(Gal 2:16 KJV) Knowing that a man is not justified by the
works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus
Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of
the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
(Phil 3:9 KJV) And be found in him, not having mine own
righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ,
the righteousness which is of God by faith:
Notice the common theme which runs in these two verses that the works of the law and our
own righteousness are placed in comparison to the faith of Christ which saved us and gave
us the access to God the Father. The sorry thing is that the modern versions take this
great teaching away from Christ and gives it to people by changing it to faith in
Christ. This makes Christ the object of our faith. Grammatically speaking it is
changing the sentence from Possessive faith of Christ to Dative faith in
Christ. This places man at the center instead of keeping Christ in the center of
Eph 3:13 (KJV)
Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for
you, which is your glory.
Wherefore - Therefore or on this account
I desire - I ask
Faint - Lose heart or be despondent
Tribulations - Affliction, distress, or pressure
Paul is building on the prior verse which focused on the great access to the Father
through the faith of Christ. Paul is basically saying, that based on what I just wrote to
you, please do not lose heart or become despondent. Remember, Ephesians is one of the
prison epistles. Paul had no problem with being in prison or suffering for the Lord.
(2 Cor 12:15 KJV) And I will very gladly spend and be spent
for you; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved.
Paul was very concerned for the churches and he did not want the work of the church to
stop because he was not present at that time. He was afraid that the church would begin to
fade away if the people went into a despondent disposition. This is why the Scriptures
give us the command that we are to commit the work to faithful men (2 Timothy 2:2) so the
work continues to go forward when we are taken from the scene. It is indeed a strange
appendage that Paul uses that his sufferings are the glory of the Christians in Ephesus.
Paul was stating that his sufferings were for the eternal good of the Christians because
he was suffering in prison for them, for all the churches, for Christianity in general as
the glory of Christianity is that we will suffer for it. In many ways we suffer for being
a Christian, some ways are rejection, mockery, hated, avoided, no promotion at work, etc.
(1 Pet 4:16 KJV) Yet if any man suffer as a
Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.
Paul wanted his sufferings to lead to the glorifying of God and not for the despondency
of the Christians.
Eph 3:14 (KJV)
For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
Paul counted it worthy to suffer for the Lord Jesus Christ and as a result, he humbled
himself before God the Father.
(Acts 5:41 KJV) And they departed from the presence of the
council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.
The world has no clue that when a Christian suffers for being a Christian and not an
evildoer, it is a mark of honor with God. The glories that a Christian has waiting for
them in heaven, far surpasses any menial suffering here on earth. Paul was also counting
on the fact that a great work was going to be done through the churches and he was aware
that his presence was not needed because God would raise other Christians up to continue
the work of the church. This is part of the freedom we have in Christ, so when we have to
retire or we become sick that we cannot do the work we used to, we can have confidence
that God will continue the work which He started with us through other capable hands.
(Heb 6:10 KJV) For God is not unrighteous to forget
your work and labour of love, which ye have showed toward his name, in that ye have
ministered to the saints, and do minister.
Eph 3:15 (KJV)
Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,
(Acts 11:26 KJV) And when he had found him, he brought him
unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the
church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in
There are some commentators which teach that this verse teaches not only the Fatherhood
of God for the body of believers but also that it teaches the Fatherhood of God to all the
unbelievers by means of creation. Well the problem with that theory is that the
unbelievers will not be in Heaven and therefore the family that is in view is the body of
believers which carry the name of Christ, hence, the name Christian. The Greek of the
first century followed the Latin method of placing an ending to a proper name such as
Christ-ian to note that a person was a follower or an adherent of a person or
thing. In this case, in the Greek, ianos was added making it
Christianos in the Greek which was the name for the followers of Christ.
Eph 3:16 (KJV)
That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened
with might by his Spirit in the inner man;
Strengthened - to empower or become strong.
Here the Apostle Paul is praying that the Ephesian Christians would be granted the
supernatural strength in the inner man. In other words, he is asking the Lord to
strengthen these believers. Paul was concerned that they may have become despondent
because of his imprisonment. This comes from a misunderstanding of Gods differing
plan for each Christian. Now he is asking the Lord to give them strength according to the
riches of Gods glory. Notice he is not asking God to strengthen them out of the
riches but according to the riches. An example of this would be if a millionaire gave
$500,000 to a cause, he would be giving according to his wealth but if he gave $5, he
would be giving out of his wealth. Therein lies the difference between according
to and out of.
