Second Corinthians

Commentary on the Book of Ephesians

By: Tom Lowe                                                Date: 6/30/17

 

Lesson 14: The Content of the Prayer (3:14-19)

 

Ephesians 3:14-19 (KJV)

14 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

15 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,

16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;

17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,

18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;

19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.


Introduction

The apostle seems to be more anxious for the believers, than for what he himself had to bear. He feared that they might become discouraged and fall away when meeting tribulation. He asks for spiritual blessings, which are the best blessings; strength from the Spirit of God in the inner man; strength in the soul; the strength of faith, to serve God, and to do our duty. If the law of Christ is written in our hearts, and the love of Christ is shed abroad there, then Christ dwells there. Where His Spirit dwells, there He dwells. We should desire that His good affections may be fixed in us. And how desirable it is to our souls to have a fixed sense of the love of God in Christ! How powerfully the apostle speaks of the love of Christ! The breadth (18) shows its extent―to all nations and ranks; the length, that it continues from everlasting to everlasting; the depth, its saving those who are sunk into the depths of sin and misery; the height, its raising them up to heavenly happiness and glory. Those who receive grace for grace from Christ's fullness may be said to be filled with the fullness of God. Shouldn’t this satisfy any man? Must he feel the need to fill himself with a thousand trifles, thinking that accumulating “things” would complete his happiness?

 

 

Commentary

14 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

 

“For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father.

 We have no way of knowing what was on Paul’s mind at this time, but we can probably make a good guess from the context and what we have learned thus far from our study of his epistles, especially Acts. What was it that caused the apostle to bow his knees in prayer? There have been several suggestions:

1)     He felt the need to pray for the perseverance of the saints, because nothing is more desirable to the ministers of Christ than that; which is the pure gift of God. It is what He has promised, and therefore we should ask Him for it; for what God has planned and promised to His people, will be sought after by them.

2)     The people of God were becoming worldly and complacent; some were more interested in accumulating wealth than they were in worshiping God and participating in the rituals of the Christian faith. The apostle might have wanted to stir up these saints to pray for themselves

3)     Paul observed that Christians were especially loved and blessed by God; therefore, he prayed that they would know too, and pray to Him, and thank Him.

4)     He may have prayed that they would not be discouraged by the things he was suffering

 

Paul had begun to finish this prayer back in Ephesians 3:1{1], but he interrupted it for the magnificent digression regarding the great mystery in Christ; now he repeated the words, “For this cause,” and completed the marvelous prayer.

 

“I bow my knees”

We need to remember that no one specific posture in prayer is commanded. Keep this in mind when various groups try to argue that raising one’s hands while praying is a more ‘spiritual posture’ than all others (1 Timothy 2:8){2], and consider the example of Jesus in the garden―“Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, ‘My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will’” (Matthew 26:39). Paul didn’t follow Jesus’ example; the position he used in prayer was bowing the knees; a man is not tied to any particular gesture or posture in prayer, the main thing is the condition of the heart; mere postures and gestures are insignificant things with God; though where the mind is affected, the body will be moved; and this gesture may be expressive of reverence, humility, and submission in prayer.

Many parts of this prayer bear a strict resemblance to that offered up by Solomon (2 Chronicles 6:1, etc.), when dedicating the temple; he kneeled down upon his knees before all the congregation of Israel, and spread forth his hands towards heaven (2 Chronicles 6:13). The apostle was praying for the Christian church and for those blessings which should always rest on and distinguish it; and he kneels down after the example of Solomon, and appeals to Him to whom the first temple was dedicated, and who had made it a type of the Gospel Church.

One distinguished commentator takes a very harsh stance concerning the proper position to take when praying. His comment was: “The apostle prays to God the Father, and he bows his knees in this praying. What can any man think of himself, who, in his addresses to God, can either sit on his seat or stand in the presence of the Maker and Judge of all men? Would they sit while addressing any person of ordinary respectability? If they did so they would be consider very rude indeed. Would they sit in the presence of the president of their own country? They would not be permitted to do so. Is God then to be treated with less respect than a fellow mortal?”

