Paul continues to describe his ministry, and at the same time avails to the believers in Ephesus the deeply personal nature of our salvation. He gives them, and us, something to which we might aspire to seize, something available to us by the same grace that saved us -- intimacy with God.
14 This is the reason I kneel in the presence of the Father 15 from whom all the family in heaven and on earth receives its name. 16 I'm asking God to give you a gift from the wealth of his glory. I pray that he would give you inner strength and power through his Spirit. 17 Then Christ will live in you through faith. I also pray that love may be the ground into which you sink your roots and on which you have your foundation. 18 This way, with all of God's people you will be able to understand how wide, long, high, and deep his love is. 19 You will know Christ's love, which goes far beyond any knowledge. I am praying this so that you may be completely filled with God. God's Word to the Nations Translation (GWNT)
14 τουτου χαριν καμπτω τα γονατα μου προς τον πατερα 15 εξ ου πασα πατρια εν ουρανοις και επι γης ονομαζεται 16 ινα δω υμιν κατα το πλουτος της δοξης αυτου δυναμει κραταιωθηναι δια του πνευματος αυτου εις τον εσω ανθρωπον 17 κατοικησαι τον χριστον δια της πιστεως εν ταις καρδιαις υμων 18 εν αγαπη ερριζωμενοι και τεθεμελιωμενοι ινα εξισχυσητε καταλαβεσθαι συν πασιν τοις αγιοις τι το πλατος και μηκος και υψος και βαθος 19 γνωναι τε την υπερβαλλουσαν της γνωσεως αγαπην του χριστου ινα πληρωθητε εις παν το πληρωμα του θεου Westcott-Hort Nestle-Aland United Bible Societies Greek New Testament (WHNU)
Paul opens this paragraph with "For this reason...", pointing us back to the concluding phrase of the previous paragraph, verse 13, "So then, I ask you not to become discouraged by the troubles I suffer for you. In fact, my troubles bring you glory." Paul equates his ministry to an act of worship in what follows: "14 This is the reason I kneel in the presence of the Father 15 from whom all the family in heaven and on earth receives its name. GWNT" The act of kneeling before someone is both an act of submission and worship, and Paul embodies both meanings in his statement, bringing what is to follow into proper context. Paul acknowledges the absolute sovereignty of God the Father when he declares Him as the One "out of Whom every family in heaven and upon the earth has been named. MP" In other words, there was never a time, nor shall be, that God the Father is not in control of all things.
Verse 16 "I'm asking God to give you a gift from the wealth of his glory. I pray that he would give you inner strength and power through his Spirit. GWNT" , and in the WHNU, ινα δω υμιν κατα το πλουτος της δοξης αυτου δυναμει κραταιωθηναι δια του πνευματος αυτου εις τον εσω ανθρωπον "in order that I might give to you, according to the riches of His glory, ability to be made strong through His Spirit into the inner man MP" Paul subjects what he is able to do by recognizing the transcending power of God in the phrase "according to the riches of His glory MP", and that he himself therefore, has no power to give anything. In fact, he states he desires to create opportunity for their spiritual growth in the phrase δω υμιν...δυναμει κραταιωθηναι (note the ellipsis MP). The word δυναμει is the dative/locative of δυναμις, normally translated as "power" (we get the word "dynamite" from this word), but as it is used in the dative, it speaks not so much as to might and power, but ability and capacity (the verb form δυνατεω is intransitive and means "to be able, to have power", so both meanings exist in the verb). As the dative is the "at rest" noun form, I interpret it to mean "ability or capacity". The aorist passive infinitive which follows, IMHO, gives credence to such an interpretation: κραταιωθηναι (to be made strong). The believer does not become strong through his or her own capacity, but by availing themselves to the work of the Spirit, as Paul completes his thought "...through His Spirit GWNT" In the original tongue δια του πνευματος αυτου εις τον εσω ανθρωπον, we see the agent or vehicle is the Spirit, δια being a preposition meaning, in this case, "through", the idea of enabling a change from one state to another, which then is followed quite dynamically by the prepositional phrase beginning with εις, which means "in, into" and is followed by the accusative, giving the idea of motion. Thusly, it is "through the Spirit" (the enabler of change) that we become strong "into the inner man". A very active process worked upon us (remember the passive infinitive κραταιωθηναι, "to be made strong") by the Holy Spirit in our innermost being -- not something we muster ourselves, but that to which we avail ourselves.
