“For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with the power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your heart through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge- that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen. ” Outline I. From the bottom of his heart, Paul prays that the Ephesians will all soon come together to serve Christ. A. Paul Kneels Down and Begins to Pray (v14-15) 1. Kneeling down shows how much respect he has for God. 2. Begins to pray, not for himself, but for the Ephesians. B. Paul Prays for Power (v16-17a) 1. Paul prays that God will strengthen the Ephesians with power in their inner being. . Prayer for salvation. C. He Now Asks God for the Ephesians to Have an Understanding of God’s Love (v17b-19) 1. Paul wants them to know that God’s love is greater than knowledge. 2. He also wants them to be filled with the complete fullness of God. D. Paul Praises God’s Powers and Wants all Generations to Know (v20-21) 1. God can do everything and anything. 2. To God be the glory for all Generations now and forever more. Introduction Anyone who has heard the stories about writing an exegetical knows that it is going to be long and exhausting. That is a simplified version of what I heard from the upperclassmen.
My whole first year of college I have been worried about taking Bible Interpretations simply because of this of this assignment. Now that I have the assigned verses that I am to study, the paper does not seem as boring as I thought. However, it is the long process that I imagined it was going to be. I never thought I would have time to partake in writing a 12-page paper, including footnotes, being a music education major. I have a specific schedule I usually stick to and working the paper into my schedule has been rough. I use to be a big procrastinator last year and the old habits have returned with this paper in mind.
I believe I received the passage for a reason not “just because”. I believe God tries to speak to us through the verses we are assigned. I have been praying hard to absorb the message God is trying to tell me. Context The author of the book of Ephesians is the apostle Paul. Paul had a life no one would have ever expected him to have. Paul, who was once Saul, was well known for the persecution and murdering of Christians. Saul’s life soon changed when he had a conversion experience on the road to Damascus. This conversion experience changed Saul’s life, so much so that his Hebrew name Saul and decided to be called by his Roman name Paul.
Paul despised Christians; when Paul became a Christian, it was unheard of since he oppressed them. Paul did most of his writing when the first churches began to arise. Paul wrote letters to these new churches across Asia Minor because he was not able to visit the churches physically. Paul’s letters to the church were letters of instruction. This was mainly to lead the church in the right direction with its people and to organize oppressed Christianity. Much of the oppression began from Asia Minor, Ephesus, focusing on Pagan worship. One of the largest cities in Asia Minor is Ephesus.
Ephesus has a population of approximately 250,000. Here stood one of the Seven Wonders of the World. This famous statue is known as the Temple of Artemis. The temple of Artemis is a big attraction to tourists, and is an important religious location as well. Paul would encourage the early churches in his letters because the Temple of Artemis could be a hindrance. Paul wrote letters meant to be shared with all new churches, but while Paul was writing the letter to the Church of Ephesus, Romans incarcerated him restricting him to a jail cell for the spreading the word of the Gospel.
Paul wrote the letter to Ephesus in regards to Christians and how their lives should be directed and it explains how Christ has made the ultimate sacrifice and the results of that sacrifice. Some of the results and benefits include spiritual blessings, the gift of salvation through hearing the word of the truth, and the ability to grow closer to God. Also in Paul’s letter, it provides Christians, new and old, an instruction booklet of how we should live our lives according to how God would want us Christians to live our lives.
Such information includes what roads are needed to take in order to get closer to God, how achieve spiritual gifts and powers from the Holy Spirit, and the way to protect against the attacks from the evil one. Ephesians 3:16-18 is spoken in the second part of Paul’s letter when he talks about the gift of salvation. Paul prays that his people may be fulfilled with the power through his Spirit in the inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your heart through faith. Content Paul Kneels Down and Begins to Pray (v14-15) “THE POSTURE OF kneeling in prayer is one of several postures described in the Bible. When Jews prayed, the normal praying posture was standing up. Kneeling posture is less common. Since kneeling prayers were not the common type of prayer posture, this kneeling prayer represents submissiveness, solemnity, and adoration. However, scripture does not show any rules or laws stating a correct or incorrect praying position to be in. The apostle Paul wanted to pray a prayer that showed how he knew what God’s purposes were. Paul’s first petition is that God is the Father of the whole family on “heaven and on earth. ” The opening words of v. 14 the apostle begins, ’For this reason,’ has some equal expression at v. 1.
