Immeasurably More

“IMMEASURABLY MORE..”

learning from the letter to the Ephesians

“Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! [Eph.3.20f]

The letter to the Ephesians was almost certainly written towards the end of Paul’s ministry while he was a prisoner in Rome. It represents the mature reflection of a man who had lived and breathed the gospel for long decades: and as such the letter provides a concise and distilled summary of the substance of his message.

It’s a message which had clearly been tested, and proved its mettle, in the face of real hostility, and in the furnace of great cultural diversity: and it’s a message, too, whose fruit in the lives of believers had already been amply demonstrated by the time this letter was written. It comes as no surprise, therefore, to find that for succeeding generations of believers it has been both a hugely encouraging, and at the same time a powerfully formative book of the Bible.

As we study this letter together, accordingly, both on a Sunday morning and in the Community Groups, may the Lord Himself use it to shape each of our lives at the individual level into the likeness of Christ Himself: and may He also use it to fashion in us, as a local congregation, a fellowship of believers pulsing with the grace of the Spirit of God and portraying in our communal life the glory of the gospel.

The very structure of the letter underlines the essence of that gospel. What God has done for us in Christ (chapters 1-3) is followed by how we then are to live for Him (chapters 4-6): as those who have been freed from the slavery of sin (that’s what the Lord has done for us in Jesus), we now learn to live as free men and women (that’s what we seek to do through the enabling power of God’s Spirit).

Enjoy this study and expect to be changed!

w/b 8 January 2017 Immeasurably More 1   PowerPoint slides 1

w/b 15 January 2017 Immeasurably More 2  PowerPoint slides 2

w/b 22 January 2017 Immeasurably More 3  PowerPoint slides 3

w/b 29 January 2017 Immeasurably More 4  PowerPoint slides 4

w/b 5 February 2017 Immeasurably More 5  PowerPoint slides 5

w/b 12 February 2017 Immeasurably More 6 PowerPoint slides 6

w/b 19 February 2017 Immeasurably More 7 PowerPoint Slides 7

w/b 26 February 2017 Immeasurably More 8 PowerPoint slides 8

w/b 5 March 2017 Immeasurably More 9 PowerPoint slides 9

w/b 12 March 2017 Immeasurably More 10 PowerPoint slides 10

w/b 19 March 2017 Immeasurably More 11 PowerPoint slides 11

w/b 26 March 2017  Immeasurably More 12

With One Heart And Voice

WITH ONE HEART & VOICE

a people who pray together

“May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  [Romans 15.5-6]

Should we pray together as a congregation, and if so, why? And how does that differ from the praying together which forms part of our Sunday worship?

Is there Scriptural warrant for a congregational ‘prayer meeting’, and if so what is it?

Where, for instance, would you take a person if they asked for the biblical rationale for a fellowship of God’s people gathering on a regular basis specifically to pray together?

There are a whole load of good and important questions around this theme of corporate prayer! Our hope is that it will prove both important and helpful for us to look at these questions together, through the Sunday morning series of studies and then in the context of our Community Groups.

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The hardest thing – but perhaps the most important thing – may be for us deliberately to start in our thinking from a ‘blank canvas’: our past experience and our previous approaches are bound to inform our thinking, understandably so, but it will be important for us to ensure that they don’t prejudice our thinking.

We’ll aim to get to grips then, first, with the principles involved, and then try to discern together how these principles will be best worked out and expressed in practice here at this time.

Hopefully, our being able prayerfully to address these issues together in this way will help us come to a clear and common mind under God on this crucial matter as to His way forward for us here at this time.

 

“If My people, who are called by My Name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then …”

 

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Week beginning Sunday 23 October 2016: With One Heart And Voice 1

Week beginning Sunday 30 October 2016: With One Heart And Voice 2

Week beginning Sunday 6 November 2016: With One Heart And Voice 3

Week beginning Sunday 13 November 2016: With One Heart And Voice 4

Week beginning Sunday 20 November 2016: With One Heart And Voice 5

Week beginning Sunday 27 November 2016: With One Heart And Voice 6

Week beginning Sunday 4 December 2016: With One Heart And Voice 7

Week beginning Sunday 11 December 2016: With One Heart And Voice 8

Opening The Floodgates

The book of Acts records the story of the early church and the remarkable spread of the gospel, through the testimony of a small group of very ordinary people.

“[Jesus] said to them ..’you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you: and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.’” [Acts 1.8]

The story is one of the floodgates of heaven being opened, and a great river of grace flowing across a dry and thirsty humanity – fulfilling in a wonderful way the Lord’s words through Isaiah –

“I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants. They will spring up like grass in a meadow, like poplar trees by flowing streams.” [Is.44.3f]

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The aim of our studies over these weeks is to learn together how those floodgates may be opened again in our own context; for our land today is similarly parched, and as thirsty as ever for the Lord Himself. We’ll hope to get, and then share, feedback from the different Community Groups, so that together we can hear what the Spirit is saying to us as a fellowship through His Word.

Perhaps the prayer which should be on all our hearts through these studies, therefore, is best expressed in the words of the following song, first penned some 30 years ago –

Lord, we long for You to move in power
There’s a hunger deep within our hearts
To see healing in our nation: send Your Spirit to revive us

Heal our nation, Heal our nation, Heal our nation
Pour out Your Spirit on this land

Lord we hear Your Spirit, coming closer
A mighty wave to break upon our land
Bringing justice, and forgiveness: God we cry to You, ‘Revive us’

Heal our nation, Heal our nation, Heal our nation
Pour out Your Spirit on this land.

Each week we will update the links below with the materials for the coming week.

w/b 15 August   Opening The Floodgates 1

w/b 22 August  Opening The Floodgates 2

w/b 29 August Opening The Floodgates 3

w/b 5 September Opening The Floodgates 4

w/b 12 September Opening The Floodgates 5

w/b 19 September  Opening The Floodgates 6

w/b 26 September  Opening The Floodgates 7

w/b 3 October Opening The Floodgates 8