Strengthened With Might by His Spirit in The Inner Man

Today we going to consider Ephesians chapter 3.

Paul loves to be clear in his writing. So often when he mentions something he will then stop his main train of thought for a moment and add additional information so there is no mistake what he is talking about. And he does this big time in Chapter 3.

Eph 3:1 For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles,

For this cause I Paul, comma, here come additional clarifying information. Five words and then leaves the main thought and will come back to it in verse 14.

Eph 3:14 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,  In verse 14 he gets back to his main point. So first we are going to look at the additional clarifying information and then we will look at his main point of this section of scripture.

Eph 3:2 If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:
Eph 3:3 How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words,
Eph 3:4 Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)
Eph 3:5 Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;

Before Jesus came they had prophecy, and types, and pictures, all pointing to Jesus. They had many sections of scripture that described the cross and what would happen there. They even had a few scriptures that told how God would save gentiles.

Isa_11:10 And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious.
Isa_42:6 I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles;
Isa_49:6 And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth.
Mal_1:11 For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering: for my name shall be great among the heathen, saith the LORD of hosts.

And there are other verses as well. But exactly how all that would work was as Paul calls it a Mystery. Some things were not made known unto the sons of men, but now it is revealed. And then Paul gives more details about what has been revealed.

Eph 3:6 That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:

The Gentiles are made fellowheirs, they are made one with them. How? By partaking of His promise, how? The gospel. Which is the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. Died for our sins and raised to prove the payment was accepted.

Eph 3:7 Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power.
Eph 3:8 Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;

He explains that God made him a minister by the gift of grace. He saw it as a privilege to be able to preach the riches of Christ. And he understood that it was only effective thru the working of God’s power. God actually is the one who works in the hearts of men.

Eph 3:9 And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:
Eph 3:10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,

He is still on the additional clarifying information. How what was a mystery before was now revealed. How Paul was made a minister by the grace of God to preach it and by God’s power have it be effective. And how it is God’s will for the manifold wisdom of God to be made known to the church.

Eph 3:11 According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:

He mentions how this was Gods purpose from eternity past.

Eph 3:12 In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.

Because of all of that truth. Because of grace, because it is God that is working with power, because this was all His plan, because of what Jesus did on the cross, because He is risen, and because of many other reasons, we have boldness. And we have access to pray with confidence because we have faith, specifically in Jesus.
With confidence by the faith of Him.  All of this additional clarifying information is important to his main point. It gives more power, more confidence in what he is about to discuss.  God has done so much for us. His eternal plan has been revealed. We now have full details. We can now go boldly with confidence to the throne of God in prayer. We have access with confidence by faith in Jesus.

Eph 3:13 Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you, which is your glory.

Paul did have many tribulations that he suffered for others. For preaching. Shipwrecked, stoned, and others. He says do not let that bother you. Don’t faint because it has been hard.  Now Paul gets back to the main point.  He started in verse 1 For this cause I Paul. And now in verse 14.

Eph 3:14 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

For this cause. The cause that he took the time to clarify. For the gospel, for the revealing of what was a mystery, for that cause he gets on his knees and prayers to God the Father.  Then Paul does it again. Adds additional clarifying information in a parenthetical statement.

Eph 3:15 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,

He is saying by the way. This goes for the whole family. All believers. Paul is praying and what is he praying for is for the whole family of God. Here comes the main point. What does Paul want God to do for you.

Eph 3:16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;

He is praying that God would strengthen you with His might in the inner man. And notice that it is by His Spirit, The Holy Spirit, that this is done.
Why would Paul want this for believers?  I think the reason is simple. Man in his flesh, his inner natural man, cannot live the Christian life in power without God’s power working in him. A life of inner spiritual strength cannot be had without the Holy Spirit working in you.  Without a strengthened inner man you will fall into all kinds of backsliding, make all kinds of foolish sinful mistakes. Your lack of patience or anger or a plethora of other things will overcome you.  Please make no mistake. You need the strengthening of the inner man that only He can give.

And notice that it says to be strengthened with might. It was Paul’s desire that they be strengthened with might. Not just barely enough to get by. Not just a little stronger than you were. But with might. Really strong spiritually. This is God’s will for us. And God has done this for countless people who have gone before us.

Missionary Adoniram Judson was lying in a foul Burmese jail. Imprisoned because of his Christian faith, Judson had thirty-two pounds of chains around his ankles; his feet were tied to a bamboo pole four feet off the ground, and the temperature was 100 degrees.  A fellow prisoner-a nonbeliever- knowing that Judson was a Christian missionary sneeringly asked: “Well, Mr. Judson, what do you think now about the prospects for the conversion of the heathen?” Without hesitating a moment, Judson replied: “Sir, the prospects for the conversion of the heathen are as bright as the promises of God.”  Judson had sufficient reason for self-pity. But even in prison, his life hanging in the balances, Judson could optimistically look forward to the future, knowing he was in the hands of Him who never forsakes His children.  How could he do that. Well in his flesh he could not. It is obvious that he was strengthened in the inner man by the Holy Spirit of God.

God wants to and can give us spiritual strength in the inner man that can get us thru any problem, any situation in life.  Paul continues in verse 17.

Eph 3:17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,

That Christ may dwell in our hearts by faith. O’ that is a big one. I have said it a thousand times, and I don’t think that is an exaggeration. I have said it over and over. It is a heart matter. God clearly established this very early on.

