Ephesians 3:14-16 Strengthened In The Inner Man

by | Jun 2, 2023 | Ephesians, New Testament

I. The Christian Life Includes Inner Strengthening

A. The Gospel Had Come To The Gentiles V. 14

1. 3:14 is a continuation of what Paul started in 3:1
2. Paul had been called to preach to the Gentiles.
3. They had received the forgiveness of God. The Ephesians had become Christians.
4. Paul had started that church and was with them for 3 years.
5. Timothy had followed Paul. The Ephesians had had good teaching.
6. Yet there was more growth they could experience.
7. Paul prayed that they would have an increasing understanding of Jesus.
8. NOTE- People can be saved, and yet have a less than full experience with Jesus.
9. Our Christian lives are sometimes not as full or complete as they could be.
10. Paul prayed that they would experience Jesus to the fullest.

B. Paul Prayed For Their Spiritual Strengthening V. 16

1. strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man-

a. Paul speaks of the Holy Spirit as the One who does the strengthening.
b. God may pour out His Spirit on a person who isn’t seeking Him.
c. He certainly can do that, w/o any action on my part to prompt that.
d. That would be a sovereign and gracious work of God in a person’s life.
e. God simply strengthening the Christian without the Christian seeking God.

2. The human side of the relationship calls for us to surrender to the Holy Spirit.

a. Holy Spirit guides, comforts, illuminates truth, convicts of sin, empowers.
b. It is possible to ignore, grieve, & quench the work of God’s Spirit.

3. A person can be saved, and yet very weak, fearful, and full of doubt.

a. God wants to strengthen us in the inner man. Paul prayed for that.
b. God is not reluctant to strengthen us in the inner man.
c. God does play favorites in strengthening some and allowing others to stay perpetually weak.

4. One of the “problems” with weakness in some Christian’s life is that they are very moved by how they feel. They don’t become strong because they feel weak.

a. They feel weak, they are weak, and feel that the strengthening is out of their reach, or that God must do it for them.
b. There seems to be a disconnect about how to become strong.
c. Confusion about thinking that a person must stay weak in the inner man.

II. God Exhorts Us To Be Spiritual Strong

Ephesians 6:10, 11; 2 Timothy 2:1; 1 Corinthians 16:13; Hebrews 12:12, 13; Revelation 3:2
Acts 15:32; Acts 16:5; 2 Timothy 4:16, 17a

III. Causes & Cures For Spiritual Weakness

A. Lack Of Prayer Mark 14:37, 38

1. Prayer protects us from spiritual weakness.
2. The disciples were about to face a strong spiritual challenge.
3. Jesus was about to be arrested, and they would be tempted to desert Him.
4. They didn’t pray, and for a time, deserted Him.
5. Hypothetically…If they had prayed, that would not have been a guarantee that they would feel no fear or concern.

a. The mob came after Jesus to kill Him.
b. It was a fearful moment, and it would have been natural for them to fear.

6. Prayer would have helped them to not forsake Jesus.

a. Forsaking Jesus is the very thing that Jesus warned them would happen.
b. They would have felt fear, but they would not have been controlled by it.
c. Perhaps they would have followed Jesus, and not been ashamed.
d. Peter did follow at a distance but denied knowing Jesus.
e. Prayer probably would have kept Peter from that denial.

7. The flesh is weak regarding spiritual things.
8. Prayer brings spiritual strength, as we focus on God, and not ourselves.

B. Focusing On Our Inabilities Romans 4:16-20

1. Abraham & Sarah had been promised a son, though they were beyond the years.
2. Abraham and Sarah did not have perfect, unfaltering faith.
3. They had a baby through Sarah’s handmaiden, trying to fulfill God’s promise.
4. Eventually, Abraham focused on God, and not on his own inabilities.
5. Focusing on outward circumstances & one’s inabilities makes one weak in faith.
6. Abraham responded according to what was spoken by God. (V. 18)

C. David Strengthened Himself In The Lord 1 Samuel 30:1-6

1. David had joined himself to his enemies out of fear of King Saul.
2. David had become a liar, a deceiver, and a murderer
3. Now things have gone terribly wrong, and his own men want to kill him.

D. Paul’s Secret Of Being Strong In The Lord 2 Corinthians 12:1-10

1. Paul’s spiritual strength came not through self-strengthening, but through surrender.
2. Paul surrendered his situation to God and strengthened himself in God’s grace.
3. He had prayed, but God answered Paul’s prayer in a way he didn’t expect.
4. Paul believed that God’s grace could sustain him through this affliction.

E. Mistakes To Avoid, Things To Remember

1. Being strengthened in the inner man doesn’t mean you’ll never experience fear.
2. It is a pursuit of faith and ought not be measured by the absence of fear.
3. There is always a battle between flesh & spirit.
4. God strengthens us through the unlimited resources that are His.
5. The spiritual resources needed for a strong Christian life are not found in us.
6. God is our resource, and His resources are unlimited.