Ascension of Our Lord

 Sermon Text: Ephesians 1:15-23

 Other Readings: Acts 1:1-11 and Luke 24:44-53

  1. Paul prays that the Christians in Ephesians may know three things. What are those three things? Consult verses 18 and 19.
  2. Of the three things that Paul prayed for, which one do you most frequently forget or neglect? Say a prayer for yourself, asking God to help enlighten you more and more regarding that gift.
  3. When Paul talks about “the church” in verse 22, what does he mean by “the church”?
  4. Jesus’ ascension proved that he is true God. But verse 23 tells us that the holy Christian church “fills up” Jesus. How can Jesus both be true God and need filling up?

  1. Paul prays that they may know “the hope” to which God has called them (in other words, a future gift awaits them), “the riches” that they’ll receive when their hope is realized, and God’s “incomparably great power” that he worked in them when they came to faith and continues to work in them.
  2. Answers will vary based on personal perspective. God hear and answer your prayers for Jesus’ sake!
  3. Paul is talking about all people of all time who trust in God for salvation through Jesus Christ. The creeds we confess put it this way: that the church is the communion, or community, of saints–those whom God has made holy through faith in Jesus.
  4. A professor at our Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary explained it with these words, “not that any Christian can add to the finished work of salvation, but that, in his mercy, Jesus views us as precious souls who complete him. Just as a doctor is incomplete without the patients to whom he may give aid, so our Savior views himself as incomplete without the souls he has healed with his blood and commissioned with his gospel message. What amazing grace!”