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Chuck Smith :: Sermon Notes for Ephesians 3:20

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I. PAUL IS EXTOLLING HIM WHO IS ABLE TO DO EXCEEDING ABUNDANTLY ABOVE ALL THAT WE CAN ASK OR THINK.
A. As we shared last week it is important that we know that He is able.
1. We should never measure problems by our capacity to deal with them.
2. Difficulty must always be measured by the capacity of the agent doing the work.
B. What is the agency doing the work? "According to the power that worketh in us."
1. Here we have this Greek word dunamis again. The power.
2. In going back in Paul's prayer verse 16, he was praying that they would be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man.
a. As we pointed out the word translated might is the same Greek word dunamis.
b. Note that it is might or power by His Spirit.
c. How desperately we need to recognize the need of the power of the Holy Spirit working in our lives.
3. So often our spiritual defeats come from our self reliance.
4. We are in a spiritual warfare, we wrestle not against flesh and blood as Paul will tell us in chapter 6.
5. The flesh is warring against the spirit and the spirit against our flesh, so that we cannot do the things that we would.
6. As Jesus recognized in Peter, "The spirit indeed is willing but the flesh is weak."
7. Paul acknowledged the weakness of his flesh. "I know that in me, that is in my flesh, there dwelleth no good thing. I need to acknowledge that and confess that my flesh is weak."
a. In Romans 7 Paul speaks of the war between his flesh and his spirit. He speaks about doing things that he does not allow, and not doing the things that he desires to do. Even hating the things that he does.
b. He declares that the desire to do the right things is there, but he lacks the ability to perform that which he desires. The good that he would do, he doesn't do, and the evil that he does not want to do he is doing.
c. He discovered sort of a perverse law at work, that is when he wanted to do good, evil was present with him.
d. He recognized that this was because of the power of the sinful nature.
e. The law of God was working in the inward man, but the law of the flesh was warring against his mind.
f. He saw that there were two laws at work, the law of his mind, and the law of his flesh, and that the law of the flesh was stronger than the law of his mind.
g. Making up your mind to be better is not going to make it. Note how many New Year's resolutions are broken within the first week of the new year.
h. Recognizing this Paul cried out in desperation, "O wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from the body of this death?"
i. Note Romans 8:2 the third law, "For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death."
j. This is why Paul prayed that they would be strengthened with power by His Spirit in the inner man.
C. The power of the Holy Spirit in me is able to do exceeding abundantly more for me than I could ever do for myself. "According to His power that worketh in us."
II. THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IN THE LIFE OF THE BELIEVER.
A. The power to be His witnesses. Acts 1:8 "But you will receive power, after that the Holy Spirit has come upon you and you will be witnesses unto Me."
1. Here Jesus promised the disciples that the power that they would need to be witnesses of Him would be given to them when the Holy Spirit came upon them.
2. We see this fulfilled in Acts 4:33 "And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all."
3. Paul was able to write in Romans 5:19 "Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ."
4. The prophet Micah cried,
MIC 3:8 But truly I am full of power by the spirit of the LORD, and of judgment, and of might, to declare unto Jacob his transgression, and to Israel his sin.
a. The Spirit gave him the power to witness against the sins of the people of God.
B. Power to do the work of God.
1. When Zerubbabel was looking at the mountains of rubble and wondering how the walls of Jerusalem could ever be built again the word of the Lord came to him saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.
2. Jesus told the disciples to wait in Jerusalem until they were endued with this power from on high. They were not to endeavor to do the work of God until they had received the power of the Spirit to accomplish it.
3. We find the book of Acts records concerning Stephen, And Stephen, full of faith and power, (dunamis) did great wonders and miracles among the people.
4. Paul wrote to the Corinthians, And my speech and my preaching [was] not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.
C. And as we have noted earlier, The Holy Spirit gives us the power to do and to be, what we desire to do and be for Christ.
III. UNTO HIM BE GLORY IN ALL THE CHURCH.
A. In the psalms David said,
PSA 29:1 Give unto the LORD, O ye mighty, give unto the LORD glory and strength.
PSA 29:2 Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.
PSA 72:19 And blessed [be] his glorious name for ever: and let the whole earth be filled [with] his glory; Amen, and Amen.
B. The prophet Isaiah had a vision of heaven and he saw the Cherubim about the throne of God and they were saying, Holy, holy, holy, [is] the LORD of hosts: the whole earth [is] full of his glory.
C. When the angels announced to the shepherds the birth of Christ, they said, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace good will towards men."
D. Paul tells us that one day every knee shall bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.
E. Jude in his classic benediction declared, To the only wise God our Savior, [be] glory and majesty, dominion and power both now and forever, amen.
F. In the book of Revelation John takes us into heaven and there we see and hear the glory that is ascribed to God and the declaration of His worthiness to receive it.
REV 4:9 And when the cherubim give glory and honor and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever,
REV 4:10 The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying,
REV 4:11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.
G. Glory should be given to God now in the church, and that glory shall be given to Him forever.
H. Note the glory is by Jesus Christ, and is to continue throughout all ages, world without end. When I saw the cleansing fountain, open wide for all my sins, I obeyed the Spirit's wooing when He said, wilt thou be clean. I will praise Him, I will praise Him, praise the Lamb for sinners slain, give Him glory all ye people, for His blood can wash away each stain.
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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