5 Things Every Believer Needs to Know
September 26, 2016
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If you are a parent, you probably know what it is like to have a persistent son or daughter continually ask you for something they want. It could be a brand new toy or an athletic shoe that just came out on the market. It could be permission to go to a party or a concert with friends. Right or wrong, the child can become relentless in asking because they feel that the desired item is important.
In Ephesians 1:17-23, the Apostle Paul begins his letter to believers living in the city of Ephesus with the words, “I keep asking God…” He wants God to bless them with five important things. Paul was a man whose life had been radically changed by an encounter with the risen Christ on the road to Damascus. He became a great leader in the Church, authored nearly half of the New Testament, and was imprisoned and killed for the faith.
So when Paul wrote about how he unceasingly asked God for something, much like a child petitions his or her parent, our ears ought to perk up. We ought to investigate what it is he found so important that he asked and asked God to give it Christians living at that time.
When we examine these five requests, we find that all five are still immensely pertinent for modern-day Christians. So without further ado, here are five things every believer needs to know, according to the Apostle Paul:
1.) To know God better.
In Ephesians 1:17, Paul wrote, “I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.” The spiritual wisdom and revelation we receive are for the purpose of knowing God better. If you want to get to know someone better, you will spend time with that person. You will also spend tough times with that person. The best marriages are two people who remained lovingly committed to each other through thick and thin. The same is true for our relationship with God. Don’t give up on Him when the going gets tough. He is the one who will see you through it!
2.) To know our hope.
Verse 18 says, “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 hope Paul spoke of does not mean “hope so”—like if someone asks you if you are going to heaven when you die, and you say, “Uh, I hope so.” This word in the Bible comes from the Greek word elpis, which means “confidence” and “expectation.” It is a motivating force to purify our lives and hearts before the Lord. (See Ephesians 2:12-13, 1 Peter 1:3, and 1 John 2:28ff.)
3.) To know we are God’s inheritance.
As verse 18 continues, Paul mentions “the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people…” He wants the Ephesians to know that they are God’s inheritance. In worldly terms, we wait patiently to receive an inheritance from a relative, but this verse tells us that we are God’s inheritance! God is waiting for you! He sees you not for what you are now, but for what you’ll become.
4.) To know God’s power.
In verses19-20, we see that Paul wants believers to know “[God’s] incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms.” The same power that rose Jesus from the grave can resurrect a dying marriage, relationship, or impossible situation. If you understood this truth you’d never live another day in defeat (see Philippians 3:10).
5.) To know that everything is distant second to Jesus.
Lastly, Paul wrote, in verses 21 and 22 that God raised Jesus Christ “far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church…” Nothing compares to Jesus. He is above every nation, ruler, celebrity, and political candidate. No accomplishment, accolade, or achievement comes close to what Christ did, in love, for us on the cross. Let this truth take away any worry you may have today, and put your trust in the name of Jesus.
If you would like to know God better and the hope we have in Jesus Christ, please join us at Shepherd Church. Visit www.shepherdchurch.com for services times and locations.