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Ephesians 1:13-19


Darlene

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Heavenly Father,

 

I dunno why but I'm feeling a little emotional this morning with spiritual things. Every time I start to well up with tears, You flood me with Your peace.

 

Let Your Spirit open my eyes and fill my heart with Your truths, for You alone, are God.

 

13In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,

 

Calvin starts out this morning sharing, "In whom ye also. He associates the Ephesians with himself, and with the rest of those who were the first fruits; for he says that they, in like manner, trusted in Christ. His object is, to shew that both had the same faith; and therefore we must supply the word trusted from the twelfth verse. He afterwards states that they were brought to that hope by the preaching of the gospel.

 

Two epithets are here applied to the gospel, — the word of truth, and the gospel of your salvation. Both deserve our careful attention. Nothing is more earnestly attempted by Satan than to lead us either to doubt or to despise the gospel. Paul therefore furnishes us with two shields, by which we may repel both temptations. In opposition to every doubt, let us learn to bring forward this testimony, that the gospel is not only certain truth, which cannot deceive, but is, by way of eminence, (êáô ᾿ ἐîï÷ὴí,) the word of truth, as if, strictly speaking, there were no truth but itself. If the temptation be to contempt or dislike of the gospel, let us remember that its power and efficacy have been manifested in bringing to us salvation. The apostle had formerly declared that

 

“it is the power of God to salvation to every one that believeth,” (Romans 1:16;)

 

but here he expresses more, for he reminds the Ephesians that, having been made partakers of salvation, they had learned this by their own experience. Unhappy they who weary themselves, as the world generally does, in wandering through many winding paths, neglecting the gospel, and pleasing themselves with wild romances, —

 

“ever learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth,”

(2 Timothy 3:7)

 

or to find life! But happy they who have embraced the gospel, and whose attachment to it is steadfast; for this, beyond all doubt, is truth and life.

 

In whom also, after that ye believed. Having maintained that the gospel is certain, he now comes to the proof. And what higher surety can be found than the Holy Spirit? “Having denominated the gospel the word of truth, I will not prove it by the authority of men; for you have the testimony of the Spirit of God himself, who seals the truth of it in your hearts.” This elegant comparison is taken from Seals, which among men have the effect of removing doubt. Seals give validity both to charters and to testaments; anciently, they were the principal means by which the writer of a letter could be known; and, in short, a seal distinguishes what is true and certain, from what is false and spurious. This office the apostle ascribes to the Holy Spirit, not only here, but in another part of this Epistle, (Ephesians 4:30,) and in the Second Epistle to the Corinthians, (2 Corinthians 1:22.) Our minds never become so firmly established in the truth of God as to resist all the temptations of Satan, until we have been confirmed in it by the Holy Spirit. The true conviction which believers have of the word of God, of their own salvation, and of religion in general, does not spring from the judgment of the flesh, or from human and philosophical arguments, but from the sealing of the Spirit, who imparts to their consciences such certainty as to remove all doubt. The foundation of faith would be frail and unsteady, if it rested on human wisdom; and therefore, as preaching is the instrument of faith, so the Holy Spirit makes preaching efficacious.

 

But is it not the faith itself which is here said to be sealed by the Holy Spirit? If so, faith goes before the sealing. I answer, there are two operations of the Spirit in faith, corresponding to the two parts of which faith consists, as it enlightens, and as it establishes the mind. The commencement of faith is knowledge: the completion of it is a firm and steady conviction, which admits of no opposing doubt. Both, I have said, are the work of the Spirit. No wonder, then, if Paul should declare that the Ephesians, who received by faith the truth of the gospel, were confirmed in that faith by the seal of the Holy Spirit.

 

With that Holy Spirit of promise. This title is derived from the effect produced; for to him we owe it that the promise of salvation is not made to us in vain. As God promises in his word, “that he will be to us a Father,” (2 Corinthians 6:18,) so he gives to us the evidence of having adopted us by the Holy Spirit."