Deu_6:5 And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
Deu_11:1 Therefore thou shalt love the LORD thy God, and keep his charge, and his statutes, and his judgments, and his commandments, alway.
Deu_11:13 And it shall come to pass, if ye shall hearken diligently unto my commandments which I command you this day, to love the LORD your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul,
With all your heart. It is a heart matter. Doing what God said is actually a heart matter. It is how you in a very practical way express the love in your heart for Him.
Deu_11:22 For if ye shall diligently keep all these commandments which I command you, to do them, to love the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, and to cleave unto him;

God said it very early on and God kept on saying it.

Jos_23:11 Take good heed therefore unto yourselves, that ye love the LORD your God.
Psa_31:23 O love the LORD, all ye his saints: for the LORD preserveth the faithful, and plentifully rewardeth the proud doer.

And Jesus said in Mark
Mar_12:30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.

God loves you and He wants you to love Him back. It is a heart matter. And it is not just me saying that. God says it in His Word over and over again. It is something that He feels needs to be repeated many times.  Where do we get the strength to love God like that? If you noticed verse 16 and 17 are connected with a semi colon. So the two stand together.

Eph 3:16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;
Eph 3:17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith;

The strengthening of your faith comes by God working and strengthening the inner man. If you want to love God more, if you want to have more faith, if you want a closer walk with Jesus. You should ask God to strengthen you in the inner man, and after asking you need to let Him do a work in you.  And after that Paul goes into what are the results of being strengthened in the inner man by the Spirit of God.

Look at the end of verse 17.
that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
You get strengthened in the inner man by God and that will result in you being rooted and grounded in love.  Being rooted is an illustration of a tree. The roots hold it down, the roots keep it stable. Good solid roots will keep a tree from falling over in a storm. And the roots of a tree provide nutrients. Good roots keep a tree healthy and growing.

God used this illustration before.
Psa 1:1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
Psa 1:2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
Psa 1:3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

A tree planted by the rivers of water will have roots that always have what they need for the tree. Roots that will always be providing nutrients and life giving water.

Ephesian 3:17 says that ye, being rooted and grounded in love. Rooted in love. God is love. You get strengthened in the inner man by God and you will be rooted in love and you will be grounded in love.

His great love will be foundational to you. It will be at the heart, if you will, of your walk with God. You will think about it a lot every day. And you will be thinking about His love with the strengthening and guiding of the Holy Spirit.  That leads to verse 18.

Eph 3:18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;

For many the love of God is a sideline issue. Yes they know about it. They will acknowledge it. Many have even accepted His love gift of salvation.
But many Christians do not ask for or let the Holy Spirit strengthen them in the inner man. Christ is not dwelling in their hearts by faith in a way that is strengthened with power by the Holy Spirit.  O’ once saved always saved. Once saved Christ never leaves you. His Spirit has sealed you until the day of redemption. But with many the Holy Spirit is sitting in a corner of the heart. Grieved. Not asked or allowed to do a mighty work in their heart.  But those that will be strengthened in the inner man, they will see the Love of God in a powerful way. They will be able to comprehend what is the breadth and length and depth and height of that Love.  They will see God’s love working in their lives in all directions. They will see the love of God everywhere they look. The breadth, and length and depth and height is a way of highlighting all directions. Everywhere you look. The love of God can permeate your life.

Look at verse 19
Eph 3:19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.

You can know the love of Christ. So much so that you might be filled with all the fullness of God. God can take us. He does it not us. He can work in us so much that we can be filled with all the fullness of God.  That has never happened for me yet. God is doing a work on and in me. I am seeing more of the Love of God than I have in the past. But I am nowhere near that yet.  You might be thinking same here. You might also be doubting that God could do that for you. I think Paul anticipated that kind of thinking.

Look at verse 20
Eph 3:20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,
He reminds his readers. He reminds us. That God is able to do exceeding, abundantly above all that we ask or think. Exceeding, abundantly. Great descriptive words.
Above all that we ask. Again this is something that we must allow God to do in us. He will not force this upon us. And we need to ask Him to strengthen us in the inner man.  And the end of that verse Paul reminds us that this is all done by God with His power. According to the power that worketh in us.  And when we ask for and allow Him to strengthen us in the inner man this brings glory to God. God is glorified before the world when Christians are strengthened by His power.

Eph 3:21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

Jesus is worthy. He loves us so much, He has done so much for us, and will do great and powerful things for us and in us. Any gathered group of believers, that is what a church is, no matter how small that group is. They should all want this. They should all want to see their Lord receive glory.  He ends that main point by saying Amen and will transition into the next point. What he says as Paul transitions into the next point has bearing upon what we just went over.

Eph 4:1 I therefore,
Because of chapter three. Because of this strengthening of the inner man that is available to you. Because God has the power to do a work in you. Because of all of what we went over in chapter 3.  I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,

Eph 4:2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; 

I beseech you he says. Beseech is like beg but is used in connection with something that is right and good and honorable and what is best for you.  I beseech you that ye walk worthy. God has the power available. In fact you have the Holy Spirit inside you. He can strengthen us so that we can walk in humility, and have patience with others and situations, and we can love one another.

He will help us, He will enable us, He will empower us.
We have to want it, we have to ask for it, and we have to allow Him to do the work in us.
He wants to and He is able to strengthen our inner man.

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