Ephesians 3:16
That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;
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(16) To be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man.—From the Father, as the source of all life and being, St. Paul passes on to the Spirit, “proceeding from the Father,” as the giver of life to men. His prayer here, as in Ephesians 1:17, is for the gift of the Spirit, but under some difference of aspect. There the prayer is for illumination, here for strength to grasp the mystery, to be rooted in love, and be filled up to the fulness of God. Accordingly, there the inner man is represented only by the “eyes of the heart;” here (as in Romans 7:22; 2Corinthians 4:16) we hear of the “inner man” in his entirety, including all faculties—intellectual, emotional, moral—which make up his spiritual nature. And St. Paul emphasises this prayer very strikingly by asking that the gift may be “according to the riches of His glory,” unlimited as the illimitable glory of the Divine Nature itself. Moreover, a greater closeness of communion is clearly indicated here. For light is a gift from without; strength comes from an indwelling power, making itself perfect in weakness, and continually growing from grace to grace.



Ephesians 3:16In no part of Paul’s letters does he rise to a higher level than in his prayers, and none of his prayers are fuller of fervour than this wonderful series of petitions. They open out one into the other like some majestic suite of apartments in a great palace-temple, each leading into a loftier and more spacious hall, each drawing nearer the presence-chamber, until at last we stand there.

Roughly speaking, the prayer is divided into four petitions, of which each is the cause of the following and the result of the preceding-’That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man’-that is the first. ‘In order that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith,’ ‘ye being rooted and grounded in love’-such is the second, the result of the first, and the preparation for the third. ‘That ye may be able to comprehend with all saints ... and to know the love of Christ which passeth knowledge,’ such is the third, and all lead up at last to that wonderful desire beyond which nothing is possible-’that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.’

I venture to contemplate dealing with these four petitions in successive sermons, in order, God helping me, that I may bring before you a fairer vision of the possibilities of your Christian life than you ordinarily entertain. For Paul’s prayer is God’s purpose, and what He means with all who profess His name is that these exuberant desires may be fulfilled in them. So let us now listen to that petition which is the foundation of all, and consider that great thought of the divine strength-giving power which may be bestowed upon every Christian soul.

I. First, then, I remark that God means, and wishes, that all Christians should be strong by the possession of the Spirit of might.

It is a miserably inadequate conception of Christianity, and of the gifts which it bestows, and the blessings which it intends for men, when it is limited, as it practically is, by a large number-I might almost say the majority-of professing Christians to a simple means of altering their relation to the past, and to the broken law of God and of righteousness. Thanks be to His name! His great gift to the world begins in each individual case with the assurance that all the past is cancelled. He gives that blessed sense of forgiveness, which can never be too highly estimated unless it is forced out of its true place as the introduction, and made to be the climax and the end, of His gifts. I do not know what Christianity means, unless it means that you and I are forgiven for a purpose; that the purpose, if I may so say, is something in advance of the means towards the purpose, the purpose being that we should be filled with all the strength and righteousness and supernatural life granted to us by the Spirit of God.

It is well that we should enter into the vestibule. There is no other path to the throne but through the vestibule. But do not let us forget that the good news of forgiveness, though we need it day by day, and need it perpetually repeated, is but the introduction to and porch of the Temple, and that beyond it there towers, if I cannot say a loftier, yet I may say a further gift, even the gift of a divine life like His, from whom it comes, and of which it is in reality an effluence and a spark. The true characteristic blessing of the Gospel is the gift of a new power to a sinful weak world; a power which makes the feeble strong, and the strongest as an angel of God.

