Paul's Second Prayer

August 13, 2017


August 13, 2017

Mike Rose
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Ephesians has two distinct foci:

  • The 1st 3 chapters focus on The Gospel Revealed.

God pulls back the “spiritual curtain” that blocked the knowledge of The Gospel and shows the saints Who They Are & What They Have in Christ.

  • The 2nd 3 chapters focus on The Gospel Lived Out.

What does life look like when a person comes to faith in Christ, understands who they are and what they have, and by faith lay hold of that reality?

Paul offered two prayers in the first half of his letter:

  • The 1st Prayer, Ephesians 1:16-19, asked God for three things pertaining to enlightenment (knowledge)
  1. …the hope of their calling

       2 …the riches of His inheritance in the saints

        3 …the greatness of His power toward them

  • The 2nd prayer includes three requests also, only these pertain to enablement (ability):
  1. Strength

        2. Love

       3. Fullness

The two prayers together ask God to help His children:

  1. Know
  2. who they are and what they have

Able to put their reality to work for God’s glory and their benefit.

Scripture Reading: Ephesians 3:14-19, ESV

Strength – VS16-17a

The “strength” Paul asks for, is not the ability to leap tall buildings with a single bound, or bend steal with our bare hands, but rather “strength” in the inner man.

The point is… as finite beings, it’s not possible to take in to ourselves the fullness of blessing God is giving.

Infinite does not fit into finite!

Paul asks God for supernatural ability to receive supernatural blessings.

How would God do that?

  1. According to the riches of His glory.
  2. Through the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit.

I regularly pray for God’s strength to fill my inner man. It is in the inner man where I either have what it takes or falter by the wayside.

Fact is our outer-shell is withering away. The older we get, the weaker it grows. But the inner man can be renewed and grow stronger despite the outer-man perishing.  2 Corinthians 4:16

Love – 17b-19a

Rooted is an agricultural metaphor communicating the importance of having a strong “feeding system” that go deep in the soil.

Grounded is an architectural metaphor communicating the importance of being established on solid bed rock.

Consider the parable Jesus told about the house built on the sand ~VS~ one built on the rock. Matthew 7

Paul uses these metaphors to express not only the importance of going deep, but also to identify what is the “bed-rock” of our faith…                

The infiniteLove Of Christ.

Paul asks The Father to enable us to comprehend what is humanly incomprehensible… the width, length, height and depth… of the love of Christ.  A love he says …surpasses knowledge….

Thought: If this love surpasses knowing, then the request of knowing how wide, long, high and deep it is, must be a request for continued unveiling… fresh and new revelations each day.

Someone illustrated this request by pointing out that the Love of Christ is…

... wide enough to embrace the world. John 3:16

long enough to last forever. 1 Cor. 13:8

high enough to take sinners to heaven 1 John 3:1,2

deep enough to take Christ to the lowest sinner. Phil. 2:8

Growing deep and established firm in the Love of Christ is NOT a solo affair, but something best accomplished in community.  VS18

Fullness – 19b

…that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

…God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him [Christ]”  Colossians 1:19

…in Christ all the fullness of Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ.  Colossians 2:9-10

The emptier I get of myself, the fuller I get of God.

As my flesh fades away, the presence and power “the fullness” of God comes rushing in. This is all part of the Good News of Jesus Christ

Wrap Up

The Gospel of Jesus Christ:

  • Yes… forgiveness of sin

Yes…Escape from Hell – Heaven as my eternal home

  • But also STRENGTH in my INNER BEING so that the life of Christ is the life driving me.

ROOTED & GROUNDED in GOD’S LOVE… daily receiving new insights into the width, length, height and depth of a love that is beyond full comprehension.

Being FILLED w/THE FULLNESS OF GOD, His presence, comfort, mercy, grace… everything and anything needed to be the New Creation that I am in Christ Jesus.

I pray with Paul…

Lord, Grant to Your Saints STRENGTH in their inner most being, so that Christ and His life become more real, more compelling, more empowering every day.

Lord, cause our roots to go down deep into Christ. Dig our foundations deeper and deeper into the Solid Rock who is our Salvation and Eternal Life.

May we be enabled by Your Spirit to be continually FILLED to the full each day with YOUR FULLNESS so that Your Glory is seen, sinners repent and acknowledge that You alone are God and give you honor and worship.

Open our spiritual eyes to see Your working in these ways, in our midst I pray.