- Bishop Handley Moule: “Who has not read and re-read the closing verses of the third chapter of the Ephesians with the feeling of one permitted to look through parted curtains into the Holiest Place of the Christian life?”
- It speaks to our deepest need; Paul models a bold prayer that addresses us at the core.
- All of the struggles, sins, weaknesses you face are directly affected by these truths.
- This prayer encapsulates the whole of the Christian life; it is an audacious prayer.
- Learn how to pray with this kind of audacity for yourself and for others. How? Pray for power.
- Power is an important concept in NT; but power for what? Evangelism? Exorcisms? Healings?
- What does Paul have in mind?
I. Power for Faith (16-17a)
- Every believer has faith; but faith must be nurtured, strengthened, matured.
- “inner being”; 2 Cor 4:16: “So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.”
- Our culture fears old age, idolizes youth; we value the outer man.
- But if we value the inner man, we shouldn’t fear getting old; we should welcome it.
- Spirit strengthens us; why? So that Christ may settle down in uscharacter formation
- Gal 2:20: “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.”
II. Power for Knowledge (17b-19a)
- This power to “comprehend” is experiential; it means “to take in” with mind, emotions, will
- What is it that Paul prays for us to take in? The love of Christ, which surpasses knowledge.
- Paradox: know what surpasses knowledge; you need supernatural power for this.
- Understand all dimensions of God’s love in Christ:
1. Benevolence (Eph 2:4-5)
2. Delight (Eph 2:10)
- Notice what you need to help take this in: 17b (“rooted and grounded in love”) and 18 (“with all the saints”)
- We experience the richness of God’s love for us in Christ through one another.
- Pray for the supernatural power to know the love of Christ with the church.
III. Power for Fullness (19b)
- Summit of Paul’s prayer: “that you may be filled unto all the fullness of God.”
- The fullness of love and life that is in God himself; may you come to share in it.
- Just as God says, “Be holy, as I am holy,” here: “Be full, as I am full.”
- Adam & Eve lured to sin with the promise: “You shall be like God.”
- Paul shows us true path to become like God: Christ’s work for us & Spirit’s work in us.
- Pray for power to share in the very fullness of God himself.
- Do you see how audacious this is? Can we really pray this, or is it too lofty?
- See vv. 20-21; God’s omnipotent power can do far more in us than we could imagine.
- 1952: J.B. Phillips published Your God Is Too Small. Are your prayers too small?