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Ephesians 3:14

King James Version (KJV)
Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

For this cause I bow my knees - That you may not faint, but persevere, I frequently pray to God, who is our God and the Father of our Lord Jesus. Some very ancient and excellent MSS. and versions omit the words του Κυριου ἡμων Ιησου Χριστου, of our Lord Jesus Christ. And in them the passage reads: I bow my knees unto the Father. The apostle prays to God the Father, that they may not faint; and he bows his knees in this praying. What can any man think of himself, who, in his addresses to God, can either sit on his seat or stand in the presence of the Maker and Judge of all men? Would they sit while addressing any person of ordinary respectability? If they did so they would be reckoned very rude indeed. Would they sit in the presence of the king of their own land? They would not be permitted so to do. Is God then to be treated with less respect than a fellow mortal? Paul kneeled in praying, Acts 20:36; Acts 21:5. Stephen kneeled when he was stoned, Acts 7:60. And Peter kneeled when he raised Tabitha, Acts 9:40.

Many parts of this prayer bear a strict resemblance to that offered up by Solomon, 2 Chronicles 6:1, etc., when dedicating the temple: He kneeled down upon his knees before all the congregation of Israel, and spread forth his hands towards heaven; 2 Chronicles 6:13. The apostle was now dedicating the Christian Church, that then was and that ever should be, to God; and praying for those blessings which should ever rest on and distinguish it; and he kneels down after the example of Solomon, and invokes him to whom the first temple was dedicated, and who had made it a type of the Gospel Church.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

For this cause - Some suppose that this is a resumption of what he had commenced saying in Ephesians 3:1, but which had been interrupted by a long parenthesis. So Bloomfield explains it. But it seems to me more probable that he refers to what immediately precedes. “Wherefore, that the great work may be carried on, and that the purposes of these my sufferings may be answered in your benefit and glory, I bow my knees to God, and pray to him.”

I bow my knees - I pray. The usual, and the proper posture of prayer is to kneel; Compare 2 Chronicles 6:13; Daniel 6:10; Luke 22:21; Acts 7:60; Acts 9:40; Acts 20:26; Acts 21:5. It is a posture which indicates reverence, and should, therefore, be assumed when we come before God. It has been an unhappy thing that the custom of kneeling in public worship has ever been departed from in the Christian churches.

Unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ - To whom, undoubtedly, prayer should ordinarily be addressed. But this does not make it improper to address the Lord Jesus in prayer; see the notes; 7:59-60 on Acts 1:24.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
The apostle seems to be more anxious lest the believers should be discouraged and faint upon his tribulations, than for what he himself had to bear. He asks for spiritual blessings, which are the best blessings. Strength from the Spirit of God in the inner man; strength in the soul; the strength of faith, to serve God, and to do our duty. If the law of Christ is written in our hearts, and the love of Christ is shed abroad there, then Christ dwells there. Where his Spirit dwells, there he dwells. We should desire that good affections may be fixed in us. And how desirable to have a fixed sense of the love of God in Christ to our souls! How powerfully the apostle speaks of the love of Christ! The breadth shows its extent to all nations and ranks; the length, that it continues from everlasting to everlasting; the depth, its saving those who are sunk into the depths of sin and misery; the height, its raising them up to heavenly happiness and glory. Those who receive grace for grace from Christ's fulness, may be said to be filled with the fulness of God. Should not this satisfy man? Must he needs fill himself with a thousand trifles, fancying thereby to complete his happiness?
Ellen G. White
Selected Messages Book 2, 312

“When he had thus spoken, he kneeled down, and prayed with them all” (Acts 20:36). 2SM 312.1

“When we had accomplished those days, we departed and went our way; and they all brought us on our way, with wives and children, till we were out of the city: and we kneeled down on the shore, and prayed” (Acts 21:5). 2SM 312.2

“At the evening sacrifice I arose up from my heaviness; and having rent my garment and my mantle, I fell upon my knees, and spread out my hands unto the Lord my God, and said, O my God, I am ashamed and blush to lift up my face to Thee, my God: for our iniquities are increased over our head, and our trespass is grown up unto the heavens” (Ezra 9:5, 6). 2SM 312.3

“O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our Maker” (Psalm 95:6). 2SM 312.4

“For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 3:14). And this whole chapter will, if the heart is receptive, be as precious a lesson as we can learn. 2SM 312.5

To bow down when in prayer to God is the proper attitude to occupy. This act of worship was required of the three Hebrew captives in Babylon.... But such an act was homage to be rendered to God alone—the Sovereign of the world, the Ruler of the universe; and these three Hebrews refused to give such honor to any idol even though composed of pure gold. In doing so, they would, to all intents and purposes, be bowing to the king of Babylon. Refusing to do as the king had commanded, they suffered the penalty, and were cast into the burning fiery furnace. But Christ came in person and walked with them through the fire, and they received no harm. 2SM 312.6

Both in public and private worship it is our duty to bow down upon our knees before God when we offer our petitions to Him. This act shows our dependence upon God. 2SM 312.7

At the dedication of the Temple, Solomon stood facing the altar. In the court of the Temple was a brazen scaffold or platform, and after ascending this, he stood and lifted up his hands to heaven, and blessed the immense congregation of Israel, and all the congregation of Israel stood.... 2SM 312.8

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Ellen G. White
Prophets and Kings, 48

“The Lord is a great God,
And a great King above all gods....
O come, let us worship and bow down:
Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.”
PK 48.1

Psalm 95:3-6. PK 48

Both in public and in private worship it is our privilege to bow on our knees before God when we offer our petitions to Him. Jesus, our example, “kneeled down, and prayed.” Luke 22:41. Of His disciples it is recorded that they, too, “kneeled down, and prayed.” Acts 9:40. Paul declared, “I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Ephesians 3:14. In confessing before God the sins of Israel, Ezra knelt. See Ezra 9:5. Daniel “kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God.” Daniel 6:10. PK 48.2

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Ellen G. White
Gospel Workers 1915, 178

May God teach His people how to pray. Let the teachers in our schools and the ministers in our churches, learn daily in the school of Christ. Then they will pray with earnestness, and their requests will be heard and answered. Then the word will be proclaimed with power. GW 178.1

Both in public and in private worship, it is our privilege to bow on our knees before the Lord when we offer our petitions to Him. Jesus, our example, “kneeled down, and prayed.” [Luke 22:41.] Of His disciples it is recorded that they, too, “kneeled down, and prayed.” [Acts 9:40; 20:36; 21:5.] Paul declared, “I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” [Ephesians 3:14.] In confessing before God the sins of Israel, Ezra knelt. [See Ezra 9:5.] Daniel “kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God.” [Daniel 6:10.] GW 178.2

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Ellen G. White
God's Amazing Grace, 91.4

Both in public and in private worship, it is our duty [There are instances where Ellen White stood at the desk while offering prayers of consecration during church services.] to bow upon our knees before God when we offer our petitions to Him. Jesus, our example, “kneeled down, and prayed.” And of His disciples it is recorded that they, too, “kneeled down, and prayed.” Stephen “kneeled.” Paul declared: “I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 3:14). In confessing before God the sins of Israel, Ezra knelt. Daniel “kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God” (Daniel 6:10). And the invitation of the psalmist is: “O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our Maker” (Psalm 95:6). AG 91.4

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