Strengthened In His Power
Last week we saw how Paul challenged his readers to not lose heart over his many tribulations in preaching the gospel, because his suffering was for our glory (Eph 3:13). Coming straight out of that statement, Paul began a series of encouragements and reminders of our position in Christ and the blessings we have as believers.
For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; Eph 3:14-17
The first encouragement we see here is the reminder Christians are given a new surname from God the Father. Every true believer secured in Christ is part of God’s family, as Paul established throughout Ephesians 2, and specifically in verse 19: So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household. Being saved has tremendous privileges, and one of those is being marked with God’s name and adopted into His eternal family, whether you’re still on earth or now in heaven.
In contrast, it is important to note that the phrase “every family” rendered here does not mean that unbelievers are included in God’s family. It is best viewed contextually as “the whole family of believers in both heaven and on earth.” Thus, we should always remember to pray for the unsaved to repent and believe in the only name under heaven and earth by which we must be saved (Acts 4:12) so that they, too, may be adopted in our family.
The second encouragement Paul gave is that God grants us inner strength with the power of the Holy Spirit. Paul indicated he prayed for this specific power for the church (bow my knees), and that it comes solely via God’s rich mercy and grace. In fact, we have seen this phrase “riches of His glory” before, back in Eph 1:18-19, where Paul prayed “so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe.”
God’s power to give strength is limitless, but we aren’t given this strength for our own personal gain. Paul stated that this is the work of the Holy Spirit in the inner man and there is a very specific purpose for the strength he mentioned here: so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. While a professional football player may tattoo a verse like this on his arm thinking God will help him win games, that’s really not the point here. This is not a physical or mental strength; God’s power, through the Holy Spirit, is much, much bigger – it is the power to live every moment of our lives in faith. This power sustains us day in and day out, even if we don’t feel it.
Each one of us who has been born again is part of God’s heavenly household, and through His surpassing greatness, power, and glory we are given the Holy Spirit to strengthen and hold fast to our faith in Christ. This is evidence of our salvation, and the power of a Savior Who will never let us go.