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Sermon #48 — Ephesians Sermons

 

Title:                           O Come, Let Us Adore Him!

 

Text:                            Ephesians 3:20-21

Subject:                     Adoring God

Date:                          Tuesday Evening — October 11, 2016

Readings:     Bobbie Estes and Merle Hart

Introduction:

 

While you are turning to my text in Ephesians 3:20-21, let me talk to you a little bit about worship.

 

Public Worship

 

When we meet for public worship, we have a regular order of service, which we pretty well follow. It doesnt vary very much from Sunday morning to Sunday evening, or from Sunday evening to Tuesday evening. That is not by accident, or a mere matter of habit. It is a matter of purpose.

      Two Hymns

      Scripture Reading and Prayer

      Another Hymn

      A Music Special

      The Message

      A Closing Hymn

      Closing Prayer — The Benediction

 

The only significant difference between one worship service here and another is the fact that we observe the Lords Supper at the close of the service every Sunday evening. We do not gather in this place to socialize, catch up on gossip, to entertain or be entertained. We come together in this place three times a week to worship our great God, the God of all grace, the Triune Jehovah.

      We ought to dress like people who have come to worship God.

      We ought to act and talk like people whove come to worship God.

      And we ought to make it our business to help one another to worship God.

 

Ephesians 3

 

In the third chapter of Ephesians, writing by inspiration of God the Holy Ghost, the Apostle Paul gives us all that is needed for our public worship. As we open the chapter, we have a sermon. Paul gives us a very warm declaration of the unveiling of the Gospel mystery, that the Gentiles are made partakers of the promise in Christ. It also contains a prayer. Verse 14 begins with these words, For this cause I bow my knees. Then, Paul tells us of the marvelous blessings he sought from God in behalf of the church. And, in the verses before us this evening (vv. 20-21), the chapter concludes with a hymn, a hymn of adoration and praise. —— In this brief chapter the Spirit of God sets before us all that is involved in public worship: preaching, prayer, and praise.

 

The Doxology

 

Have you found my text — Ephesians 3:20-21? Lets read it together. This is an inspired doxology, an inspired ascription of praise, an inspired hymn of praise to our God.

 

(Ephesians 3:20-21) Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, (21) Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

 

This doxology grows out of and crowns the Apostles message in the preceding chapters of this magnificent Epistle. It should excite us to praise. When God has done such great good for us, we ought to freely pour out praise to his glorious name. And we can and should do so with hope and expectation that even more good is sure to follow.

 

Gospel Revealed

 

If we read through this chapter, we see that the Apostle speaks of the blessed revelation of the Gospel in this Gospel Age. In the fifth verse he says that it is now made known unto the sons of men. It was revealed under the Old Testament types and shadows, but not as it is now. Now, in this Gospel Age, it is fully and clearly revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Holy Ghost in the Holy Scriptures. Today, we live in the clear light of Gods glorious revelation in the Gospel. This gives us great reason for thanksgiving and praise.

 

Then, in the eighth verse, Paul speaks of the relation of the Gospel to himself.Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given. Whatever the Gospel may do for other men, it is of the greatest importance that we experience its power in us. We must personally be aware of our interest in Christ. All the gold in Fort Knox is not nearly so valuable to us as the little that we actually possess. Can you speak for yourself and say, Unto me.is this grace given?

 

Further on, in the tenth verse, he speaks of the Gospel in its relation to the angels.To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God. The Gospel even has its relation to the angels. They have always had something to do with it.

      They desire to look into it.

      They are ministering spirits sent forth to minister to those who shall be saved by the Gospel.

      It is written of our Lord that he was seen of angels.

      The angels of God rejoice over the conversion of sinners by the Gospel.

      They join with the redeemed in heaven to sing praises to the Lamb.

 

Next, in verse sixteen, Paul speaks of the relation of the Gospel to those who hear it. He prays that God would grant to those who hear the message of redemption and grace in Christ Jesus, according to his riches of glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man.

 

Having spoken of the relation of the Gospel to men and angels, in our text, the Apostle turns with a full heart to speak of its relation to God himself.

