The true characteristic gift of the gospel is the gift of a new power to a sinful weak world; a power which makes the feeble strong, and the strongest as an angel of God. Not as a beautiful clothing by which the inner man speaks and makes itself known, but as one complete outer man, which muffles, hides, and sometimes buries out of sight, the glorious inner man of God. All the attributes of God culminate in love. Be it our first care that we are born of the Spirit, and living in the Spirit. So goodness throws off sin, and dresses and adorns the soul in the beauties of God's holiness. The man of the world is full of what he can do; the Christian of what he cannot do. He recognizes it distinctly, but of course very imperfectly, if yet the inner man, under all this moral action going on above it, lies in the main asleep. He delivered up His only begotten Son, the Son of His love, that eternal One in comparison with whom the universe itself is worthless. His great and inconceivable act of creation, then, was a demonstration of His perfect freedom and His boundless power. And all this misery and confusion of soul is often aggravated by a misinterpretation of those dark words of Scripture which are written concerning backsliders who have utterly fallen away, and have eschewed the blessing of the life they once entered. Something more had to be given, something more had to be done, and God gave that — God did that. Nothing more we need, nothing less can do it. By all that is beautiful and holy, by all that is deep and rapturous in the relation of Father and Son, measure the sacrifice involved in the death of Christi1. In a machine, a great variety of movements and powers contribute to one result. We describe our mind as possessing emotional parts, intellectual parts, volitional parts. Because God's people are not all they ought to be, therefore these cavillers will keep aloof from the religion which they confess.(American. John Piper Sep 29, 1985 10 Shares Sermon. Oh that we might all know the strength that gives that might. We are taught in Scripture that a wondrous transformation must pass over the present world — that forms of being now around us will be dissolved in a deluge of fire, and that from this second deluge will emerge a new heaven and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. From what we already know in this direction we may conclude that the whole of nature is one vast and intricate design manifesting the wisdom and goodness of God; and we are expressly told that all things are working together for good. It gives no definition of what the term includes. There is no limit except the uncounted wealth of His own self-manifestation, the flashing light of a revealed Divinity. bring himself home again to God? It matters not that many say, "We are rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing"; not knowing that they are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked. Painters seek to represent the glory of a saint by drawing a circle of light around the head. They are controlled, in a measure absorbed, by that central grand something which now becomes the ruling power. How manifest the traces of His wisdom in the way in which the earth has been fitted to develop and support man, and in the manifold provision made for man's education and comfort. And what is "the inner man"? The next thing, or the thing which goes along with this very often, is the consciousness of sin. Introduction. The whole inner man in all its corners is to be filled, and to come under the influence of this power, "until there be no part dark, as when the bright shining of a candle giveth thee light." Paul writes (3:18-19), that we may be able to comprehend “what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge….” It is a deliberate paradox. III. Some trees in early spring are yet covered with last year's leaves; all withered now and begrimed. This verse in Ephesians in which Paul prays that God would grant us, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man.. is only the first part of an amazing and powerful prayer.. for his prayer continues: so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the … God might have given away everything He had made; He might have emptied the exchequer of heaven; but the price would not have purchased the redemption of a single soul. We may even come to look down tremblingly into the horrible abyss of despair. The thinking and feeling faculties, the marvellous soul which perceives, searches, imagines, desires, loves, hates, resolves, and so forth — is not to be omitted from "the inner man," which the Spirit of God visits and renews, inhabits and ennobles. Ephesians 3:16. The machinist would be wise who could invent and construct a machine which, by the simplest movements, could produce mighty results; but he would be rich in wisdom, who, out of that same machine, when marred and broken, could produce still mightier results. Let our attention dwell next on this — the apostle's prayer for his fellow Christians at Ephesus is a prayer for a gift of power from the Spirit of God to the spirit of man. some sin you endeavour to overcome, some outward inconsistency, some habit that you contracted. And I ask anyone who has ever fallen into such misery and confusion of inward strife after he had tasted the peace of Christ's salvation, whether he did not learn in it his powerlessness to recover himself, and did not perceive that the best resolve and effort he could make would be no more than the galvanising of a dead limb unless another strength should be given him, and given him by the same Divine Spirit who before quickened him into a spiritual birth, unless God would hear the prayer which is no more than a broken wail of wretchedness and a struggling desire for healing? This is seen in the power to create. You and I act upon one another from without, He acts upon us within. The moment a man comes to himself, all these things begin together, and go on together. (1) Christ, the essence of love, dwelling in us, and so filling our hearts with true love. His captain saw he was wounded and barked out an order, "Gimme your gun, Private, and get to the rear!" When the inner man is found, sin is found in it, or cleaving to it very closely.4. And what is "the inner man"? Beware of despising the riches of God (Romans 2:5).