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Devotional - week of August 7, 2016


FILLED with all the FULLness OF GOD

… that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.  Ephesians 3:19b

This statement is the conclusion of Paul’s second prayer for the Ephesians. It is a prayer of one request—that God would grant the readers:

... to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man … Ephesians 3:16

According to Paul’s theology, this strengthening of the inner man by the Holy Spirit is the result of the readers being filled with the Holy Spirit by experiencing their crucifixion, burial, and resurrection.

Everything else in the prayer expresses the results of the strengthening. The first result Paul mentions is:

… that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith … Ephesians 3:17a

Since Christ is already “in” believers, the word “dwell” confers something different. He surely means Christ being the very lives of the readers—the result of which is:

… that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height—to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge … Ephesians 3:17b-19a

When Christ “dwells” in our lives, our hearts will be so filled with love that we will comprehend and know by experience the vastness of the love of Christ, which passes knowledge—with the result:

… that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.  Ephesians 3:19b

To impress his readers that God is able to answer such a prayer Paul follows his prayer with:

Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.  Ephesians 3:20-21