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Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Fullness of God



Ephesians 3:16-19 is one of my favorite scriptures in the bible because it speaks to both the incredible love and power of God...and how we can have both to the fullest! This is something I’ve been looking forward to teaching for awhile, so here we go…

The scripture:

"I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge —that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God." 

From this scripture, which Paul writes, praying for the Ephesians, it becomes evident that it is the love of Christ for us that leads us to the power of Christ in us - and that it is by having both that we are 'filled to the fullness of God'! It is the Holy Spirit, that makes us aware of the depth of His love, and that by having both the love of God and the power of God that we may begin to grasp the depth of His love for us, which is something that we can’t grasp until we experience the Spirit of God working in and through us, including exercising the Spiritual gifts that God chooses to bestow on us. This is where the power of God comes to life.

To help understand exactly what Paul is praying here, let’s break this scripture down to get a clearer message.

First, let’s look at the heart of the message:

"I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit, that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God." 

Let’s drill it down further and get even more to the point:

"I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit - that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God."

Paul is praying that God, out of the abundance of His treasures, that out of everything he has to offer us in love, would give us power through His Holy Spirit. That by “being rooted and established in love” (through the experience of salvation), we would be extended the invitation to receive the power (God’s authority to act on His behalf) to even begin to grasp how much Christ loves us. In these couple of lines Paul uses the word power twice – driving home his point concerning the Holy Spirit - that having the Holy Spirit alive in us gives us the power and fullness of God.  In the Merriam-Webster dictionary, Power is defined as ‘the ability to either act on or be acted upon’. To have control one must have “possession of control, authority, or influence”.  So power can also mean ‘being in control and acting on authority’ of someone’, like a power of attorney. In other words, the power that Paul is referring to, the power of the Holy Spirit, gives us the authority to do miracles, signs and wonders in the name of Jesus Christ. How else would we be able to do the things that Jesus instructs in John 14:12he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do’. Also, as Jesus commands His disciples in Acts, the power to do these works comes only by way of the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

Paul also states plainly that this power is something that comes from the Holy Spirit when he says ‘strengthen you with power through his Spirit’. In other words, we don’t have power unless we have the Holy Spirit at work in us. The order isn’t power then the Holy Spirit, it’s the Holy Spirit then power! It is this power, and the resulting strength, that allows us to grasp how much Christ loves us – to get a glimpse of His immense love for us. That He would entrust in us the authority to act on His behalf…WOW! That’s powerful!

Further, Paul implies that having this power is a pre-requisite to “be filled to the measure of all the fullness of Godbecause, as he states, it is through the Holy Spirit that we receive the power to grasp the love of God that yields being ‘filled to the measure of all the fullness of God’

Now, let’s get to the in-between message:

Paul prays that, “out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit”
in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, together with all the Lord’s holy people, know this love that surpasses knowledge”

First Paul states that we should have this power as part of our “inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith” Here Paul is saying that we need to have the Holy Spirit as part of our very make up in order for Christ to live in our hearts – to ‘dwell’, meaning ‘to be totally at home’. We must have the Spirit alive in every fiber of our being in order to experience the love of Christ to the fullest. Paul further states that this experience is for everybody when he says “with all the Lord’s holy people”. Remember, in the original writings in the New Testament, Koine Greek, the word all means ALL – not the majority, but every single Chrsitian and true disciple of Christ. Here Paul is saying that the power that we receive from the Holy Spirit, that gives us the strength to grasp the love of God that yields being filled to the fullness of God -  is for ALL of us!  As my beloved Cathie would say, “WOW-WEE!” I second that! 

The Missing Link

This is incredibly important and the most crucial element missing from the church today! The body of Christ, His bridegroom, is lacking His greatest gift to us, being filled with the Holy Spirit and having the authority to act on God’s behalf! Paul tells that we cannot experience the fullness of God without this most treasured gift from God. We certainly cannot act with the authority of God without it and it is impossible to carry the power of God, to perform miracles, signs and wonders that, according to Christ himself, is the evidence of discipleship. This is according to His own words in Matthew 16: 17-18These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; 18 they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” Throughout the new testament wherever Christ’s disciples went they performed miracles, signs & wonders as part of their ministry – healing diseases, casting out demons, raising the dead – all would be impossible without the baptism in the Holy Spirit. This is exactly why Jesus commanded His disciples in Acts 1:4-5 “to wait for what the Father had promised, Which, He said, “you heard from Me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” Jesus’ disciples were ordered to wait for the baptism in the Holy Spirit before they began their ministries! That’s powerful! I believe that if we followed this direct order from Christ today we’d have much fewer pastors, even fewer denominations and churches but a much stronger and united bride for Christ.  As with everything else in Christ, the decision to accept this most precious gift is yours.

Prayer To Receive The Holy Spirit

If you are a serious Christian who wants a stronger relationship with God – if you want to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit and begin to experience the fullness of God - be sincere and pray this prayer and keep praying it until you get it. Remember, it took Gabriel 21 days to deliver the answer to Daniel’s prayer (Daniel 10) and even then it was only because of Daniel’s persistence in prayer – so keep praying!

You will most likely begin praying in tongues upon receiving the baptism. Just relax, be blessed and let it flow.

Lord Jesus Christ,

I believe that you are the Son of God and that you died on the cross for
my sins and rose again from the dead. I trust your word for forgiveness and for
cleansing. I believe you have received me as a child of God and because you
have received me, I declare myself as a child of God.

If there’s any resentment in my heart now, any unforgiveness against
anyone, I lay it down before you now. I forgive every person as I would have God forgive
me. If I or my family has ever been involved in the occult, I acknowledge that as a sin. I ask
your forgiveness and I loose myself now from every contact with Satan and with
any power of darkness in the name of Jesus.

And now, Lord Jesus, I come to you as my Baptizer in the Holy Spirit. I
present to you my body to be a home to your Spirit. I yield to you my tongue to
be an instrument of righteousness, to worship you in your language. By faith, I
receive this now and I thank you for it in the name of Jesus. Amen.


Now just breathe it in. Then begin to speak out. You must move your lips and tongue and begin to speak – but not in English.  Don’t think about the syllables or sounds that come out of your mouth – just go with it. It may sound like gibberish but just keep going and don’t stop. Once you have a flow going release even more control and allow God to pray through you. This is one of the most incredible experiences that any Christian can have – to be edified by God.

May The Blood of Jesus cover, bless & protect you!
~Mark 

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