But what does the Bible say is the proper position for prayer?  Well it does have something to say, but what I have found is that the position taken is just not that important. What is Important is the condition of the heart. Consider the following:

1)     Early Christians sometimes kneeled in prayer, but usually stood, with arms outstretched and hands palm upward, with their eyes raised to the sky.

2)     Paul kneeled when praying (Acts 20:36; Acts 21:5). Stephen kneeled when he was stoned (Acts 7:60). Peter kneeled when he raised Dorcas (Acts 9:40). Solomon knelt in the prayer of dedication for the temple (1 Kings 8:54), and our Lord himself knelt in Gethsemane (Luke 22:41).

3)     The usual, and the proper posture of prayer is to kneel; Compare 2 Chronicles 6:13; Daniel 6:10; Luke 22:21; Acts 7:60; Acts 9:40; Acts 20:26; Acts 21:5. It is a posture which indicates reverence, and should, therefore, be assumed when we come before God. It is a sad thing that the custom of kneeling in public worship has for the most part been done away with in the Christian churches.

4)     Some other acceptable attitudes or postures are also indicated, such as “falling on the face” (Luke 5:12).

5)     The Jews often stood to pray (Matthew 6:5; Luke 18:11-13); but kneeling for prayer is often indicated in the New Testament, although it was not unknown at all in the Old Testament.

 

“Unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Here Paul prayed to God, not as the Father of mankind, generally, but in the spiritual sense of being the spiritual Father of his children in Christ. “In the spiritual or redemptive sense, God is definitely not the Father of all men.” This is an important distinction. It is not the brotherhood of all mankind (in the sense of having the same Creator) that blesses human relationships. It is the brotherhood of man “in Christ” that brings peace and friendship. The brotherhood of man, apart from the qualifier of their being brothers “in Christ Jesus,” is a sadistic joke. The Jewish-Arab conflict is a prime example of the brotherhood of man apart from Jesus Christ.

In the foregoing chapter, Ephesians 2:19, Paul tells the Ephesians that now that they believe in Christ, they are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God. Here he goes on to tell them that they are of the family, or lineage of God, seeing that they are, along with Jesus Christ, the sons of God. Nothing could be a greater force for keeping them committed and loyal to the doctrine which he had preached to them, and which here-and-now he makes it his principal business to substantiate; namely, that they do not need to be circumcised, and submit to the law of Moses, because they were already, by faith in Christ, the sons of God, and of the same family as Christ himself.

Christians are confident that they can approach God as their Father―“In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence” (Ephesians 3:12). Jesus taught the same thing (Matthew 6:9; Matthew 7:11; Luke 11:18; Mark 14:36). The confidence of being welcomed and accepted when we go into God's presence springs from our faith in Him. We believe in Him as the Propitiation, as our Peace, as the Reconciler, and we go before God with confidence.  We are never told to pray to some departed Christian, such as Mary or one of the apostles. Christianity is the religion of free and direct access to the Father. Caldwell reminds us: “He is not simply our Father because He created us. He is also concerned about us. As among men, there is a difference between paternity and fatherhood. We recognize that

We are right in praying to the Father for several reasons:

  1. It is how Jesus taught his disciples to pray: “After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name” (Matthew 6:9).
  2. Jesus Christ prayed to Him; which is mentioned many times in the New Testament.
  3. We were created by God to have fellowship with Him, and we fellowship through prayer and worship.
  4. He is worthy of our praise and worship, which we express primarily in prayer.

Is it wrong then to pray to Christ? God is the Father of Christ, not by creation, nor adoption, but by generation, being the only begotten of the Father; and as such we are right in praying to Him. God is the Father of His people in and through Christ; and there is no other way of coming to Him but by Christ; and all spiritual blessings come though Christ, and from God, as the Father of Christ. Undoubtedly, prayer should ordinarily be addressed to God, our Father; but this does not make it improper to address the Lord Jesus in prayer―“And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen” (Acts 1:24). The prayer is addressed to the Lord Jesus, and it is a recollection of His insight into the hearts of men (John 2:24John 6:64). Furthermore, the prayer of Stephen (Acts 7:59-60) shows, that direct prayer to the Son was not foreign to the minds of the disciples.

 

15 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,

 

This expression “of whom” may refer either to “the Father,” or to “the Lord Jesus”; the latter being the more natural interpretation.

