Happy to say I am finally back to continue this series on the Three Sixteen (3:16) verses. (If you have recently joined us you might like to check out my posts on Matthew through to Galatians. Click here).
Today we have arrived at Ephesians; verse 16 is the first sentence below:
“I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then 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. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.” (Ephesians 3:16-19 NLT)
If you ever needed a verse to print out and stick on the fridge, this is the one!
It is just such a mystery the way the Spirit works to deliver this inner strength. Who could ever write anything to adequately describe the work of the Spirit in us? (Probably not me, but I’ll have a go anyway.)
The Spirit’s presence, gifted to us when we receive Christ, brings us peace, union with Christ and power, supernatural power – inner strength! This power is glorious and unlimited. The Spirit gives us the inner strength to say yes to God and no to sin and selfishness. He gives us the strength to own the name of our Saviour in the face of ridicule and persecution. The Spirit strengthens by leading us to the fullness of grace and strength in Christ. He does not seek glory for Himself. He empowers us so that the glory goes to God.
The Spirit’s work is not about providing a warm fuzzy or sentimental experience of God’s love. His task is to make Christ at home in our hearts, to enlighten the eyes of our hearts, so that we can KNOW God, making us complete with all the fullness of life and power in Christ.
This is the power of the Spirit of Christ! This inner strength requires and supplies the knowledge of truth in the face of Christ.
2 Corinthians 4:6 – “For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.”
We should also remember that this gracious gift (of the ‘inner strength of the Spirit’) fulfills the big OT promise that came through Ezekiel, that God would deal with our sin problem once and for us. “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws” (Ezekiel 36:26-27).
Praise be to God for this next great 3:16 reminder of how he has dealt with our sin, in Christ, through Christ and for Christ. We get the present and eternal benefits of His sovereign and merciful plan.
We are powered by the Spirit!
How’s your battery running lately?
(Perhaps we could talk more about recharging at another time.)