Wrapping up Ephesians 3 this morning. For three chapters Paul’s been laying down truth after truth concerning who these Ephesians are, and what they possess, in Christ.
And twice he prays for them. At the end of chapter 1 and at the end of chapter 3, he prays that, more than just giving mental ascent to these truths, that they would know and experience these truths. That the facts of what has God has done for them, and in them, would fuel the depths of their faith. That what he writes to inform their minds would penetrate their hearts and souls. So that, as we’ll get to in the remainder of Paul’s letter, what they believe would profoundly impact how they behave.
And, as is so often the case when it comes to preaching the ways of God, Paul can’t help but breakout in praise, declaring the wonder of God.
Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
(Ephesians 3:20-21 ESV)
But, while I know this is about Him, I am almost overcome with what it says about us. That while God is able “to accomplish infinitely more” (NLT) than we can come up with, though He can “do above and beyond” (CSB) anything we might imagine, He does so “according to the power at work within us.”
That’s the phrase I’m chewing on. That’s the truth I’m tasting again for the first time. That’s the full-meal deal spread before me this morning. That God, who is able to work in ways beyond our “wildest dreams” (MSG), does so according to the power at work within us.
In chapter 1, Paul wanted these Ephesians believers to know “the immeasurable greatness of His power toward us who believe.” The power that raised Christ from the dead. The power that seated Jesus at God’s right hand in heavenly places (1:19-20). And now, in chapter 3, he prays that they would be “strengthened” with that power, and that would happen “through His Spirit in your inner being” (3:16).
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you . . .
(Acts 1:8a ESV)
The active agency of the power of God is the Spirit of God. And we have been sealed with the Spirit (Eph. 1:13).
The Spirit of the God who raised Christ from the dead and gives life to our mortal bodies is the Spirit that “dwells in you” (Rom. 8:11).
Sealed by the Spirit of God of unfathomable power. Indwelt by the Spirit of God of unimaginable purposes. Empowered by the Spirit of God “able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think.”
And so, we can know things beyond what the mind of mortal man can know. We can do things beyond what the natural man thinks he can do. We can walk in a way that is worthy of our calling. And all this, according to the power at work within us.
Mind-blowing truths to ponder. No wonder Paul breaks out in praise.
Thanks be to God for the wondrous works of grace.
. . . to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen