every name that is appealed to in this world and in the world to come. 22 God placed all things under Christ’s rule. He appointed him to be ruler over everything for the church. 23 The church is Christ’s body and is filled by Christ. He fills everything in every way.

Paul’s commitment to pray persistently for the church at Ephesus is so impressive. You can see how purposeful his prayer is. Firstly, he prays that the Spirit will enable them to know Jesus Christ better. Secondly, Paul indicates what will flow on from knowing Jesus better i.e. the hope of an amazing inheritance in His kingdom, and the reality of the great power which resides within each one of his readers.

This power for which Paul prays is defined as exactly the same power [dunamis] which the Father used to raise Jesus from the dead and enthrone him at His side. What kind of power we might ask? Paul answers that for us by describing it as superior to any other kind of power throughout the earth and the universe.

The next thing his readers needed know is that Jesus Christ has been installed as the Head of the church with unsurpassed power and authority. As believers we are part of this as Christ’s body through which He fills everything.

What an incredible impact this prayer of Paul must have had on the Ephesian believers! For us the question is [a] do I recognise that this kind of power resides within me & my church through the presence of the Spirit of God? [b] If so, is there any limit to the impact my life should make in the world? It’s a challenge isn’t it? But, it is more than a reality for you and for me.

Paul speaks here to the corporate body of believers, so he is grateful for the impact this body is making and will continue to make on the whole community in Ephesus. The same applies to us as the body of Jesus Christ here in C3 Carlingford. The better we know Jesus Christ, the more effective our outreach into our community will be.

Written by Keith Bennett

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