God is pushing limits in order to bless us and empowering us to push limits to maximize on receiving the blessings. The Ephesians had to maintain fruitful lives in the midst of persecution.
Presentation Overview - Pushing Limits
- Glorious Destiny
- Perfect Harmony
- Boundless Capacity
- Stand Steadfastly
- Speak Fearlessly
- Pray Unceasingly
Reflect and discuss “filled with all the fullness of God” (Eph 3:19)
Introduction to the book
Paul wrote the book in prison about 60-62 A.D. to encourage believers to walk as fruitful followers of Christ in the midst of persecution .
We see strings of emphasis and superlatives in this book such as “exceedingly, abundantly, above all, filled with all the fullness of God…”, etc. God is pushing limits and empowering us to do so.
I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. Eph 1:18,19
What are the eyes of our heart? How can they be enlightened?
This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus. Ephesians 3:6
Read Eph 5:21-33
- How can the family enjoy this harmony (ch 5) in a world where families are breaking up?
- What are some challenges you face in following biblical guidelines. Share practical examples of how to overcome them
- Does the church look like a picture of harmony today? How does it come together?
The Seeming Disconnect
Our churches may look disjointed, and misaligned with God’s purpose
The Big Picture
But from the big picture perspective, there are the “remnant” – those few functional “living stones” in the churches that work across the globe to form the true “body of Christ” – who are moving forward to achieve His big purpose.
Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think,
according to the power
that works in us.. Eph 3:20 Jubilee bible
What are the superlatives do we have in this verse? What is this super power dependent on?
Some conditions to leverage God’s “power that works in us” (Eph 3:20)?
- Stand steadfastly
- Speak fearlessly
- Pray unceasingly
Boundless Capacity - Stand Steadfastly
Ephesians 6:13 Therefore put on the full armor of God,so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place.
Whole Armour of God
Ephesians 6:13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Boundless Capacity - Speak Fearlessly
Ephesians 6:19 Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel.
Ephesians 4:15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.
Boundless Capacity Pray Unceasingly
Ephesians 6:18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
Pushing Limits Discussion
- What are the most difficult areas to take our stand – in church? In our work/ neighbourhood?
- Seeing the relationship guidelines in ch 5, share examples of how you could “speak the truth in love” even when you were very upset. How does “perfect love cast out fear” (1 John 4:18)? Why is it so important?
- How can we speak to each other in psalms? In what way does it strengthen relationships
- What are some habits we need to develop in order to enable us to pray at all times?
“To be filled with God is a great thing, to be filled with the fullness of God is still greater; to be filled with all the fullness of God is greatest of all.” – Adam Clarke
Have we emptied ourselves enough to be FILLED with ALL the FULLNESS of GOD?