February 5, 2023
Sermon Series: Spirit-Filled Living Is Essential For Christians
Book of Ephesians
Sermon # 4: Experiencing God’s Awesome Power
Last Sunday I preached part 1 on the subject: Experiencing God’s Awesome Power.
To experience God’s awesome power, we need to know two facts.
1. Without Christ we are alienated from God (v. 12-12).
2. With Christ we have access to God (v. 13-18).
Today I will preach on part 2 of the lesson.
Introduction: Have you ever wondered how the film in your camera is developed into pictures? The principle is very simple: point your camera at your subject, press the shutter button, and the light will burn an impression of your subject on the film. After your film is processed by a lab, pictures appear. If everything worked (such as adjusting all the settings, holding the camera still, using the proper lighting), you have in your possession a record of your memories.
As you will learn in this session, God has taken four pictures of the church in order to help you better understand how you relate to each “picture.” God has pointed His camera at the church, pressed the shutter, and His light has burned an impression on the film. The fruit of His labor is a photo album of four pictures of the church.
To experience God’s awesome power, we have two more facts, and they relate to God taking four pictures of the church.
I. IN CHRIST WE ARE ACCEPTED AS GOD’S FAMILY v. 19
A. Picture 1: A New Nation
Note the word “fellow citizens.” We, the Gentiles, are no longer strangers and foreigners to God; we are now fellow citizens with all the saints of God.
1. We were strangers and foreigners. The word “stranger” means an outsider, an unknown person, a person who does not belong. The word “foreigner” means sojourner, alien, a migrant, an exile.
But note the glorious news: we are no longer strangers, and foreigners to God. Jesus Christ has brought us to God. We are now fellow citizens with all of God’s people.
2. Note the word “saints.”
· Saints: a people set apart or separated to God.
· Fellow citizens: a people being built into a new nation being created by God.
B. Picture 2: God’s Family
Note the phrase “household of God.” Jesus Christ has brought us into the family of God. The church of Jesus Christ is not an organization or social club; it is a family. This involves two glorious privileges.
1. The privilege of adoption. We have been adopted as children of God, sons and daughters of His. We now live in the same house with God and His family, and all the experiences of God’s family are now ours:
· Concern companionship
2. The privilege of responsibility and service. Again, note the term household. Every person of the household has duties to perform, some service to render for the sake of the family (Gal. 6:10).
II. TOGETHER WE EXPERIENCE GOD’S AWESOME POWER v. 20
A. Picture 3: God’s Building
Believers are pictured as being stones which are being used to construct a building for God. Note two significant points.
1. Jesus Christ Himself is the chief cornerstone.
a. The cornerstone is the first stone laid. All other stones are placed after it. So, it is with Christ. He is the first of God’s new movement.
b. The cornerstone is the supportive stone. All other stones are placed upon it and held up by it. They all rest upon it. So, it is with Christ. He is the support and power, the Foundation of God’s new movement.
c. The cornerstone is the directional stone. It is used to line up the whole building and all the other stones. So, it is with Christ. He is the Person who gave and gives the directions and instructions to God’s people.
Jesus Christ is the chief cornerstone. If He is removed, the church will collapse: no Christ, no church. Christ holds everything within the church together. Therefore, it is an absolute necessity that He and he alone be preached, taught, and lived.
2. We, the church, are built upon the foundation laid by the testimonies of the apostles and prophets (Eph. 4:11-12).
How many of us would hire a contractor to build our dream house if he did not use blueprint? If he used your money to build your house without instructions? You can imagine the results: he poured the foundation in the wrong place. He put the electrical wires where the hot water pipes should go. He made your bedroom the size of a phone booth and your fireplace wound up in a closet!
You would never entrust your house to a contractor without some plan or blueprint. In the same sense, God would not build His church without a blueprint. Unlike the contractor above, God made certain that His foundation was sure by making Jesus Christ the chief cornerstone. Because the Cornerstone is in place, every other stone will be in line, and the church will be built the right way. This is one building project that is very important to God. His investment cost Him a lot----His own Son, the Lord Jesus Christ
B. Picture 4: A Growing Organism.
The word “grows” is a biological word, the idea of a living organism. The church is pictured as a living organism---the union of various parts of a living being.
The church of Jesus Christ has a destiny to grow. Satan has opposed this growth throughout the ages. History has proven that he will stop at nothing to achieve his goal (which will ultimately fail).
Anyone who has seen a picture produced by a fetal ultrasound has seen one of God’s greatest miracles: a growing organism; a little child who has hands and feet and a heart that beats. Today, there is a literal war that rages around the world, and the innocent children in their mothers’ wombs are caught in the crossfire. There are many who desire to solve the problem of pregnancy by claiming that life begins after the fetus is born. But the fetal ultrasound allows us to see ourselves that life begins before birth.
Look closely at the ultrasound and rejoice. The church is alive and growing! Throughout the history of the church, Satan has also tried to abort or destroy the body of Christ, the church. He has, in a sense, seen God’s spiritual ultrasound and fears a church that is a growing organism. In spite of his opposition, the church will be triumphant. Jesus reminded us of this when He said “….upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail it” (Mt. 16:18b).
Responsive Reading: Ephesians 2:11-22