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Chuck Smith :: Sermon Notes for Ephesians 3:17

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I. "THAT YOU BEING ROOTED AND GROUNDED IN LOVE."
A. That our roots go down deep in the love of Jesus Christ.
1. It is through the roots that the tree draws its source for life. Moisture and nourishment are drawn from the soil by the roots.
a. Nourished in the love of Jesus.
2. The roots anchor the plant to the ground.
a. Otherwise the tree could never stand.
b. The plant would blow away.
3. We draw from the love of Jesus our life sustaining power and our stability.
4. In the next chapter he is going to talk about those who are carried about with every wind of doctrine.
5. The Psalmist speaks about the chaff which the wind driveth away.
B. Some thirty years later, Jesus wrote to the church at Ephesus through John in the book of Revelation Jesus said, "I have this against thee in that thou hast left thy first love."
1. The very thing that Paul was praying for them within a generation was gone.
2. When God is zeroing in on an area in your life, it is because he knows where Satan is going to launch his attack against you.
3. They say to be forewarned is to be forearmed, but this is only true if we heed the warning.
C. Paul is praying that they may also be grounded in love. Love is truly the foundation of Christianity.
1. Jesus said, "By this shall men know that you are My disciples, that you love one another."
2. Without this love all my spiritual confessions and manifestations are meaningless.
3. John tells us that it is not just verbalizing. There are many people who know the right things to say. They have the spiritual jargon down pat. The problem is that it is all words.
a. To hear some people talk, you would think that they are spiritual giants.
b. All talk, no walk.
c. John said, "Let us not love in word or tongue, but in deed and in truth. And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him."
4. The reality of your Christian faith is proved by your love.
a. "We know that we have passed from death unto life because we love the brethren."
1JO 3:11 For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.
1JO 3:16 Hereby perceive we the love [of God], because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down [our] lives for the brethren.
1JO 3:23 And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.
1JO 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
1JO 4:8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
1JO 4:9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.
1JO 4:10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son [to be] the propitiation for our sins.
1JO 4:11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.
1JO 4:12 No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.
1JO 4:16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.
1JO 4:19 We love him, because he first loved us.
1JO 4:20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?
1JO 5:2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.
1JO 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.
1JO 4:21 And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.
JOH 15:17 These things I command you, that ye love one another.
D. Let us pray that God will root and ground us in love.
II. THAT YOU MAY BE ABLE TO COMPREHEND WITH ALL THE SAINTS, WHAT IS THE BREADTH, AND LENGTH AND THE DEPTH AND HEIGHT AND TO KNOW THAT LOVE OF CHRIST WHICH PASSETH KNOWLEDGE.
A. In looking at the breadth and length, we see the horizontal, in the depth and height we see the vertical, and thus we see the cross.
1. It is at the cross that we see the love of God.
JOH 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
ROM 5:6 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.
ROM 5:7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.
ROM 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
EPH 5:2 And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.
1JO 4:10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son [to be] the propitiation for our sins.
JOH 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
B. It is the desire of God to bring you into a loving relationship with Him, so He initiated this relationship by demonstrating His love for you in sacrificing His Son for your sins.
1. We love Him because He first loved us. 2CO 5:14 For the love of Christ constraineth us;
TIT 3:3 For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, [and] hating one another.
TIT 3:4 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,
TIT 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
2. We are drawn by His love for us to loving Him.
C. "And to know the love of Christ which passeth knowledge."
1. It is through knowing the love of Christ manifested in His willingness to give His life for our sins that we begin to comprehend the depths and the heights of God's love.
2. The word know here comes from the Greek word gnosko which is to know by experience.
3. He wants you to experience this love of Christ.
4. The love of Christ for you is so vast that it passes your ability to comprehend it. (Passeth knowledge)
III. THAT YOU MIGHT BE FILLED WITH THE FULLNESS OF GOD.
A. When Solomon was dedicating the temple in his prayer to God he recognized that the heavens of heavens were not vast enough to contain God.
B. In chapter 1 Paul speaks of the church as the fullness of Him that filleth all in all.
C. God's presence fills the universe.
1. You cannot go where God isn't.
2. Isaiah speaks of Him meting out the heavens with a span.
3. The psalmist asks,
PSA 139:7 Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?
PSA 139:8 If I ascend up into heaven, thou [art] there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou [art there].
PSA 139:9 [If] I take the wings of the morning, [and] dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;
PSA 139:10 Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.
D. Yet Paul prays that you might be filled with the fullness of God.
IV. NO WONDER PAUL ENDS THIS PRAYER WITH THE WORDS "NOW UNTO HIM THAT IS ABLE TO DO EXCEEDING ABUNDANTLY ABOVE ALL THAT WE ASK OR THINK."
A. Paul has asked God to do some impossible things for them.
1. To know things that are beyond knowledge.
2. To be filled with the fullness of the One who is so vast that even the Universe cannot contain Him.
B. Is God able is the question we must ask of every situation or problem.
1. One of the keys of Abraham's faith was his belief that what God had promised, He was able also to perform.
2. When Amaziah the king asked the prophet what he should do about the hundred talents that he had given to hire the mercenary soldiers from Israel, the prophet answered, "The Lord is able to give you much more than this."
3. The three Hebrew children answered Nebuchadnezzer, "Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us out of your hand."
4. The King asked Daniel if the God that he served was able to deliver him from the lions.
5. When Jesus was talking to the Jews, He declared that God was able from the stones to raise up children unto Abraham. Later in Matt. He asked the two blind men if they thought He was able to heal them.
7. Paul told the Corinthians that God was able to make all grace abound toward them
8. Paul told Timothy that he knew in whom he believed and was fully persuaded that He was able to keep that which Paul had committed to Him.
9. The book of Hebrews tells us that because Jesus suffered temptation, He was able to help those who were being tempted.
10. Again the book of Hebrews tells us that He is able to save all that will come unto God by Him.
11. Finally Jude in his benediction declares, "Now unto Him who is able to keep you from falling, and present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy."
C. When I face situations where I know I am not able to cope or deal with them, I know that He is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that I can ask or think.
CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

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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