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Walk in Unity
Ephesians 4:1-16
[aside] God's Power through Paul for His Plan in Christ
Ephesians 3:1-13
[aside] God's Power in Christ: Access
Ephesians 2:11-22
[aside] God's Power in Christ: Life
Ephesians 2:1-10
Paul prays that the Ephesians would know God in: (1) God's Past Call (2) God's Future Inheritance and (3) God's Present Power toward them
Ephesians 1:15-23
To rely on Scripture implies a reliance on God, the Spirit.
Acts 1:15-26
Praise God from whom all blessings flow, in Christ
Ephesians 1:1-14
Our endurance is enabled by who we are and where we are.
Hebrews 12:4-29
How do we run? With Endurance. How do we Endure? By Faith. What is Faith? Looking to Jesus
Hebrews 10:32-12:3
Our lives reflect our trust in God's promises
2 Peter 3:1-13
We should draw near to God because of the better offering of Jesus' body.
Hebrews 10:1-31
We can draw near to God because of the better offering of Jesus' blood.
Hebrews 9
Do we reject the King, despite seeing him for who he is?
John 19:1-16
Jesus, the great high priest, is the assurance of our salvation.
Hebrews 7
Christ's glorification is necessary for our eternal life and hope.
John 17:1-5
Does my fear of faithlessness drive me to Jesus and the word?
Hebrews 4
Does your faith rest in the faithfulness of Christ?
Hebrews 3
Why do you pay attention?
Hebrews 2
Who is Jesus to you?
Hebrews 1
God's undeserved love compels my unbridled praise.
Malachi 1:1-5
The Father and the Son are one and this is crucial for our salvation, life and security.
John 10:22-31
As his sheep, do we know Jesus just like he knows his Father?
John 10:11-21
God ensures our freedom from shame!
Romans 9:30-33
God alone calls, period.
Romans 9:18-29
No longer helpless to sin!
John 8:30-36
"You will know that I AM."
John 8:21-30
God cannot be unjust, period.
Romans 9:14-18
God's Word cannot fail, period.
Romans 9:1-13
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A Prayer to Know God's Power in Christ: Part 5
Ephesians 3:14-21
A Prayer for God's Power
#prayer
#power
#thechurch
Published May 24th, 2021; Updated June 20th, 2021
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Main point summary
Paul prays that his Father would grant the church unimaginable power to be overwhelmed by Christ's love so that they might become Christlike and thus glorify God.
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editing
NT
Ephesians 3:14-21
esv
For this reason I bow my knees before the Father,
from whom w every family 1 in heaven and on earth is named,
ground
that according to x the riches of his glory y he may grant you
to be strengthened with power through his Spirit z in your inner being,
a so [in] that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—
that you, be ing b rooted and c grounded in love,
may have strength
inference
actionresult
ideaexplanation
[ Gk: in order] to d comprehend with all the saints
what is the breadth
and length
and e height
and depth,
series
and to know the love of Christ
f that surpasses knowledge,
progression
that g you may be filled with all h the fullness of God.
actionpurpose
i Now to j him who is able to do far more abundantly
than all that we ask or think,
comparison
k according to the power at work within us,
l to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
Cf. 2:21-22; 4:11-13 See Col 1:19, 2:9 i.e. spiritual maturity; progressive Christlikeness As the church (individuals making a corporate body) is overwhelmed by the love of God in Christ, as his love becomes so real and visible, it breaks forth in their lives in transformation to the extent of making them like Christ - corporately especially.
Matt. 6:5; Mrk 11:25; Lk 18:11, 13 Cf. Acts 7:60; 9:40; 20:36, 1 Kgs 8:54; Dan. 6:10–11 1 Chronicles 29:20, Psalm 95:6 Bowing is not just a posture of prayer, but honour and reverence. All this culminates: Rom. 14:11; Phil. 2:10–11
Cf. 2:18; 3:12
If every family: We're dealing with the various tribes/groupings of powers in heaven (“rulers,” “authorities,” “dominions,” “cosmic powers,” and “spiritual forces”; Eph. 3:10; 6:12; Col. 1:16; 2:15) and ethnic tribes on earth Essentially all living beings If the whole family: We're possibly dealing with all of life - all creation Although this expression may point to the family of believers that he has repeatedly spoken of (2:18, 19ff, 3:6, 12) And if both aspects are present: The prayer is addressed to the Father, whose authority (seen in his naming all things) covers all creation. After all, he is the omnipotent Creator God (3:9) who is responsible for all life The prayer is addressed as a family member to the Father - the Father being this omnipotent Creator God
Cf. Ps 147:4, Is 40:26
ἵνα hin'-ah /hína/ Conjunction strongs : G2443 source : probably from the same as the former part of ἑαυτοῦ (through the demonstrative idea; in order that, so that
ἵνα hin'-ah /hína/ Conjunction strongs : G2443 source : probably from the same as the former part of ἑαυτοῦ (through the demonstrative idea; in order that, so that
ἵνα hin'-ah /hína/ Conjunction strongs : G2443 source : probably from the same as the former part of ἑαυτοῦ (through the demonstrative idea; in order that, so that
cf. 1:7, 18, 2:7, 3:8
Cf. 1:19, 21, 2:6 (implied), 3:7, 20
Not just to comprehend, but to go beyond that into experience!
