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Summary: Spiritual power is the consequence of the love of Christ. The Church needs strengthened love for increased power.

“Prayer for Strengthened Love,” Ephesians 3:14-21

Outline

I. Introduction

II. Transition

a. CIT: Spiritual power is the consequence of the love of Christ.

b. CIS: The Church needs strengthened love for increased power.

III. Exposition

a. The attitude of the prayer.

i. Humility, earnestness.

ii. Designation “The Father;” how Christ taught us to pray.

iii. That which bears God’s name must be of interest to Him.

b. The petitions connected to the grace of the:

i. Spirit (v.16)

1. The petition: we need strength in the “inner man.”

2. The measure: His glorious riches.

ii. Son (v.17-19)

1. Indwelling: Christ transform from inside out.

2. Stability: stable character comes from Christ’s love.

3. Comprehension: (v.18) Christ’s capacity to bless.

4. Knowledge: (v.19) the inward knowledge of Christ’s love is the strongest of all spiritual dynamics.

iii. Father (v.19)

1. Filled with all of the fullness of the Father. The renewed heart has the capacity to receive spiritually from God.

c. The Doxology

i. The being praised. “Him that is able,” etc. God is infinite in power, with no limits to His sovereign authority.

ii. The sphere: “in the Church” The Church is God’s instrument to spread His glory in the earth.

iii. The medium: “in Christ Jesus” in vital union to whom the Church has got all her blessings.

iv. The duration: “world without end;” for the story of redemption will never become obsolete.

IV. Conclusion

“Prayer for Strengthened Love,” Ephesians 3:14-21

Introduction

The man of God, D.L. Moody, once recounted the story of “A boy a great many years ago who was stolen in London. Long months and years passed away, and the mother had prayed and all her efforts had failed and they had given up all hope; but the mother did not quite give up her hope. One day a little boy was sent up to the neighboring house to sweep the chimney, and by some mistake he got down again through the wrong chimney. When he came down, he came in by the sitting-room chimney. His memory began at once to travel back through the years that had passed. He thought that things looked strangely familiar. The scenes of the early days of youth were dawning upon him; and as he stood there surveying the place; his mother came into the room. He stood there covered with rags and soot. Did she wait until she sent him to be washed before she rushed and took him in her arms? No, indeed; it was her own boy. She took him to her arms all black and smoke, and hugged him to her bosom, and shed tears of joy upon his head.”

Transition

The love of this mother was so intense that nothing could stop her from embracing her lost son. Indeed, her love for him was born from the deepest place within her and she expressed that deep love for her son, embracing him even in his soot and smokiness and lost condition.

Her love for him was so intense because it was born from deep within, just as the little boy was born from within her very body; that she had given birth.

Friends, there are few things more powerful than love born from within – indwelling love. Likewise, power for the Christian life comes from one source, it comes from one thing, on place; the indwelling love of Christ.

CIT / CIS: More spiritual power comes from more of the love of Christ indwelling.

This morning as I go to my text, I would ask you simply to consider the central notion of this text and of that most plain reality for believers – More spiritual power comes from more of the love of Christ indwelling believers.  

Exposition

This section of Scripture is a prayer on the part of the author, the Apostle Paul. He is writing to the believers in the region of Ephesus and he pauses in his message to them to offer an earnest prayer for them. That prayer contains some important information for them and us.

Consider at the outset the attitude of the prayer. The Apostle prays to God in humility and earnestness to “The Father;” how Christ taught us to pray.

He draws attention to the fact that the Church bears the name of God and surely that which bears God’s name must be of interest to Him.

The petitions of the prayer are each connected to the graces of a specific person of the Trinity. In recent years, the importance of the Triunity of God has grown greatly in my own understanding of God and His work in His Church.

While it may be largely a mystery to us, when we worship God in His fullness, as Trinity, He pours out His blessing in Triune abundance. Christian doctrine often separates the work of God into distinct manifestations of the God.

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