Week 14: Ephesians 3:14, 16

Week 14: Ephesians 3:14, 16

Week 14

Ephesians 3:14, 16 “For this reason I bow my knees before the Father…that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man.”

Paul rises to rich spiritual heights in Ephesians 3, and all the great theological concepts and the promises pertaining to them are centered on the believer’s life in Christ.  Christ is everything; we are nothing!  In Christ, the believer has all that he or she needs.  In the words of Colossians 2:10 “In Him you have been made complete.”  Of course, if that is true (and it is!), then the reverse of that truism means that outside of Christ one cannot have anything that he truly and genuinely needs.

Living in this sinful world, the Christian needs strength beyond his capacity.  We need strength to continue to grow and live out the life that Christ has given to us.  We are so weak!  We confess with Paul in Romans 7:18 “For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not.”  Jesus was right when He said of the three disciples who had fallen asleep in the Garden of Gethsemane, “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matthew 26:41).  We need divine strength to live the life to which we have been called in Christ.

The text today speaks of the main components of the Christian’s strength.  It gives the source of our strength (“riches of His glory”), the means by which the strength is given (“with power through His Spirit”), and the location in our lives where God’s strength is felt and experienced (“in the inner man”).  All three aspects are necessary to know God’s strength in this life.  The only source of our strength is God and His glory, the only means by which God conveys His strength to us is through the Spirit, and the place in our lives where we will come to know God’s strength is in our souls.  If we seek strength from any other source, by any other means, and in any other place in our lives, then we will never know the true strength we have in Christ.  But in the way described in our text, we come to know the omnipotent power of God from His glory, through the Spirit, in our inner souls.

We Christians are well acquainted with our weaknesses, for they are apparent to us on a daily basis.  But God knows this, as the psalmist said, “He knows that we are dust” (Psalm 103:14).  Our weakness does not surprise or disappoint God; He seeks our lives to be the framework whereby His strength is made perfect.  God told the apostle Paul who earnestly sought deliverance from his “thorn in the flesh” that ultimately it was not best to remove the impediment.  The reason is this: “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9).  In a strange and unexpected way, we need our weaknesses for the power of God to actualize our strength; our strength is in Christ, not in ourselves.  Every Christian, no matter how cognizant he is of his inherent weakness, can and must have the strength of God in his life.  And he can have God’s strength in Christ through the Spirit in the soul.  Dear Christian Friend, look to Christ alone, who is our all in all; seek His help and strength this day.

Prayer: Dear Lord, I am weak, but You are strong!  Thank You for Your strength in me through the Spirit.  I pray that You will show Your glory and honor in and through my weakness by granting Your power in my life.  Do this for Jesus’ sake and for the sake of the gospel.  Amen.

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