Oh, brethren! we who know how, ‘if any power we have, it is to ill’; we who understand the weakness, the unaptness of our spirits to any good, and our strength for every vagrant evil that comes upon them to tempt them, should surely recognise as a Gospel in very deed that which proclaims to us that the ‘everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth,’ who Himself ‘fainteth not, neither is weary.’ hath yet a loftier display of His strength-giving power than that which is visible in the heavens above, where, ‘because He is strong in might not one faileth.’ That heaven, the region of calm completeness, of law unbroken and therefore of power undiminished, affords a lesser and dimmer manifestation of His strength than the work that is done in the hell of a human heart that has wandered and is brought back, that is stricken with the weakness of the fever of sin, and is healed into the strength of obedience and the omnipotence of dependence. It is much to say ‘for that He is strong in might, not one of these faileth;’ it is more to say ‘He giveth power to them that have failed; and to them that have no might He increaseth strength.’ The Gospel is the gift of pardon for holiness, and its inmost and most characteristic bestowment is the bestowment of a new power for obedience and service.

And that power, as I need not remind you, is given to us through the gift of the Divine Spirit. The very name of that Spirit is the ‘Spirit of Might.’ Christ spoke to us about being ‘endued with power from on high.’ The last of His promises that dropped from His lips upon earth was the promise that His followers should receive the power of the Spirit coming upon them. Wheresoever in the early histories we read of a man who was full of the Holy Ghost, we read that he was ‘full of power.’ According to the teaching of this Apostle, God hath given us the ‘Spirit of power,’ which is also the Spirit ‘of love and of a sound mind.’ So the strength that we must have, if we have strength at all, is the strength of a Divine Spirit, not our own, that dwells in us, and works through us.

And there is nothing in that which need startle or surprise any man who believes in a living God at all, and in the possibility, therefore, of a connection between the Great Spirit and all the human spirits which are His children. I would maintain, in opposition to many modern conceptions, the actual supernatural character of the gift that is bestowed upon every Christian soul. My reading of the New Testament is that as distinctly above the order of material nature as is any miracle, is the gift that flows into a believing heart. There is a direct passage between God and my spirit. It lies open to His touch; all the paths of its deep things can be trodden by Him. You and I act upon one another from without, He acts upon us within. We wish one another blessings; He gives the blessings. We try to train, to educate, to incline, and dispose, by the presentation of motives and the urging of reasons; He can plant in a heart by His own divine husbandry the seed that shall blossom into immortal life. And so the Christian Church is a great, continuous, supernatural community in the midst of the material world; and every believing soul, because it possesses something of the life of Jesus Christ, has been the seat of a miracle as real and true as when He said ‘Lazarus, come forth!’ Precisely this teaching does our Lord Himself present for our acceptance when He sets side by side, as mutually illustrative, as belonging to the same order of supernatural phenomena, ‘the hour is coming when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God and they that hear shall live,’ which is the supernatural resurrection of souls dead in sin,-and ‘the hour is coming in the which all that are in the graves shall hear His voice, and shall come forth,’ which is the future resurrection of the body, in obedience to His will.

So, Christian men and women, do you set clearly before you this: that God’s purpose with you is but begun when He has forgiven you, that He forgives you for a design, that it is a means to an end, and that you have not reached the conception of the large things which He intends for you unless you have risen to this great thought-He means and wishes that you should be strong with the strength of His own Divine Spirit.

II. Now notice, next, that this Divine Power has its seat in, and is intended to influence the whole of, the inner life.

As my text puts it, we may be ‘strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man.’ By the ‘inner man’ I suppose, is not meant the new creation through faith in Jesus Christ which this Apostle calls ‘the new man,’ but simply what Peter calls the ‘hidden man of the heart’ the ‘soul,’ or unseen self as distinguished from the visible material body which it animates and informs. It is this inner self, then, in which the Spirit of God is to dwell, and into which it is to breathe strength. The leaven is hid deep in three measures of meal until the whole be leavened. And the point to mark is that the whole inward region which makes up the true man is the field upon which this Divine Spirit is to work. It is not a bit of your inward life that is to be hallowed. It is not any one aspect of it that is to be strengthened, but it is the whole intellect, affections, desires, tastes, powers of attention, conscience, imagination, memory, will. The whole inner man in all its corners is to be filled, and to come under the influence of this power, ‘until there be no part dark, as when the bright shining of a candle giveth thee light.’

