Sermon outline: This is an abbreviated outline with the complete sermon downloadable at the bottom of the post.
Text: Ephesians 1:19–23
Title: God’s Exceeding Power
Introduction: The theme of the closing verses of Ephesians 1 is motivation. The apostle Paul understood the Christians in the area of Ephesus. A veteran warrior of the Cross, Paul had been a Christian for many years by the time he wrote this letter. He was well aware of the many moods and experiences a Christian is subject to. He knew the lukewarmness that often sets in—the lethargic, apathetic attitudes that can sometimes arise after a warm and hopeful beginning. He knew of the danger of losing one’s motivation in the midst of the Christian struggle.
Perhaps you know that danger yourself. No Christian escapes it in his lifetime. At times, our passion for Christ cools and our spirits grow apathetic. The apostle understood that. So he turned to prayer, and his prayer reflects a deep understanding of the needs of those who would hear this letter. He prays in verses 18 and 19: “That ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power.”
Hope, riches, and power. Notice how specific Paul’s prayer is. He doesn’t simply say, “Lord, bless the Ephesians this morning.” We all know what it is to drop blanket prayers on people and expect that to take care of the situation. But Paul knew these people better than that. He knew that there was a danger that they could lose their vision, they could sink into indifference, they could lose sight of their hope. Yes, they had sound doctrine, but there was a danger that they could fall short of the deep, vibrant experience of knowing Christ. So Paul prayed that God would enlighten their hearts so that they may know the hope of God’s calling, the riches of their inheritance, and the power of God.
To remind them of this hope, Paul spoke to them on some topics that would encourage their hearts and give them hope: the power of God, the place of Christ, and the position of Christ.
I. The Power of God—vs. 19
A. For the Believer
B. According to the resurrection—Philippians 3:10
II. The Place of Christ—vs. 20–21
A. At God’s right hand
B. Above every power
C. Above every name
III. The Position of Christ—vs. 22–23
A. He is in control of this world
B. He is the head of the church