 

(Ephesians 3:20-21) Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, (21) Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

 

O Come, let us adore him! — That is the title of my message. That is what I want us to do this hour. — O Come, let us adore him! — From him all grace comes, to him all glory should be given, for of him, and though him, and to him are all things. If unto him there is to be glory in the church throughout all ages, then to him there should be glory in this church at this moment. May it please the Lord our God to enable us to render unto him his due. — By Christ, let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name (Hebrews 13:15).

 

Adoration

 

Our text speaks not of preaching, or of prayer, but of praise. Yet it goes beyond praise. It really speaks of adoration. I hardly know how to describe adoration. It goes beyond praise. Praise is primarily something done with our lips. Adoration is an act of the heart. This is supreme worship, absolute worship. It is the act of rendering all honor to God from the heart — reverence, esteem, praise, thanksgiving, and love. The word adoration is a compound word. It means kiss the hand. O Spirit of God, let us now, with our hearts, kiss the hand of our great God: Father, Son, and Holy Ghost!

 

Adoration is the fulness, the height and depth, length and breadth of praise. It is the eloquent silence of the soul that is too full for language. In this spirit, I want us to approach this text. I pray that God will enable us to turn our eyes off of every other object and fix them fully on him.

 

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,

Look full in his wonderful face;

And the things of earth

Will grow strangely dim,

In the light of His glory and grace.

 

Let us remember what the Gospel does for us, so that we may adore God for it. Let us fix our hearts upon the Lord God himself and adore him for himself and for his great ability to bless, to enrich, and to sanctify above all that we can ask or think.

 

Proposition: The greatness of Gods ability should encourage our faith, strengthen our hope, and humble us in adoration.

 

Divisions: Here are three things concerning Gods ability to do us good, which I trust will encourage your faith and confidence in him.

1.    The Abundance of Gods Power

2.    The Appreciation of Gods Power

3.    The Adoration of Gods Power

 

The Abundance of

Gods Power

 

1st — We are greatly encouraged to trust our God for all spiritual good by the abundance of his power. Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think. The primary subject of our text is set before us immediately. It is the ability of God. — Oh, how I adore the ability of our God! — It is Gods great ability that gives confidence to the faith and hope of his people. What does Paul teach us about Gods ability?

 

He declares that Gods ability is above all that we ask. — Thats some statement! We have asked great things of God. Have we not? I very well remember how difficult my first prayers were. I felt myself so sinful and knew that I did not deserve anything from God, but hell. Yet, I dared to ask the greatest of all gifts. I prayed, Forgive me, Father. I have sinned. I was well enough convinced that he had freely forgiven others. But my sins were so vile that I almost felt it was vain for me to seek forgiveness for myself. Yet I asked God for that great blessing.

 

Since then, I have asked many great things of God. I have pleaded with God to cleanse my polluted soul. Ive begged him to heal my backsliding heart. Ive prayed for the Almighty to deliver me from great temptation. I turn to him for my daily needs. I ask him to guide me in the way I should go. How I have pleaded with him, these 50 years, to hold my heart! — These are great things to ask; but God, my God has done them all!

 

But, here, Paul tells us that we have not yet reached the bounds of Gods ability! We havent begun to come close to beginning to reach the bounds of Jehovahs infinite ability! At best, our prayers are very limited. God is not limited in his ability to perform; but we are limited in our ability to pray.

 

Sometimes our prayers are limited by our sense of need. We do not really know what we need. We need to be taught what we should pray for, or we will never pray as we ought. What does the Scriptures say? — The Spirit helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought! How our hearts deceive us, so that we do not even know what we need!

      When we think we are strong, we are weak.

      When we think we are most righteous, then we are most sinful.

      When we think we are spiritual, we are carnal.

      When we think we are full, then we are empty.

      When we think we are well, we are sick.

      But, blessed be God! His ability to bless us is not limited to our sense of need. We ask for bread and water, but his fatlings and oxen are killed!

 

Our prayers are often greatly limited by our desires. No one prays for more than he desires. And we are often so cold toward the things of God that we do not really desire anything more, anything greater, anything higher than what we have already experienced. We bring little cups to the infinite, full, overflowing well; and we take home only a little water.