(F. Happy are they who receive a few crumbs from this rich table, or a few glimpses of this glory! E. Gibbert.We are beings of a complex nature. Let a man labour ever so hard, let him pile his earthly treasures ever so high, he can never with his own puny hand fill the dark and sad abyss within himself.3. 16 I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit.17 Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. The confusion of soul into which we may fall by having received the vivifying and enlightening of the Holy Ghost, and having afterwards overruled the spiritual life within us by the lower life it was beginning to reduce and subject, is indescribable. AND HOW? It is in the ability to produce that the source of wealth is found. So a regenerate inner man will not throw aside these outer men altogether, but transform them, mould them to its own uses, make them speak its meanings and flash out all its lights.(A. We may speak of the riches of God under three aspects — first, the riches of His power; second, the riches of His wisdom: and, third, the riches of His goodness; and, as it is the blended and harmonious attributes of God that make up His highest glory, the view of His riches under these three aspects may enable us to see something of the riches of His glory.I. It is a field of truth, and the end of all our searching is to discover that it is unsearchable. TO FAITH SUCCEEDS LOVE. Dress. This might should be sought as from an inexhaustible source.(G. Not the old formal goodness; but goodness that is fresh and new and living: with love in the heart of it, gratitude lending it a glow and a lustre, faith building it up. And now, lastly, let me point you still further TO THE MEASURE OF THIS POWER. The whole universe and the plan of redemption is summed up in love. Now we come into the great ethical region of human nature. The thinking and feeling faculties, the marvellous soul which perceives, searches, imagines, desires, loves, hates, resolves, and so forth — is not to be omitted from "the inner man," which the Spirit of God visits and renews, inhabits and ennobles. There is a certain imperfection in many of us which I do not know how to describe except by saying that, though at times particular spiritual faculties may appear to be vigorous, the central life is weak. He delivered up His only begotten Son, the Son of His love, that eternal One in comparison with whom the universe itself is worthless. You must take care that your conscience is a true conscience, an active conscience, and a conscience rooted. THE RICHES OF HIS WISDOM. Morals. Not after them, but with and in them. It matters not that many say, "We are rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing"; not knowing that they are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked. So great is the capacity of the soul, that if a man had the whole universe he would still be poor, being destitute of God. that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, (ESV). Wheels of different sizes revolve in different directions. Let Him come with the master key in His hand into all the dim chambers of your feeble nature; and as life is light in the eye, and colour in the cheek, and deftness in the fingers, and strength in the arm, and pulsation in the heart, so He will come and strengthen your understandings, and make you able for loftier tasks of intellect and of reason, than you can face in your unaided strength; and He will dwell in your affections and make them vigorous to lay hold upon the holier things that are above their natural inclination, and will make it certain that "their reach shall not be beyond their grasp," as alas! He alone has that mysterious energy which called everything we see out of nothing. We can scarcely look at any work of God with an intelligent eye, but we begin to discover uses and harmonies and proofs of design in it. )The inner manA. It is in the ability to produce that the source of wealth is found. Might in power, that great power, holiness; that silent witness, that most eloquent of all things, holiness. It is thenceforth good for nothing.". We can know something of His great love, and it is definite knowledge, not just speculation. If a man could create in the highest sense of the word, how rich he would soon become! Those of us who are conscious that this is our condition should pray to God that we "may be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inward man."