There is no part of my being that is not patent to the tread of this Divine Guest. There are no rooms of the house of my spirit into which He may not go. Let Him come with the master key in His hand into all the dim chambers of your feeble nature; and as the one life is light in the eye, and colour in the cheek, and deftness in the fingers, and strength in the arm, and pulsation in the heart, so He will come with the manifold results of the one gift to you. He will strengthen your understandings, and make you able for loftier tasks of intellect and of reason than you can face in your unaided power; He will dwell in your affections and make them vigorous to lay hold upon the holy things that are above their natural inclination, and will make it certain that their reach shall not be beyond their grasp, as, alas! it so often is in the sadness and disappointments of human love. He will come into that feeble, vacillating, wayward will of yours, that is only obstinate in its adherence to the low and the evil, as some foul creature, that one may try to wrench away, digs its claws into corruption and holds on by that. He will lift your will and make it fix upon the good and abominate the evil, and through the whole being He will pour a great tide of strength which shall cover all the weakness. He will be like some subtle elixir which, taken into the lips, steals through a pallid and wasted frame, and brings back a glow to the cheek and a lustre to the eye, and swiftness to the brain, and power to the whole nature. Or as some plant, drooping and flagging beneath the hot rays of the sun, when it has the scent of water given to it, will, in all its parts, stiffen and erect itself, so, when the Spirit is poured out on men, their whole nature is invigorated and helped.

That indwelling Spirit will be a power for suffering. The parallel passage to this in the twin epistle to the Colossians is-’strengthened with all might unto all patience and long-suffering with gentleness.’ Ah, brethren! unless this Divine Spirit were a power for patience and endurance it were no power suited to us poor men. So dark at times is every life; so full at times of discouragements, of dreariness, of sadness, of loneliness, of bitter memories, and of fading hopes does the human heart become, that if we are to be strong we must have a strength that will manifest itself most chiefly in this, that it teaches us how to bear, how to weep, how to submit.

And it will be a power for conflict. We have all of us, in the discharge of duty and in the meeting of temptation, to face such tremendous antagonisms that unless we have grace given to us which will enable us to resist, we shall be overcome and swept away. God’s power given by the Divine Spirit does not absolve us from the fight, but it fits us for the fight. It is not given in order that, holiness may be won without a struggle, as some people seem to think, but it is given to us in order that in the struggle for holiness we may never lose ‘one jot of heart or hope,’ but may be ‘able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all to stand.’

It is a power for service. ‘Tarry ye in Jerusalem till ye be endued with power from on high.’ There is no such force for the spreading of Christ’s Kingdom, and the witness-bearing work of His Church, as the possession of this Divine Spirit. Plunged into that fiery baptism, the selfishness and the sloth, which stand in the way of so many of us, are all consumed and annihilated, and we are set free for service because the bonds that bound us are burnt up in the merciful furnace of His fiery power.

‘Ye shall be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man’-a power that will fill and flood all your nature if you will let it, and will make you strong to suffer, strong to combat, strong to serve, and to witness for your Lord.

III. And now, lastly, let me point you still further to the measure of this power. It is limitless with the boundlessness of God Himself. ‘That he would grant you’ is the daring petition of the Apostle, ‘according to the riches of His glory to be strengthened.’

There is the measure. There is no limit except the uncounted wealth of His own self-manifestation, the flashing light of revealed divinity. Whatsoever there is of splendour in that, whatsoever there is of power there, in these and in nothing on this side of them, lies the limit of the possibilities of a Christian life. Of course there is a working limit at each moment, and that is our capacity to receive; but that capacity varies, may vary indefinitely, may become greater and greater beyond our count or measurement. Our hearts may be more and more capable of God; and in the measure in which they are capable of Him they shall be filled by Him. A limit which is always shifting is no limit at all. A kingdom, the boundaries of which are not the same from one year to another, by reason of its own inherent expansive power, may be said to have no fixed limit. And so we appropriate and enclose, as it were, within our own little fence, a tiny portion of the great prairie that rolls boundlessly to the horizon. But to-morrow we may enclose more, if we will, and more and more; and so ever onwards, for all that is God’s is ours, and He has given us His whole self to use and to possess through our faith in His Son. A thimble can only take up a thimbleful of the ocean, but what if the thimble be endowed with a power of expansion which has no term known to men? May it not, then, be that some time or other it shall be able to hold so much of the infinite depth as now seems a dream too audacious to be realised?

