We’ve reached week three of our summer sermon series in the book of Ephesians called True Identity. Pastor Chris guides us in understanding the depth and hope of God’s promise as we continue to unpack chapter one. The Apostle Paul urges the church family in Ephesus to grasp the revelation of their true hope in calling or purpose and their glorious inheritance – this is for us, too.
Our knowledge of him is more than what is in a book, even one as sacred as the Bible. It is called the living word (Heb. 4:12) because the revelation of its truth is made through our relationship with God by His Spirit in us. From this passionate prayer of Paul in chapter one of Ephesians, Pastor Chris has distilled three essentials for truly knowing and walking-in our God-proclaimed identity:
1. The HOPE of God’s call – Eph. 1:18 18having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you,
· Hebrews 6:19–20 (ESV) – 19 We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, 20 where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf…
· Col. 4:12 – Epaphras…always laboring fervently for you in prayers, that you may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.
· Col. 1:9-10 – 9We…do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will… 10 that you may have a walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God…
2. The glory of God’s INHERITANCE – Eph. 1:18 what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints,
· Col 1:12 – 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.
· 1 Pet. 1:4 – 4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you…
3. The greatness of God’s POWER – Eph. 1:19-20 19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might 20 that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places,
· Acts 1:8 – 8 You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me…to the end of the earth.
1. Paul prays for all of us in the church that we will be given “the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your heart enlightened… (Eph. 1:17)” How do you suppose we can gain knowledge and revelation of God?
2. When you think of an inheritance, what comes to mind? How do people know that they have an inheritance from a parent or deceased family member?
3. When you hope for something big in your life, in what ways do you find yourself hoping? Is it something you approach with certainty or hesitation; is it more wish or assurance?
4. When you think of your calling, which is how Christians are to walk in their identity, how do you incorporate the biblical meaning of Hope? (Read Hebrews 6:19–20 for insight)
5. Our identity as Jesus followers is cemented in the promise (Eph. 19-20) of God’s might and power working in us. What advice would you give a new believer in Christ who asks, “How can I live my life in a way to see God’s resurrection power is working in me?”