Tuesday, May 7, 2019

16. Growing in Prayer – The Learning Tree – (3) Prayer and the Holy Spirit

16 May He [God] grant you out of the riches of His glory, to be strengthened and spiritually [connected to God][1] energized with power [Holy Spirit Power] through His Spirit [Holy Spirit]  in your inner self, (indwelling your innermost being and personality), 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through your faith. And may you, having been (deeply) rooted and (securely) grounded in love, 18 be fully capable of comprehending with all the saints (God’s people) the width and length and height and depth of His love (fully experiencing that amazing, endless love); 19 and (that you may come) to know (practically, through personal experience) the love of Christ which far surpasses (mere) knowledge (without experience), that you may be filled up (throughout your being) to all the fullness of God (so that you may have the richest experience of God’s presence in your lives, completely filled and flooded with God Himself)Ephesians 3:16-19 (AMP)

We want to begin this week’s Blog with this definition of God’s grace.  “Grace describes the undeserved kindness by which salvation is given, but it is also the power-word describing the Holy Spirit’s operational means.  Grace is a force as well as a favor, a verb as well as a noun.[2]  John 1:16, “And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace.”  “The fact that John states that grace comes from His fullness teaches that grace is more than God’s disposition or impersonal favor.  It is God meeting us at our point of need in the Person of Jesus Christ, including all His power and provision.”[3] 

We first learn knowledge in our mind, but the understanding becomes wisdom of the heart.  We use Ephesians 1:17-18; Isaiah 6:10 and Proverbs 2:2 for our thoughts. 

It is our understanding, the fullness of God is the understanding in our hearts the incredible, magnificent, and glorious love God has for us.  God’s fullness is the fullness of the Holy Spirit’s salvation by the regenerating work in us, born again, (Romans 10:9-10) and power (Acts 1:8) to give our hearts the understanding of His love and to do our mission.  God’s love is the full measure of who we are in Jesus Christ (1 John 4:7-21).

In Paul’s prayer he says, “to be strengthened and spiritually energized with power through His Spirit in your inner self.”   We quote John Piper, “The fullness of God is experienced, he says, as we are given the ‘strength to comprehend’ the love of Christ in its height and depth and length and breadth—that is, in its fullness. This is remarkable: The fullness of God is the spiritual apprehension (experience) of the fullness of the love of Christ. This love is the grace and truth that fills the Son of God and pours out on us.”[4] 

We cannot experience the “fullness of the love of Christ” without the baptism of the Holy Spirit’s power received on Pentecost.  By the power of the Holy Spirit, we can experience the breath-taking miracle of God’s love. 

We are baptized by water in our confession of faith, we believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God, lived, suffered, died, and was raised from the dead so that we might know God the Father and eternal life with HIM.  When we received Jesus as our Savior, He cleansed us of our sins, and He came into our spirit as life. Thus, because Christ is in us, our “spirit is life because of righteousness.” (Galatians 2:20; II Corinthians 13:5; Romans 8:10)

When we ask, we are baptized with the power of the Holy Spirit to do our purpose and mission here on earth.  When we receive the power of the Holy Spirit (Acts 4:31) God’s presence gives us understanding in our hearts the love (I John 3:1; 4:7) He has for His Children.

Let us join in Prayer as Jesus’ followers joined in praise and prayer in Acts 4:31. Let us shake our very core by the power of the Holy Spirit.

[1] Charlsey’s interpretation in brackets
[2] Spirit Filled Bible, Note, p. 1647
[3] Spirit Filled Bible, Note, p.1444
[4] John Stephen Piper (born January 11, 1946) is an American Reformed Baptist continuationist pastor.  Continuationism is a Christian theological belief that the gifts of the Holy Spirit have continued to the present age.

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