So it is with us and God. He lets us come into the vaults, as it were, where in piles and masses the ingots of uncoined and uncounted gold are stored and stacked; and He says, ‘Take as much as you like to carry.’ There is no limit except the riches of His glory.

And now, dear friends, remember that this great gift, offered to each of us, is offered on conditions. To you professing Christians especially I speak. You will never get it unless you want it, and some of you do not want it. There are plenty of people who call themselves Christian men that would not for the life of them know what to do with this great gift if they had it. You will get it if you desire it. ‘Ye have not because ye ask not.’

Oh! when one contrasts the largeness of God’s promises and the miserable contradiction to them which the average Christian life of this generation presents, what can we say? ‘Hath His mercy clean gone for ever? Doth His promise fail for evermore?’ Ye weak Christian people, born weakling and weak ever since, as so many of you are, open your mouths wide. Rise to the height of the expectations and the desires which it is our sin not to cherish; and be sure of this, as we ask so shall we receive. ‘Ye are not straitened in God.’ Alas! alas! ‘ye are straitened in yourselves.’

And mind, there must be self-suppression if there is to be the triumph of a divine power in you. You cannot fight with both classes of weapons. The human must die if the divine is to live. The life of nature, dependence on self, must be weakened and subdued if the life of God is to overcome and to fill you. You must be able to say ‘Not I!’ or you will never be able to say ‘Christ liveth in me.’ The patriarch who overcame halted on his thigh; and all the life of nature was lamed and made impotent that the life of grace might prevail. So crush self by the power and for the sake of the Christ, if you would that the Spirit should bear rule over you.

See to it, too, that you use what you have of that Divine Spirit. ‘To him that hath shall be given.’ What is the use of more water being sent down the mill lade, if the water that does come in it all runs away at the bottom, and none of it goes over the wheel? Use the power you have, and power will come to the faithful steward of what he possesses. He that is faithful in a little shall get much to be faithful over. Ask and use, and the ancient thanksgiving may still come from your lips. ‘In the day when I cried, Thou answeredst me, and strengthenedst me with strength in my soul.’

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?According to the riches of his glory - According to the glorious abundance of his mercy; see Philippians 4:19. Out of those stores of rich grace which can never be exhausted. The word "riches," so often used by Paul, denotes "abundance," and the idea here is, that his grace was inexhaustible and ample for all their needs.

To be strengthened with might - To be powerfully strengthened. That is, to give you abundant strength to bear trials; to perform your duties; to glorify his name.

In the inner man - In the heart, the mind, the soul; see the notes on Romans 7:22. The "body" needs to be strengthened every day. In like manner the soul needs constant supplies of grace. Piety needs to be constantly invigorated, or it withers and decays. Every Christian needs grace given each day to enable him to bear trials, to resist temptation, to discharge his duty, to live a life of faith.

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.

The riches of his glory; i.e. the abundance of his power: see Romans 6:4.

To be strengthened with might; further degrees of spiritual strength, proceeding from God’s power as the fountain.

By his Spirit; as the immediate worker of all inherent grace.

In the inner man; the reasonable powers of the soul as renewed by grace, the same as heart in the next verse, and spirit, 1 Thessalonians 5:23: see 2 Corinthians 4:16.

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.

That he would grant you, according to the {f} riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the {g} inner man;

(f) According to the greatness of his mercy.

(g) See Ro 7:22.

Ephesians 3:16. Ἵνα δῷ] (see the critical remarks) introduces the design of the κάμπτω κ.τ.λ., and therewith the contents of the prayer. Comp. on Ephesians 1:17.

