"HE IS ABLE"
I. PAUL'S IMPOSSIBLE REQUESTS.
A. That you being rooted and grounded in love may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge.
1. The broadness of the love of Christ, It encompasses all of mankind. There is not a single person who is beyond the boundaries of His love.
2. The length of His love. "His mercy endureth forever."
3. The depth, we see the depths to which Jesus was willing to go to demonstrate that love to us. Being in the form of God and not thinking it robbery to be equal with God to being nailed to the cross by a mocking jeering mob. He went into the depths of hell for you and me.
4. The height. "As high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His mercy toward them that fear Him." In my lifetime I have seen the Universe grow from four and a half billion light years to somewhere over 15 billion. Every time they revise the estimate upwards, I just think that God's mercy for me has just increased that much more.
5. This is to know by experience. He wanted them to experience the vastness of the love of Jesus Christ for you.
6. But if it passes all knowledge, how could they know it?
7. It is impossible to know it except by experience.
a. The Psalmist said, "Oh taste and see that the Lord is good."
8. Now unto Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think.
B. The second impossible thing that he asked for was that they might be filled with the fullness of God.
1. When Solomon dedicated the temple he said, "The heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain you, how much less this house that I have built." God is so vast that He is outside of space.
2. If the Universe is too small to contain God, how could I possibly be filled with the fullness of God?
3. Jesus said, concerning certain things, "With man it is impossible, but with God, all things are possible."
4. Now unto Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we could ask or think.
C. Paul was confident in the ability of God.
1. Too often we are looking at our problems in the light of our ability to handle them.
2. We are prone thus to faint and despair.
3. We measure the seriousness of a situation according to man's power to deal with it. Not with the ability of God to deal with it.
4. When the Doctor says there is no hope, we are prone to give up hope.
5. We are not dealing with the limitations of man, but with the unlimited ability of God.
D. It is so important that we learn to look at things according to God's ability.
1. In Romans 4
Paul shares with us the faith of Abraham that allowed him to have a son when he was a hundred years old, and his wife Sarah. Not only was the age a factor, but Sarah had gone through the change.
2. He considered not his own age or the deadness of Sarah's womb.
3. He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief.
4. Being strong in the faith, he gave glory to God.
5. He was fully persuaded that what God had promised, He was able also to perform.
6. That's it! He believed that God was able to do the impossible.
II. MEN WHO SAW MIRACLES BECAUSE THEY BELIEVED IN THE ABILITY OF GOD.
A. We already mentioned Abraham, but there was another incident when before his son Issac was married that God asked Abraham to offer his son to God as a sacrifice on a mountain that God would show him.
1. Abraham took the three day journey to that mountain with his servants, and his son Issac.
2. When Abraham and Issac left the servants at the bottom of the mountain, Abraham said to them, "You stay here, I and the lad will go and sacrifice and return to you." He was confident that Issac would be coming back with him.
3. When Issac asked his father where the sacrifice was, Abraham responded, "Jehovah will provide Himself a sacrifice, in the Mount of the Lord it shall be seen."
4. Abraham bound his son Issac and prepared to offer him as a sacrifice to God. You ask, "How could he do that?"
5. God had promised Abraham "Through Issac shall your seed be called." Issac had not yet had any children so Abraham knew that God was able to raise Issac from the dead if necessary to keep His word." In Hebrews we read,
Accounting that God [was] able to raise [him] up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.
6. He didn't know how God was going to do it, he just knew that He would, because God keeps His word.
7. Often our problem is trying to figure out how God might do it.
B. The three Hebrew children, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, refused to bow to the kings image and were threatened with death in the burning fiery furnace. When the king threatened to throw them in the furnace if they did not bow, they answered, "We are not careful how we answer you in this matter, for the God that we serve is able to deliver us from your burning fiery furnace, and even if He does not deliver us, we still will not bow."
1. They believed in the ability of God to deliver, and He did.
2. When they were thrown in the furnace it was so hot that the men who threw them in died from the heat. But Nebuchadnezzer looked into the furnace and saw them walking around in the midst of the fire, and beside the three, he saw a fourth man who looked like the Son of God.
C. In the days of Daniel, Darius the king of the Persians was conned into signing a decree that no one could pray to any god or ask a a favor of anyone for a period of thirty days, upon the penalty of being cast into the lions den. When Daniel knew that the decree was signed he ignored it and went to his room and with a window opened toward Jerusalem prayed three times a day.
1. Daniel's enemies were waiting outside his window and heard him pray and immediately reported the infraction to the king.
2. The king loved Daniel and spent the day trying to somehow find a loophole in the decree, but none could be found so according to the law of the Medes and the Persians, Daniel was cast into the lions den. I thought it was interesting that the king assured Daniel that the God that he served would deliver him from the lions.
3. The king spent a sleepless night and in the morning came early to the den of lions and calling down asked in a lamentable voice, Daniel, O Daniel, servant the living God, is your God, whom you served continually, able to deliver you from the lions? He had assured Daniel that he would, now he is questioning as to, did He?
4. Daniel responded to the king, O king, live forever. My God sent his angel, and shut the lions' mouths, that they have not hurt me.
D. John the Baptist warned the Jews not to trust in the fact that they were descendants of Abraham, he said that God was able to change the stones into children of Abraham.
E. The writer of the book of Hebrews said concerning Jesus, that He was able to save to the uttermost all who would come unto God through Him.
1. The ability of Jesus to save.
2. Save to the uttermost.
3. Save the most hopeless cases.
4. You must come unto God through Him.
F. Jude in the benediction to his short letter said, "Now unto Him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you faultless before His presence with exceeding joy."
1. He is able to give you the strength to overcome that sin that has been plaguing your life.
2. He is able to present you one day to the Father, pure, holy faultless.
3. When you one day stand before God as all men will, you will either plead your own righteousness, or you can stand there in the righteousness of Jesus Christ, that has been accounted to you by your faith in Him.