Here Paul was about to pray over the Gentiles. “However, he broke off almost immediately in order to give an account of his ministry to them and their distinctive place within the mystery of God that had been revealed to him. ” Paul prays that the readers will be enlightened with all of the resources of the spiritual strength needed to receive this knowledge. Paul’s prayer is to benefit the ones who have become members of his family in Christ. “Those whose reception ‘the Spirit of his Son’ is made evident by their calling him ‘Abba! Father! ’ (Gal 4:6)” “From whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name” he is Father. The Father is the One after whom ‘the whole family’ (pasa patria) is named. ” The word patera, means “Father”. The word patria means “Family. ” “Patria is a group united by descent from a common ancestor: a family, a tribe, or even a nation. ” “If pasa patria is translated as “the whole family” the assumption is that it is confined to believers. ” Paul Prays for Power (v16-17a) “THE MAIN INTENT of Paul’s prayer is clear: He wants his readers strengthened by God’s Spirit so that they may know intimately Christ’s presence and love. ” From Paul’s first petition (vv. 14-16), he requests that the readers receive power.
Power comes from the Greek word, dynamis. It means ability; miracle; ruler, an extended meaning of a person or supernatural being who has administrative power. “Paul prays that the members of his family in Christ may receive a precious gift of spiritual strength and without misery, but “according to the wealth of God’s glory,” or “according to his glorious wealth. ” The glory of God may be viewed as the total of all of his qualities. Since God is God and he lasts forever, his glory lasts forever and he cannot be impecunious by sharing them with his children of God.
This is Paul’s second petition is for the family in Christ “possess infinite riches in glory. ” The “inner being” can be looked at as the “locus of the indwelling Spirit. ” The ministry of the Spirit is committed to making a moving change in the power that Christ can bestow upon the ones that he indwells: “hince the experience of the indwelling Spirit and of the indwelling Christ is the same experience. For the ones hearts who was made by Christ are “rooted and well founded in love. ” “Combining of biological and architectural figures comparable to the admonition in Col. :7 to be “rooted and built up” in Christ. To be “rooted and built up” in Christ is to be “rooted and well founded in love. ” This love is the love of God revealed in Christ and poured into his people’s hearts by the Spirit, so that they in turn may show it to one another and to all. ” “In order to stress the foundational nature of the love that is envisaged, two metaphors, one botanical and the other architectural are closely linked: rooted and established in love. The word order of the original stresses love, while the two perfect passive participles depict the notions of progress and the resulting state. Love is as if the soil in which those who believe are rooted deep, will grow only if they have the correct nutrients, and the right foundation. The Greek word agape, is the love of God shown through Christ and poured out into the hearts of God’s children by the Spirit. (cf. Rom. 5:5, 8; 8:35-39). He Now Asks God for the Ephesians to Have an Understanding of God’s Love (v17b-19) The word, Love, in Greek is agape, which usually means in the New Testament the active love of God for his Son and his people, and the active loves his people are to have for God, for each other, and even enemies. The anticipation that all things will be brought together in Christ (1:10) presupposes that God is the Father of all. ” Those whose hearts Christ has made abode are “rooted and well founded in love. ” “The outcome of the spiritual strengthening for which the apostle prays, together with the experience of the indwelling Christ, will be their prevailing to grasp God’s revelation in its totality- its “breadth and length and height and depth. ” Paul begins to pray for his readers that they may have the strength to bear the eternal ambiguity with “all the saints. “The NEB rendering of v. 18b- “what is the breadth and length and height and depth of the love of Christ”-represents a popular interpretation, attested as early as Origen, but it is not precisely what the text says. Yet it is not a misrepresentation of the general sense, for it is impossible to grasp the diving purpose in all its dimensions without knowing the love of Christ- and this cannot be other than an experiment knowledge. ” “If one loves God, one is known by him (1 Cor. 8:3) – and to be known by him is the antecedent to knowing him.