“The whole family of God,” is made up of all the believers in the Lord Jesus Christ on earth, the spirits of just men made perfect in a separate state, and all the holy angels in heaven. They make up one family and are all of one community―they are all one, and of one―of which God is the Father and Head. The expression“is named” is taken from the custom in a family, where all bear the name of the “head” of the family; and the meaning is that all in heaven and on earth are united under one head. And this family derives its origin and being from God, as children derive their name from him who is the father of the family. Holy persons in heaven and earth derive their being and their holiness from God. Christ gives the name of Christians to all the real members of His Church upon earth; and to all the spirits of just men (saved since His advent, and through His blood) in heaven. They are all the sons and daughters of God Almighty. No matter where they are, in heaven or on earth; no matter from what nation they are converted, whether Jews or Gentiles, they all have one name, and one Redeemer, and all belong to one family (see Ephesians 4:4-6).

 

16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;

 

“That he would grant you”

This prayer by the apostle is one of the most imposing and inspiring in all the Word of God. The riches of the grace of the Gospel, and the extent to which the soul of man may be saved here on earth, are most emphatically pointed out here. Every word seems to have come immediately from heaven; laboring to convey ideas of infinite importance to mankind. No paraphrase can do it justice, and few commentators seem to have entered into its spirit; perhaps deterred by its unparalleled sublimity. I shall only attempt to make a few observations regarding a few terms, to show their force and meaning; and leave all the rest to that Spirit by which these extremely important words were dictated.

 

“According to the riches of his glory”

According to the measure of His own eternal richness; God’s infinite mercy and goodness is the gauge according to which we are to be saved. In giving alms it is a maxim that everyone should give according to their ability. It would be a disgrace for a king or a president to give no more than a businessman or a farmer. God acts up to the dignity of His infinite perfections; He gives according to the “riches of His glory.” However, you can expect nothing from Him that does not come as a free gift through Christ Jesus; let this be a ruling sentiment of your hearts when you pray to God.

I would like to spend a few moments here on this amazing phrase—that He would grant you His strength in the inner man “according to the riches of His glory.” You may remember that we've had in chapters one and two, the riches of grace and the riches of mercy. Now in chapter three, we have had the “unsearchable riches of Christ” and here in verse16, “the riches of His glory.” You see, the riches of glory proceed from the throne. The riches of grace proceed from the cross.

May I take a little moment here to contrast these two? Riches of grace is the provision made by God whereby men and women, sinners, can be transformed and prepared for the presence of God. It's according to the riches of grace that we have forgiveness; according to the riches of grace we have redemption. You may remember that in Ephesians 1:7 it says, “In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.”

The “riches of grace” proceed from the cross. This is what makes me fit for the presence of God. Now then, “the riches of glory” proceed from the throne. And Paul is praying here that he may be made powerfully strong “according to His riches in glory.”

I just trust that today you will be reveling in this fact. The riches of glory are for you—all that Jesus Christ is on the throne of God. Remember, four times in Hebrews, I read that He sat down on the right hand of God. That means that our Savior has been given all authority in heaven and in earth. Everything is in His hands; and He's altogether, completely for you today. He meets your need according to His riches in glory, and you can come right to the throne of grace. And how close is the throne of God to you? How close is the throne of grace to you? So close that you can touch it.

The moment you start to pray, the moment you call upon your Savior for your present need, He hears you. And I love that verse in Psalm 34:17, telling us that the ear of the Lord is open to the cry of the righteous. “The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles.” What a wonderful thing, this is. I tell you, it's a marvelous thing to revel in the riches of His grace. But it's also a wonderful thing to revel in the riches of His glory.

 

“To be strengthened with might”

Now here is a request for strength; he prays that we might be made powerfully strong by His Spirit. He wants us to have a life that is energized by the Spirit of God. Now the place where this energizing is to take place is in the inner man, the place where we are the weakest. And by the way, oh how we need this strength. As Paul could say, “I strive according to the working of Him who worketh in me mightily.” Where? In the inner man.