 

Then, sometimes, when we do want great things, our faith is small; and our prayers are limited by the smallness of our faith. Our Lord Jesus said to the blind men healed by his touch, According to your faith be it unto you (Matthew 9:29). Oh, how small my faith is!

 

No man ever yet believed God as he ought to be believed. And, when we come to him for great blessings, we do not really pray for them, because we do not really believe him. Therefore, our prayers fail. But God is not even limited by the weakness of our faith (2 Timothy 2:13).

 

(2 Timothy 2:13) If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.

 

      How often we pray for something in unbelief!

      How often do we pray for great things, knowing that we would be delighted with less?

      How I rejoice that God is not limited in his ability to bless us by our weakness of faith. — We all have great reason to bless the name of God that he has not dealt with us only according to our faith!

 

Often our prayers are hindered simply because we do not know what the will of God is. We are ignorant of his purpose.

      At such times we ought to seek his will.

      We should always submit to his will.

      But understand this — Gods ability to do us good is not dependent upon our comprehension of his will.

 

(Proverbs 3:5-6) Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. (6) In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

 

Paul does not stop here. He goes onto tell us that Gods ability to bless us is also above all that we think. Our thoughts, even at their best, are not his thoughts, neither are our ways his ways. As high as the heavens are above the earth, so high are his thoughts above our thoughts and his ways above our ways. God can do more than we have ever thought.

      Perhaps you have sometimes thought of how greatly God might use you in the service of his kingdom. He can do even more!

      Maybe you have thought of how God might fill you with his Spirit. He can do more!

      You might have thoughts about how powerful and prevailing God might make you in prayer. I hope that you have. But he can do even more!

      Maybe you sometimes have thoughts of being strong in faith. God can do more.

      We who are Gods people often think of what he will do for us in heaven. Oh, blessed thoughts they are. Imagine the highest possibility that you think might be attained to. I tell you that God can and will do more than has ever entered into your heart!

 

As it is written, eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

      Will he take away all sorrow? Yes, and more.

      Will he wipe away all tears? Yes, and more.

      Will he remove all pain? Yes, and more.

      Will he remove all sin? Yes, and more.

      Will he give perfection? Yes, and more.

      Will he give perfect love, perfect peace, perfect rest, perfect delight, perfect joy, perfect knowledge, perfect holiness, perfect life? Yes, and more.

      Will he give Christ? Yes, yes he will give Christ. But we have not yet come to the limit of his ability, for he will give us more in Christ than we have ever imagined!

 

I am trying to convince you, and to convince myself, that Gods ability to bless us is so abundant that it exceeds measure. It is without limit!

      Pile blessing upon blessing for a millennium, but you shall not reach the bounds of his ability.

      Put together the minds and hearts of all the apostles and prophets, and all the saints of all ages, still Gods ability to do us good goes beyond our combined thoughts.

 

Now let me help you to make some practical use of this super-exceeding abundance of Gods power. Let us use his ability continually, for it can never be diminished. Our prayers should never be restrained and limited. We cannot ask too much of God. There can be no presumption upon Gods ability.

 

(Hebrews 4:16) Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

 

      He bids us come to him without fear.

      He tells us to come to him for grace.

      He calls for us to come to him for help.

      What he is able to do, he is willing to do.

 

What a comfort this ought to be to poor sinners! God, even our God, is able to forgive the greatest possible transgression! — The Lord Jesus Christ is able to save to the uttermost all who come to God by him (1 Corinthians 6:9-11, 19-20)

 

(1 Corinthians 6:9-11) Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, (10) Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. (11) And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

 

(1 Corinthians 6:19-20) What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? (20) For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are Gods.

 

The Appreciation of

Gods Power

 

2nd — Though Gods power is altogether beyond our ability to ask or think, Paul gives us a hint that we know something about it. He suggests that all who know him have in them, in their own hearts experience of his great grace, an appreciation of his power. Gods great, infinite ability is according to the power that worketh in us. We cannot begin to comprehend the fulness of Gods ability, but in our own experience we perceive something of its exceeding abundance, above all that we ask or think. Each of us who are born-again, who have been made new creatures in Christ, are constrained to confess that it is true to our experience that God has already done for us more than we have either asked or thought.

