For this reason I bow my knees before the Father,Ephesians 3:14(NASB)
At the start of the third chapter of Ephesians Paul was about to kneel before the Lord and earnestly pray for the Christians in Ephesus.. that according to God's riches in glory they would be strengthened in the inner man with all might.. through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit.
Paul's desire was that Christ would dwell in their hearts through faith, and that each one might be rooted and grounded in love - so that they may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height of God's amazing love and to know the superabounding love of Christ which passes all understanding. Inspired by the Holy Ghost.. Paul's prayer for all believers was that they might be filled with all the fullness of God, to His praise and glory.
But at the start of this third chapter of Ephesians.. just as Paul was about to explain the reason that he was bowed in prayer before the Father, his thoughts were interrupted, and a parenthetical passage was inserted, which delved into great detail about the Church age.. the dispensation of the grace of God, and the precious mystery that had been hidden for ages and generations, but had now been revealed to him - that Gentiles should be brought into God's family and be made fellow heirs with Christ - that Jew and Gentile alike might become part of the same body and be made partakers of God's promise in Christ - through believing the glorious gospel of God. And so we read in this verse: for this reason I bow my knees before the Father.
To discover the reason that Paul bowed his knee before the Father, causing him to pray one of the most beautiful prayers for the body of Christ, we need to revisit his thoughts throughout chapters 1 and 2. You see.. for two whole chapters Paul had outlined in brilliant detail our position in Christ, the superabundant spiritual blessings we have in heavenly places, which are the inherited right of all who trust in Christ for salvation. He details the righteousness with which we are covered; he proclaims our position in Christ, where we are seated with Him in heavenly places; and He explains our divine election and adoption as sons.
He further details our complete and unconditional acceptance by God because we are positioned in Christ by faith - and he rejoices in the hope of our calling, the riches of His inheritance in the saints, the exceeding greatness of His power towards us.. which is manifest in the Salvation of Jew and Gentile together in one new Man. He reminds us of the depths of depravity from which we have been saved and the heights of ecstasy to which we have risen and it is for THIS reason that Paul bows the knee to the Father.
Paul knows what is ours in Christ.. and his prayer is that we appropriate all that is ours by faith. He does not want us to go through life thinking that we have to add something to Christ's finished work in order to be acceptable by the Father.. or that we have to wait to receive these amazing spiritual blessings. Paul's prayer is that we understand who we are in Christ NOW.. that we believe this word and that we reckon on its truth. Paul wants us to stand fast on the truth of God's word and know that our salvation does not depend on us and what we do - but that it depends on Christ and all that HE did at Calvary - and for that reason Paul bowed his knee in prayer before the Father.
May we not only know and appropriate all that is ours in Christ Jesus as recorded in those first few chapters of Ephesians and other beautiful passages.. but may we also bow our knees in prayer that the one new man in Christ may appropriate all that is ours in Him - and may we share this good news with others so that they too will come to know Christ as Saviour - and that their Salvation does not depend on what they do but on what Christ has already done.
Heavenly Father, thank You for Your Word and the amazing truths that it contains. Help me to put away all thoughts that I have to add something to the finished work of Christ - and may I appropriate all that is mine in Him. Give me the opportunity to share this wonderful truth of salvation by grace through faith in Christ with others.. and may many come to faith in Him today and in the days that lie ahead - this we ask in Jesus name, AMEN.
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