Mr. Standfast

"Nothing taken for granted; everything received with gratitude; everything passed on with grace." G. K. Chesterton

June 07, 2005

Glorious Riches

Continuing to muse over Paul's prayer for the Ephesians:

The Ephesians need to be strengthened with power, through the Spirit, in their "inward being," so that they might grasp the sheer extent of Christ's love that surpasses all understanding. Notice: it is a prayer for the miraculous, since Christ's love "surpasses knowledge." Nevertheless, God is able to give a "measure" of this knowledge, because he is always able to do more than anything we can ask or imagine. Now, it is of overriding importance to Paul that they have this Spirit-endowed understanding of Christ's love. This supernatural grasp, or understanding, of the extent, the surpassing greatness, of Christ's love, seems to be of special importance for the unity of the Church (an overriding concern of Paul's) and the holiness of life of those for whom he prays. But all of this, as Paul makes clear right at the start, comes from the glorious riches of God.

Note: the prayer begins with an acknowledgement by Paul that what he is praying for can only come from God (it is supernatural, above and beyond human capability), and he ends his prayer with an acknowledgement that this "big" prayer is not too big for God. I just want to hang on to this for a moment. Paul is praying for something that surpasses understanding. He is praying that a mountain be thrown into the sea, and he is praying it with confidence (after all, as he says in verse 12, we may approach God in freedom and confidence).

On the subject of God's glorious riches (the NET Bible says, "the wealth of his glory"), I refer you to the words of Mr. Spurgeon:

There is no measure which can set forth the immeasurable greatness of Jehovah, who is goodness itself.... Notes of exclamation suit us when words of explanation are of no avail. If we cannot measure, we can marvel; and though we may not calculate with accuracy, we can adore with fervency.
Or we have Paul's words from Romans 11:33-36, worth repeating here:
Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how fathomless his ways!

For who has known the mind of the Lord,
or who has been his counselor?
Or who has first given to God,
that God needs to repay him?

For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever! Amen.
The prayer of Paul for the Ephesians is a prayer for something glorious, something that can only come from the fathomless riches of God. It is a big world-changing heart-transforming prayer, prayed with confidence in the awesome generosity of our God, who is the source and the destination of all things. "To him be glory forever. Amen!"


Anonymous tommy said...

Excellent Bob! May we continue to stand in awe of our mighty God!

4:02 PM  
Blogger Bob said...

Hiya Tommy. Thanks for stopping by!

4:26 PM  
Blogger Eáránë Felagund said...

Hey :) I haven't been here in some time. How are you doing?

With regards to the post, yeah, I really am at a loss for words when it comes to describing God's glory and majesty. It's like, there are no words the human tongue can utter to describe it fully, for our righteousness are like filthy rags compared (Isaiah 64:6).

It's no wonder King David exclaims in Psalms 8:1 "O LORD, our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!"

:) Just some thoughts, great blogging, as always. You have the knack of provoking one to deeper thoughts of God... Keep blogging to bless!


2:10 AM  
Blogger Bob said...

I love it when you stop by Tatatee. It's really good to hear from you. I hope that school has gone well for you. God bless you!

7:42 AM  
Blogger S. Starr said...

Outstanding. I was just writing a blog post along these same lines and found your blog here in a search. Keep up the good work brother.

2:56 AM  

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