κατὰ τὸ πλοῦτος τῆς δόξης αὐτοῦ] i.e. in accordance with the fact that His glory is in so great fulness. Comp. on Ephesians 1:7. It may be referred either to δῷ ὑμῖν or to what follows. The former is the most natural; comp. Ephesians 1:17. According to His rich fulness in glory, God can and will bestow that which is prayed for. The δόξα, namely, embraces the whole glorious perfection of God, and can only with caprice be limited to the power (Grotius, Koppe, and others) or to the grace (Beza, Calvin, Zachariae, and others; comp. Matthies, Holzhausen, Olshausen).

δυνάμει κραταιωθῆναι] instrumental dative: with power (which is instilled) to be strengthened; opposite of ἐκκακεῖν, Ephesians 3:13. That which effects this strengthening is the Holy Spirit (διὰ τοῦ πνεύματος αὐτοῦ). Comp. Romans 15:13. According to Harless, it is dative of the form (comp. ἰσχύειν τοῖς σώμασι, Xen. Mem. ii. 7. 7), so that the being strengthened in power is regarded as opposed to the being strengthened in knowledge, or the like. But to what end would Paul have added εἰς τὸν ἔσω ἄνθρ., if he had meant such special strengthening? The strengthening is to concern the whole inner man; hence the reference to a single faculty of the mind (Olshausen refers δυνάμει primarily to the will) has no ground in the context. Others have explained it adverbially: in a powerful manner (Beza, Vater, Rückert, Matthies). See Bos, ed. Schaef. p. 743; Matthiae, p. 897. In this way δύναμις would be power, which is applied on the part of the strengthener. Comp. Xen. Cyr. i. 2. 2. But our interpretation better accords with the contrast of ἐκκακεῖν, which implies a want of power on the part of the readers.

εἰς τὸν ἔσω ἄνθρωπον] εἰς, not for ἐν (Vulgate, Beza, and others), but in reference to the inner man, containing the more precise definition of the relation. See Kühner, II. § 557, note I. The inner man (not to be identified with the καινὸς ἄνθρωπος) is the subject of the νοῦς, the rational and moral ego,—the essence of man which is conscious of itself as an ethical personality,—which is in harmony with the divine will (Romans 7:16; Romans 7:25); but in the case of the unregenerate is liable to fall under bondage to the power of sin in the flesh (Romans 7:23), and even in the case of the regenerate[186] needs constant renewing (Ephesians 4:23; Romans 12:2) and strengthening by the Spirit of God, whose seat of operation it is (δυνάμει κραταιωθῆναι διὰ τοῦ πνεύματος), in order not to be overcome by the sinful desire in the σάρξ, of which the ψυχή, the animal soul-nature, is the living principle (Galatians 5:16 f.). The opposite is ὁ ἔξω ἄνθρωπος (2 Corinthians 4:16), i.e. the man as an outward phenomenon, constituted by the σῶμα τῆς σαρκός (Colossians 2:11), which, by reason of its psychical quality (1 Corinthians 15:44), is the seat of sin and death (Romans 6:6; Romans 7:18; Romans 7:24). The inner man in and by itself is—by virtue of the moral nature of its νοῦς, as the Ego exerting the moral will, and assenting to the divine law (Romans 7:20; Romans 7:22)—directed to the good, yet without the renewing and strengthening by the Holy Spirit too weak for accomplishing, in opposition to the sinful principle in the σάρξ, the good which is perceived, felt, and willed by it (Romans 7:15-23). We may add, it is all the less an “absurd assertion” (Harless), that the conceptions ὁ ἔσω and ὁ ἔξω ἄνθρωπος are derived from Plato’s philosophy (see the passages from Plato, Plotinus, and Philo, in Wetstein, and Fritzsche on Romans 7:22), inasmuch as for the apostle also the νοῦς in itself is the moral faculty of thinking and willing in man; inasmuch, further, as the Platonic dichotomy of the human soul-life into πνεῦμα (νοῦς) and ψυχή is found also in Paul (1 Thessalonians 5:23; comp. Hebrews 4:12), and inasmuch as the Platonic expressions had become popular (comp. also 1 Peter 3:4), so that with the apostle the Platonism of that mode of conception and expression by no means needed to be a conscious one, or to imply an acquaintance with the Platonic philosophy as such.