 

Wesley's notes were short on this. He says, "In whom ye - Gentiles. Likewise believed, after ye had heard the gospel - Which God made the means of your salvation; in whom after ye had believed - Probably some time after their first believing. Ye were sealed by that Holy Spirit of promise - Holy both in his nature and in his operations, and promised to all the children of God. The sealing seems to imply,

 

1. A full impression of the image of God on their souls.

 

2. A full assurance of receiving all the promises, whether relating to time or eternity."

 

Clarke broke it down as such, " In whom ye also trusted] Ye Gentiles, having heard from us the word, ton logon, the doctrine, of the truth, which is the Gospel, or glad tidings, of your salvation, have believed, as we Jews have done, and received similar blessings to those with which God has favoured us.

 

In whom also, en w, through whom, Christ Jesus, after that ye had believed, viz. that he was the only saviour, and that through his blood redemption might be obtained, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise; that is, The Holy Spirit, which is promised to them who believe on Christ Jesus, was given to you, and thus you were ascertained to be the children of God, for God has no child who is not a partaker of the Holy Ghost, and he who has this Spirit has God's seal that he belongs to the heavenly family. It was customary among all nations, when a person purchased goods of any kind, to mark with his seal that which he had bought, in order that he might know it, and be able to claim it if mixed with the goods of others; to this custom the apostle may here allude but it was also customary to set a seal upon what was dedicated to God, or what was to be offered to him in sacrifice. See this proved in the note on John vi. 27.

 

The Jews themselves speak of the seal of God, which they term tma emeth, truth, and which they consider as a representation of the unoriginated and endless perfections of God. As the apostle is here speaking of the doctrine of truth, which came by the Holy Spirit, and is sealed on the souls of believers by this Spirit, he may have in view the Jewish notion, which is at once both correct and elevated. This Spirit of truth, John xiv. 17, who leads into all truth, John xvi. 13, and teaches all things, John xiv. 26, makes the impression of his own eternal purity and truth in the souls of them who believe, and thus they bear the seal of God Almighty. And they who in the day of judgment are found to bear this seal - TRuth; truth in the inward parts, having truly repented, truly believed, and having been in consequence truly justified, and truly sanctified; and having walked in truth and sincerity towards God and man; these are sealed to the day of redemption; for, having this seal, they are seen to have a right to eternal life."

 

I seem to click more with Calvin's commentary. The 2 words that jumped out at me in this particular verse were "trust" and "sealed". I'm sure I'm like most people, and as I've gotten older, 'trust' is sparingly extended. My naivete from my younger days has been pressed out to some extent. Trust is very important to me, and when the Lord taught me through circumstances and experience that I could trust Him, it just exploded my heart and mind. Many times I feel like a little girl when I go running to my Heavenly Father...running to find cover under the shadow of His Holy Wings (as stated in the Pslams). It is not uncommon for me these days to get concerned about something in my life, or someone, and to run to the Lord wanting to escape those concerns, knowing in my heart that regardless of anything here on earth, I CAN trust Him. These days, I can find a little humor when I want to keep my hands on a situation, knowing full well I hafta let go and trust Him. It's as if I look up towards His Holy Throne and freely admit, "Yes, Lord...I know...I know that I'll screw this up again, and that I hafta trust You...and I know You'll be patient as I process through this letting go because Your love for me overwhelms me and I want Your will...".

 

The word 'sealing' is a very important descriptive word for me. For me, and the way I'm built, sealing alludes to a source of protection, safety. It says to me that the seal is complete and nothing can penetrate it. And when I grasp that God is saying that we are sealed with His Spirit, I'm like wow. God, Himself, through His Spirit (and as has been explained in the preceeding verses, because 'it pleases Him') has sealed me and us and nothing can touch us that first hasn't been filtered through His Holy Hands, regardless of how lofty or how lowly those circumstances might be.

