The Inner Man

Ephesians 3:14-19, “For this reason I kneel before the Father from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named.  I pray that He may grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power in the inner man through His Spirit, and that the Messiah may dwell in your hearts through faith. I pray that you, being rooted and firmly established in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the length and width, height and depth of God’s love, and to know the Messiah’s love that surpasses knowledge, so you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”
 
How does one gain strength in the “inner man” except by the Spirit of God.  Self help books can’t do it, will power is only as strong as the human mind will allow it to be, so except that God by His power, grant us that strength, we are weak, frail humans.  And faith is more than accepting something as truth. Paul is praying that his readers would grow in their intimacy with the Lord and have more than just a surface relationship. Galatians 2:20 says that Christ lives in us, that the life we live is not us but Him in us and Romans 8:9 tells us that the Spirit of Christ is in us. This means that we need not approach spiritual problems using our mental or physical abilities or human understanding. 
 
The nowledge of Christ’s love is experienced in relationship with other believers. That is why Paul was careful to add the phrase “with all saints”. Such is the nature of God’s love that it cannot be experienced or appreciated in a vacuum. Christian love grows in the context of Christian relationships. Paul’s prayer at this point reminds us that as believers we need other Christians to experience God’s love in it’s fullness.
 
Paul longed for believers to experience the love of Christ in all it’s dimensions. He used words that describe references to measurements like the LENGTH of His love through all eternity, the WIDTH of His love to all mankind, both Jew and Gentile, the HEIGHT of His love in the praise of His Glory, and the DEPTH of His love to the most evil sinner.
 
The Scottish minister Robbert Murray McCheyne once wrote, “This river of love began to flow before the world was; from everlasting, from the beginning, before ever the earth was. Christ’s love to us is as old as the Father’s love to the Son. This river of light began to stream from Jesus towards us, before the beams poured from the sun; before the rivers flowed to the ocean; before angel loved angel, or man loved man: before creatures were, Christ loved us. This is a great mystery; who can fathom it? This love passes knowledge.”
 
Paul prayed that believers would be “filled with all the fullness of God.”
 
While we will never fully understand the magnitude of His love for us, at least, not on this side of heaven, spending time in prayer and in His Word will help us if we allow His Holy Spirit to reign within our hearts and minds.
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