[186] It must be decided exclusively by the connection on each occasion, whether (as here and 2 Corinthians 4:16; comp. 1 Peter 3:4) the inner man of the regenerate is intended, or that of the unregenerate (Romans 7:22). The man is regenerate, however (in opposition to the evasive view in Delitzsch, Psych. p. 380 f.), only of water and the Spirit (Titus 3:5).

Ephesians 3:16. ἵνα δῴη ὑμῖν κατὰ τὸν πλοῦτον τῆς δόξης αὐτοῦ: that He would grant you according to the riches of His glory. The ἵνα introduces the subject of the prayer, representing it, however, also as the thing which he had in view in praying and which made the purpose of his prayer (see under Ephesians 1:17 above). For the δῴη of the TR (with [327] [328] [329], etc.), the RV (with LTTrWH) gives δῷ as in [330] [331] [332] [333] [334], 17, etc. (see under Ephesians 1:17 above). For τὸν πλοῦτον (TR, with [335]3[336] [337], etc.) read again to τὸ πλοῦτος, with [338] [339] [340] [341] [342] [343], etc. The δόξα is the whole revealed perfections of God, not merely His grace or His power; and the clause belongs more fitly to the δῷ than to the following δυνάμει κραταιωθῆναι. The measure of the gift for which Paul prays on behalf of the Ephesians is nothing short of those perfections of God which are revealed now in their glorious fulness and inexhaustible wealth (cf. Ephesians 1:7; Ephesians 1:18; Ephesians 2:4; Ephesians 2:7).—δυνάμει κραταιωθῆναι διὰ τοῦ πνεύματος αὐτοῦ: to be strengthened by power through His Spirit. The δυνάμει is taken by some as the dat. of manner, or as an adverbial expression = mightily. But the former mention of the ἐγκακεῖν suggests that the power is regarded here as in the subjects rather than as put forth by God. Others make it the dat. of reference, or take it to denote the particular form in which the strengthening was to take effect, viz., in the form of power as contrasted with knowledge or other kinds of gifts. But there is nothing to suggest limitation to one special capacity. Such limitation indeed would be inconsistent with the comprehensive εἰς τὸν ἔσω ἄνθρωπον. It is best understood as the dat. instrum. The strengthening was to take effect by means of power imparted or infused, and this impartation of power was to be made through the Spirit of God.—εἰς τὸν ἔσω ἄνθρωπον: into the inward man. The “inward man” is viewed here as the recipient, that into which the strengthening was to be poured, or the object towards which the gift was directed. The εἰς, therefore, has its full force of “into,” and is not to be reduced either to “in” (RV), or to “in regard of” (Mey.). The phrase ὁ ἔσω ἄνθρωπος has certain parallels in classical Greek, e.g., ὁ ἐντὸς ἄνθρωπος (Plato, Rep., ix., p. 589), ὁ εἴσω ἄνθρωπος (Plotin., Enn., v., 1, 10); and it is conceivable that these philosophical expressions had become popularised in course of time, and had penetrated even into the common speech of Jews, or at least into the vocabulary of educated Jews. But the question is—What is the force of the phrase in the NT itself? The two terms ὁ ἔσω ἄνθρωπος, ὁ ἔξω ἄνθρωπος denote the two sides or aspects of the nature of man, soul and body, real and phenomenal, enduring and perishable (cf. the contrast in 2 Corinthians 4:16); as the terms ὁ παλαιὸς ἄνθρωπος, ὁ καινὸς (νέος) ἄνθρωπος denote his twofold moral nature. The ὁ ἔσω ἄνθρωπος itself occurs only thrice in the NT, and all three occurrences are in the Pauline Epistles (Romans 7:22; 2 Corinthians 4:16; Ephesians 3:16). It has different shades of meaning there, but the same general sense, viz., that of the personal subject, the rational, moral self, somewhat similar to the νοῦς in Romans 7:23, and the ὁ κρυπτὸς τῆς καρδίας ἄνθρωπος of 1 Peter 3:4. In this ἔσω ἄνθρωπος the goodness of the law of God can be recognised so that one can delight in that law. But there is another law that wars against it and brings it into subjection (Romans 7:19-23). Hence the ἔσω ἄνθρωπος has to be regenerated, and so becomes “the new man,” ὁ καινὸς ἄνθρωπος, that is created after God (ὁ κατὰ Θεὸν κτισθείς, Ephesians 4:24), or ὁ νέος ἄνθρωπος, that is renewed (ἀνακαινούμενος, Colossians 3:10). The strength, therefore, which was to be communicated by the impartation of new spiritual power through the Holy Spirit was a gift to enrich and invigorate the deepest and most central thing in them—their whole conscious, personal being.

