Useful Bible Studies > Ephesians Commentary > chapter 3
If Christians worry about their troubles, they can become weak in their relationship with God (3:13). Even a Christian who is working for God, can lose interest in his relationship with God (Galatians 6:9). Even sincere, responsible Christians can forget their love for God (Revelation 2:2-4).
That was why Paul prayed for strength for the Christians in Ephesus (3:16). He was not praying on this occasion for physical strength, because a Christian can serve God properly without that (2 Corinthians 12:10). Rather, he was praying for inner strength for them: strength in their spirits that comes from God’s Holy Spirit. This is the kind of strength that Christians need in order to stand against the devil’s attacks (6:10-11). With this strength, they pray and praise God in every situation (for example, Acts 16:22-25). It is this strength that gives them the power to declare and to trust God’s word, the Bible (6:16-17). This is how they can stand for truth and with the right attitudes in this evil world (6:14). Christians cannot do these things by their own strength; they depend completely on the power that God gives by his Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 1:9-10).
Paul prayed that the Christians would receive this strength from ‘the riches (wealth) of God’s glory’. The word ‘riches’ reminds us that God is such a generous giver. The word ‘glory’ means the greatness of God’s wonderful character. Therefore, God’s gift of the Holy Spirit to his people is God’s wonderful and generous gift to them (John 14:16-17). God gives his Spirit to all his people (Romans 8:9). The Holy Spirit lives in them (1 Corinthians 6:19); the Holy Spirit gives them the strength to serve God in the way that pleases God (Romans 8:26).
Next part: What it means for Christ to live in our hearts (Ephesians 3:17)
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© 2019, Keith Simons.