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Ephesians overview – 3:14-19, Pauls prayer (inner man), part 2.

EPHESIANS-1-200310
length: 70:11 - taught on Mar, 11 2020
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Class Outline:

Wednesday March 11, 2020
 

PSA 62:1-2

My soul waits in silence for God only;

From Him is my salvation.

2 He only is my rock and my salvation,

My stronghold;

I shall not be greatly shaken.

 

Literally, "Silence is my soul." or "My soul (waits) in silence for God alone." 

 

The state of my own soul when I read these lines was in such a state that they meant something deeper to me than a nice biblical line of poetry. It made me think of the many circumstances a Christian could be in when these lines would find a soul ready for their healing power. A hard soul is one that reads for the sake of being able to say, "I have read the psalm." The soft soul hears the words as they come from God Himself to them, when they are aching for healing, for deliverance (salvation), or even when they are in times of plenty and are quickly reminded by these lines of times of lean and hurt when they longed for the presence of the Lord and the deliverance of His long, and outstretched arm. 

 

Imagine reading these lines soon after your spouse died or your child or any dear one. Imagine reading them when poverty has overcome you, or you were imprisoned, or fatally ill. Imagine reading them soon after the Lord had delivered you from any of the above. Who would you love in those moments? What would make your heart burst as you feel the direct presence of God as if you could almost touch Him. And all of this from two short lines of His word. It is the One who promises and the One who delivers that makes the word of God alive and powerful. 

 

Calm yourself in contemplation of the nature of God; Rock, Stronghold, Salvation, Refuge (PSA 62:5-8). 

 

PSA 62:5-8

My soul, wait in silence for God only,

For my hope is from Him.

6 He only is my rock and my salvation,

My stronghold; I shall not be shaken.

7 On God my salvation and my glory rest;

The rock of my strength, my refuge is in God.

8 Trust in Him at all times, O people;

Pour out your heart before Him;

God is a refuge for us.

 

EPH 3:14-19

For this reason, I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, 16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man; 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fulness of God.

 

I’ve had to adjust our outline.

 

A) Paul bows his knees - his intensity. No command on prayer position.

B) “The whole family derives its name.” The Father has given His name to the body of Christ.

 

I had the petitions themselves next, but realized that I had neglected the important subject of the immaterial part of man or the inner man. God has a lot to say in both testaments about our inner man, and so we must learn and understand this revelation as all others. God doesn’t waste one word. If it is in His Scripture we must learn it, even if we don’t yet know where it will lead us, but we know for sure that it’s going to lead us somewhere very good.

 

3:14-19

C) Inner man.

      

Both the Spirit and Christ are working within. What does God tell us of the inner man? (soul, spirit, heart, mind, and flesh)

 

The flesh is within, but it is definitely distinct, and for the believer, judged and crucified. The other four are sometimes indistinguishable. When they are, God seems to be emphasizing the inner man as a whole, as here EPH 3:16. Then, there are distinctions, which we will explore. We have to be cautious not to expand the distinctions with our own conclusions. We often like to over categorize. We will simply explore the biblical revelation of this most important part of man.

 

We noted that God is both soul and spirit. Also, that the dead are described as departed souls and spirits. We will see that Christ gave for us in order to save us, His soul in some passages and His spirit in others. Therefore, sometimes there is no distinction and sometimes there is.

 

HEB 4:12

For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

 

When we read of the soul in the OT we find the individual or person who is animated [Latin: animus]. The human soul is always animated in a certain way.

 

Soul [nephesh/psuche] - the inner man’s subject of life. It is always animated in a certain way.  

 

Hungry soul, PSA 107:9.

 

Ps 107:1-9

Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good;

For His lovingkindness is everlasting.

2 Let the redeemed of the Lord say so,

Whom He has redeemed from the hand of the adversary,

3 And gathered from the lands,

From the east and from the west,

From the north and from the south.

 

4 They wandered in the wilderness in a desert region;

They did not find a way to an inhabited city.

5 They were hungry and thirsty;

Their soul fainted within them.

6 Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble;

He delivered them out of their distresses.

7 He led them also by a straight way,

To go to an inhabited city.

8 Let them give thanks to the Lord for His lovingkindness,

And for His wonders to the sons of men!