[327] Codex Claromontanus (sæc. vi.), a Græco-Latin MS. at Paris, edited by Tischendorf in 1852.

[328] Codex Mosquensis (sæc. ix.), edited by Matthæi in 1782.

[329] Codex Angelicus (sæc. ix.), at Rome, collated by Tischendorf and others.

[330] Codex Vaticanus (sæc. iv.), published in photographic facsimile in 1889 under the care of the Abbate Cozza-Luzi.

[331] Codex Sinaiticus (sæc. iv.), now at St. Petersburg, published in facsimile type by its discoverer, Tischendorf, in 1862.

[332] Codex Alexandrinus (sæc. v.), at the British Museum, published in photographic facsimile by Sir E. M. Thompson (1879).

[333] Codex Ephraemi (sæc. v.), the Paris palimpsest, edited by Tischendorf in 1843.

[334] Codex Augiensis (sæc. ix.), a Græco-Latin MS., at Trinity College, Cambridge, edited by Scrivener in 1859. Its Greek text is almost identical with that of G, and it is therefore not cited save where it differs from that MS. Its Latin version, f, presents the Vulgate text with some modifications.

[335] Codex Claromontanus (sæc. vi.), a Græco-Latin MS. at Paris, edited by Tischendorf in 1852.

[336] Codex Mosquensis (sæc. ix.), edited by Matthæi in 1782.

[337] Codex Angelicus (sæc. ix.), at Rome, collated by Tischendorf and others.

[338] Codex Sinaiticus (sæc. iv.), now at St. Petersburg, published in facsimile type by its discoverer, Tischendorf, in 1862.

[339] Codex Vaticanus (sæc. iv.), published in photographic facsimile in 1889 under the care of the Abbate Cozza-Luzi.

[340] Codex Alexandrinus (sæc. v.), at the British Museum, published in photographic facsimile by Sir E. M. Thompson (1879).

[341] Codex Ephraemi (sæc. v.), the Paris palimpsest, edited by Tischendorf in 1843.

[342] Codex Claromontanus (sæc. vi.), a Græco-Latin MS. at Paris, edited by Tischendorf in 1852.

[343] Codex Augiensis (sæc. ix.), a Græco-Latin MS., at Trinity College, Cambridge, edited by Scrivener in 1859. Its Greek text is almost identical with that of G, and it is therefore not cited save where it differs from that MS. Its Latin version, f, presents the Vulgate text with some modifications.