(R. And I ask anyone who has ever fallen into such misery and confusion of inward strife after he had tasted the peace of Christ's salvation, whether he did not learn in it his powerlessness to recover himself, and did not perceive that the best resolve and effort he could make would be no more than the galvanising of a dead limb unless another strength should be given him, and given him by the same Divine Spirit who before quickened him into a spiritual birth, unless God would hear the prayer which is no more than a broken wail of wretchedness and a struggling desire for healing? All the active powers of the man, the woman, are concerned chiefly about that — the dress of life — what to wear on the person, in the house as furniture, in the garden as adornment, on the road as equipage. It is our need not only in that extremity of which we have spoken, but it is a need inherent in our nature, which was in us at birth, which will abide with us through death. So complex is our nature that it is hardly possible to give an account of it sufficiently simplified to be plain to an unobservant man.I. Indeed, we cannot be "strong in spirit" if we divide the supremacy between higher, and lower interests. We are tempted to doubt God's power to restore us with the imagination that He has cast us off. THE SOURCE OF THIS STRENGTH IS THE SPIRIT OF GOD. The text is a prayer. He created other beings that He might lavish upon them the grandeurs of His mind and the felicities of His heart. But it is not in the deepest sense life.4. So is our spiritual strength daily renewed by the Bread of life; and thus the apostle could say of himself, "I can do all things through Christ; which strengtheneth me.". Asleep; by fits and starts perhaps awaking, and then falling into slumber again. The whole universe and the plan of redemption is summed up in love. We are still going inwards in search of that great something of which our text is the name. We wish one another blessings; He gives the blessings.II. Morals. So for this Divine Indweller there is no part of my life that is not patent to His tread. The glory of a king is seen when he sits upon his throne, crowned and sceptred, surrounded by his nobles, and canopied with banners, that speak of his victories. There are men whose zeal for the evangelization of the world is often very real and very fervent, but who give us no impression of spiritual strength. THE INNER MAN. Or are both these meanings embraced by the term? It is to the riches of the love of God, therefore, that we owe our very existence. As my text puts it, "Strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man." H. All the active powers of the man, the woman, are concerned chiefly about that — the dress of life — what to wear on the person, in the house as furniture, in the garden as adornment, on the road as equipage. Do your work, whatever your work may be, patiently, thoroughly, trustfully, effectually. From what we already know in this direction we may conclude that the whole of nature is one vast and intricate design manifesting the wisdom and goodness of God; and we are expressly told that all things are working together for good. Do your work, whatever your work may be, patiently, thoroughly, trustfully, effectually. There are perpendicular movements and horizontal movements; zig-zag movements and elliptical movements; — a swift and bewildering involution and evolution of forces, and a warring multitude of sounds — hissing and hammering, grinding and thumping; and yet there is the utmost harmony, and the most delicate and precise balance of action throughout the whole.III. There are no rooms of the house of my spirit into which He is not to go. You must go deeper, much deeper. The riches of the Divine power are seen not only in creation and preservation, but in recreation. A man is known — a woman is known — by the dress. What must I do? This is our way to the priesthood and princeliness which the redeeming God bids us come up to and exercise. If in any of us the spiritual power has ebbed and fallen, let this prayer be ours. We testify this fact in our common talk. Everything will go to give "strength."III. We can scarcely look at any work of God with an intelligent eye, but we begin to discover uses and harmonies and proofs of design in it. W. Dale, LL. It is a mountain of gold, and we have no arithmetic to compute its value. Measure, then, God's love to man by His regard for His own Son! Prophet, Priest, and King, Christ Divine and Christ Human. Next, motives. Ephesians 3:16-17 list, in a bewildering array, several things that seem to be the content of the author’s prayer: that the church would be strengthened inwardly, that Christ may dwell within the church, and that the church may be firmly founded upon and growing in the soil of love. My reading of the New Testament is that as distinctly above the order of material nature as is any miracle is the gift that flows into a believing heart. It is an intercessory prayer we should pray for one another in the gloomy hours of our brother's fall. That, I suppose, does not mean the new creation through faith in Jesus Christ; what the apostle calls "the new man," but it means simply what another apostle calls the "hidden man of the heart," and only refers to the distinction which we all draw between the outward, visible, material frame, and the unseen self that animates and informs it. Maclaren, D. D.)The strengthening of the inner manJ. But with God he has all, and abounds; for the earth is the Lord's and the fulness thereof. )The wealth of God -- rich in gloryF. It is an intercessory prayer we should pray for one another in the gloomy hours of our brother's fall. They all fall in, and, so to speak, become parts of the found and ransomed inner man, which now needs them, which now uses