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Ephesians, Chapter Three, Lesson Three

SPIRITUAL STRENGTH            Page 3

V.16 ** For what does Paul pray?

That the Father would grant us strength in the inner man! There may not be a more loving prayer for us to offer on behalf of our beloved brothers and sisters in Christ. Strength for the battle can only come from the eternal source of our heavenly Father as His marvelous grace grants it to us.

** As our heavenly Father grants us strength, is there any limit to the resource which is supplying it?

No, it is "according to the riches of His glory". Or to put it another way, it is limitless. God's glory will never diminish or fade. The richness of our God will forever shine forth as our eternal resource for all we need.

** What if Paul's prayer was slightly different? What if he had prayed for the Father to grant us this strength "out of" the riches of His glory?

"out of" would indicate a small portion taken from the whole, while "according to" indicates the measurement of impact that strength will have upon the recipient.

** What agent does the Father use to strengthen us?

His Holy Spirit - cf. Ephesians 5:18, Galatians 5:16

V.17 ** In this next section, we are going to see three results of this supernatural strengthening of the Christian by God. What is the first one?

"so that Christ may dwell in your hearts"

** Since Paul is writing to Christians, why is he praying for them to be strengthened "so that Christ may dwell" in their hearts? Isn't He already there?

The word for "dwell" is katoikeo and comes from two words. Kata meaning "down" and oikeo meaning "to inhabit a house". What Paul is praying for is not that Christ would enter the heart of a believer, but that He would be at home, settled down as a comfortable family member in the believer's heart.

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