9 For He has satisfied the thirsty soul,

And the hungry soul He has filled with what is good.

 

Whether the exiles in Babylon returning to Jerusalem or the diaspora entering into the Lord’s Millennial Kingdom or all the saved entering into the New Jerusalem at the end of history (various commentators emphasize one or more of these), the psalm, the first of Book Five (the Psalter consists of five books), speaks of God’s people in various crisis and God delivering them. What is emphasized is the inner man’s anguish. The soul is seen as hungry and thirsty, distressed, in anguish, in darkness, courage melting away, staggering like drunken men.

 

In a similar vein, Jeremiah receives a vision of Judah returning to God’s city and having their “weary” souls refreshed.

 

Weary soul, JER 31:25.

 

JER 31:23-25

Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, "Once again they will speak this word in the land of Judah and in its cities, when I restore their fortunes,

 

'The Lord bless you, O abode of righteousness,

O holy hill!'

 

24 "And Judah and all its cities will dwell together in it, the farmer and they who go about with flocks. 25 "For I satisfy the weary ones [nephesh - soul (singular)] and refresh everyone [wakaal nephesh - every soul (singulars)] who languishes."

 

Loathing soul,

 

LEV 26:11

'Moreover, I will make My dwelling among you, and My soul will not reject [gaal - abhor, loathe] you.

 

Thirsty soul, PSA 42:2.

 

PSA 42:1-11

As the deer pants for the water brooks,

So my soul pants for Thee, O God.

2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God;

When shall I come and appear before God?

3 My tears have been my food day and night,

While they say to me all day long, "Where is your God?"

4 These things I remember, and I pour out my soul within me.

For I used to go along with the throng and lead them in        procession to the house of God,

With the voice of joy and thanksgiving, a multitude keeping                      festival.

 

5 Why are you in despair, O my soul?

And why have you become disturbed within me?

Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him

For the help of His presence.

6 O my God, my soul is in despair within me;

Therefore I remember Thee from the land of the Jordan,

And the peaks of Hermon, from Mount Mizar.

7 Deep calls to deep at the sound of Thy waterfalls;

All Thy breakers and Thy waves have rolled over me.

8 The Lord will command His lovingkindness in the daytime;

And His song will be with me in the night,

A prayer to the God of my life.

 

9 I will say to God my rock, "Why hast Thou forgotten me?

Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the        enemy?"

10 As a shattering of my bones, my adversaries revile me,

While they say to me all day long, "Where is your God?"

11 Why are you in despair, O my soul?

And why have you become disturbed within me?

Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him,

The help of my countenance, and my God.

 

Grieved soul,

 

JOB 30:13

Have I not wept for the one whose life is hard?

Was not my soul grieved for the needy?

 

Loving soul,

 

DEU 6:4-5

“Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one! 5 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.”

 

Dedicated, loyal soul,

 

PSA 119:167

My soul keeps Thy testimonies,

And I love them exceedingly.

 

There are more, but I think that is enough to get the picture. One very good scholar (Cremer) wrote:

 

“Nephesh [soul] in man is the subject of personal life, whereof pneuma or ruach [spirit] is the principle.” [Cremer]

 

The soul is my identity at any given time. While it is true that in all times, I am me, the nuances of me manifest themselves: hungry, thirsty, weary, loathing, grieved, loving, dedicated. What motivates that particular me at that time is obviously connected to that me, but is another matter.

 

We have to be careful of declarations that are not strictly stated in the scripture. Cremer can make this statement because he understands the usages of these words in the Bible as well as in other Hebrew and Greek texts, very well, and more than any of us. I think he is on to something, but I am cautious enough to let the distinction help me picture the difference of soul and spirit, while at the same time knowing that they are so often used interchangeably. Might it be that we can look at the inner man as a whole, and at times see ourselves as dichotomous, having inner and outer man, which at the time is sufficient, and in fact beneficial as simplicity so often can be, but then at other times, to see a distinction within the inner man is beneficial, understanding that I have a subject to my life as well as a principle, sort of like the what and the why. The Bible treats us like adults and demands that we be wise, knowing when to be simplistic and when to be more complex, and easily transitioning from one to the other.

 

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