them, for its own development, outcome, manifestation. "I must wait until God sends winds strong enough to sweep them away; rains heavy enough to wash the tree clean in every branch"? (back to main index page) (SCRIPTURE LISTING) NOTE: Only the titles in boldface are working links. You must go deeper, much deeper. Sep 20, 1992. secret communion with God, intercourse with the Invisible. You have been trying often to change the outer man, your conduct, your way of speaking, your appearance in people's eyes! We use the term goodness as a general expression to embrace the mercy, the compassion, the benignity, and the love of God. The might which the Christian needs is conveyed through the agency of the Holy Spirit.3. It is as when a number of substances lie together in a chemist's vessel, each separate from the others, each refusing to enter into combination with the rest, until some final element — with affinities for them all, with a power to blend them all into something else — is added. The Hope. Think of God's love in providence. The man himself is wanting in force, though there are spiritual forces at work in him. It is the want of love, it is the selfishness and hatred, that is the curse and woe of the world. And let us humbly believe that it is the prayer Christ prays with us, moved by a consistency in love, and hope, and saving energy which we so sorely lack.III. So for this Divine Indweller there is no part of my life that is not patent to His tread. All wilful sin injures our spiritual life, enfeebles its conceptions of God, dulls its sense of His presence. We can scarcely look at any work of God with an intelligent eye, but we begin to discover uses and harmonies and proofs of design in it. But a something spiritual, vast, deep, related to eternity, related to God.2. First, there is the matter of being strengthened (Ephesians 3:16). What marvellous exhibitions, then, has the future still in store of the riches of the power of God! Because God's people are not all they ought to be, therefore these cavillers will keep aloof from the religion which they confess.(American. AND HOW? You have been trying often to change the outer man, your conduct, your way of speaking, your appearance in people's eyes! But thats not enough, He is able to do far more abundantly beyond what we ask. THE SOURCE WHENCE THIS STRENGTH IS DERIVED. Yet "the spirit" has a special place in "the inner man," for it is the crown and glory of our being. KJV NKJV NLT NIV ESV CSB NASB. Or as some plant, drooping and flagging beneath the hot rays of the sun, when it has the scent of water given to it, will, in all its parts, stiffen and erect itself, so this Divine Spirit will go searching every corner of the inner man illuminating and invigorating all. Vaughan, M. He does not pray that his own circumstances would be changed, nor that the circumstances of the Ephesians would be changed. Not merely an animated something, to be covered with dress and beautified with manners. The riches of His glory. There must be a sense of want along with a spirit of entire dependence on the Lord, so that the believer may realize the sweetness of the promise, "My God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:19). This ought to be our prime passion. But we are regarding manners just now not as an expression of the Christian principle of feeling, but as a substitute for it. Help Quick Nav Advanced Options. This is our way to the priesthood and princeliness which the redeeming God bids us come up to and exercise. H. It is the gift of God: not by growth and development within itself, or adaptation to its circumstances merely, but through the direct influence of the Holy Spirit.III. This is our way to the priesthood and princeliness which the redeeming God bids us come up to and exercise. The discovery of our own poverty implies some apprehension of the wealth of God, and hence its blessedness. Not merely a thinking something, to be informed by knowledge and guided by morals. It is this inner self, then, in which the Spirit of God is to dwell, and into which He is to breathe strength. But the sad thing is that in some instances that is all that you will see, even when you meet, nothing but the dress. The effects of the indwelling. Indeed, we cannot be "strong in spirit" if we divide the supremacy between higher, and lower interests. And, in union the hidden mystic union of God, which is the secret of it all; in which He is, who makes life, the essence of all which is worth the living; a real life, the life of your being. And affections — the likes and dislikes; those excellent servants, but horridly bad masters. It is a blessed thing to know that we are poor (Matthew 5:3). Scripture: Ephesians 3:14–21. This, too, as in the other cases, is the sad possibility.II. Paul begins by praying for the spiritual needs of the Ephesians, and then goes on to pray for specific things that the Ephesians need. "I must wait until God sends winds strong enough to sweep them away; rains heavy enough to wash the tree clean in every branch"? God is revealed in providence, and therefore He is said to lead His people with His glorious arm. It is rather "the hidden man of the heart" (1 Peter 3:4); the man "created after God" (Ephesians 4:24) in righteousness and holiness; the interior principle of spiritual life; the personification of out' intellectual and spiritual life, with its impulses, its feelings, its struggles. by Bernie Bischoff. "That He would grant you," is the daring petition of the apostle, "according to the riches of His glory to be strengthened." The machinist would be wise who could invent and construct a machine which, by the simplest movements, could produce mighty results; but he would be rich in wisdom, who, out of that same machine, when marred and broken, could produce still mightier results. Rich as is the power of God, man could not be saved by mere power. "That He would grant you," is the daring petition of the apostle, "according to the riches of His glory to be strengthened." We must not reject a single particle of what is revealed concerning Him, but must feed upon it all as we are able.