Strengthening The Inner Man

Scripture: Ephesians 3:14-21

Summary: . 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.

Let us turn to Ephesians 3 in our Bibles and check out the prayer Paul prayed for our inner man to be

strengthened.

Spiritual “Geritol.”

Paul asks for spiritual blessings, which are the best blessings. Strength from the Spirit of

God in the inner man (a terminology which the Greek understood and used in their daily life); 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 good affections may be fixed in us. And how desirable to have a

fixed sense of the love of God in Christ to our souls! How powerfully the apostle speaks of the love of

Christ! The breadth 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. Should not this satisfy man? Must man

need fill himself with a thousand trifles, fancying thereby completing his happiness?

Particularly, Paul desires them not to faint on account of his afflictions in their behalf; declares that he

bows his knees in prayer before the great Father of the redeemed family, that God would be pleased to

strengthen them, and enlighten them, and give them clear views of the glorious plan.

How can ‘The Inner Man’ be strengthened?

Permanence of Christ Ephesians 3:16-17.

For many of us, this is basic Christianity. Children speak of Christ in their heart – though, we often find

this basic idea difficult as well … how is it that Christ dwells in our heart? This metaphor is strongly

related to all suggestions that our lives are connected with Christ. Whether conflict, or success, or

failings, our lives have been connected with Christ … whether Christ “dwells in our hearts” because he

is always in our thoughts, and we pray just as we breathe”, or if this is something deeper and more

mystical … Paul’s prayer is that we are tied more and more closely with Christ.

At Home

When we put our faith in Jesus Christ, it’s as if we invite Him to come and make our hearts His home.

But in a very real sense, He is not yet “at home” there until He takes full possession of every area. He

takes us on a tour of our hearts, as it were, takes a look at a room that is behind a locked door, and

says, “Child, I would like to go into this room. Would you please hand Me the key?” We might be very

unwilling to do so. We might be afraid to let Him in that room because of what we keep in it. “No, Lord.

I keep that room locked for a reason. There are things in there that it would not be appropriate for You

to see. I have some favorite sins and habits I keep in there. I’d rather You not go in there.” For Jesus to

dwell in our hearts by faith would require that we give Him the key to that room. It would be as if He

says, “Child, your heart is now My home; and I must make Myself at home everywhere – even in this

locked room. Give Me the key; and let’s clean out this room of the things that don’t belong in your life,

so that I can truly be at home in every area of your heart.”

What’s That Smell?

Later on, He takes us to a closet, sniffs, and says, “Child, there’s something smelly in this closet. Open

the door to Me and let Me have a look inside.” And we say, “No, Lord! Not that closet; because that’s

where I’ve been keeping the resentment and bitterness that I’ve been holding onto against someone.

It’s been in there for years. You can have access to everywhere else; but let’s just leave that closet

alone. Believe me; You don’t want to open that closet.” But He says, “Child; if I can’t go into this closet,

then I’m not really at home in your heart. Open the door; and let’s go in and clean those awful, putrid

things out so I can truly be at home in your heart.”

What’s Below?

Later on, still, He says, “Let’s go have a look in the basement.” You were afraid He might say that. “Oh,

Lord” you say; “Please, no! Let’s not go into the basement. I have some things in my past that I’m

deeply afraid of down there – horrible things that I try to forget. It’s dark down there; and those old

things are very frightening and very ugly. I’d rather keep them there, under lock and key, so they won’t

ever be free to bother me. Let’s just stay on the upper levels where it’s well-lit and happy.” But the Lord

says, “Child; if I can’t have full access to the basement – and you with Me when I go there – then I’m

not really at home in your heart. Take My hand. Let’s go down there, turn on the lights, and conquer

those things together.”

What’s Up Top?

And later on, still, He says, “I would like to have a look at the attic now.” And once again, you groan. “Oh

no, no, no, Lord! A thousand times no! Not up there! That’s where I keep my thought life; and I sure

don’t want you to see what goes on up there! That’s where I go to think about things, I don’t want You

to see!” And, once again, He says, “Child, if I don’t have the attic, then I’m not really at home in your

heart. Open the door to Me. Let’s go up the stairs together and clean out what’s in your mind. Let Me

be the Lord of your thought-life; and then I can be truly at home in every area of your heart.”

So then; Paul prays for us that Christ may dwell in our hearts by faith – truly dwell there! He prays that

the Lord may gain access to every room in the house; so that He can truly make Himself at home. And

you can see now why Paul says that he prays that we would be strengthened by the Holy Spirit in the

inner man! We would need all of the strength that the Spirit provides in order for Jesus to make Himself

at home in every area of our hearts!

But the more Christ is at home in our hearts, the more His love will permeate His home.

 

 

 

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