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Ephesians – overview of 1:15-20; Paul’s prayer.

EPHESIANS-1-1905016
length: 64:26 - taught on May, 16 2019
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Class Outline:

Thursday May 16, 2019

 

Now that the workings of God are known, do the eyes of your heart perceive them, and do their hearing give you great joy?

 

EPH 1:15 For this reason I too, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which exists among you, and your love for all the saints,

 

EPH 1:16 do not cease giving thanks for you, while making mention of you in my prayers;

 

EPH 1:17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him.

 

EPH 1:18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,

 

EPH 1:19a and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe.

 

Paul gives thanks for the Gentile converts, the fruit of his own ministry. He praises them for their faith and love which many other churches have heard of, and which knit them together in unity. And then he reveals what he has been praying for them.

 

He mentioned the grace gift of wisdom and understanding of God’s mystery (1:8-9) and now prays that their eyes would be enlightened to it. It is a prayer that is nothing less than “Know God.”

 

Spirit of wisdom and revelation (Greek: uncovered) - “spirit” = the sentient element in man, that by which he perceives, reflects, feels, desires. Are you jazzed by wisdom and revelation? 

 

Every man has a spirit. It’s difficult to define it or distinguish it from the mind, heart, or soul. Since the word itself comes from the word for breath, we might imagine it as that which keeps you going, or those desires and passions which motivate a man.

 

What’s in your spirit?

 

For some, the grace gifts of God are too distant and too unfamiliar to incite any ecstasy in them. The Bible doesn’t command us to be emotional. It’s not difficult to imagine the trouble that would come upon the church if such a command existed. Yet, God doesn’t command us to not be emotional either. A life without emotion would not be one worth living.  

 

God doesn’t command emotion from us. If we saw His gifts for what they are, our emotions would respond accordingly.

 

1PE 1:8 and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory

 

Did the truths written by Paul in EPH 1:3-14 once fill us with awe, but now, used to them like a worn glove, our souls are no longer stirred?

 

While it is true that some forms of Christianity base their lives on emotion, making it the initiator and not the responder that it is, and by doing so, removing all power and wisdom from their lives, doesn’t mean that emotion should not be responding to these wonderful truths.

 

We don’t prove our love for the truths about God’s grace gifts of the past, present, and future by our emotion. If we love them, we will respond accordingly.

 

If it ever becomes true that God’s grace gifts no longer stir wonder and awe in your soul, you must empty your mind of all distraction and occupation, and in prayer with your Father, look at them again as if they were new and see their reality in the eyes of your heart.

 

EPH 1:15 For this reason I too, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which exists among you, and your love for all the saints,

 

EPH 1:16 do not cease giving thanks for you, while making mention of you in my prayers;

 

EPH 1:17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him.

 

EPH 1:18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,

 

EPH 1:19a and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe.

 

Paul’s prayer is for us to see: 1) our hope in God, i.e. what is the ideal of our faith. 2) the riches of the glory of God’s inheritance. 3) to know the exceeding greatness of His power towards us.

 

The spiritual life is a life-vocation and a grand pursuit. Unfortunately, for some, Christianity is nothing more than having our sins forgiven and gaining heaven. These are wonderful, true, and the foundation of our lives, but the Christ-life doesn’t stop there, rather, it begins there. Some Christians think that they are the end goal.

 

When life is filled with Christ, rather than a time of waiting to be filled with Christ, then life is filled with knowing Christ, loving Christ, serving Christ, following Christ, and striving to be like Christ.

 

Whatever aim we pursue or affection we cherish (our spirit), Christ lies in it and reaches beyond it.

 

When life is thus filled with Christ, heaven becomes, as one may say, a mere circumstance, and death but an incident upon the way - in the soul’s everlasting pursuit of Christ.

 

From the opening of the letter, we have been predestined to be holy and blameless sons - to be conformed to the image of His Son. This is the only hope worthy of God; anything less would not be worthy of Him or of His sons. Every other hope is rubbish compared to it.

 

Don’t forget that there are two aspects to predestination; the heritage of the saints in God and also His heritage in us. God counts Himself rich in us as we are His crop, His wheat, His production; Christ being the first-fruits and we being the first-fruits of the Spirit.

 

How deeply it must affect us to know that God has His heritage in us, and to see the glory that in God’s eyes, He counts Himself rich in His possession of believing men.

 

Now, consider this well, and place it carefully in your mind so that it may be remembered and recalled often - If it be true that God spared not His Son for our salvation and has sealed us with the seal of His Spirit, if He chose us before the world’s foundation to be His saints, He must set upon those saints an infinite value.

 

The Father sets an infinite value on His saints. We may despise ourselves; but He thinks great things of us.

 

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