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Blue Letter Bible offers several daily devotional readings in order to help you refocus on Christ and the Gospel of His peace and righteousness.

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Chuck Smith :: Sermon Notes for Ephesians 1:17

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Intro. When I hear a person say, "Oh my God." I am tempted to ask, "And just who might that be?" The Bible tells us that the gods of the heathen are many. It recognizes that there are many things that can govern a man's life. There is only one true, eternal God, the Creator of all. In second Chronicles it says that for a long time Israel had been without the true God.
A. In a sense they are right.
1. Job's friend Zophar asked, "Who by searching can understand God completely?"
2. Paul wrote,
1CO 2:7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, [even] the hidden [wisdom], which God ordained before the world unto our glory:
1CO 2:8 Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known [it], they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
1CO 2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
1CO 2:10 But God hath revealed [them] unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.
1CO 2:11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.
1CO 2:12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
1CO 2:13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
1CO 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know [them], because they are spiritually discerned.
3. Jesus said,
MAT 11:27 All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and [he] to whomsoever the Son will reveal [him].
4. Zophar said, "No man can understand God completely by searching." Paul said, "The natural man cannot know the things of the Spirit." Jesus said, "No man knows the Father unless the Son reveals Him to him."
B. This is why Paul prayed for the Spirit of wisdom and revelation to be given to you in the knowledge of Him.
1. You do not come to a knowledge of God by intellectual quest, but by the revelation of the Spirit.
2. It is a sad mistake that when a person has been on a purely intellectual quest for God and has come up empty, he concludes that God is unknowable.
3. God is knowable.
a. David said to his son Solomon, "Know the God of your fathers, and serve Him with a perfect heart."
b. The prophet Jeremiah wrote,
JER 9:23 Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise [man] glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty [man] glory in his might, let not the rich [man] glory in his riches:
JER 9:24 But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I [am] the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these [things] I delight, saith the LORD.
c. Jeremiah spoke of a day when
JER 31:34 They shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.
d. Jesus prayed,
JOH 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
e. He then prayed,
JOH 17:25 O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me.
C. Not knowing God is inexcusable.
1. David said, "The heavens declare the glory of God and the earth shows His handiwork. Day after day they speak to us, every night their voice goes forth in a universal language to all men everywhere."
2. Paul wrote in Romans 1,
ROM 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
ROM 1:19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed [it] unto them.
ROM 1:20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, [even] his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
ROM 1:21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified [him] not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
3. Paul goes on to say that because they did not want to retain the knowledge of God in their mind God gave them over to reprobate minds.
4. Writing to the Thessalonians Paul wrote, Because they did not have a love for the truth, God will give them over to a strong delusion that they will believe a lie rather than the truth.
a. I am always amazed at the utterly ridiculous things that man will believe and do once they have rejected the truth of God in their minds.
b. I think of the mass suicides of those who were hoping to ride on the tail of the comet Hale Bop to a better life.
c. I think of the many college professors who travel to India to worship at the feet of Si Baba, who they believe to be God in the flesh.
5. A tragic fate awaits those who know not God. Paul wrote,
2TH 1:7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,
2TH 1:8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:
2TH 1:9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;
A. John said, "No man has seen the Father at any time but the only begotten Son who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him."
B. Jesus said, "I and the Father are one." "If you have seen Me, you have seen the Father." " Those that see Me have seen the One who sent Me."
C. Looking at Jesus what do we see God to be?
1. Merciful and gracious. The woman who was brought to him caught in the act of adultery, "Neither do I condemn you, go your way and sin no more."
2. Longsuffering. He was so patient we His disciples who could not grasp the truth that He the Messiah was to be crucified, and would not immediately establish His kingdom on the earth.
3. Abundant in goodness and truth. "He went about doing good and healing all manner of sickness." He never met a human blight without seeking to correct it. He opened the eyes of the blind, He cleansed the lepers.
4. Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgressions and sin. To the man with the palsy let down in a basket before Him as He was teaching in a house. "Your sins are forgiven." To the dying thief on the cross, "Today you will be with Me in paradise."
5. Compassionate, He was moved by the weaknesses of mankind, He didn't just say, "What a pity." He actively did something about it.
6. Loving. "Greater love has no man than this, that He lay down His life for His friends." Then He laid down His life.
7. When God proclaimed His name to Moses He declared, The Becoming One, The Becoming God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgressions and sin.
8. Oh how good it is to know Him.
A. You begin to understand what is the hope of your calling.
1. God has called us to live in fellowship with Him.
2. This means to live in harmony with Him, to walk in the light as He is in the light.
a. If I say that I have fellowship with God and I am walking in darkness, I am deceived, it is not true.
b. Paul asked what fellowship has light with darkness?
c. If I walk in the light as He is in the light then I have fellowship with Him and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses me from all sin.
3. This fellowship with God is a never ending fellowship.
a. As God is eternal, so will be my fellowship with Him.
b. Physical death cannot separate me from this fellowship, but will only enhance it.
c. King David said, "Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all of the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever."
d. In the prayer of Jesus in John 17 He prayed, "This is eternal life, that they might know you the only true God."
e. Jesus said, "If you live and believe in Me you will never die." That is a reference to spiritual death which is separation from God.
f. Paul said we shall all die, but we will all be changed, for this corruptible body must put on an incorruptible body, this mortal body must take on immortality. He said that we who are living in these bodies do often groan as our desire is to be freed from this bodies that we might move into our new bodies, for we know as long as we are at home in these bodies, we are absent from the Lord, but we would rather be absent from these bodies that we might be present with the Lord. THIS IS THE HOPE OF OUR CALLING TO BE PRESENT WITH THE LORD FOREVER.

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.


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