You have many enemies, cunning and strong; many trials, too great for your natural strength; many temptations, which no human power is able to successfully resist; many duties to perform, which cannot be accomplished by the strength of man; therefore you need Divine strength; you must have might; and you must be strengthened everywhere, and in every way fortified by that might; mightily and effectively strengthened.

My friend, this is what you need; this is what I need. You and I are facing unseen powers. Satan seems to know that his time is very, very short; and we see rebellion all around us in every part of the world. Those foundations, which we thought were strong and stable, are crumbling into the dust and the structures are falling down. Our nation has been pulled to pieces like the rest of the world. Evil men are in authority everywhere; “evil men and seducers are increasing and getting worse and worse."

And Paul could say in 2 Corinthians 4:16-18, “but though our outward man perishes, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporary; but the things which are not seen are eternal.”

You remember in 2 Corinthians 4:7, Paul says, “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.” In 2 Corinthians 10:4, Paul says, “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds.” Paul is praying that we might be made powerfully strong by His Spirit in the inner man. And I say that that is the part of our being where we are the weakest, where we need the most strength—in the inner man, not the outward man.

And the place of action by the Spirit of God, where we need to be made powerfully strong, is in the inner man. God, give us some strong men, men who are strong spiritually. I'm not talking about physical strength but strength to stand in these days when there is so much corruption, when men are rejecting the word of God, when men ridicule Christ the Savior, when intellectual leaders are full of arrogance with respect to the person of God. Paul prays that we might be made powerfully strong in the inner man.

 

“By his Spirit”

By the sovereign energy of the Holy Ghost. This fountain of spiritual energy can single-handedly supply the spiritual strength which is necessary for this spiritual work and warfare. May God grant to you and to me that we might be made powerfully strong by His Spirit. Where? In the inner man. This is our weakest part—in the inner man. And yet this is where Christ dwells in the believer. And if you let Christ have His way—His will instead of your will, His desires instead of your desires, His purpose instead of your purpose—you'll find yourself made strong, powerfully strong by His Spirit in the inner man. And it's according to His riches in glory.

 

“In the inner man”

Here “the inner man” stands for the soul. Every man is a compound being; he has a body and a soul. The outward man is that which is seen and appraised by men; the inward man is that which interacts with God and looks forward to an eternity with Him. The outward man is strengthened by earthly food, etc.; the inward man, by spiritual and heavenly influences. Knowledge, love, peace, and holiness, are the food of the inward man; or rather Jesus Christ, that bread of life which came down from heaven: he that eateth this bread shall live and be strengthened by it. The soul must be fed and nourished by Divine food, as much as the body is by natural food.

What do I need? I need to be made powerfully strong. Let me repeat it once more. You go to work, go among your neighbors, go among your friends, and there you will find a sneer, indifference, coldness, and arrogance manifested; and you feel like pulling into your shell.

I want you to pray today that the Lord may make you powerfully strong in the inner man by His Spirit, according to His riches in glory. Oh, friend, we need this. You and I can't afford to live a single day out of fellowship with God. And may you today revel in the fact that we belong to the family of God, and then pray that He will give you His strength in the inner man so you may glory in Him day by day.

 

17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,

 

“That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith”

 This is another petition (prayer) sent up by the apostle for the Ephesians, which is for Christ to take up residence in them. The resident Christ is He who dwells in the highest heavens, who dwells in the Father, and the Father in Him, in whom all fullness dwells, the fullness of the Godhead, and the fullness of grace. Those in whose heart He dwells cannot want for any good thing, are living in the greatest safety, and enjoying the greatest comfort and pleasure. This indwelling of Christ is not to be understood in this sense; which is, that He dwells everywhere, being the omnipresent God; or that He dwells in the human nature; or that His dwelling is merely by His Spirit. Rather, it should be understood that His is a personal indwelling; which is an instance of His special grace. He dwells in His people like a king in his palace, to rule and protect them, and to provide for them as the head of his family. It is a consequence of their union with Him, and is expressive of their communion with Him, and is perpetual; where He once takes up His residence, He never totally departs―with no going back. The place where He dwells is not their heads, nor their tongues, but their hearts; and this is where no good thing dwells except Himself and His grace; and where sin dwells, and where He is often slighted, opposed, and rebelled against. The means by which He dwells there, is a person’s faith (saving faith); which is not the bond of union to Christ, nor the cause of His being and dwelling in the hearts of His people; but is the instrument or means by which they receive Him, and retain Him, and by which they have communion with Him. 

