Paul comes back to the “cause” he had already referred to earlier in the chapter. He had an earnest thoughtful prayer to make on behalf of the Ephesians as an intercessor. This was no casual prayer that followed an habitual form. In addressing God, he reminded those who read this prayer, of the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ and the union of the Godhead. We pray to the Father, through the Son, in the Holy Spirit. There are a number of physical positions people take when they pray. The Lord Jesus fell on His face when He prayed in the garden. David sat, Solomon and Abraham stood when they prayed Paul, in prison chained to a guard, bowed down on his knees. The attitude of prayer is often expressed in our position. Worship, thanksgiving and fellowship can often be best expressed when give honor to God by rising to our feet. Contrition and confession when they are real, are best expressed when one in humility is on his knees. Intercession for others indicates we are coming as a supplicant for others, who like us, have a need.
The whole family in heaven and earth reminds us that there are many more to whom God is the Original Father of everything. Angels, and perhaps other families, inhabit heaven. “The earth he hath made for man.” Whenever there are intelligent beings who serve, worship and respond to God, they respond to Him as Father – the Father of everything. Believers are reminded earlier in Ephesians that they were dead and buried spiritually, but had been given new life by the Father, Son and Holy Spirit working together. Not only are we now alive in Christ and walking with Him, but we are seated with Him in heavenly places with all who are in the body of Christ. The “whole family of God” includes those of the past, the present and the future. We have the same Father as the Source of all things and He is the Owner of all things. Right from the beginning of the church, the purpose has been that the worship of God, evangelization of the world with the good news of the Gospel, and edification of believers would be our work on earth. That is why there should be evidence of God’s nature and His will in everything we do.
God has great riches of His glory that are way beyond our ability to comprehend. From that great storehouse of divine provision, Paul prayed for the believers to be strengthened on a solid foundation for their lives by the power of the Holy Spirit. We are not able to cope with our own weaknesses. We need true strength from within, not an outward show of strength. That strength which is real in the inner man leads to deeper experiences with God. Those experiences lead us to take hold of love which leads us to the fullness of God. This “strengthening “according to the riches of His glory,” is not just a taste of what is ours in Christ. It is like drawing from the bank of that which belongs to God, and is now made available to us. The inner man needs to be controlled by God because it can see, hear, feel and do all the things related to personhood – both bad and good. Strengthening of His people, means that by the power of the Holy Spirit, God, people would be mighty. They would be able to do what God wanted and to fulfill the responsibilities that normally would be way beyond their capacity. We need to, by faith, claim what God gives us and use it.
When one dwells with another, that is not referring to a brief visit or an overnight stay. This prayer includes the desire that Christ might be able to settle down and feel at home with, and in, His people. Dwelling with another person is not a surface relationship. “By faith” makes this real because we are conscious of Him within us. It is often when we are in trouble or are suffering pain that we become more conscious of the presence of the Lord with us. This prayer goes to the desire that “by faith” there would be the constant, continuous awareness of Christ with us at all times. The idea behind the request is that this would be His habitation. His love lives within us when we are in conscious fellowship with Him. Being “rooted” in love is part of how this becomes real in our lives. Roots provide stability by that which is unseen and enables fruit to be borne. It also includes the method of growth and nourishment that comes from that which is unseen by onlookers to that which they can observe of our life lived among them.
In order to be grounded, anything that hinders strength in a building has to be removed to get a solid footing. There has to be a willingness to dig deep before building can be started, let alone finished. We need to be rooted for fruitfulness and grounded for stability. That is the only way we can understand divine things. God grants that knowledge to those with strength see His plans for the church and for the ages yet to come. He allows us to know those things that in ourselves we could never know. This all comes from love. Love is the dimension that goes farther that what is normal to man. Its breadth goes to the full extent of our experience and gives meaning to everything that happens to us. The length of love covers our whole lifetime. We can see that from our beginning right to death’s day – and beyond. Love takes us to the heights of our greatest cause for joy, and even tin the depths of our lowest experience in life, love is there. As to how it is seen in Christ; His love reaches to the whole world. It’s length goes on forever and forever. The depths of His love leads Him to “even the death of the cross.” As to its height – heaven and all it contains and means, will never exhaust the love of Christ. To comprehend or apprehend all this, we can’t calculate because HIs love is infinite.
The fullness of God has been expressed to us in Christ. Empowerment to experience this comes by the filling of the Holy Spirit. We can enjoy this fullness wh//en we are in fellowship with the Father by faith. We go beyond what is seen and temporal to what is not seen and is eternal. The Holy Spirit is the means by which this becomes real to us. God Himself is the measure of such fullness. Nature does not have a place for a vacuum – neither a values vacuum nor a spiritual vacuum. God has no vacuum, only fullness. “Of His fullness have we received and grace for grace.”
The conclusion of positional teaching in the book of Ephesians is a doxology. The position of the church in Christ and the calling of the church has been well described. Before Paul goes to address the conduct of the church, he gives praise for the blessings bestowed on it. This goes way beyond anything we can even ask or think – and this will go on forever. Our limited perception hides much from our view, but gives us enough to have great joy as to who we are and where we are in Christ Jesus.