Bible Study The Book Of Ephesians
Verse By Verse

Lesson 22 Chapter Three Verse 15 - 21

V.15 "of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named."

The expression "whole family" is a reference to all the elect, or the company of the redeemed both in heaven and on the earth.

There is no reference in this text to God being the spiritual Father of the family of man. A person is born into the family of God by spiritual regeneration, the natural birth places one in the family of Adam, but it takes a super-natural birth to become a member of the family of God.

The so-called "Fatherhood of God and brotherhood of man" is a dangerous and destructive doctrine, and is without foundation in scripture. It is true that all of mankind is the "offspringís" of God, but in the creative sense only. Only saved people are members of Godís family, and Christ speaks of all others, saying "ye are of your father the devil..." (John 8:44).

One enters the earthly family by natural birth, one enters the Heavenly family by spiritual birth, and one enters the church by baptism. Baptism being a picture or symbol of the death, burial, And resurrection of Christ, which without there would be no spiritual births, hence no family of God, hence no church of God.

Vs. 16 "that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man.

Verses 16, 17, and 18, constitute a prayer wherein Paul petitions God to strengthen the "inner man," to give the Ephesians comprehensive ability (vs. 17), and that they might "know the love of Christ." That they did not already know the love of Christ, but that they are enabled to further explore its infinite dimensions.

The first petition is for inward strength, that is, they may have spiritual power, and that it may be "according to the riches of His glory." Thus, the inner man would be equal to the assaults of Satan.

Vs. 17 "that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love."

This would (vs. 17) be the result of the strengthening of the "inner man." Paul does not have in view in this verse, the time When Christ by the Spirit takes up his dwelling in the heart of the believer at the new birth. The Ephesians were already saved, and were at the time strong in faith and sound in doctrine. But Paul knows it is impossible to have too much of the power of Christ, and the man who thinks he has enough strength in the inner man is an easy prey for the Devil. We have this gracious warning from the inspired apostle, "wherefore let-him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. (1st Cor. 10:12).

Vs. 18 "may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height."

In this verse we are given the directions in which the dimensions run, we have the four sides and the top and bottom. The object of these directions and dimensions is the love of Christ, (vs. 19).

In verse 18 Paul says, "may be able to comprehend" this love, and in verse 19, he says it "passeth knowledge." at first glance this would seen like. A contradiction, but a second glance reveals perfect accord in the statement.

It is like measuring the universe; we know there is east, west, north and south directions, and that there is height and depth. Man can comprehend and know something of all these dimensions, but due to their infinititude they shall ever be in the realm of Things "past finding out." So it is, with the infinite ocean of GodĎs love for his children, the more they explore its new horizons, the more they discover is there waiting and beckoning them on Godís love for his elect cannot be exhausted, yet they can know it within the scope of their experience.

The conditions stipulated which must be met in order to increase the believerís spiritual capacity, whereby ability to understand better the love of Christ is granted are,

1. "Rooted,

2. "And grounded in love," (vs. 17).

"Rooted", inflexible determination to stand against any and all storms of evil, especially those things which tend to diminish affection for Christ. "Grounded", this speaks of sending the roots deeper and deeper into the earth. The spiritual application would be that of, becoming more and more satisfied with the love of Christ and the deeper and more perfect the satisfaction, the more at home is the believer with Christ. The result being, "filled with all the fullness of God," not the fullness of divine essence, but sufficient power eminating from that essence to overcome all enemies. Vs. 20 "now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above. All that we ask or think, according to the power that workth in us."

Godís power exceeds any Petition a believer may make. God may not

Grant our every request, but his refusal to do so is not due to lack of power in Him. So as we should not set limits on the power of God, Paul reminds us of an exhibition of Godís power, "and what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in heavenly places" (Eph. 1:19-20).

All that we might ask, or think of asking God for, stops somewhere this side of calling on God to exercise the same measure of power He demonstrated in the resurrection of Christ from the grave, and the exaltation of him to his own right hand.

Once a person knows the truth as regards the fallen nature of man, that it is totally depraved, and that the "carnal mind is enmity against God" (Rom. 8:7). Having experienced salvation from such awful alienation, and being made a son of God by the power of free grace, leaves no room for questioning the extent of Godís power.

Vs. 21 "unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end."

All things were made for the glory of God, and all things serve that predetermined end. The church was created to serve this end, and it is in the church the believer best serves this end.

While the heavens declare the glory of God, it is in and through the church God has chosen to make the clearest exhibition of his glory.

1. The church is the bride of Christ (John 3:29). There is more Affinity and sameness between a man and his wife, than there is between any other human relationships. So it is, if a person wants to reflect the glory of God he/she needs to be a part of The Lordís church, for it is in the church and in the church only that a believer can have an intimate relationship with Christ.

2. The church is Godís executive body in the world. To the church God gave the commission, and in so doing he committed to the Church the keeping of the ordinances and preaching of the gospel (Matt. 28:18ó20,1st Cor. 11:2). Keeping the ordinances and preaching the gospel glorify God, and all authority for administering the ordinances and preaching the gospel is shut up in the church.

3. The church is the pillar and ground of the truth (1st Tim. 3:15). God works exclusively through his church in dispensing truth. It was to the church, Christ said, speaking of the Holy Spirit, "...He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you" (John 14:26).

4. The church is the only organization Christ promised to dwell with throughout the entire age. His presence with the church is the guarantee that the "gates of hell shall not prevail against it."

5. The church is the only organization which has Christ as itís one and only head. (Eph. 1:22).

6. The church is the only ecclestical organization founded by Christ, (Eph. 4:4).

7. New Testament Baptist churches are the only churches which meet the divine criteria demanded of a church by the bible.

Knowing that Godís institutional glory is shut up in his church, and shall be throughout the entire age, it behooves every saved person that as yet have not been baptized, to make haste, and submit to the authority of some new testament Baptist church, and seek baptism at their hands; lest they stand at the mercy seat of Christ empty handed.

If there was no other verse in the bible showing the importance of being a member of the Lordís church, Eph. 3:21 should serve to draw every person desiring to glorify God to the baptismal Waters of a New Testament Baptist Church.