Ephesians 3:17-18

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, October 24, 2016 0 comments

by Katie Erickson

“I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:16-19)

Today, I’m going to take a look into four key phrases from Ephesians 3:17-18 that should guide your life as a follower of Jesus Christ. This passage is part of a letter that the apostle Paul wrote to the church in Ephesus to encourage them in standing strong and following Jesus.

“Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith”
Faith in Jesus Christ is essential to following Him. After all, we can’t (and wouldn’t) follow someone who we do not believe in. This statement is not a conditional one, where if we have faith then Christ will dwell in our hearts; rather, it’s one of constant experience. As we continue to trust in Christ through the faith that we have, He will continue to dwell in us. As He is dwelling in our hearts, His teachings will guide our thoughts, words, and deeds.

“Be rooted and established in love”
As we trust in Christ and have His presence in us, the result is love. This love isn’t the kind of love like saying I love chocolate or I love sunny days, but this is the ultimate, unconditional, self-sacrificing love that only God can truly demonstrate for us all of the time. There is absolutely zero selfish motivation in this love. Paul uses two metaphors here. One word picture of biological, that of a tree with deep roots in the soil of love. This imagery is also reflected in Psalm 1 and Colossians 2:6-7. The other word picture is architectural - a building with a strong foundation, established on the rock of love. We see this reflected in Colossians 1:23 and 1 Peter 5:10.

“Have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people”
While this passage was written directly from Paul to the church at Ephesus, it’s not limited to them. Even back in the days of the early church, there were believers in multiple locations. All of them would have this power together. This applies not only to all people across the geographic distance of the church back then, but across all time as well. This power is for all believers, everywhere, and in all times. We receive this power through our faith in Christ, Him dwelling in our hearts, and having our spiritual roots deep into His love.

“Grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ”
This idea of grasping the fullness of the love of Christ means to perceive it, comprehend it, and hold it as our own. Christ’s love is way too large to be explained by any geometric measurements! We cannot fully grasp it with our feeble human minds, but we are commanded to try and grasp it anyway. This love is the self-sacrificing and completely unconditional love that Christ has for His Church, for everyone who trusts in Him. This is available to anyone and everyone who wants to have that relationship with Jesus Christ.

Dig your roots deeper into His love. Establish your firm foundation on Christ alone.

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