 

14Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

 

Calvin's commentary is this, "14. Which is the earnest of our inheritance. This phrase is twice used by Paul in another Epistle. (2 Corinthians 1:22; 5:5.) The metaphor is taken from bargains, in which, when a pledge has been given and accepted, the whole is confirmed, and no room is left for a change of mind. Thus, when we have received the Spirit of God, his promises are confirmed to us, and no dread is felt that they will be revoked. In themselves, indeed, the promises of God are not weak; but, until we are supported by the testimony of the Spirit, we never rest upon them with unshaken confidence. The Spirit, then, is the earnest of our inheritance of eternal life, until the redemption, that is, until the day of complete redemption is arrived. So long as we are in this world, our warfare is sustained by hope, and therefore this earnest is necessary; but when the possession itself shall have been obtained, the necessity and use of the earnest will then cease.

 

The significance of a pledge lasts no longer than till both parties have fulfilled the bargain; and, accordingly, he afterwards adds, ye are sealed to the day of redemption, (Ephesians 4:30,) which means the day of judgment. Though we are now redeemed by the blood of Christ, the fruit of that redemption does not yet appear; for “every creature groaneth, desiring to be delivered from the bondage of corruption. And not only they, but ourselves also, who have the first-fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body;” for we have not yet obtained it, but by hope. (Romans 8:21-23.) But we shall obtain it in reality, when Christ shall appear to judgment. Such is the meaning of the word redemption in the passage now quoted from the Epistle to the Romans, and in a saying of our Lord,

 

“Look up, and lift up your heads, for your redemption draweth nigh.”

(Luke 21:28.)

 

Ðåñéðïίçóéò, which we translate the possession obtained, is not the kingdom of heaven, or a blessed immortality, but the Church itself. This is added for their consolation, that they might not think it hard to cherish their hope till the day of Christ’s coming, or be displeased that they have not yet obtained the promised inheritance; for such is the common lot of the whole Church.

 

To the praise of his glory. The word praise, as in the twelfth verse, Ephesians 1:12 signifies “making known.” The glory of God may sometimes be concealed, or imperfectly exhibited. But in the Ephesians God had given proofs of his goodness, that his glory might be celebrated and openly proclaimed. Those persons, therefore, who slighted the calling of the Ephesians, might be charged with envying and slighting the glory of God.

 

The frequent mention of the glory of God ought not to be regarded as superfluous, for what is infinite cannot be too strongly expressed. This is particularly true in commendations of the Divine mercy, for which every godly person will always feel himself unable to find adequate language. He will be more ready to utter, than other men will be to hear, the expression of praise; for the eloquence both of men and angels, after being strained to the utmost, falls immeasurably below the vastness of this subject. We may likewise observe, that there is not a more effectual method of shutting the mouths of wicked men, than by shewing that our views tend to illustrate, and theirs to obscure, the glory of God."

 

Wesley basically confirms in a quick commentary, what Calvin elaborates on, "Who, thus sealing us, is an earnest - Both a pledge and a foretaste of our inheritance. Till the redemption of the purchased possession - Till the church, which he has purchased with his own blood, shall be fully delivered from all sin and sorrow, and advanced to everlasting glory. To the praise of his glory - Of his glorious wisdom, power, and mercy."

 

Clarke shares along similar lines, "Which is the earnest of our inheritance] This Holy Spirit, sealing the soul with truth and righteousness, is the earnest, foretaste, and pledge of the heavenly inheritance. And he who can produce this earnest - this witness of the Spirit, in the day of judgment, shall have an abundant entrance into the holiest. On the arrabwn, or earnest, see the notes on Gen. xxxviii. 13, &c., and on 2 Cor. i. 22.

 

The redemption of the purchased possession] That is, till the time when body and soul are redeemed from all their miseries, and glorified in the kingdom on heaven.