 

“that ye being rooted and grounded in love”

There are two ways in which a person becomes“rooted and grounded in love”:

1)     IN LOVE FOR GOD, AND ONE ANOTHER; for faith and love go together; and love is sometimes weak and like a flower it needs to be planted and watered before it will grow and blossom. But what is it that serves to root and ground persons in love; it can only be discoveries of God's love, views of Christ's loveliness, the consideration of blessings received, and the communion they have with God, and Christ, and one another, and a larger insight into the doctrines of the Gospel.

2)     IN THE LOVE OF GOD FOR THEM; which is the root and foundation of salvation; this is in itself everlasting and unchallengeable; but saints do not always notice the signs and expressions of it, and sometimes call it into question, and therefore they need to be “rooted and grounded” in it; which means to have a bona fide sense of it, and to be deeply interest in it, and to believe that nothing shall be able to separate you from it.

 

18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;

 

“May be able to comprehend with all saints”

The subject to be comprehended is not only beyond man’s natural capacity to understand, but beyond the ordinary power of his spiritual capacity. The thing to be grasped requires a special strength of heart and soul; the heart needs to be enlarged, the mental “hands and arms” need to be made strong (Genesis 49:24{3]). But it is not impossible for any of God’s children to attain wisdom, understanding, and spiritual power―it is the experience of “all the saints”―all God's children are enabled to grasp something of this (comp. 2 Corinthians 4:3-6{4]). 

 

What is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height”

Since the clause does not contain a genitive{5], it has been difficult to determine what these dimensions must be applied to. Some think that the love of Christ in the following clause must be meant; but surely when that is made the subject of a separate part of the prayer, and is not in the genitive but the objective case, governed by a verb of its own, this explanation is not to be entertained. Others, with better reasoning, think that the idea of a temple was in the mind of the writer, as it certainly was in Ephesians 2:21, 22, and that it is the dimensions of the temple that he could see in his mind’s eye, the prayer being that the Ephesians might comprehend the vastness and glory of that spiritual temple which is within the physical body of believers, and in which God dwells by the Spirit. Even this, however, would not fit in well with the context, in which the gist of the apostle's prayer is that an abundance of Divine blessing might be enjoyed by the Ephesians. If a genitive{5] must be supplied, may we not envision the apostle to have had in his view the entire provision God has made in Christ for the good of His people, so that the dimensions would be those of the gospel storehouse, the vast reservoir out of which the Church is filled? “Breadth” might denote the great number of believers that come to the church through faith in Christ; “length,” its eternal duration; its “depth” might be represented by the enormity of Christ's humiliation; and its “height” by the loftiness of the condition to which His people are to be raised. To comprehend this, to understand its existence and its richness, is to get our faith enlarged, our expectations expanded; it is through this comprehension that “all the saints” have got their wants supplied, and their souls filled as with peace and joy.

 

19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.

 

“And to know the love of Christ”

“The love of Christ” for us has been revealed in the immensity of His redeeming love. It is not merely the love which He showed for the Gentiles by calling them into His kingdom, which is referred to here; it is rather, the love He has shown for the lost world by giving Himself to die. This love is often referred to in the New Testament, and is declared to surpass all the other occurrences of love which has ever been envisioned (see Romans 5:7-8 and notes; John 15:13 and note). To know this; to feel this; to have a lively sense of it, is one of the highest privileges that the Christian can have. Nothing else will excite so much gratitude in our hearts; nothing will prompt us so much to live a life of self-denial; nothing will make us so compassionate and generous and so dead to the world (see the following notes on 2 Corinthians 5:14 for more on “The love of Christ”).

