15I have heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God's people. 16So I never stop being grateful for you, as I mention you in my prayers. 17I ask the glorious Father and God of our Lord Jesus Christ to give you his Spirit. The Spirit will make you wise and let you understand what it means to know God. 18My prayer is that light will flood your hearts and you will understand the hope given to you when God chose you. Then you will discover the glorious blessings that will be yours together with all God's people.
19I want you to know about the great and mighty power that God has for us followers. It is the same wonderful power he used 20 when he raised Christ from death and let him sit at his right side in heaven. 21There Christ rules over all forces, authorities, powers, and rulers. He rules over all beings in this world and will rule in the future world as well. 22 God has put all things under the power of Christ, and for the good of the church he has made him the head of everything. 23The church is the body of Christ and is filled with Christ who completely fills everything.
The conundrum is resolved by understanding that the letter was a circular one, written to the churches of Asia Minor. What we have is a copy, that was sent on to Ephesus – the name Ephesus being added to denote its destination. For this reason, we must be careful we don’t interpret Ephesians strictly through the lens of Ephesus’ culture and religion alone.
Paul tells of his joy at the churches’ progress. He tells them of the surge of joy as he thinks of the progress of the gospel in that Roman Province.
His prayer focuses on the supply of the Spirit to the believers. He prays that He will enlighten them, so bringing them to a fuller understanding of Christ and commitment to Him.
Paul wants them to know that God has provided unlimited resources for them as they serve Him. He compares this power to the power of the Spirit, who raised Jesus from the dead. There was not a molecule of life in His broken body, but the Spirit – the Spirit of Life – banished death, and raised Jesus from this completely lifeless condition as the Lord of the entire universe.
When we cry to the Spirit through Christ, He comes to us in that same resurrection power. Our frailty and weakness become His opportunity to demonstrate the power of the Gospel in broken lives
Dear Father, We only see through a glass darkly, but we know that when all things are put under the feet of our Saviour, we shall know even as we are known. Keep us faithful until that Day.We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.
Tom Holland was born in Liverpool during the Blitz. Converted at 15, he studied Theology and was ordained as a Baptist Pastor. Tom received a PhD from the University of Wales and became a lecturer at what is now Union School of Theology, Oxford, England where he taught undergraduates, postgraduates and supervised PhD’s for 25 years. He is now retired and serves as Senior Research Fellow and is involved in writing and itinerant teaching/preaching ministry. He is married to Barbara; a teacher and they have three daughters and six grandchildren. Publications: Contours of Pauline Theology, Fearn, Ross-shire, Christian Focus Publications, 2004; Romans, Hope for the Nations, Apiary Publishing, London, 2018 , Tom Wright and the Search for Truth, Apiary Publishing, London, 2019, Missing Lense, Apiary Publishing, London, 2019, Romans the Divine Marriage, Apiary Publishing, London, 2020.