Ephesians 3:14-21

Ephesians 3:14-21
Ordinary B35


14 For this reasonA I bowB my knees before the Father,C, D 

Notes on verse 14

A “reason” = charin. 9x in NT. From charis (grace, kindness, favor, gratitude, thanks; being inclined to or favorable towards – leaning towards someone to share some good or benefit; literal, figurative, or spiritual; grace as abstract concept, manner, or action); from chairo (to rejoice, be glad; used to say hello; properly, delighting in the grace of God or experiencing God’s favor). This is in favor of, because. It is a favor that is actionable.
B “bow” = kampto. 4x in NT. This is to bend or bow.
C “Father” = Pater. This is father in a literal or figurative sense. Could be elder, senior, ancestor, originator, or patriarch.
D {untranslated} = ho + Kurios + ego + Iesous + Christos. Some manuscripts include, “of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Kurios is from kuros (authority, supremacy). This is a respectful address meaning master or sir. It refers to one who has control or power greater than one’s own. So, it was also applied to God and Jesus as Master or Lord. Iesous is from Hebrew Yehoshua (Joshua, the Lord is salvation); {from YHVH (proper name of the God of Israel; the self-existent and eternal one); {from havah (to become) or from hayah (to come to pass, become, be)} + yasha (to deliver, defend, help, preserve, rescue; properly, to be open, wide or free, which implies being safe. So, in a causative sense, this is to free someone)}. This is Jesus or Joshua in Greek – the Lord saves or the Lord is salvation. Christos is from chrio (consecrate by anointing with oil; often done for prophets, priests, or kings). Literally, the anointed one, Christ. The Greek word for Messiah.

15 from whom every familyE in heavenF and on earthG takes its name.H 

Notes on verse 15

E “family” = patria. Related to “father” in v14. 3x in NT. From pater (see note C above). This is lineage, family, kindred, nation.
F “heaven” = ouranos. May be related to oros (mountain, hill) with the notion of height. This is the air, the sky, the atmosphere, and heaven. It is the sky that is visible and the spiritual heaven where God dwells. Heaven implies happiness, power, and eternity.
G “earth” = ge. This is earth, land, soil, region, country, the inhabitants of an area.
H “takes its name” = onomazo. 10x in NT. From onoma (name, authority, cause, character, fame, reputation; thought to include something of the essence of the person and not separate from the person); may be from ginosko (know, recognize, learn from firsthand experience). This is to name – either to name someone or call out their name. More broadly, it can mean to mention or utter.

16 I pray that, according to the richesI of his glory,J he may grantK

Notes on verse 16a

I “riches” = ploutos. From polus (much, many, abundant) OR pleo (to sail, voyage); {probably from pluno (to plunge – so to wash); from pluo (to flow)} OR pletho (to fill, accomplish, supply; to fill to maximum capacity). This is abundance, wealth, or riches. It could refer to money/possessions or spiritual abundance. It can also be used for a valuable bestowment.
J “glory” = doxa. From dokeo (to have an opinion, seem, appear, suppose; a personal judgment; to think); from dokos (opinion). This is literally something that evokes a good opinion – something that connects to our understanding of intrinsic worth. The ultimate expression of this is, of course, God and God’s manifestation. So, this is opinion, honor, and dignity, but also praise, glory, renown, and worship.
K “grant” = didomi. To give, offer, place, bestow, deliver. This is give in a literal or figurative sense.

that you may be strengthenedL in your inner beingM with powerN through his Spirit,O 

Notes on verse 16b

L “strengthened” = krataioo. 4x in NT. From kratos (strength, power, dominion; vigor in a literal or figurative sense; power that is exercised). This is to strengthen, confirm, empower, or prevail.
M “being” = anthropos. Probably from aner (man, male, husband) + ops (eye, face). This is human, humankind. Used for all genders.
N “power” = dunamis. From dunamai (to be able, have power or ability). This is might, strength, physical power, efficacy, energy, and miraculous power. It is force literally or figuratively – the power of a miracle or the miracle itself.
O “Spirit” = Pneuma. From pneo (to blow, breath, breathe hard). This is wind, breath, or ghost. A breeze or a blast or air, a breath. Figuratively used for a spirit, the human soul or part of us that is rational. It is also used supernaturally for angels, demons, God, and the Holy Spirit. This is where pneumonia comes from.

