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A Pastor's Prayer:Part 2

Ephesians 3  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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A Pastor's Prayer part 2

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Know the Love of Christ

We left off last week talking about the Pastor’s Prayer. He prayed that we receive the “Strength of God”. This is my prayer beloved, that IHP knows the Strength of God in the “Inner Man”. We had a time looking at that passage. That God would grant to you, “according to the riches of his glory”. I am praying that God does this for you according to the riches of his glory as opposed to out of the riches of his glory. I also pray that you would not only strengthened but that he do it with might by his spirit.
Today, I would like to continue examining the prayer. Apostle Paul continues his treatise from jail to a people in Ephesus that is going through the issue of the state prosecuting and persecuting their Pastor and yet, the Pastor is writing to encourage them. In this encouragement he writes that he is praying and decree some things for them. We left at the beginning of this prayer last week.
Ephesians 3:16 KJV 1900
That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;
Now in verse 17 he begins to develop he prayer and gives a clue as to why. What is the purpose of prayer for strength in the inner man? What are the ramifications of this strength? What besides strength can I look froward to? How does this help me as a believer?
Ephesians 3:17 KJV 1900
That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
In the NRSV it is rendered this way:
Ephesians 3:17 NRSV
and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, as you are being rooted and grounded in love.
Pastor Paul is praying very specifically, that Christ may dwell, in your hearts, through faith, as you are being rooted and grounded in love. There is so much here. The Apostle makes a connection between a strong inner man and Christ dwelling. We talked last week about the importance of the inner man. The inner man is where you make decisions, where your heart is and we will talk some more about that. If your inner man is weak than it is susceptible to any doctrine, any thought. You can be rules by emotion or worldly knowledge. So God strengthens the inner man and there is commitment to what you believe. Now Pastor introduces this nuance of Christ dwelling. The word in the original is Christos Katoikeo. That this Christos, the anointed one may Katoikeo. The word here is to dwell. Katoikeo actually means to live, dwell, reside, to settle down, inhabit, but the meaning that jumped out at me was “to Colonize”
To Colonize!
To colonize. Now I know many of my Drewite cohorts will have a problem with this but I cannot help that. A Colony takes shape when a King forms a territory that mimics the Kingdom of that King. everything that is right in the Kingdom is right in the colony and all that is wrong in the Kingdom is wrong in the Colony. Habits that are normal in the Kingdom are normal in the Colony. The Bahamas used to be a British Colony, as a matter of fact many things that are common in Britain are still common in the Bahamas. In England one drives on the left side of the street. Because of that one drives on the left side of the street in the Bahamas. In England many play Cricket, in the Bahamas Cricket is played as well. Tea time is observed in both England and the colony. So here is what Paul is praying for, that Jesus would colonize your heart. That he would dwell in you heart and make it look like the Kingdom. That means, whatever would be normal in God’s Kingdom will be normal in Your Heart. This would mean, that if you are from England, you fit right in in the Bahamas. If Jesus has Colonized your heart, then others who are of that Kingdom are familiar to you. It also means, even though we from America are closer to the Bahamas than England, we are foreign to the colony. They are independent now but it still has vestiges of the colonizers.
Apostle Paul wanted Christ to dwell in, colonize my Kardia, My Heart. The Kardia means heart. You will the word Cardio there but it means more than just the heart organ. In the greek it is symbolic and carries a meaning of “the locus of a person’s thoughts”. In other words the mind. Pastor is prying that Jesus would take over, dwell in, colonize your mind. Does that mean, I don’t think for myself? Well, let’s examine that. When I think, because of where I am from, one could say I think like an American. i do not think like a Korean, or a German, or a Kenyan. Those socio-economic systems are different then mind and would mean my priorities are different than theirs. So Pastor is praying that your thinking reflect what is in you?
Does Your Thinking Reflects the Kingdom of God?
Why is this so incredible? Because these saints are in Ephesus! Ephesus is known for it’s polytheism. Ephesus is hellenized which means Greek philosophy is the context by which this church needs to operate. This is a city that embraced a multiplicity of Gods and the church is charged with taken a stand that is by nature not inclusive. Sound familiar? You need to be convince that Jesus is God and he should colonize the way you even think.
Pastor continues to pray that this all happen, through faith. dia in the Greek. In the NRSV it is rendered through faith. Faith then, pistis in the Greek is that strong thing. Not settled but strong. The faith in this context means, reliance on, it means strong confidence. It does not mean you know it all. it should not mean, no one can teach you. Paul Tillich says, “doubt is not the opposite of faith, certainty is”. This then means you are being rooted and ground in love.
The scholars speak to the metaphors being used here. Rooted is an agricultural metaphor. Once jesus has colonized your mind, you will be rooted in Love. Roots mean a lot for a tree. How firmly a tree is rooted makes a huge difference for that tree. When a tree is firmly rooted, it is hard to pluck up that tree. Heavy winds may come but the tree stays in place. Even if cut down a tree, if you leave the roots in place, There is Hope!!!!!
It does not matter what the world wants to do, There Is Hope, because you are rooted!!!!
The metaphor used fro grounded, according to the scholars are architectural. The grounding of a building tells how high you can go up for that building. If the grounding is weak, you might get away with two stories but when you are really grounded, when your foundation is well established God do amazing things with you.
Eph 3:
Ephesians 3:18 KJV 1900
May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;
Ephesians 3:19 KJV 1900
And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
Ephesians 3:19 NRSV
and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
to Know- ginosko in the Greek. To know through experience with. To know love because you have experienced the love. The knowing, surpasses knowledge-gnosis in the Greek. It means having the sum range of what is known. This is more scientific. Experiencing Gods Love is More Important than knowing without experience!
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