(Rom 7:22 KJV) For I delight in the law of God after the
Our delight is in the law of God according to the inner man. Basically, we delight in
our salvation and if God strengthens us in the inner man or our spirits, then we are able
to endure the trials of life and be able to minister at the same time.
(2 Cor 4:16 KJV) For which cause we faint not; but though
our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.
This was also a concern for the church at Corinth. The Corinthian church was probably
the most challenging of all the churches that Paul dealt with and yet he encouraged them
by telling them that even though our physical bodies are perishing progressively each day,
our inner man is being strengthened and renewed daily. This is how we are as we walk with
the Lord, our spiritual strength becomes mightier even if our physical bodies become
weaker. There is a great Old Testament verse which teaches this very principle that God
will always give strength to His people according to their situation.
(Deu 33:25 KJV) Thy shoes shall be iron and brass;
and as thy days, so shall thy strength be.
This is a great verse of promise because on those days when we face many problems or we
just face a fatiguing day, God promises that He will give us the strength needed. This was
Pauls desire for the Christians that he was writing to. His desire was that the work
would be done in the power and strength of the Lord.
Eph 3:17 (KJV)
That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded
Dwell - Settle down or Inhabit
Pauls second desire for the Ephesians was that not only that they would be
mightily strengthened in the Lord, but that Christ would dwell within them. This is a
saying which is common in the Scriptures because God is continually conveying to us the
relationship that we have with Him and His Son. He continues to remind us that it is He
who will strengthen us and guide us because we belong to Christ. That connection to Christ
comes through faith and we previously saw that it is the faith of Christ and not ours.
Then the second part of the verse speaks of rotting and grounding which speaks of being
firmly established in the love which is not only the love for each pother as brethren but
also love for the Lord and that love is not an emotional love as we are told in Scripture
what love is.
(2 John 1:6 KJV) And this is love, that we walk after his
commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye
should walk in it.
The true love that the Christian exhibits is when we are walking in obedience to the
commandments of God and the commandments of God are contained in the whole of Scripture.
The biblical synonyms for the commandments would be laws, precepts, statutes, judgments,
etc. If you turn to Psalm 119, you will see all the words that God uses to describe His
Word. Now we do not keep those commandments to gain salvation, we keep them as a result of
salvation unto the glory of God. A Christian becomes firmly rooted in love, when we are
firmly rooted in the teachings of Scripture and not the teachings about Scripture (AKA
mans teachings), then we are able to be rooted in love for the Savior and the
Eph 3:18 (KJV)
May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length,
and depth, and height;
Comprehend - Grasp, understand or perceive
Breadth - Width
Length - as is
Depth - Deepness
Height - as is
This verse is tied into the next one as we are being told that as Christians we should
comprehend or try to grasp within our mortal minds the love of Christ. In the city of
Ephesus was a great temple to Diana, and Paul may have had this structure in mind when he
began to use these architectural terms to try and use an earthly object to describe
something heavenly. Anyone who lived in Ephesus would have known and seen this structure.
In modern times, we can apply the same principles to large buildings. We look at these
huge structures and see the same structural terms. However, when compared to the love of
Christ, the earthly structures fail in comparison. In this verse we are asked to
comprehend the love of Christ. How can earthly people fathom the hugeness of the love of
Eph 3:19 (KJV)
And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled
with all the fulness of God.
Passeth - Surpass or exceed
Filled - Make full, complete, or supply fully
Paul now concludes his thought on the love of Christ. In the last verse he asks us to
comprehend it, to see if we can grasp the immensity of the love of Christ but in this
verse he tells us that the love of Christ surpasses knowledge. The knowledge of man is
limited, even about things of this earth. How much more limited is man, even regenerate
man, concerning the depths of Christ? We could not even fathom 1/1000 of it. This is why
Paul tells us that the love of Christ exceeds or surpasses knowledge, or better yet,
surpasses the ability of man to comprehend that love. This is why we read that we are to
accept the things of God on faith.
Then the Bible goes on to tell us that through the love of Christ, which conveys
salvation to the Elect of God, that we are filled or supplied fully with all
the fulness of God. This is the great goal of the believer to be full with all the divine
wisdom and knowledge that the human being can possibly be filled with.
(John 1:14 KJV) And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt
among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full
of grace and truth.
(Col 1:9 KJV) For this cause we also, since the day we
heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled
with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;
The filling of the believer is all that God can place into His regenerated children,
which can be, wisdom, spiritual understanding, grace, truth, etc. The fulness of God in
the believer is all that comes with salvation as we have seen.