17 and that Christ may dwellP in your heartsQ through faith,R

Notes on verse 17a

P “dwell” = katoikeo. From kata (down, against, throughout, among) + oikeo (to settle or be established somewhere in a permanent way, to make a home or live at home); {from oikos (house – the building, the household, the family, descendants; the temple)}. This is to live or settle on a permanent basis.
Q “hearts” = kardia. Literally the heart, but figuratively mind, character, inner self, will, intention, thoughts, feelings. Also, the center of something. The word heart is only used figuratively in the Old and New Testaments. This is where “cardiac” comes from.
R “faith” = pistis. From peitho (to have confidence, urge, be persuaded, agree, assure, believe, have confidence, trust). This is less about knowing, believing, and repeating a list of doctrines then it is about trusting God. Faith means listening to God and seeking to live a holy life even (and especially) when we don’t understand how everything works or fits together. Faith is about being faithful (trusting and doing) rather than being all knowing.

as you are being rootedS and groundedT in love.U 

Notes on verse 17b

S “rooted” = rhizoo. 2x in NT. From rhiza (a root literally or figuratively; the root of what comes from it – shoot, source, descendant). This is to root, plant, establish. Figuratively, it refers to firmness and stability.
T “grounded” = themelioo. 5x in NT. From themelios (related to a foundation); from tithemi (to put, place, set, fix, establish in a literal or figurative sense; properly, this is placing something in a passive or horizontal position). This is laying a foundation, grounded, setting a basis. Literally, it can be to erect. Figuratively, it can be to consolidate or settle.
U “love” = agape. From agapao (to love, take pleasure in, esteem; to prefer). This is love, goodwill, benevolence. It is God’s divine love or human love that mirrors God’s love.

18 I pray that you may have the powerV to comprehend,W with all the saints,X

Notes on verse 18a

V “may have the power” = exischuo. 1x in NT. From ek (from, from out of) + ischuo (to be strong, healthy and vigorous, able, have power, prevail; strength that engages a resisting force); from ischus (strength, might, power, force, ability; power that engages immediate resistance); {perhaps from is (force) + echo (to have, hold, possess)}}. This is to have strength, be able. It is the ability to counter difficulties.
W “comprehend” = katalambano. 15x in NT. From kata (down, against, among, throughout) + lambano (active acceptance/taking of what is available or what has been offered; emphasizes the choice and action of the individual). This is to take hold of something with great intention for one’s own interest. It can be seize or arrest – grasping forcefully. Figuratively, it can also mean to comprehend, to win, to surprise, or to possess.
X “saints” = hagios. From hagnos (holy, sacred, pure ethically, ritually, or ceremonially; prepared for worship, chaste, unadulterated, pure to the core; undefiled by sin; figurative for innocent, modest, perfect). God is totally different from humanity and thus set apart. That which is consecrated to worship God (elements of worship) or to serve God (as the saints) are holy because they are now set apart for God’s purposes. Holy because important to God. This is sacred physically, pure. It can be morally blameless or ceremonially consecrated.

what is the breadthY and lengthZ and heightAA and depth,BB 

Notes on verse 18b

Y “breadth” = platos. 4x in NT. From platus (wide, spread flat, broad); perhaps from plasso (to form, mold; to create like a potter shapes clay). This is breadth or width. It can also refer to a wide open space, a plain.
Z “length” = mekos. 3x in NT. From the same as makros (long, far away, long lasting) OR related to megas (great or large). This is length in a literal or figurative sense.
AA “height” = hupsos. 6x in NT. From hupsi (on high, aloft); from huper (over, above, beyond). This is height, high position, heaven, dignity, eminence; elevation, altitude; to be exalted.
BB “depth” = bathos. 8x in NT. From bathus (deep in a literal or figurative sense); from the same root as basis (step, foot). This is depth, fullness, profundity, or immensity. This is where the term “bathysphere” comes from, but not the English word “bath.”

