Saturday, September 17, 2005

Soul Control

In Ephesians 3, Paul prays that believers, not unbelievers, would receive something more from God, power from the Holy Spirit for this life. He wanted people to go from a saving knowledge of Christ onward to a sanctifying work, one where Jesus ruled their everyday lives, where they could have joy and be obedient despite circumstances. He was praying that through God's power they could attain soul control.

Ephesians 3:16-21 - That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; 17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what [is] the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. 20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, 21 Unto him [be] glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

Let's take a closer look here.

3:16 – strengthened (Greek is kratos – dominion or ruling power)

With might (dunamis – inherent power – in this case, moral power)

By his Spirit (the Holy Spirit)

In the inner (eso – soul, conscience) man

Paul is praying for believers that the Holy Spirit would bestow an inherent moral power to rule over their soulish parts (mind, will, emotions, their conscience)

3:17 – Dwell (two words to convey “live in”, here it’s katoikeo – cat-oy-k-o – to pervade, prompt, and govern, to own the house, to make yourself at home) You can live somewhere but not feel at home, this word means to “have the run of the place”.

Hearts = soul (mind, will, emotions)(kardia – the thoughts or feelings)

Paul is praying that Christ would come to pervade not just their spirits as in the new birth, but that now he would govern and make his home in their souls. And the soul is where the decisions to obey the spirit or the flesh happen. The soul has control; it allows or disallows us to be led by the spirit or the flesh. Christ already dwells in our spirits, and he will not dwell in our flesh (Romans 7:18), but here Paul prays that Christ will come to dwell (more than vacation, but have the run of the place) in our souls by faith.

3:19 – to know (ginosko – to begin to experience)

Passeth knowledge (gnosis – head knowledge, can be had without experiencing it)

Paul is praying that Christians, ones who are already saved, may be given power by the Holy Spirit so that Christ can control their souls, and they can experience the love of Jesus daily. To experience, not just “know” with our minds, to actually be able to “do” it, not just in position, but as a constant condition, to feel the fullness of God, to be able to do what we are supposed to do

3:20 – it may sound to good to be true, but Paul says God can do all this and more

Why don’t we have it? Because we haven’t prayed for it. Don’t we automatically receive this at conversion? If Paul had to pray and was praying for others to have it, then so do we.

“Living For Today With An Eye For Tomorrow”©

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