 

The redemption of the purchased possession - apolutrwsiv thv peripoihsewv is variously understood; and indeed the original is variously translated. Dr. Whitby has observed that the verb peeipoieiv signifies to save alive; and he refers the peripoihsiv, here, to the redemption of the body from corruption, and to its final glorification with the soul.

 

All those who believe in Christ Jesus are considered as his peculiar people and property, and to them eternal glory is promised. The Spirit of promise, which is given them, is a pledge that they shall have a resurrection from the dead, and eternal blessedness; the redemption, or bringing to life of the body, cannot take place till the day of judgment, but the Holy Spirit promises this redemption, and is now in their hearts an earnest or pledge of this complete restoration at the great day, which will then be, in an especial manner, to the praise of his glory, viz. of Christ, who has bought them by his blood."

 

This must be a 'Calvin' morning for me, because I'm really clicking with his commentarys today. I understand 'earnest'...as in 'earnest monies'...a display of good faith to seal and solidify and agreement, bargain, etc. What a powerful and loving God, that He would give us His Spirit in 'earnest'...as proof of His promises, as confirmation. The Holy Spirit is at much work in our lives as He gently, calmly and with all authority of the Living God, protects us, showing and pointing to us the way to stay on that narrow road that Jesus described. How incredibly devestated and destitute would I be without His Spirit living in me. There is no way that I could do this on my own. I have felt and experienced His power...at times it's an actual physical feeling that is very overwhelming. This morning when I was driving home from taking the girls to school, I was thinking about Moses and the burning bush, and how when he came down from the mountain he had a cloth over his face...the glory of the Lord was so overwhelming that mere human beings could not stand in it's presence. How blind the enemy has in the past, and still tries today to keep me blind, to keep hidden these truths. Even saying that, I know without a doubt that it is His Spirit that is putting the unquenchable thirst to study His Word. The Spirit of the Living God is working even now, doing something I don't understand...I just know it's Him. I know this all sounds very disjointed, but I'm sitting here and these are the thoughts and feelings that are crossing my mind. I believe He is preparing me, and us for the days ahead...for this spiritual battle that we can't even begin to comprehend, and without this knowledge He's revealing right now, I know, well I just know it's critical to bend and yield myself right now to all this. Enough of that.

 

15Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints,

 

Calvin writes, "Wherefore I also. This thanksgiving was not simply an expression of his ardent love to the Ephesians. He congratulated them before God, that the opinion which he had formed respecting them was highly favorable. Observe here, that under faith and love Paul includes generally the whole excellence of Christian character. He uses the expression, faith in the Lord Jesus, because Christ is the aim and object of faith. Love ought to embrace all men, but here the saints are particularly mentioned; because love, when properly regulated, begins with them, and is afterwards extended to all others. If our love must have a view to God, the nearer any man approaches to God, the stronger unquestionably must be his claims to our love."

 

Wesley states, "Since I heard of your faith and love - That is, of their perseverance and increase therein."

 

And Clarke comments, " Faith in the Lord Jesus] Cordial reception of the Christian religion, amply proved by their love to all the saints - to all the Christians. Perhaps love here implies, not only the kind affection so called, but also all the fruits of love-benevolence, and kind offices of every description."

 

16Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers;

 

Calvin says, "Making mention of you. To thanksgiving, as his custom is, he adds prayer, in order to excite them to additional progress. It was necessary that the Ephesians should understand that they had entered upon the proper course. But it was equally necessary that they should not turn aside to any new scheme of doctrine, or become indifferent about proceeding farther; for nothing is more dangerous than to be satisfied with that measure of spiritual benefits which has been already obtained. Whatever, then, may be the height of our attainments, let them be always accompanied by the desire of something higher."

 

Wesley doesn't say much here other than, "I cease not - In all my solemn addresses to God. To give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers - So he did of all the churches, Col. i, 9."