(C. There is a spiritual Divine touch, which is such as Christ's touch that healed leprosy and raised the dead. He might have waited and pleaded with man for ages, explaining to man his sin and ingratitude; and yet man might not have relented. This is the question that Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones seeks to answer in his exposition of Ephesians 3:16. Probably, I should say, both. Does it mean by "the inner man" all the parts of our being which are not bodily? There is a spiritual Divine touch, which is such as Christ's touch that healed leprosy and raised the dead. It is to the riches of the love of God, therefore, that we owe our very existence. Brooks.1. "According to the riches of his glory." Now, God has the power to create. Sin reduces the soul to utter destitution, and all have sinned. ADVERTISEMENT. God is revealed in redemption, and therefore Jesus Christ is the brightness of His Father's glory, and the express image of His person. Or as some plant, drooping and flagging beneath the hot rays of the sun, when it has the scent of water given to it, will, in all its parts, stiffen and erect itself, so this Divine Spirit will go searching every corner of the inner man illuminating and invigorating all.III. III. There are no rooms of the house of my spirit into which He is not to go. Do not begin by trying to change the life outside; change the motive spring.(J. When we speak of a man's intellectual life as strong or weak, we do not mean that some particular faculty is admirable or the reverse of admirable; a particular faculty may be singularly vigorous, and yet the man may give us the impression of intellectual feebleness; a particular faculty may be very deficient in vigour, and yet he may give us the impression of intellectual strength. THE LIFE OF OUR SPIRIT, HOWEVER, BEING BEGUN, MAY BE IN THE FEEBLENESS OF INFANCY. How does God change our thinking? Instead he focuses on spiritual need and specific needs. Through this process of faith, love, and comprehension, WE REACH A MARVELLOUS KNOWLEDGE; the knowledge of the unknowable — "to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge. There are others who seem capable of very lofty devotion of awe, of vehement religious emotion, of rapture in the Divine love, and in the hope, of glory, honour, and immortality — and who yet give us the impression that they are wanting in those elements of life which constitute spiritual energy. The true characteristic gift of the gospel is the gift of a new power to a sinful weak world; a power which makes the feeble strong, and the strongest as an angel of God. These must be pure. 1. God would have been rich in love had He done nothing more than created man, and after that, when man had sinned, displayed the glory of His justice in crushing him forever. What says the new vegetation to these? It is the want of love, it is the selfishness and hatred, that is the curse and woe of the world. All the attributes of God culminate in love. There are men whose zeal for the evangelization of the world is often very real and very fervent, but who give us no impression of spiritual strength. Something more had to be given, something more had to be done, and God gave that — God did that. That won't do. There are no rooms of the house of my spirit into which He is not to go. Life is a mystery in its lowest as well as in its loftiest forms; but I suppose that we all attach a more or less definite conception to words which describe life as vigorous or feeble. "When Pandy was young and a looker, Barbie loved her. There are perpendicular movements and horizontal movements; zig-zag movements and elliptical movements; — a swift and bewildering involution and evolution of forces, and a warring multitude of sounds — hissing and hammering, grinding and thumping; and yet there is the utmost harmony, and the most delicate and precise balance of action throughout the whole.III. Love is the soil, rich, deep, and generous, and withal, homogeneous all through, in which all the trees are rooted. The whole universe and the plan of redemption is summed up in love. It is the same in the spiritual life. Yet "the spirit" has a special place in "the inner man," for it is the crown and glory of our being. There are great varieties of experience. In a machine, a great variety of movements and powers contribute to one result. Not merely an animated something, to be covered with dress and beautified with manners. Sep 29, 1985. , `` the new man. ( J of movements and powers contribute one... Answer in His exposition of Ephesians 3:16, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones seeks answer... Do beyond what we ask poor ( Matthew 5:3 ). ( G which we may come! Dress more or less expressive, impressive, and King, Christ Divine and Christ human inner... Him and leave another it stands revealed then active goodness up, a doll Pandy... 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