“God’s Love is Greater than our Weakness!” Ephesians 3:14-19

Sermon Audio on my Podcast at anchor.rm

Sermon Manuscript. [Delivered at Mt. Hope Congregational Church, Sunday 9/23/2018]

“God’s Love is Greater than our Weakness!”
Ephesians 3:14-19

When I am weak, then I am strong. You just saw me telling the children about the Holy Spirit changes our inability to ability. God’s love pours out to us; His presence floods us and fills us. His love is greater than our weakness.

That’s what we’re going to talk about this morning. My aim this morning is to highlight principles directly from this passage that can be directly applied in each one of our lives. In our weakness He is strong.

CIT/CIS: The foundation of our strength is the unshakable love of God.
The weaker we are the more power we have access to!

1. (3:14-15) Prayer: This passage is a specific and most purposeful prayer. “Ffor this cause” refers back to the eternal plan of God and the life of the Christian believer. Paul is referring back to the great salvation which God has wrought in us in Christ. Nothing greater has ever been done!

Therefore, it is of utmost necessity that the work be completed. The work of salvation must be completed, and the building of the body of believers (the church) must be completed. God will complete His work in you and me.

2. (3:16) Power – Holy Spirit: the first request is for strength and power in the inner man.  JVM: “How often the spiritual is neglected while all the attention is given to the physical side. Paul prays for the inner man because he realizes that the outward man is passing away. Power is needed to live the Christian life, to grow in grace, and to develop into full maturity—which is the work of the Holy Spirit.”[2] We need real power from God!

When God’s love takes up residence in our lives we’ll find real power present for our lives! Manton: “God’s love is not a cold and uneffectual love, that consists only in raw wishes, but an operative and active love, that issueth forth to accomplish what he intendeth to us, though by the most costly means, and at the deartest rates. God is good and doth good… Our Lord resteth not in kind wishes, but giveth a full demonstration of his love; if Christ be needful for the saints, they shall have him.”[3]

How do we know that God will give us this strength and power? Because of what this verse says: "...according to the riches of his glory." The "riches of God's glory" is seen in Jesus Christ. It is God's glorious grace and salvation revealed in Christ. God loves us! That is the reason He will strengthen us with might by His Spirit. God’s love is greater than our weakness!

“But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth" (Acts 1:8). Is your life without power?! Cling to Christ! God’s love is greater than our weakness!

3. (3:17) Jesus Christ, Indwelling Presence: the second request is for Christ to dwell, that is, rule and reign, in our hearts—by faith. This is a permanent not a temporary dwelling. When a person believes in Jesus Christ, He enters their life. The believer isn’t praying for Christ to enter his heart. He is already dwelling our hearts! We possess a deep well of power in Christ in our hearts! God’s love is greater than our weakness! “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me” (Revelation 3:20).

4. (3:17) Love: the third request is for love. This is agapē love, the very same love God has for us. “Agape love is selfless, sacrificial, unconditional love. It is the highest of the four types of love in the Bible.”[4] God’s love in us gives us access to a power that is greater than our weakness…

5. (3:18) Understanding: the fourth request is for understanding, a full understanding of all spiritual things. Only a believer who grasps God's eternal plan and glorious salvation will glimpse the depths of God’s power.

Those who seldom consider the breadth, depth, and height of what God has done for us in Christ – will likewise – seldom know its power.

6. (3:19) Jesus Christ, Love of: the fifth request is to know the love of Christ which surpasses all knowledge. It is utterly impossible to grasp and experience the love of Christ anywhere close to its full measure, but, if we are going to have power for living, we’ve got to dive in and explore it!

7. (3:19) God, Fullness of: The sixth request is for the fullness of God. The Amplified New Testament is excellent in describing the meaning of this request: “That you may be filled (through all your being) unto all the fullness of God...[that is] may have the richest measure of the divine Presence, and become a body wholly filled and flooded with God Himself!”

When He’s calling us to do something outside of our normal boundaries and we’d rather not face the world. God’s love is greater than our weakness. 

When He’s calling us to do something we think is out of our reach; that we’re not big enough to do. God’s love is greater than our weakness.
When we’re fixed on a goal and things, people, or circumstances in our lives are holding us back. God’s love is greater than our weakness.

Manton says, “Though we cannot absolutely determine of the success as to particular events, yet this giveth us good hope and confidence towards God.”[5] And where else ought our hope to be directed other than in the direction of Him whose love is so much greater than our weakness? Amen.

[1] Outline Adapted from The Preacher's Outline & Sermon Bible – Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians.
[2] James Vernon McGee, Through the Bible Commentary, Ephesians 3:18.
[3] Thomas Manton, Completes Works of, Volume VII, page 347, (Solid Ground Books, 2008).
[4] https://www.thoughtco.com/agape-love-in-the-bible-700675.
[5] Ibid, 348.