I. "THE RICHES OF HIS GLORY."
A. In Romans 2:4
Paul speaks of the riches of His goodness, forbearance and longsuffering.
B. In Romans 9:23
The riches of His glory, on His vessels of mercy.
C. In Romans 11:33
he speaks of the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God.
E. Ephesians 1:18
the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints.
G. In Phil. 4:19
God supplying all of your needs according to the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus.
H. Colossians 1:27
the riches of the glory of the mystery among the Gentiles which is Christ in you the hope of glory.
I. The word riches in Greek is plutos from which we get our word plutocrat.
1. In Luke Jesus spoke of the true riches and He was referring to the spiritual riches that we have through Him.
2. The world measures riches by what one has available to him through his bank account. The Bible measures riches by what we have available to us through Jesus Christ.
Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?
J. The measure to which Paul wishes that God should grant you to be strengthened is the riches of His glory.
II. THE FIRST PETITION IS THAT YOU MIGHT BE STRENGTHENED WITH MIGHT BY HIS SPIRIT IN THE INNER MAN.
A. The Greek word translated might is dunamai, it is the very thing that Jesus promised His disciples.
1. "And you shall receive power, dunamai, after that the Holy Spirit has come upon you and you shall be witnesses unto Me both in Jerusalem."
2. Notice how Paul here relates this might with the Spirit.
3. God has given to us His Holy Spirit that He might strengthen us for our service to Jesus Christ.
In the day when I cried thou answeredst me, [and] strengthenedst me [with] strength in my soul.
He giveth power to the faint; and to [them that have] no might he increaseth strength.
Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall:
But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew [their] strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; [and] they shall walk, and not faint.
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
B. The Bible is really more interested in the inner man than the outer man.
1. God told Samuel that man looked on the outward appearance, but God looked on the heart.
2. Paul said that his outward man was perishing, but the inward man was being renewed day by day.
3. Peter exhorted the women that their adornment should not be in the hairstyle, or the jewelry, or the fancy clothes but the inward adornment of the heart.
4. The greatest flaw in the Phariseeism of that day is that it placed the emphasis on the outward actions of the person rather than the inner attitudes from which those actions sprang.
III. ONE OF OUR GREATEST NEEDS IS MORE STRENGTH IN THE INNER MAN.
A. I do not have the strength to stand against the pressures in myself. I need the power of the Spirit to stand against the forces of darkness.
1. The experience at camp this week.
2. The reason why the well financed and promoted drug abuse program of the State, the "Just say no." is not working, that is the heart of the problem, they do not have the power to say no.
B. I look at all of the health clubs, today the many gyms where the whole purpose is to get into shape.
1. I am reminded of the words of Paul to Timothy, "Bodily exercise as a little profit, but godliness profits all things."
2. If people would be as serious about developing their spiritual strength as they are their physical strength think of what could be accomplished for the kingdom of God.
IV. THE SECOND PETITION, "THAT CHRIST MIGHT DWELL IN YOUR HEARTS BY FAITH.
A. Again it is the inner man that is being considered.
B. John tells us that
Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
C. The word dwell is to settle down and make yourself at home.
1. Is Jesus as a guest in your house, do you find yourself a little nervous and on guard when you realize He is around?
2. Or does He feel at home, is there the relaxed comfortable feeling like it belongs to Him?
D. Robert Munger has written a little booklet entitled "My Heart Christ's Home." In which he deals with this petition of Paul in a very masterful way. I highly recommend it to you.
E. Paul asked the Corinthians,
And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in [them]; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
F. To the Galatians he wrote,
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
G. Paul told the Colossians that the glory of the mystery among the Gentiles was "Christ in you the hope of glory."
H. John assures us that we can overcome, because greater is He that is in us, than He that is in the world.