The Blessings of God

Ephesians 1 New International Version (NIV)

Praise for Spiritual Blessings in Christ

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he[b]predestined us for adoption to sonship[c] through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, he[d] made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10 to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.

11 In him we were also chosen,[e] having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12 in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. 13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.

Praying in the Spirit

Sermon scripture: Ephesians 6:18-20
18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
19 Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel,
20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.

We must pray “in the Spirit”:

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.
Romans 8:26-27

We must always pray:

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.
Matthew 7:7

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Philippians 4:6

We must be watchful in prayer:
Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.
Matthew 26:41

 pray continually,
1 Thessalonians 5:17

We must pray unselfishly:

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Ephesians 6:18

We must pray for leaders in particular:

As for other matters, brothers and sisters, pray for us that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honored, just as it was with you.
2 Thessalonians 3:1

Armor of God: Shield/Helmet/Sword

Sermon scripture: Ephesians 6:16-17
16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

The shield of faith in God:
We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield.
Psalm 33:20

The helmet of salvation:
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Romans 12:2

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
Philippians 4:8

The sword of the Spirit:
For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
Hebrews 4:12

Armor of God: Belt/Breastplate/Sandals

Sermon scripture: Ephesians 6:14-15
14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place,
15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.

The belt of truth

Christ is the truth:
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
John 14:6

The Word of God is truth:
Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.
John 17:17

just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing[b] her by the washing with water through the word,
Ephesians 5:25-26

Speaking and living a life of truthfulness is the truth

Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart
1 Peter 1:22

Truth does several things for the Christian soldier.  

The breastplate of righteousness

God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
2 Corinthians 5:21

For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age,
Titus 2:11-12

The sandals of the gospel

He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.
Mark 16:15

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.
Romans 1:16

The Christian Soldier

Sermon scripture: Ephesians 6:10-13
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.
11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.
12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

The soldier’s charge (v.10-11a):

For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.
2 Timothy 1:7

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Isaiah 41:10

The soldier’s enemy (v.11b):

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
1 Peter 5:8

But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.
2 Corinthians 11:3

The soldier’s warfare (v.12):

The soldier’s duty (v.13):

The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.
Romans 13:12

Grieving the Holy Spirit

Sermon scripture: Ephesians 4:30, 1 Thessalonians 5:19
Ephesians 4:30
And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

1 Thessalonians 5:19
Do not quench the Spirit.

The Holy Spirit is grieved/quenched when we willfully disobey:

Yet they rebelled and grieved his Holy Spirit. So he turned and became their enemy and he himself fought against them.
Isaiah 63:10

But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.
John 16:13

The Holy Spirit is grieved/quenched when we disbelieve and doubt God:
for they did not believe in God or trust in his deliverance.
Psalm 78:22 

The Holy Spirit is grieved/quenched by indifference and disregard to the things of God:
 
Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord,
Ephesians 5:18-19 

And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
Romans 5:5 

Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;
1 Corinthians 6:19 

Results of Grieving/quenching the Spirit:

Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
Psalms 51:12
 
Confession:
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1 John 1:9