      God chose us to be his own before we ever thought of him.

      Gods Son became our Redeemer and died in our place at Calvary, when we had never thought of him.

      Regeneration, that resurrection of the spiritually dead, came to us when we asked not for it. — I was found of them that sought me not.

      Faith came to us as Gods gift, though we had no ability to trust our Savior.

 

We have asked God for many blessed graces, and found that he is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think.

      I have found that God is able to forgive my sin by his Son.

      I have found that God is able to deliver from temptation.

      I have found that God is able to comfort in sorrow.

      I have found that God is able to revive the backsliding heart.

      I have found that God is able to give joy in affliction.

      I have found that God is able to keep that which I have committed unto him.

      I have found that God is able to give triumph in death.

      I have found that God is able to heal the sick.

 

We have sometimes asked great things of God, but even in giving us these things, he has done exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think.

      I asked for forgiveness. He gave his Son!

      I asked for cleansing. He made me his son!

      I asked for pardon. He gave me justification.

      I asked for salvation. He gave me righteousness.

      I asked for life. He gave me his Spirit.

      I asked him to save me from hell. He gave me heaven!

 

We all returned like the prodigal desiring only to be made as one of the Fathers hired servants. But what has our God done? Why, he gave us the ring of love, the robe of righteousness, and the fatted calf of provision.

 

The Adoration of

Gods Power

 

3rd — Our text sets before us the adoration of Gods power which ought to possess our very souls (v. 21). — Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen. — Come, let us adore him! O my soul, how I ought to adore him!

 

No longer in darkness Im walking,

For the Light is now shining on me,

And now unto others Im telling

How He saved a poor sinner like me.

                                       

And when lifes journey is over,

And I the dear Savior shall see,

Ill praise Him forever and ever,

For saving a poor sinner like me.

 

      Let me adore him with my lips.

      Let me adore him with my life.

      Let me adore him with my heart.

      Let me adore him with my house.

      Let me adore him in his house.

      Let me adore him with my faith.

 

I call upon you, my brother, my sister, adore him. Adore the Almighty!

      Let him have glory in the church by our perpetual praise.

      When he receives glory from the church, then his glory will be in the church. — His glory is his presence. — His glory is his beauty. — His glory is his power. — His glory is his goodness. — His glory is his salvation.

 

Gods glory is revealed in the church by Jesus Christ.

      Christ reveals the glory of God (John 1:14; 2 Corinthians 4:6).

      Christ declares the glory of God (Psalm 40).

      Then, let Christ be exalted — in our hymns — in our prayers — in our preaching — in our thoughts.

      God will receive praise from us only through the mediation of Christ.

      Here is the unity of the Godhead. — The Fathers glory is in his Son. The Sons glory is in his Father. The Spirits glory is the revelation of God in Christ.

 

Let God, our God, the Triune Jehovah (Father, Son, and Holy Ghost) alone be adored throughout all ages, world without end. Let him be adored throughout all the age of our lives. Let him be adored throughout all the age of the church. Let him be adored when time shall end, throughout the endless ages of eternity!

      In the Resurrection.

      In the Judgment.

      In Eternity — God shall be all in all.

 

Application

 

What more can I say? Only this — Amen! All the saints of God say, Amen.

  • You Young Ones
  • You Mothers and Fathers
  • You Who Rejoice
  • You Who Weep
  • The Church Below
  • The Church Above

 

Sinner, the day soon shall come when you too will say, Amen!

 

(Isaiah 45:20-25) Assemble yourselves and come; draw near together, ye that are escaped of the nations: they have no knowledge that set up the wood of their graven image, and pray unto a god that cannot save. (21) Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? Who hath told it from that time? Have not I the LORD? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me. (22) Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. (23) I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear. (24) Surely, shall one say, in the LORD have I righteousness and strength: even to him shall men come; and all that are incensed against him shall be ashamed. (25) In the LORD shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory.

 

Praise God from whom all blessings flow,

Praise Him all creatures here below,

Praise Him above ye heavenly hosts,

Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

 

Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

Don Fortner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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