|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
3:13-19 The apostle seems to be more anxious lest the believers should be discouraged and faint upon his tribulations, than for what he himself had to bear. He asks for spiritual blessings, which are the best blessings. Strength from the Spirit of God in the inner man; strength in the soul; the strength of faith, to serve God, and to do our duty. If the law of Christ is written in our hearts, and the love of Christ is shed abroad there, then Christ dwells there. Where his Spirit dwells, there he dwells. We should desire that good affections may be fixed in us. And how desirable to have a fixed sense of the love of God in Christ to our souls! How powerfully the apostle speaks of the love of Christ! The breadth shows its extent to all nations and ranks; the length, that it continues from everlasting to everlasting; the depth, its saving those who are sunk into the depths of sin and misery; the height, its raising them up to heavenly happiness and glory. Those who receive grace for grace from Christ's fulness, may be said to be filled with the fulness of God. Should not this satisfy man? Must he needs fill himself with a thousand trifles, fancying thereby to complete his happiness?
Verse 16. - That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory. The standard or measure of the Divine giving is brought into view. "Riches of his glory" is a more emphatic expression than "glorious riches," though substantially the same in meaning. God's standard of giving is liberal, bountiful, overflowing. An image of the riches of his glory is seen in the starry heavens, which proclaim at once the vast riches and surpassing glory of God. Or in the beautiful appearance of an autumn sunset, where the whole sky is flecked with clouds brightened into a sea of glory. In prayer, it is both useful for ourselves and glorifying to God to recognize his bountifulness - to remember that he gives us a King (2 Samuel 24:23). To be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man. The inner man is the seat of influence, but with us it is the scat of spiritual feebleness. Most men may contrive to order their outward conduct suitably; but who has control of the inner man? Faith, trust, humility, love, patience, and the like graces which belong to the inner man, are what we are weakest in, and what we have least power to make strong. In this very region it is sought that the Ephesians might be strengthened with might by the Spirit. The gift of the Spirit is available for this very purpose for all that ask him.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
That he would grant you according to the riches of his glory,.... Or according to, and out of that rich, plenteous, and glorious fulness of grace and strength in Christ Jesus.
To be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; this is the petition which the apostle puts up on his bended knees to the Father of Christ, that he would strengthen these saints, that so they might not faint at the tribulations which either he or they endured. Believers in Christ need fresh supplies of strength to enable them to exercise grace, to perform duties, to resist Satan and his temptations, to oppose their corruptions, and to bear the cross, and undergo afflictions cheerfully, and to hold on and out to the end: this is a blessing that comes from God, and is a gift of his free grace; a "grant" from him who is the strength of the lives of his people, of their salvation, of their hearts, and of the work of grace in their hearts: the means whereby the saints are strengthened by God, is "his Spirit"; who strengthens them by leading them to the fulness of grace and strength in Christ, by shedding abroad the love of God in their hearts, by applying the promises of the Gospel to them, and by making the Gospel itself, and the ordinances of it, useful to them, causing them to go from strength to strength in them: the subject of this blessing is the "inner man", or the Spirit, or soul of man, which is the seat of grace; and this shows that this was spiritual strength which is here desired, which may be where there is much bodily weakness, and for which there should be the greatest concern; and that this strength is not naturally there, it must be given, or put into it. This last phrase,
in the inner man, is joined to the beginning of the next verse in the Arabic, Syriac, and Ethiopic versions, "in the inner man Christ may dwell", &c.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
16. according to—that is in abundance consonant to the riches of His glory; not "according to" the narrowness of our hearts. Col 1:11, "Strengthened with all might according to His glorious power."
by—Greek, "through"; "by means of His Spirit."
in—The Greek implies, "infused into."
the inner man—(Eph 4:22, 24; 1Pe 3:4); "the hidden man of the heart." Not predicated of unbelievers, whose inward and outward man alike are carnal. But in believers, the "inner (new) man," their true self, stands in contrast to their old man, which is attached to them as a body of death daily being mortified, but not their true self.
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