 

Clarks writes, "Cease not to give thanks] The apostle intimates, so fully satisfied was he of the genuineness of their conversion, and of their steadiness since their conversion, that it was to him a continual cause of thanksgiving to God, who had brought them into that state of salvation; and of prayer, that they might be preserved blameless to the end."

 

The Apostle Paul just has such a tender and loving, yet strong and authoritative writing style. First giving thanks to the Lord for their salvation, and then moving into a prayer that He will preserve the work that He has done...the enemy never ceases its attempt to destroy what God has done.

 

So many times in my deepest and darkest days, when I've cried out to the Lord, He has brought to mind that scripture, "the joy of the Lord is my strength". I never cease to feel that is virtually impossible...to feel joy when the pain is so great. But truth be known, when I look at that through the eyes of it being a spiritual battle, I can begin to understand how the enemy wants to press me down into utter hopelessness, and one of the things he despises the most is the praise and thanksgiving to God, in those 'in spite of' moments. I don't quite understand it, but there is a power involved in praising and thanking the Lord. In those times where I have been out at sea in the middle of a terrible storm, and in a voice barely audible, made an attempt to find one of those 'anchor points' and to hold on to that and to thank Him, I've struggled over not feeling resentful at having to be hopeful/happy when I'm so distressed. But yanno what? I think that even that pitiful attempt of faith in those times, He has honored because I find myself bending and surrendering and His peace will flood my soul. I have no answers, but I do have His peace.

 

17That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of

glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:

 

Oh wow, yes yes yes Lord, please please please Lord...give me and give us the spirit of wisdom and revelatioin in the knowledge of You. Pour out and fill us with Your Spirit Lord.

 

Calvin says, "That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ. But what does Paul wish for the Ephesians? The spirit of wisdom, and the eyes of their understanding being enlightened. And did they not possess these? Yes; but at the same time they needed increase, that, being endowed with a larger measure of the Spirit, and being more and more enlightened, they might more clearly and fully hold their present views. The knowledge of the godly is never so pure, but that some dimness or obscurity hangs over their spiritual vision. But let us examine the words in detail.

 

The God of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Son of God became man in such a manner, that God was his God as well as ours.

 

“I ascend,” says he, “to my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.” (John 20:17)

 

And the reason why he is our God, is, that he is the God of Christ, whose members we are. Let us remember, however, that this relates to his human nature; so that his subjection takes nothing away from his eternal godhead.

 

The Father of glory. This title springs from the former; for God’s glory, as a Father, consists in subjecting his Son to our condition, that, through him, he might be our God. The Father of glory is a well-known Hebrew idiom for The glorious Father. There is a mode of pointing and reading this passage, which I do not disapprove, and which connects the two clauses in this manner: That God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, may give to you.

 

The Spirit of wisdom and revelation is here put, by a figure of speech, (metonymy,) for the grace which the Lord bestows upon us by his own Spirit. But let it be observed, that the gifts of the Spirit are not the gifts of nature. Till the Lord opens them, the eyes of our heart are blind. Till the Spirit has become our instructor, all that we know is folly and ignorance. Till the Spirit of God has made it known to us by a secret revelation, the knowledge of our Divine calling exceeds the capacity of our own minds.

 

In the knowledge of him. This might also be read, In the knowledge of himself. Both renderings agree well with the context, for he that knows the Son knows also the Father; but I prefer the former as more natively suggested by the Greek pronoun, ἐí ἐðéãíώóåé áὐôïῦ"

 

Wesley writes, "That the Father of that infinite glory which shines in the face of Christ, from whom also we receive the glorious inheritance, ver. 18, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and Revelation - The same who is the Spirit of promise is also, in the progress of the faithful, the Spirit of wisdom and Revelation; making them wise unto salvation, and revealing to them the deep things of God. He is here speaking of that wisdom and Revelation which are common to all real Christians."

 

Clarke's commentary is, "That the God of our Lord Jesus] Jesus Christ, as man and mediator, has the Father for his God and Father: and it is in reference to this that he himself says: I ascend unto my Father and your Father, and to my God and your God; John xx. 17.