If Paul was prepared to sacrifice everything for “the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord” (Phil. 3:8), the one who he referred is the one who he describes elsewhere as “the Son of God, who loves me and gave himself for me” (Gal. 2:20). To speak of knowing something that “surpasses knowledge “is to be intentionally inconsistent; but once something is learned about Christ, there is always one more thing to learn, always more to love, Christ is limitless. God is the source and goal of all things, the things God is source and goal of, oes toward the work of Christ; it is in God, “in his total Fullness, that salvation is achieved: this is the final term to which the saved come, loaded with a fullness which integrates them into the whole Fullness of God. ” Paul Praises God’s Powers and Wants all Generations to Know (v20-21) “THE DOXOLOGY BRINGS the first half of Ephesians to a close at the place it began in 1:3, in giving praise to God. ” The doxology follows Paul’s petitionary prayer and connects with it as well. The ascription of power God has designed “to him who is able”, the mention of his power at work within the readers (cf. . 16), and he can fulfill more than they ask (in prayer), showing plainly that this ascription of praise is closely linked with the proceeding intercession. Paul’s third petition is that “God is the one who works powerfully within us to fulfill us. ” “Glory” is a word that can be used repeatedly and can mean something different each time it is said. It practically covers the whole aspect of Christianity. God’s fellow-believers think that Paul is seeking too much from God by trying to fulfill them to the divine fullness. Then Paul reassures them: With God, nothing is impossible.
It is impossible to ask too much from God. With much analyzing and thinking of God’s everlasting purpose and its fulfillment in the gospel calls forth a doxology. A doxology takes the basic form, “To God be the glory,” but has been stretched and expanded for when the need comes to draw out the glory to God. “To him be the glory in the church and in the Christ Jesus” has unusual wording. This does not mean “the church” is at higher status than “Jesus Christ” God is to be praised and worshiped in the church because of the church, compromising Jews and Gentiles.
The credit give to the term glory will never cease not just today or tomorrow, but “in ages to come the surpassing wealth of his grace” continues to be presented “in his kindness toward us in Christ Jesus” (Eph. 2:7), and provides casion for eternal praise. What is heard at the end of a doxology would be the word, “Amen” serving the purpose of the congregation’s response as they listened as they said it. Through Christ, Paul says in another letter, my people “utter the Amen… to glory of God” (2 Cor. 1:20). The loud “Amen” signals that the first half of Paul’s present letter is concluded. Paul’s last and final petition such a God can answer prayer. ” Application Ephesians 3:14-21 is a fun passage to read. I would defiantly recommend this to a Christian or Non-Christian. This is a hard passage to study if you try to look too deep into the meaning. Most of the important information is right on the surface of the text. This passage will be useful in everyday life. The opening sentence of the passage is “For this reason I kneel before the Father. ” This would not necessarily mean everyday one should get on their hand and knees and pray to God. The reason of “this reason” stated in verse 14, is that there is not a reason!
Paul tells us in his four petitions that he is the Father of the whole family and possesses infinite riches in glory; in verses 20 and 21, he is the one who works powerfully within us. Last, he says that such a God can answer prayer. These four petitions are four great reasons why I would kneel before the Father! This also does not have to be a heavenly father to kneel to. One could give respect to anything they view as their “Father. ” The big “theme” of this passage that Paul gives us, is when he is in prayer and he states, “…and I pray that you being rooted and established in love. Paul also begs us to understand how awesome the power of Christ is and how this love surpasses knowledge. He says, “…How wide, how long, how high, and how deep is the love of Christ. This is not your everyday kind of love! The love he says stretches far beyond measurements. Then towards the end of the passage at verse 20, he states that Christ can do immeasurably more that we can ever imagine! Then Paul closes out the passage petitions with a doxology. A doxology is a short, sweet phrase explaining the highest respect and most intense worship.
God has blessed me immeasurably by giving me this passage. I honestly learned a great deal about Paul and his petitions. I plan to put this passage in my life and challenge myself to use this. “To him be the glory in the church and in Jesus Christ throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen.