Ephesians 3:16-19 Evangelizing our world naturally and effortlessly
16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
When believers are transformed in the truth and in the extraordinary grace of the Spirit, evangelism will take place naturally and effortlessly through their conduct of integrity, selflessness and perseverance. The demonstration of the gospel is actively displayed in their daily endeavors and manner of speech. When the church focuses on life transformation in the Spirit, evangelism will take place effectively, naturally and even effortlessly.
God imparts extraordinary grace to a church that is founded on the truth and love of Jesus Christ. It is through this extraordinary grace of the Spirit that the church is able to call and receive non-believers into the household of God. In God’s wisdom of world evangelism, Jews are first called into God’s household to establish in them a heritage of holiness through a disciplined lifestyle based on the Law. At the right time, Gentiles (the rest of the world) are called into God’s family with the mission to bring the gospel to all corners of the earth. Therefore, in God’s eyes, there is no longer Jews or Gentiles but a new man called the church whose mission is to restore God’s fullness and glory over creation. A church that is filled with the Spirit’s power; that is founded in Christ will develop a vision that reaches out to the community. Such a church will experience the fullness of Christ’s glory and blessings like never before.
That according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being,
Paul prays specifically for believers’ inner man to be empowered through the Holy Spirit so that they could fulfill the mission of evangelizing their families and communities. The inner man can also be referred to as the spirit of man, which is the permanent dwelling place of God. As the Spirit fills the inner man, He empowers man to do His will. As Paul prays, the Spirit begins to operate within the believers energizing them to evangelize and sanctify the people around them.
So that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
The strengthening effect of the Spirit becomes possible only when Christ dwells in their hearts through faith. What does it mean: that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith? It means having a secure relationship with Christ resulting in the power to love and the vision to reach out to the world. When the believer seeks to include Christ in his life as Master, Savior, Friend and Lover, he develops the power to love and to reach out to the community around him. The believer builds a secure relationship with Christ by reading the word and meditates on it daily, being dependent on Him in every endeavor. “The breadth and length and height and depth” refers to the gospel reaching all corners of the world and filling it with truth and God’s glory. The fullness of God represents the ultimate utopia, a perfect and ideal state where the fullness of God’s blessings dwells.
1. Believers can function consistently in the power of the Spirit only when Christ is the centre of their life. The church has to focus on two things: to fulfill the mission of Christ that pertains to building God’s Kingdom through discipleship; to live a lifestyle of purity and love. As the believer reads God’s word and meditates on it, he derives truths for holy living and the power to love others even when he is unjustly treated. As individual believers live out the purity and the love of Christ, the church becomes holy and inclusive, reaching out to people with different religious and moral convictions. The centrality of Christ in a believer’s life releases power for regeneration and for prosperous living.
In one episode, Jesus met a woman at Samaria who was drawing water whom Jesus asked for a drink. We see the power of Christ at work when the woman known for having a weakness for multiple relationships with men turns the whole village upside down after a brief encounter with Christ. Christ’s truth and love has the power to transform even the vilest of sinners!
2. A church that reaches out to the community is a blessed church that is full of life and love. When a church is not addicted to the personal needs and fancies of the members, the church has less internal squabbles and problems. A church that is focused on the well being of the community outside of herself, she develops a culture of unity and selflessness. When we see such a phenomenon happening in the church, that is where the paradise and the fullness of God begins to manifest therein. The fullness of God brings joy, peace, righteousness, love and prosperity to every member of the church.
3. In the pursuit of a blessed life, the believer must above all seek to be empowered in the Spirit that will bring success in all his endeavors. Do not hope and pray that problems may just disappear or the much needed promotion may come at a wave of God’s finger. But pray for the impartation God’s extraordinary grace of wisdom, perseverance and boldness through which you attain success. Pray for clarity of mind and perception; for boldness and resolve to make difficult decisions; and for perseverance to see it through. Success if not founded upon the solid rock of Christ will eventually be lost when the fire of judgment comes (see 1 Corinthians 3:10-15). Most people would pray for a windfall, but we must seek the extraordinary grace of God to build the house one brick at a time and with gold, silver and precious stones.
1. Be determined to start each day by reading the word and receive His instructions for the day. In doing so, we receive divine abilities, emotional strength, and wisdom to serve others and bear fruit.
2. Be focused on serving the community and not on our personal problems and ambitions. Make time to participate in the outreach programmes of the church.
Dear Lord, as I depend on You in my every endeavor, empower me with faith and wisdom. Help me with those problems that I have no control over. Use me as an instrument to reach out to the community and fill my church with Your fullness and blessings. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.