2 Corinthians 5:14 “For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died;”

 

For the love of Christ

In this verse, Paul brings to the forefront the principle which motivated him; the reason for his extraordinary zeal. That is, that he was influenced by the love which Christ had shown in dying for all people, and by the perspective which was provided by that death with regard to the actual character and condition of man; and of the obligation of those who professed to be His true friends (v. 15).  The phrase “the love of Christ” may denote either the love which Christ has for us, and which he has manifested in his sacrificial death, or our love for Him. In the former sense the phrase “the love of God” is used in Romans 5:8 and 2 Corinthians 13:13-14, and the phrase “love of Christ” in Ephesians 3:19.The phrase is used in the latter sense in John 15:9-10, and Romans 8:35. It is impossible to determine the sense in which it is used here with certainty, and it is only through the perspective which one has of Christ’s death and man’s need that we shall in any way determine the meaning. Expositors differ in regard to it. It seems to me that the phrase here means the love which Christ had toward us. Paul speaks of His dying for all as the reason why he was compelled to continue to follow the course of self-denial which he exhibited. Christ died for all. All were dead. Christ showed his great love for us, and for all, by giving himself to die a most horrible death; and it was this love which Christ had shown that impelled Paul to his own acts of love and self-denial. He gave himself to his great work compelled by that love which Christ had shown, and by the view of the ruined condition of man which showed how very necessary that work was; and by a desire to emulate the Redeemer, and to possess the same spirit which he manifested.

 “Which passeth knowledge”

 - There ‘seems’ to be a slight contradiction here in expressing a wish to know what cannot be known, or in a desire that they should understand that which cannot be understood. But it is the language of a man whose heart was full to overflowing. He had a deep sense of the love of Christ, and he expressed a wish that they should understand it. Suddenly he has such an apprehension of it, that he says it is indeed infinite. No one can attain a full view of it. It had no limit. It was unlike anything which had ever been envisioned before. It was love which led the Son of God to become incarnate; to leave the heavens, to be a man of sorrows; to be reviled and persecuted; to be put to death in the most shameful manner―on a cross. Who could understand that? Where else had there been anything like that? What was there with which to compare it? What was there by which it could be illustrated? And how could it be fully understood. Yet “something” of it might be seen, known, felt; and the apostle desired that as far as possible they should understand that great love which the Lord Jesus had manifested for a dying world.

 

“That ye might be filled with all the fulness of God”

 What a marvelous expression! How rich and glorious. Who can comprehend all that it implies? Let us inquire into its meaning. There “may” be here in these verses an allusion to the “temple.” The apostle had spoken of their being established in love, and of surveying the length, and breadth, and depth, and height of that love, as if it were a vast and splendid structure, and he now desires that those whom he addressed might be infused or filled with the indwelling of God. The language here is cumulative, and is full of meaning and richness.

(1) They were to be “full of God.” That is, He would dwell in them.

(2) They were to be filled with “the fullness of God.” On the word rendered “fullness,” see Ephesians 1:10, and note. It is a favorite word with Paul. Thus, he speaks of the “fullness” of the Gentiles (Romans 11:25); the “fullness” of time (Galatians 4:4); the “fullness” of him that filleth all in all (Ephesians 1:23); the “fullness” of Christ (Ephesians 4:13); the “fullness” of the Godhead in Christ (Colossians 1:19Colossians 2:9). It means here, “that you may have the richest measures of divine consolation and of the divine presence; that you may partake of the entire enjoyment of God in the most ample measure in which he bestows His favors on His people.”

(3) It was to be with “all” the fullness of God; not with partial and stinted measures of his gracious presence, but with “all” which he ever bestows. Religion is not a name. It is not a matter of form. It is not a trifle. It is the richest, best gift of God to man. It dignifies our nature. It more clearly teaches us our true dignity than all the profound discoveries which people can make in science; for none of them will ever fill us with the fullness of God. Religion is spiritual, elevating, pure, and Godlike. We dwell with God; walk with God; live with God; commune with God; are like God. We become partakers of the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4); in rank we are associated with angels; in happiness and purity we are associated with God!

 

 

Scripture and Special Notes

[1}“For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles” (Ephesians 3:1).

[2} “Therefore I want the men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing” (1 Timothy 2:8).

[3} “But his bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob; (from thence is the shepherd, the stone of Israel)” (Genesis 49:24).

[4} “And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:3-6).

[5} In grammar, genitive (also called the possessive case or second case) is the grammatical case that marks a noun as modifying another noun. It often marks a noun as being the possessor of another noun.

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