Teaching Notes are Bible studies we taught before GraceLife Ministries began publishing articles online in 1995. Some were presented as sermons, others as group studies.
Our hope is that these older studies will be a blessing to you in your life and ministry. Please use them in any way God leads you.
[These notes are from a Bible study taught more than 40 years ago. The notes are in outline form.]
“Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you, which is your glory. For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, 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 Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.” Ephesians 3:13-19
I. (v 16) This first prayer is presented in three basic parts:
- What is to be done
- Where it’s to be done
- How it’s to be done
A. What — “strengthened with might”
B. Where — “in the inner man”
C. How — “by his Spirit”
II. (v 17a) This second prayer is the purpose of the first – “That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith”
The word “dwell” translates from the Greek as “to settle down and be at home.” The expanded translation is, “that Christ might finally settle down and feel completely at home in your heart.”
I’ve heard it said, “if we make room for the Holy Spirit, He will make room for the Lord Jesus.”
If you live in conscious dependence upon and yieldedness to the Holy Spirit, the Spirit will make room for the Lord Jesus in your heart and life by eliminating things that are sinful and of the world, and thus enable you to make the Lord feel completely at home in your heart.
Notice that Christ settles down in your hear by faith. This faith speaks of your belief in Christ as the One who grants the fulness of the Spirit.
III. (v 17b-18) This third prayer is the result of being strengthened and filled by the Holy Spirit. The word “love” is translated from the Greek agape. The Greek word for “comprehend” is katalambano. It means “to lay hold of so as to make one’s own, to mentally grasp, to seize, take possession of.”
“with all saints” indicates that this spiritual capacity is not limited to a few select saints, but is the common property of all saints who are strengthened and filled with the Holy Spirit. Paul’s desire s that we “grasp” the vastness of the love of Christ .. His love for us.
IV. (v 19a) This fourth prayer is that we may “know by experience” (ginosko) the love of Christ.
The conceptual knowledge passes into experiential knowledge as the saints experience in their lives that comprehension of the love of Christ for them in the sphere of their earthly life.
This love of Christ “passes knowledge.” Expositors translates it “the knowledge surpassing love of Christ.” No matter how much you experience the love of Christ, there are oceans of love in the heart of God that are still untapped.
V. (v 19b) This fifth prayer is that we might be filled with all the fulness of God.
“So I ask you not to lose heart at my sufferings on your behalf, for they are your glory and honor. For this reason [grasping the greatness of this plan by which Jews and Gentiles are joined together in Christ] I bow my knees [in reverence] before the Father [of our Lord Jesus Christ], from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name [God—the first and ultimate Father]. May He grant you out of the riches of His glory, to be strengthened and spiritually energized with power through His Spirit in your inner self, [indwelling your innermost being and personality], so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through your faith. And may you, having been [deeply] rooted and [securely] grounded in love, be fully capable of comprehending with all the saints (God’s people) the width and length and height and depth of His love [fully experiencing that amazing, endless love]; and [that you may come] to know [practically, through personal experience] the love of Christ which far surpasses [mere] knowledge [without experience], that you may be filled up [throughout your being] to all the fullness of God [so that you may have the richest experience of God’s presence in your lives, completely filled and flooded with God Himself].” Amplified Bible
[Thank you for reading these teaching notes from more than 40 years ago. My prayer is they will be a blessing to you, your family and your ministry.]