As opposed to 2 Cor 4:16
To have the Spirit in our inner being is to say that Christ dwells in our hearts. The inference is that God's love becomes the soil/foundation from which strength flows. The context for this activity is in love being rooted and grounded. The word order of the Greek is reflected in my translation here to show that the emphasis is on love, as it comes at the start of the expression. The syntax of the phrase is ambiguous. The participles are grammatically unconnected by case in the phrase, pointing to a distinct point being made. Is it a result of the previous requests? Or is it a third request, or even an exhortation that is a key aside, which also might be making the point that when strength comes and Christ indwells, the love of God that drives the process is also realized and visibly established? It seems that the idea of either a third request or a side remark is best.20 This is an idea not very far removed from a key theme of the entire letter of 1 John, as well as of Romans 5:5: that our love and response come out of an already established love God has for us. It also reflects John 15 and the call to abide in Christ because he abides in us. Paul is asking God that the Ephesians might come to appreciate and deepen these linkages. Our identity and security come from grasping the depth of God’s love for us and drawing on it for spiritual solidity. As Fowl says, ‘Being rooted in God’s love provides a stability and security from which to grow.’21 The perfect participles rooted and grounded look to the reverberating and lingering effect of a love rooted in the past. Bock, Darrell L.; Bock, Darrell L.. Ephesians (p. 95). IVP. Kindle Edition.
that Christ may take up residence in you - DA Carson's example of buying a second hand house and transforming it to the extent that there is very little to identify it with the first owners.
Not mere comprehension, but experience. The prayer is that we are so overwhelmed by Christ's love that it is tangible and visible to us and through us. Cf. 1 Cor. 8:1; 13:2; Col. 3:12–14
Paul's prayer is in line with God's purposes - 1:4 1:12 2:10 2:15-16, 18, 21-22 3:10-12
cf. Jn 14:16-20, Rom 8:9-11
This is a request of sorts. Christ already dwells in us, as the Spirit dwells in us, but there is much more dwelling left!
What is pictured is a vibrant relationship with God that takes knowledge and makes it real in the world. God’s character is manifest so the community reflects in a visible way the depth and character of God. This prayer extends and applies the earlier prayer of Eph 1:15-2:22. In appreciating and drawing on God’s power, this spiritual life becomes not only possible but present in the whole of the community, as the riches of the hope begin to see the light of life each day. Bock, Darrell L.; Bock, Darrell L.. Ephesians (p. 97). IVP. Kindle Edition.
Rom. 11:36; 16:25–27; Gal. 1:5; Phil. 4:20; 1 Tim. 1:12; 2 Tim. 4:18
1:19-20; 3:7-8, 16-19
1 Cor 12:12-27
discourse
Notes
A PRAYER FOR POWER (3:14-21) Prayer: God's Power and the Church's Ability (3:14-19) 3:14-16a Paul grounds his prayer in 2 aspects: a. Paul has disclosed the blessings and purposes of God for the church, and now he continues his prayer from 1:15-21, praying in line with God's purposes of the church being a holy, God-glorifying dwelling place. Paul is praying according to the will of God! b. Along with that, Paul bows and prays to the omnipotent, all-powerful God - but as to a Father (cf. 2:18, 3:11-12)! And to make things more clear, the Father-God he prays to is infinitely rich in resource. Access to such a person is tremendously encouraging —much more, when he is their own Father! 3:16-18a Paul's prayer is that his readers be strengthened with power from God, the Spirit, who is in their inner person (as opposed to the outer self). He explains this another way: To say that God the Spirit is in us is to say that Christ dwells in our hearts (possible only through faith), and now that we have God in us, we are rooted and founded in his love, which in turn grounds his request for strength. 3:18-19 The purpose for his request for strengthening power is for comprehending—not alone, but together with all the saints— the multiple dimensions of the love of Christ and then, to intimately know this love which goes beyond knowledge. Ultimately, the purpose of this comprehension would be Christlike maturity —the church becoming the perfect dwelling place and temple of God (cf. 2:21-22; 3:17; 4:11-13) . 1. On what do we ground our prayers? Do we come to the Father boldly, or in shame? Do we pray according to the purposes of God? Do we know the purposes of God? 2. How might we be overwhelmed by the love of God, so as to become the dwelling place of God, both individually and as a church? 3. In what ways do we minimise the love of God? 4. Is God's power at work in us real to us? How vast is that power based on Eph 1-3? How then must we pray? 5. How do our prayers imitate Paul's? Doxology: God's Power and his Ability (3:20-21 ) 3:20 Paul now stresses on God's ability — able to do, according to the power, at work. God's power cannot be limited by our requests or our imagination, and that power of God is at work in us! In extolling God's ability and power, Paul reminds his audience that his request is not hard for God to answer. 3:21 To this mighty God, who is all-powerful and incredibly generous, Paul declares God's glory as manifest in Christ and in the church —as the church is filled with all the fulness of Christ. This is God's work, and he is on display as the church reflects him. It is no wonder that Paul's praise is forever. 1. Is God's glory so central to us, that to pray for anything involves conscious longing for him to be glorified? 2. How big is God to you? What is your view of God's ability? How do we live in the light of God's ability? 3. How critical to us is the idea of the church being the dwelling place of God —a means for his glory to be manifest? How do you, in your church, ensure this glorifying of God? 4. How do you ground your prayers? What are your requests? What is your aim in prayer?
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Disclaimer: The opinions and conclusions expressed on this page are those of the author and may or may not accord with the positions of Biblearc or Bethlehem College & Seminary.