Digging Deeper Days...are a pretty big deal at GT!
We search God's Word together, ask questions as we read, dig around to find the original intentions at the time of writing, and then make some applications to our everyday lives.
Along the way, we hope you'll pick up some new tools to study Scripture and you'll see truth in a new and accessible way!
Ephesians 3:14-21 English Standard Version (ESV)
14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, 16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
1) This passage begins with “for this reason.” What is “this reason,” (i.e. what is the context of this passage?)
2) According to these verses, from what and by whom does God strengthen us?
3) How can we be filled with the fullness of God?
4) Verses 20-21 give us a perspective and purpose for this prayer of strengthening. What is it?
The Findings for Intention
1) If we look back just one verse, we read “So I ask you not to lose heart.” Then in verse 14, we read, “For this reason I bow my knees before the Father.” Paul doesn’t want the Ephesians to lose heart, so he prays to God that they be strengthened. This prayer of Paul’s has been preserved throughout the centuries to encourage you and me not to lose heart!
2) Verse 16 contains our answers. We are strengthened according to the riches of God’s glory—which we know are infinite. He will never run out of strength to give us! And we are strengthened by the Holy Spirit in our inner being. The same power that rose Jesus from the grave lives in us! (Romans 8:11)
3) Working backward from verse 19, we see that we will be filled with the fullness of God if we know the love of Christ, if we comprehend the breadth and length and height and depth of it. How do we understand this love? Through the strength given to us by the Holy Spirit, as Christ dwells in our hearts.
4) Paul wraps up this passage with a reminder that the whole purpose of God’s working in our lives is to bring Him glory. Strength and power for their own sake are poor motivators, but considering how our lives can bring glory to God through His power at work in us gives lasting hope and endurance. To Him be the glory! Amen!
The Everyday Application
1) Here we see Paul praying that his fellow believers would be strengthened. Let’s follow Paul’s example and pray for specific believers we know who may be losing heart. Make a prayer battle list right now – who does God want you praying victory for?
2) Am I striving to do God’s work or make myself Christlike on my own power? Good works manufactured by our strength is much easier to do than we would like to think. Consider even just today, in what ways are you leaning on your own strength, your own understanding, your own abilities? The ways God shapes our hearts to make us more holy is His Work Alone and we can add nothing to it. God clearly tells us that it is His power at work in us. Rest in the knowledge that you can cease striving and allow the Holy Spirit to do His work in you.
3) Pray that the Holy Spirit would help you to comprehend just how great Christ’s love for you is. Then read and meditate on these verses that talk about this love: Romans 5:8, 1 John 4:10, Romans 8:35-39. Go ahead and take 5 minutes and read each of them now, take a few more minutes later in your day and make a quick list of ways God loves in today, right now, in this everyday moment.
4) Am I focused more on how my work for Christ is going, or on how it is bringing glory to God? Lord, give me proper perspective to realize that everything I do, and you do in me, is for your glory. May you be forever praised!
I Can Do That!
1) Take this passage (or any other passage).
2) Read through it (always more than a verse or two).
3) Write down your questions as you think of them.
4) Ask specific culture related questions and be ready to dig around for your answers. Google them, use www.studylight.org, or look them up in a study Bible and read the footnotes (click on the little letters next to a word and it will show you other related verses!). (www.esvbible.org)
5) Check your applications with other trusted Christians that you are in community with and embrace the fullness of God in your everyday!
We love getting help while we study and www.studylight.org is one of many excellent resources. Just type in the verse you’re looking at and Boom! It’s right in front of you in English and Hebrew (Old Testament) or Greek (New Testament), which are the original languages the Bible was written in.
Want to know more about a specific word in a verse? Click on “Strong’s Interlinear Bible” then click the word you’d like to study. Find super awesome stuff like “origin”, “definition”, and even all the different ways that single word has been translated into English! If you want to be geeky, you can even click the word and hear its original pronunciation – That Is Awesome!
Want to get more background on a word or phrasing or passage? Click “Study Tools”, then pick a few commentaries to read their scholarly approach, keeping in mind that just because a commentary says it, doesn’t mean it’s true. (just like the internet :-))
Finding the original meaning is a huge deal when we study Scripture and can make all the difference in our understanding as we apply God’s truths to our everyday lives.
In our modern-day relationships, we want people to understand our original intention as we communicate; how much more so between God and humanity?!
Here’s a little bit more on why we take Digging Deeper so seriously.
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus.
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