“For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen”
— Ephesians 3:14-21
by Pastor John Orlando
On Dec 7, 2014, pastor Darin preached a sermon from Eph 3:14-21, Filled with the Fullness of God. In this text, the apostle Paul concludes the first part of his letter with a prayer for his readers that they would filled with God’s Spirit so that they could comprehend more and more the immensity of God’s love toward them in Christ. So, the main idea of the sermon was God fills us so that we can know Christ’s love more and more, so that we can make His love known to others. 3 points:
1. God likes to fill things up
a. God fills all things: In Genesis 1, God gave man the cultural mandate—to take dominion over the earth and fill it. We see this idea of God’s desire to fill things in other texts as well (see Isaiah 6:1; Habakkuk 2:24). His desire now in Christ is to fill His church with His presence. This is similar to what Paul prays in 1:22–23, and 5:18.
b. Paul is not praying that they would become Christians because in chapter 1 he knows they are Christians because they received the seal of the Holy Spirit. The question is whether they have a measure of Christ’s presence to be described as “full”?
c. Dig deeper: What occupies your life and time in your thoughts? God’s will for your life is to be filled with his very presence. We should pray that God would fill us with Himself. Try praying the prayer here in 3:14-21 and 1:16-21 and personalize it.
2. How God can fill you up?
a. God does this by changing our inner person (2 Cor 4:16b). Our body is wasting away but our inner being is being renewed day by day so that:
1) we have the strength to endure everything that comes into our lives.
2) we can comprehend the love of Christ: we must have this divine intervention known as strengthening. Exodus 33:19 - to come into contact with God’s glory requires divine strengthening.
3) why strengthening? So that our faith would be enlarged as never before. Christ’s mission is to open our eyes to comprehend the magnitude of his love.
4) we can know something that surpasses knowledge when Christ gives us the eyes of faith. Being filled with the Spirit is not about spectacular miracles, but knowing this love of Christ in ways we never knew before. Dig deeper: See Philippians 3:8. When you know him as Lord, all other things are loss. What things consume your focus? Let Christ be 1st in your life. Pray that God would cause this to happen.
b. God fills our heart with the knowledge of his great love for us more and more.
3. What a life looks like filled with God’s presence:
a. My life will be filled with the things of God. See Ephesians 5:18–21 – this is what it looks like to be filled. Dig deeper: God wants us to know Him intimately—to think His thoughts after Him. This is done through saturating our minds with His Word. Set apart time each day to read and reflect on God’s Word, reflecting on the person and work of Christ and how it applies to your life.
b. Signs that my heart is filled up with God:
1) Singing to God and about God.
2) Tell others about God’s great love.
3) Relationship with others. We gladly submit to others because a life that is filled with the Spirit looks like the life of Jesus who laid down His life for His friends.
c. What did God do so that I can be filled up with him? God sent Jesus who gave up everything, even his own life on the cross. The filling of the believer is possible only because Christ was emptied. He willingly was utterly forsaken on the cross so that we could be filled with God’s presence and love.
Let us pray as Paul did here, and seek to be filled with God’s presence, to know Christ’s love more and more, and then live a life of love to all we come in contact with.