Summary: In Christ, we have unlimited power at our disposal.
Power In Christ
Text: Eph. 3:14-21
1. The word "power" is defined as "the ability or capacity to perform or act effectively."
2. Recently, I did an internet search on the word "power," and it yielded 1,210,000,000 results. Do you think that people find power to be important?
3. Paul says that Jesus gives us power:
a. Power for inner strength
b. Power to understand
c. Power to achieve
4. Read Ephesians 3:14-21
Proposition: In Christ, we have unlimited power at our disposal.
Transition: Paul prays for...
I. Power For Inner Strength (14-17)
A. Empower You With Inner Strength
1. As in verse 1, in verse 14 Paul is referring back to what he has already written when he says "When I think of all this..."
a. When he thinks about our spiritual blessings in Christ.
b. When he thinks about God’s free gift of grace that has been bestowed upon all people.
c. When he thinks about the peace of Christ that is available to all who believe.
2. Paul says "When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father..."
a. There are many postures that be assume in Scripture while praying.
b. Some stand, sit, lay prostrate.
c. But in Scripture, bowing the knees signifies several things that may have prompted Paul to mention that position here. First, it represents an attitude of submission, of recognition that one is in the presence of someone who is of much higher rank, dignity, and authority (The - MacArthur New Testament Commentary – Ephesians).
d. Second, we see references to bowing the knee before God in times of intense passion and emotion.
e. Paul fell to his knees not because it is a more sacred position than any other, but because it reflected his reverence for God and the passion in his heart for the Ephesians.
3. This is what Paul prays, "I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit."
a. 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 (Snodgrass, 179).
b. He prays that this inner strength would be supplied by God’s glorious and unlimited resources.
c. Because He is limitless, so are His glory and resources. Therefore, the inner strength that He can supply is limitless too.
d. The Greek word for "strength" in this verse is the opposite of the word despair.
e. He is able to give us inner strength that is stronger than any despair that the Devil or the world can throw at us.
f. Romans 8:38 (NLT)
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.
4. God does this through His Holy Spirit.
a. John 16:7 (ESV)
Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.
b. Jesus tells His disciples that He is going away, but not to worry because He is sending the Helper, the Holy Spirit to be with them.
c. The Holy Spirit empowers, comforts, guides, protects and teaches us.
d. He can gives us inner strength that is beyond comprehension.
5. As this happens, Paul says "Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong."
a. The word translated "home" means a place of dwelling, whether an object or area Greek (Louw and Nidda, English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Symantic Domains).
b. It carries with it the idea of settling down and taking up a permanent residence.
c. Paul says that Christ takes up residence in our hearts.
d. The “heart” in the Bible always refers to the center of a person’s emotions and will.
e. Christ takes up permanent residence, changing a person’s “heart” and, consequently, his or her words and thoughts (Life Application New Testament Commentary).
f. What Paul is talking about is perseverance.
g. Revelation 2:11 (NLT)
“Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches. Whoever is victorious will not be harmed by the second death.
B. Power to Overcome
1. Illustration: “Instead of praying for victory, we settle for temporary relief. We pray that God will make the devil leave us alone, when the Lord is telling us to pursue our enemies and scatter them like dust.”