16. according to the riches of his glory] I. e., as He can do Who is Lord of the resources of an Eternal Nature and Heavenly Kingdom. (See on Ephesians 1:18 for the phrase “riches of glory” in another reference.) The glory of God is, in brief, Himself, as the Infinite and Holy One, with all results, for Himself and His creatures, of His being such.

to be strengthened] The Gr. verb is elsewhere used with ideas of spiritual firmness and vigour (Luke 1:80; Luke 2:40; 1 Corinthians 16:13). So it is here. The saints are to be so strengthened as not to fear things of which nature is afraid; even the felt indwelling of the Holy One, and His absolute dominion in the inmost heart.

with might] The power of God.

by his Spirit] The Holy Ghost; everywhere present in the doctrine of this Epistle. He is so to deal with “the inner man” as that the presence of Christ shall be permanent in the heart. Cp. Romans 8:9-10, where observe the transition from, “the Spirit of God dwelleth in you”, to, “Christ is in you.” And see, too, the Lord’s words, John 14:16; John 14:18; John 14:21; John 14:23; John 16:7; John 17:11. There we find that while He is “no more in the world,” and it is “expedient that He go away,” yet “the Spirit of Truth” shall not only come, but so come that the disciples shall not be “left orphans”; their Lord shall “come to them”; His Father and He will “make Their abode” with each faithful believer. We thus get fragments of a Divine comment on the glorious passage now before us; to the effect that this Presence, this permanent Indwelling, of the Saviour, is essentially a Presence in and by the Spirit, mediated by the Spirit; not physical, or quasi-physical, or under any mode other than, and different from, a Presence through the Spirit’s agency upon the “inner man.” Where the Spirit “permanently abides,” there, and therefore, does the Saviour so abide; with just this difference, or condition, that we are to think, in the passage before us, of the indwelling Spirit as directing His agency expressly and specially in the direction of making the Saviour’s Presence a permanent reality to the “heart.”

Compare further the Seven Epistles of the Revelation, where the voice of the glorified Saviour is identified, in every instance, with that of the Spirit.

in the inner man] Lit., “into the inner man”; as if to say, “deep in it”; “penetrating far into it.”—“The inner man:—see for the same phrase, Romans 7:22; 2 Corinthians 4:16. Here it means, practically, the regenerate human spirit. In itself, the phrase may mean no more than the invisible as against the material in man; but the three N. T. passages thus before us indicate its actual reference, in St Paul’s vocabulary, to the regenerate self.

Ephesians 3:16. Δυνάμει, with might) This accords with the mention of the Spirit.—εἰς τὸν ἔσω ἄνθρωπον, in the inner man) The inner man is the man himself with all his faculties, considered as to the things within, ch. Ephesians 4:22; Ephesians 4:24; 1 Peter 3:4. The inner man is to the Spirit of God what the hearts of the saints are to Christ, Ephesians 3:17. The inner men is mostly taken in a good sense; because with the wicked all things are in full harmony with wickedness, and there is no need of limitation or distinction.[48] The Scripture has regard chiefly to things internal. The Chiasmus must be noticed: in the first sentence we have, that He would grant to you; in the second, to dwell; in the third, in love—that you may be able: in the fourth, that you might be filled. The third relates to the second, the fourth to the first. In the first and fourth God is mentioned; in the second and third, Christ. If we suppose a colon placed after ἄνθρωπον and after Χριστοῦ, the matter will be clear.

[48] i.e. Both the inward and outward man are all of one kind in the bad, viz. they are all alike bad. Whereas in the godly there is a distinction between the inward new nature and the old nature, which, though still in them, is, as it were, something foreign and external to them, and no longer constituting their true and inner self.—ED.

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. Ephesians 3:16Might (δυνάμει)

Rev., power. Appropriate to the succeeding phrase the inner man, since it signifies faculty or virtue not necessarily manifest.

In the inward man (εἰς τὸν ἔσω ἄνθρωπον)

The force of the preposition is into: might entering into the inmost personality. Inward man: compare outward man, 2 Corinthians 4:16. It is the rational and moral I; the essence of the man which is conscious of itself as a moral personality. In the unregenerate it is liable to fall under the power of sin (Romans 7:23); and in the regenerate it needs constant renewing and strengthening by the Spirit of God, as here. Compare the hidden man of the heart, 1 Peter 3:4.

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