Ephesians 3:14-19 ESV
“For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 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.”
Bow the Knee
The reason that the Apostle Paul bowed his knees before the Father was because of the grace of God which was shown to him. For he was Saul, a persecutor and a murderer of Christians, thinking he was doing God’s work in getting rid of them. That is until he met Jesus Christ on a road to Damascus where he intended to continue in his persecution of the saints of God. But Jesus confronted him with his sin and called him to repentance and to a new walk of faith in Jesus Christ.
And then he was made a minister of the gospel according to the gift of God’s grace, which was given to him by the working of the power of God. And this is a true picture of what God’s grace to us is all about. It is about change. It is about pulling us out of the lives of sin in which we once lived, and freeing us from our bondage to sin, and giving us new lives in Christ Jesus which are now to be lived for his glory, honor, and praise, in walks of obedience to him, and in walks of righteousness and holiness, in the power of God.
And for this reason we, too, should bow our knees before the Father in heaven. And to bow our knees is not just a physical body position, but it is a sign of surrender of our lives to Jesus Christ, of submission to Christ as Lord of our lives, and of obedience to him and to his commands (New Covenant). So we bow with our hearts, in giving our lives over to God to be used of him for his purposes and for his glory. And we die with him to sin that we might now live to God and to his righteousness (1 Peter 2:24; Romans 6:1-23).
Strengthened by His Power
When we who profess faith in Jesus Christ believe in our Lord with God-given faith, we are crucified with Christ in death to sin, and we are raised with Christ to walk in newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness, and to the glory and praise of God. Our old self is crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we will no longer be enslaved to sin. Therefore, we are not to let sin reign in our mortal bodies, to make us obey its passions, for if sin is what we obey, it will end in death (Romans 6:1-23; Ephesians 4:17-24).
But the faith that is required for us to be saved from our sins and to have eternal life with God doesn’t come from within ourselves. It is not our own doing, but it comes from God, and it is gifted to us by God. We can’t even come to faith in Jesus Christ unless God the Father first draws us to Christ, i.e. unless he first persuades us as to his holiness and righteousness, and of our sinfulness, and of our need to repent of our sins and to walk in obedience to our Lord (Hebrews 12:1-2; Ephesians 2:8-10; John 6:44).
So none of this comes from us. It is all empowered by God and by His Spirit within us, so all the glory belongs to God. We cannot take credit for any of it. But is there are part we must do? Absolutely! The Scriptures are very clear that genuine faith in Christ results in us dying with Christ to sin, not just once, but daily, and us walking in obedience to our Lord. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for GOOD WORKS, which God prepared in advance that we should WALK IN THEM (Ephesians 2:10).
But we can do none of this without the power of God working in and through our lives. We can do none of this in our own flesh. So this is not works salvation, as some would have you to believe, for we cannot even come to faith in Jesus Christ of our own accord, much less live lives which are pleasing to him in our own strength. So, when we walk in obedience to our Lord and we live holy lives, pleasing to him, it is all empowered by God, and we now walk in his salvation by his strength, power, and wisdom.
For God’s love to us is not just in the forgiving of our sins and in the hope of heaven when we die. His love extended to us is in the putting to death our sin, not only on that cross, but in our individual lives so that we may now live holy lives pleasing to God. His love and his grace deliver us out of our slavery to sin so that we can now walk in holiness and in righteousness in his power and strength. And I think not many people in America who profess faith in Jesus Christ are being taught this biblical reality.
So, our salvation from sin is not just being rescued from the punishment of sin, as some would have you believe, but it is us being rescued (delivered) from our slavery (bondage, addiction) to sin so we can now live godly, upright, holy, righteous and obedient lives to our Lord Jesus Christ, in God’s power, strength, and wisdom. And if we don’t, but we continue in deliberate and habitual sin, then we will not inherit eternal life with God.
[Matt 7:21-23; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]
An Original Work / February 8, 2014
Wait for your Lord. Be of courage.
Be strong and take heart today.
God is always watching o’er you.
Trust Him with your life always.
Sing of your Lord. Praise His blessings.
Believe in His sovereignty.
He delivered you from your sin;
Gave you life eternally.
Rest in your Lord. Know His promise.
Beneath His wings rest secure.
Your God has a plan and purpose.
Let your faith in Him endure.
Trust in your Lord. He’ll not leave you,
Because He is faithfulness.
He will lead and guide; protect you.
In His love you can find rest.