19 and to knowCC the love of Christ that surpassesDD knowledge,EE so that you may be filledFF with all the fullnessGG of God.HH

Notes on verse 19

CC “know” = ginosko. Related to “takes its name” in v15. See note H above.
DD “surpasses” = huperballo. 5x in NT. From huper (over, above, beyond) + ballo (to throw, cast, place, put, rush, drop). This is to surpass, exceed, or excel. Properly, it is to throw beyond or run beyond. So, it is transcending, eminent, or surpassing. This shares the same root as “hyperbole.”
EE “knowledge” = gnosis. Related to “takes its name” in v15 & “know” in v19. From ginosko (see note H above). This is knowing, knowledge, understanding, wisdom. It is direct knowledge – working knowledge that links theory and application.
FF “be filled” = pleroo. From pleres (to be full, complete, abounding in, occupied with). This is to fill, make full or complete. Properly, this is filling something up to the maximum extent that it can be filled – an appropriate amount for its individual capacity. So, this is used figuratively for furnish, influence, satisfy, finish, preach, perfect, and fulfill.
GG “fullness” = pleroma. Related to “be filled” in v19. 18x in NT. From pleroo (see note FF above). This is fullness, supply, completion, superabundance, or multitude.
HH “God” = Theos. From Proto-Indo-European origins, meaning do, put, place. This is God or a god in general.

20 Now to him who by the power at workII within us is able toJJ accomplishKK abundantly far more than all we can askLL or imagine,MM 

Notes on verse 20

II “at work” = energeo. From energes (active, effective, operative, energized, powerful); {from en (in, at, by, with, among) + ergon (word, task, action, employment); {from ergo (to work, accomplish) or from erdo (to do)}}. This is to be at work, accomplish, be mighty or effectual. This is where “energy” comes from.
JJ “is able to” = dunamai. Related to “power” in v16. See note N above.
KK “accomplish” = poieo. This is to make, do, act, construct, abide, or cause.
LL “ask” = aiteo. This is to ask, demand, beg, desire.
MM “imagine” = noeo. Related to “takes its name” in v15 & “know” and “knowledge” in v19. 14x in NT. From nous (mind, understanding, reasoning faculty, intellect, capacity to reflect); from noos (mind); probably from the base as ginosko (see note H above)}. This is to think, understand, conceive, realize, see. It is one who thinks things through sufficiently to reach a conclusion or value judgment. It is also one’s moral reasoning.

21 to him be glory in the churchNN and in Christ Jesus to all generations,OO forever and ever.PP Amen.QQ

Notes on verse 21

NN “church” = ekklesia. From ek (from, out from) + kaleo to call by name, invite, to name, bid, summon, call aloud) {related to keleuo (to command, order, direct); from kelomai (to urge on)}. This is properly a calling out or an assembly. It was used to refer to a church.
OO “generations” = genea. From genos (family, offspring, kin – in a literal or figurative sense); from ginomai (to come into being, to happen, become, be born; to emerge from one state or condition to another; this is coming into being with the sense of movement or growth). This is family, generation, kind, or nation. As generation, it implies an age as a period of time. It can also mean infinity. This is the root of the word “generation.
PP “forever and ever” = ho + aion + ho + aion. Literally “of the age of the ages.” Aion is from the same as aei (ever, always, unceasingly, perpetually; on every occasion). This is an age, cycle of time, course, continued duration. It is also used to describe the eternal or forever. This is the word used to discuss the present age or the messianic age.
QQ “amen” = amen. From Hebrew amen (verily, truly, amen, truth, so be it, faithfulness); from aman (to believe, endure, fulfill, confirm, support, be faithful, put one’s trust in, be steadfast. Figuratively, this is to be firm, steadfast, or faithful, trusting, believing, being permanent, morally solid). This word is literally firmness, but figuratively fidelity, faithfulness, honesty, responsibility, trust, truth, steadfastness. Properly, it is to be sure, certain, or firm. This is a word of emphasis indicating that something crucial follows.

Image credit: “We Have a Lava Love for Ya!” by D.A. Swanson at the Kilauea volcano in Hawaii, 1968.

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