In verse 17, "Then Christ will live in you through faith. I also pray that love may be the ground into which you sink your roots and on which you have your foundation. GWNT" κατοικησαι τον χριστον δια της πιστεως εν ταις καρδιαις υμων εν αγαπη ερριζωμενοι και τεθεμελιωμενοι "to the act of Christ dwelling (settling), through faith, in your hearts, in love having been rooted and established". The elements of Greek paint a more vivid picture than the English allows, IMHO. The infinitive κατοικησαι is a combination of the preposition κατα and the verb οικεω. Remember how I stated that the Koine Greek saw the rise of prepositions and their combination with verbs in construction? Here is a classic case. The verb οικεω means "to live or dwell", and the preposition κατα means "against or down". Combined, we get the sense of permanence in the act of dwelling, "to settle down" would be our closest meaning. It conveys an idea of permanently dwelling in a place, in this case, Christ permanently dwelling in our hearts. In evangelism, I hear from some "critics" who say "you should not ask people to invite Christ into their hearts, it is not Scriptural" (most people, I find, who criticize direct/person-to-person evangelism have never led anyone to the Lord anyway, so they receive their due attention). Yet in this verse, and certainly when coupled with what Jesus Himself articulates in Revelation 3:20, shows that the notion of Christ being in our hearts is entirely Scriptural. Further, the phrase "in your hearts", us the Greek word εν for "in", which is always followed by the dative (at rest) voice of the noun. Nice how all that fits together, huh?
Paul continues in verse 17 with "that love may be the ground into which you sink your roots and on which you have your foundation GWNT", εν αγαπη ερριζωμενοι και τεθεμελιωμενοι "in love having been rooted and established MP" Here again is the preposition "in with the dative" εν αγαπη, "in love", meaning that love (αγαπη) is primary to what follows (being first in the phrase) and the realm under which it occurs. The perfect passive (God's work upon us, not our works) is used "having been rooted and established". By God's love, and in the realm of that love, and by His actions, we are rooted and established for all the ages.
Paul completes this paragraph with "18 This way, with all of God's people you will be able to understand how wide, long, high, and deep his love is. 19 You will know Christ's love, which goes far beyond any knowledge. I am praying this so that you may be completely filled with God. GWNT" , ινα εξισχυσητε καταλαβεσθαι συν πασιν τοις αγιοις τι το πλατος και μηκος και υψος και βαθος 19 γνωναι τε την υπερβαλλουσαν της γνωσεως αγαπην του χριστου ινα πληρωθητε εις παν το πληρωμα του θεου "in order that you might be strong to grasp with all the saints what is the width and length and height and depth, to know truly the surpassing knowledge love of Christ in order that you might be filled in all the fullness of God. MP" If there is anything to which one who claims the name of Christ should aspire in personal spiritual growth, it is written in verses 18 and 19 of Ephesians chapter three. The tenor of these verses is that of intimacy -- a thorough knowledge and understanding of God, not in an academic sense, but a deeply personal sense, to know what cannot be comprehended, Christ's love (την υπερβαλλουσαν της γνωσεως αγαπην του χριστου the "surpassing over knowledge love" of Christ), and for Him to fill us (not we filling ourselves) with His own fullness. It is to this end Paul ministered, and it is to this end we, as sinners saved by grace, should avail ourselves to Him, so that we might aspire the same.