 

The Father of glory] The author and giver of that glory which you expect at the end of your Christian race. This may be a Hebraism for glorious Father, but the former appears to be the best sense.

 

The Spirit of wisdom and revelation] I pray that God may give you his Holy Spirit, by whom his will is revealed to men, that he may teach and make you wise unto salvation, that you may continue to acknowledge him, Christ Jesus, as your only Lord and saviour."

 

18The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,

 

Calvin points out, "The eyes of your understanding being enlightened. The eyes of your heart is the rendering of the Vulgate, which is supported by some Greek manuscripts. The difference is immaterial, for the Hebrews frequently employ it to denote the rational powers of the soul, though more strictly, being the seat of the affections, it means the will or desire; but I have preferred the ordinary translation.

 

And what the riches. A comparison, suggested by its excellence, reminds us how unfit we are to receive this elevated knowledge; for the power of God is no small matter. This great power, he tells us, had been exerted, and in a very extraordinary manner, towards the Ephesians, who were thus laid under constant obligations to follow his calling. By thus extolling the grace of God toward themselves, he intended to check every tendency to despise or dislike the duties of the Christian life. But the splendid encomiums which he pronounces on faith convey to us also this instruction, that it is so admirable a work and gift of God, that no language can do justice to its excellence. Paul is not in the habit of throwing out hyperboles without discrimination; but when he comes to treat of a matter which lies so far beyond this world as faith does, he raises our minds to the admiration of heavenly power."

 

Wesley shares, "The eyes of your understanding - It is with these alone that we discern the things of God. Being first opened, and then enlightened - By his Spirit. That ye may know what is the hope of his calling - That ye may experimentally and delightfully know what are the blessings which God has called you to hope for by his word and his Spirit. And what is the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints - What an immense treasure of blessedness he hath provided as an inheritance for holy souls."

 

Clarke has some important points when he writes, "The eyes of your understanding being enlightened] The understanding is that power or faculty in the soul by which knowledge or information is received, and the recipient power is here termed the EYES of the understanding; and we learn from this that oper o ofqalmov en tw swmati, touto o nouv en th yuch, as Philo expresses it: What the eye is to the body, the understanding is to the soul; and that as the eye is not light in itself, and can discern nothing but by the means of light shining, not only on the objects to be viewed, but into the eye itself; so the understanding of man can discern no sacred thing of or by itself, but sees by the influence of the Spirit of wisdom and revelation; for without the influence of God's Holy Spirit no man ever became wise unto salvation, no more than a man ever discerned an object, (no matter how perfect soever his eye might have been,) without the instrumentality of light.

 

Instead of thv dianoiav, of your understanding, thv kardiav, of your heart, is the reading of ABDEFG, and several others; also both the Syriac, all the Arabic, the Coptic, the AEthiopic, Armenian, Sahidic, Slavonian, Vulgate, and Itala, besides several of the fathers. The eyes of your HEART is undoubtedly the true reading.

 

The hope of his calling] That you may clearly discern the glorious and important objects of your hope, to the enjoyment of which God has called or invited you.

 

The riches of the glory of his inheritance] That you may understand what is the glorious abundance of the spiritual things to which you are entitled, in consequence of being made children of God; for if children, then heirs, heirs of that glorious inheritance which God has provided for the saints - for all genuine Christians, whether formerly Jews or Gentiles. On the chief subject of this verse, see the notes on Gal. iv. 6, 7."

 

All I know is that what is being discussed in these commentaries about this particular verse, is what has been going on in my heart. I feel this pull, this desire, this urgency, this longing, this wanting and most of all, some kind of calling that I don't understand at all except to go seek and find it in His Word. It's hard to explain, but it's a spiritual experience I'm having, so I dunno what to say other than I just NEED to understand and know Him better.

 

19And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,

 

Calvin writes, "

According to the working. Some consider this clause as referring solely to the word believe, which comes immediately before it; but I rather view it as an additional statement, tending to heighten the greatness of the power, as a demonstration, or, if you prefer it, an instance and evidence of the efficacy of the power. The repetition of the word power, (äõíάìåùò) has the appearance of being superfluous; but in the former case it is restricted to one class, — in the next, it has a general application. Paul, we find, never thinks that he can say enough in his descriptions of the Christian calling. And certainly the power of God is wonderfully displayed, when we are brought from death to life, and when, from being the children of hell, we become the children of God and heirs of eternal life.

 

Foolish men imagine that this language is absurdly hyperbolical; but godly persons, who are engaged in daily struggles with inward corruption, have no difficulty in perceiving that not a word is here used beyond what is perfectly just. As the importance of the subject cannot be too strongly expressed, so our unbelief and ingratitude led Paul to employ this glowing language. We never form adequate conceptions of the treasure revealed to us in the gospel; or, if we do, we cannot persuade ourselves that it is possible for us to do so, because we perceive nothing in us that corresponds to it, but everything the reverse. Paul’s object, therefore, was not only to impress the Ephesians with a deep sense of the value of Divine grace, but also to give them exalted views of the glory of Christ’s kingdom. That they might not be cast down by a view of their own unworthiness, he exhorts them to consider the power of God; as if he had said, that their regeneration was no ordinary work of God, but was an astonishing exhibition of his power.

 

According to the efficacy of the power of his strength. There are three words here, on which we may make a passing remark. We may view strength as the root, — power as the tree, — and efficacy as the fruit, or the stretching out of the Divine arm which terminates in action."

 

Wesley shares, "And what the exceeding greatness of his power toward us who believe - Both in quickening our dead souls, and preserving them in spiritual life. According to the power which he exerted in Christ, raising him from the dead - By the very same almighty power whereby he raised Christ; for no less would suffice."

 

And finally, Clarke writes, "The exceeding greatness of his power] As the apostle is here speaking of the glorious state of believers after death, the exceeding greatness of his power, or that power which surpasses all difficulties, being itself omnipotent, is to be understood of that might which is to be exerted in raising the body at the last day; as it will require the same power or energy which he wrought in Christ, when he raised his body from the grave, to raise up the bodies of all mankind; the resurrection of the human nature of Christ being a proof of the resurrection of mankind in general.

 

According to the working of his mighty power] kata thn energeian tou kratouv thv iscuov autou? According to the energy of the power of his might. We may understand these words thus: MIGHT, iscuv, is the state or simple efficiency of this attribute in God; POWER, kratov, is this might or efficiency in action; ENERGY, energeia, is the quantum of force, momentum, or velocity, with which the power is applied. Though they appear to be synonymous terms they may be thus understood: passive power is widely different from power in action; and power in action will be in its results according to the energy or momentum with which it is applied. The resurrection of the dead is a stupendous work of God; it requires his might in sovereign action; and when we consider that all mankind are to be raised and changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, then the momentum, or velocity, with which the power is to be applied must be inconceivably great. All motion is in proportion to the quantity of matter in the mover, and the velocity with which it is applied.

 

The effect here is in proportion to the cause and the energy he puts forth in order to produce it. But such is the nature of God's power in action, that it is perfectly inconceivable to us; and even these astonishingly strong words of the apostle are to be understood as used in condescension to human weakness. "

 

Father God, work in our lives...and I ask that You maximize the potential for Your work in my life...I ask and offer myself to You for Your purpose.

 

There's a part of me Lord that doesn't understand what I'm doing, and a part of me that does understand. I just don't have the command of language with which to put into words, those things that fill my heart. You understand Father, and I am comfortable with that.

 

Take this post, these words, perfect them and then apply them to our hearts and mind. Call us, teach us, preserve us.

 

That's My prayer to You, and the desire of my heart.

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