World Wide Study Bible
a Bible passage
16I pray that, according to the riches of his glory, he may grant that you may be strengthened in your inner being with power through his Spirit, 17and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, as you are being rooted and grounded in love. 18I pray that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
16. according to—that is in abundance consonant to the riches of His glory; not "according to" the narrowness of our hearts. Col 1:11, "Strengthened with all might according to His glorious power."
by—Greek, "through"; "by means of His Spirit."
in—The Greek implies, "infused into."
the inner man—(Eph 4:22, 24; 1Pe 3:4); "the hidden man of the heart." Not predicated of unbelievers, whose inward and outward man alike are carnal. But in believers, the "inner (new) man," their true self, stands in contrast to their old man, which is attached to them as a body of death daily being mortified, but not their true self.
17. That—So that.
by faith—Greek, "through faith," which opens the door of the heart to Jesus (Joh 3:20). It is not enough that He be on the tongue, or flit through the brain: the heart is His proper seat [Calvin]. "You being rooted and grounded in love" (compare Eph 3:19), is in the Greek connected with this clause, not with the clause, "that ye may be able to comprehend." "Rooted" is an image from a tree; "grounded" (Greek, "founder," "having your foundations resting on"), from a building (compare Notes,, see on Eph 2:20,21; Col 1:23; 2:7). Contrast Mt 13:6, 21. "Love," the first-fruit of the Spirit, flowing from Christ's love realized in the soul, was to be the basis on which should rest their further comprehension of all the vastness of Christ's love.
18. May be able—even still further. Greek, "May be fully able."
breadth … length … depth … height—namely, the full dimensions of the spiritual temple, answering to "the fulness of God" (Eph 3:19), to which the Church, according to its capacity, ought to correspond (compare Eph 4:10, 13) as to "the fulness of Christ." The "breadth" implies Christ's world-wide love, embracing all men: the "length," its being extended through all ages (Eph 3:21); the "depth," its profound wisdom which no creature can fathom (Ro 11:33); the "height," its being beyond the reach of any foe to deprive us of (Eph 4:8) [Bengel]. I prefer to understand "the breadth," &c., to refer to the whole of the vast mystery of free salvation in Christ for all, Gentile and Jew alike, of which Paul had been speaking (Eph 3:3-9), and of which he now prays they may have a fuller comprehension. As subsidiary to this, and the most essential part of it, he adds, "and to know the love of Christ" (Eph 3:19). Grotius understands depth and height of God's goodness raising us from the lowest depression to the greatest height.
19. passeth—surpasseth, exceeds. The paradox "to know … which passeth knowledge," implies that when he says "know," he does not mean that we can adequately know; all we know is, that His love exceeds far our knowledge of it, and with even our fresh accessions of knowledge hereafter, will still exceed them. Even as God's power exceeds our thoughts (Eph 3:20).
filled with—rather, as Greek, "filled even unto all the fulness of God" (this is the grand goal), that is, filled, each according to your capacity, with the divine wisdom, knowledge, and love; "even as God is full," and as Christ who dwells in your hearts, hath "all the fulness of the Godhead dwelling in Him bodily" (Col 2:9).