Eph 3:20 (KJV)
Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above
all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,
Able - be able or have power to do
Exceeding - Over or more than
Abundantly - Beyond all Measure or superabundantly
Above - Profuse or Extraordinary
This verse has become one of the most beloved benedictions used in the church down
through the ages. After we were told of the spiritual power and fulfillment the believer
can have in their life, the chapter ends up with this tremendous revelation of the majesty
of God. It begins with Unto Him which leaves no room for misinterpretation
that this verse is pointing to God Himself. First we are told that he is able to do all
things that we ask or even think. How shallow are our prayers some times in that we treat
or even perceive God as one having minimal powers. This word able is actually
a cognate of the word dunamis which means ability, might or force.
It means that God possesses the power and ability to do all that he says He can do.
Then the verse tells us that God can do exceedingly which means more than we can even
think or even understand. He attaches this word to the word exceeding which is
the word huper in the Greek and it means that God can do over or more than we
can even understand. As humans we will never be able to comprehend the depths of the power
that God has. Even when he created the entire universe and all the stars we see every
night, he speaks of it as a mediocre event. (Gen 1:16 KJV)
And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to
rule the night: he made the stars also. It is like when
we stop at the store on the way home from work and tell our spouse, oh by the way I
picked up milk on the way home. Gods power is so immense that making the
universe only warrants 5 words in this verse.
Then the word above is attached to abundantly which means that God can do
for us what He deems necessary beyond all measure that we can even think of. He opened the
Red Sea so Israel could go through and He allowed the sun to stand still for 24 hours so
Joshua could have victory over the Amorites.
(Josh 10:13 KJV) And the sun stood still, and the moon
stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. Is not this
written in the book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted
not to go down about a whole day.
God is the God of the Sun, the Seas, the Universe! Everything is under His power since
He is the one who created it all. Paul wants us to know that God is always greater than
what our human minds can fathom, even the regenerated mind. What the Bible is getting
across to us is that God is able to aid in every situation which comes into our life and
we need not fear that God will let us down as man does.
Eph 3:21 (KJV)
Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end.
The Glory of God is that He is the one who formed the Church or the called out assembly
of redeemed Saints. (John 6:37 KJV) All that the Father
giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.
Notice this important phrase throughout all ages. Many feel that the church
had its beginning at Pentecost but that is not true, that is when the last days began,
actually they began at the cross. The church age really began before the foundation of the
world and will continue until the last day. Those whom God has written in the Lambs
Book of Life which were predestined for salvation, were not only those who were saved
after the cross, but were saved before the cross. Abel was definitely saved and also
Abraham, so was Joseph. It is interesting to note that the Church of Jesus Christ has been
growing since creation and will continue to grow until the last one becomes saved.
Now dovetailing that particular teaching is another great insight, world without
end. We know specifically from Scripture that this present world is going to come to
an abrupt end and will be burned. (2 Pet 3:9 KJV) The Lord is
not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to
us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
Then how could the world without end be a true teaching? Very simple, when one looks at
the different passages in the Abrahamic Covenant, we see how God uses the word
forever. It is the same principle here. God is inserting the prophecy of the
New Heaven and the New Earth which will be without end. (2
Pet 3:13 KJV) Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new
earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. (Rev 21:1 KJV) And I saw a new heaven and a new
earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more
sea. Peter was looking for it and John saw it! This is what the Scripture is
speaking of when it speaks of world without end. God also speaks of this same
event in the Old Testament and He connects it with salvation as Paul does in Ephesians
3:21. (Isa 45:17 KJV) But Israel shall be saved in the
LORD with an everlasting salvation: ye shall not be ashamed nor confounded world
without end. World without end is speaking of the new, eternal earth
wherein will dwell righteousness, as 2 Peter 3:13 states.
- Eph 3:12 (KJV)
- In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the
faith of him.
- Boldness - Fearlessness, freely, or unreservedly
- Access - Access
- Confidence - Trust
- As Paul continues from verse 11, he states that only the believer can come to God in the
manner described in this verse. It is very important that we understand the usage of the
small words in Scripture which give specific meanings. In this verse we once again see the
word we which means only those people in Christ, the saved, have the
permission to approach God freely but even that approach comes through the Lord Jesus
Christ. We can never come to God by means of the Mass or any religious ceremony. We can
only have that access to the Father through the Lord Jesus Christ. Now we can have that
access in great trust or confidence because as we see in the rest of the verse that it is
not our faith that gives us the access to God but the Faith of Christ. We see this great
principle in other parts of Scripture also: