Praying for Spiritual Growth.
By Nick Bibile
Eph 3:17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God. 20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, 21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.
Let us continue in praying for our spiritual growth as we
come to an end of chapter three of Ephesians, the conclusion of Paulís prayer
When our hearts are changed by the power of God, then Christ comes and lives in our hearts, as we become the temple of the Holy Spirit. Note the words rooted and grounded are metaphors taken from a tree. A tree that is rooted deep into earth can survive the typhoons, hurricanes, drought as what counts is not the outside look but the inside which we cannot see. In the same way it is spiritual things that matters and not the outside. We need to be rooted and grounded in Christís love as we went through this scripture before.
18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height.
There are many who have not understood the love of Christ. Today the church has one sentence to everyone, ďJesus loves you.Ē As a result many take this love as an emotional love. The love of Christ is his peculiar special love to the believer to the church.
Here we see a great spiritual blessing. That is the love of Christ to the believer. That not only us but all saints meaning all believers should understand. Truly we can never comprehend dimension of Christ love, yet we understand how vast it is for the believing sinner. When we see the words the breath, the length, the depth and height it means perfection.
Job 11:7 Canst thou by searching find out God? Canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection?
†8 It is as high as heaven; what canst thou do? Deeper than hell; what canst thou know?
†9 The measure thereof is longer than the earth, and broader than the sea.
This is the greatest spiritual blessing. We who were godless sinners doing our will according to our fleshly desires and on our way to hell, deeply rooted in sin and wickedness, strongly gripped by Satan yet we had worldly blessings, physical blessings but our souls were lost in darkness, until Christ Jesus came broke the grip of Satan rescued us from the enemy, he cleansed us from deeply rooted sin, pardoned us, removed the guilt brought us to God as a clean vessel washed in Christís blood made us into saints, we were brought from the children of devil to children of God. This is amazing love where we cannot measure.
1Jo 3:1 †Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God.
James Montgomery Boice gives this true story. ďIn the last century, when Napoleonís army opened a prison that had been used by the Spanish Inquisition they found the remains of a prisoner who had been incarcerated for his faith. The dungeon was underground. The body had long since been decayed. Only a chain fastened around an anklebone cried out his confinement. But this prisoner, long since dead, had left a witness. On the wall of his small, dismal cell this faithful soldier of Christ had scratched a rough cross with four words surrounding in Spanish. Above the cross was the Spanish word for height. Below it was the word for depth. To the left the word width. To the right the word length. Clearly this prisoner wanted to testify the surpassing greatness of love of Christ, perceived in his suffering.
Let me put it this way the love of Christ is broad enough to go to any country to any ethnic group and deep enough to reach the worst sinner and high enough to exalt him to heaven.
ďThe love of God, which in its length reaches from one eternity to another; in its breadth to all the elect, in all ages, places, and nations; and in its depth to saints in the lowest state of life; and in its height to bring them to an exalted state in glory.Ē (John Gill)
This is the cause for us to be rooted and grounded in love. We love him because he loved us first, we obey Christ because of his love as Christ said, and if you love me you will obey my commandments.
Mt 24:12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.
Do you love Christ? Many love their husbandís wifeís, children and loved ones more than Christ. Many love themselves, the world more than Christ. This is idolatry. There is sin all around and it is sad that many have a cold frozen, ritual, relationship with Christ. †
19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.
Once we know this love of Christ, it will pass knowledge. The word pass in Greek is hyperballō which means exceeds, goes beyond, excels. It goes beyond knowledge. Which means the love of Christ will excel or go beyond our intelligence. †We have some knowledge of God but the love of Christ will exceeds of our knowledge of God and all other human knowledge. Let me show you the reasons.
Love of Christ is the peculiar love to the believer. It is his special love it is the Fatherís love, it is the unparallel, matchless greatest love to the believing sinner. †He showed us his love by being God, leaving heaven coming down to this earth born to a poor family, born to die, taking the place of the sinner, paying the debt of our sins by his sufferings on the cross, bringing the believer to everlasting righteousness, preparing a place in heaven, constantly interceding in prayers and constantly supplying our spiritual needs. The believers the true church is called his bride, whom he loves as because of the love of the bridegroom the bride can love him, there is a beautiful love relationship between the bride and the bridegroom and the bride the church is eagerly waiting for the bridegroom for that great marriage.
Re 19:7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come and his wife hath made herself ready.
Now the apostle is praying that the believers will know more of his love that their knowledge will progress because of Christí love.
That ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.
Yes, now we understand the love of Christ excels and goes beyond love as once we realize his love for the believing sinner then our knowledge in God will grow. The cause of growth is his love. Apostle is praying for that you might be filled with the fullness of God. Apostle did not pray saying Oh God bless them with a lot of money, wealth, health, so they will have all their needs they will be happy and enjoy this world with all the pleasures. No what is the fullness of God?
Joh And of his fullness have all we received, and grace for grace.
2Pe But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.
We who are unworthy sinners have received Godís unmerited favor, grace. We are to be filled with all fullness of God; fullness of God means God himself. †We can know God by living in Christ.
God has given us in the Bible the divine knowledge where we can come and feast. The natural man the unbeliever has no appetite for the word of God; their appetite is for the flesh.†
Here in the Bible
God has opened a large treasure before us. But many are too lazy to gather the
treasure as they are more interested of the treasures of this world that is
going to perish one day.† But the true
believers, Christians are called disciples mean learners and followers of
Christ. But today there are so many who call themselves Christians but they are
not learners or followers of Christ, they are not Christians. If you are a
Christian you will grow as all Christians are put into the
Godís knowledge given to us in the Bible is a lamp to our feet as it directs us in the will of God. It is the golden key that opens the treasures of his word. It gives us the weapons to fight against our enemies, Satan, the world and the flesh. It is the holy word that grace is found.
Isa 34:16 Seek ye out of the book of the LORD, and read.
We will have food for our souls that we will be exceedingly satisfied and have the peace of God in trials and tribulations as our soul will be strengthened by the power of his word.
20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.
Once we read study and digested with meditations of his word, his word will abide in us and will give us the power to live in a fallen world.† This power is the dynamite power that can rejoice in trials and tribulations, can bless those who curse you, can love your enemies. This power will make us strong in faith as we become humble, gentle under stress, there are some who gets panic attacks under stress the true Christian will be gentle and strong in the Lord as he gets his strength from the word as this word gives life and comfort.
21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.
Paul ends up his prayer giving glory to God, the eternal God. What is the chief end of man? The chief end of man is to glorify God. To glorify God means to set God highest in our thoughts, admire him, adore him, worship him and serve him in obedience.
1Pe 4:11 If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
Apostle Paulís prayer was that we will grow in spiritual things, we will have a true love relationship with Christ and grow in him and we can live for God. But it is sad that many are faking this love to God as it is only in the church they have this love to God. When they leave the church their minds go back to their fleshly appetites. They are pretty comfortable as they do not see God so they think they can get away with their fleshly appetites. They are wise in their own eyes but truly deceived.
If Christ is here physically with you, if he comes to your home and live with you, will you change your behavior? But will it be a forced behavior? Will it be that your freedom is gone so that you cannot watch your favorite movies, have your own pleasure? Will it be that you will be forced to read the Bible, forced to pray, forced to live a godly life? You need to do these sudden changers as Jesus is going to live with you? Itís that going to be hard for you? Will you be relieved when Jesus says bye to you and leaves to another house?
Will you be happy if your husband or wife leaves the house? Yes, if you have another woman or a man you would be happy. †Will you be happy if your parents leave the house? Yes, only if you can do your own sinful pleasures you would be happy.
Love is never forced but a genuine true relationship at all times. Apostle Paul said, ďI count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ, Jesus my Lord and do count them but dung that I may win Christ.Ē ( Philip 3:8)
The Psalmist said, ďAs the deer pants after the water brooks so my soul pants after thee oh God, my soul thirsts for God.Ē (Ps 42:1-2; 63:1-2)
Cry out from your soul to God and ask for spiritual food and his desire is to feed you and to make you grow in him so you can love him and serve him for the rest of your life.