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overview of 1:15-20; Paul’s prayer, part 2. 1:20-23 – What Christ brought about in the world.

EPHESIANS-1-1905017
length: 64:10 - taught on May, 17 2019
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Class Outline:

Friday May 17, 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 and praises them for their faith and love, which has become known to the world around them.

 

That is how it should be for all churches.

 

JOH 13:34 "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.

 

JOH 13:35 "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."

 

JOH 17:23 I in them, and Thou in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, that the world may know that Thou didst send Me, and didst love them, even as Thou didst love Me.

 

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? 

 

Did the grace gifts of God once fill us with awe, but no longer do? Have God’s blessings become like a familiar, old used car?

 

We are God’s heritage and so we should see ourselves as He sees us, elected and predestined as sons, redeemed and forgiven, blessed with wisdom and insight into the knowledge of the mystery of His will, and blessed with an inheritance as sons. Our spirit must be one of wisdom and revelation of God’s mystery, and the eyes of our heart must know the things Paul prays for us to know.

 

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. Forgiveness of all sin and eternal life are the beginning of our journey. Having a life filled with Christ in all aspects, which is being conformed to His image, holy in thought and conduct is the goal of our journey; and what an exciting, all absorbing, and fulfilling journey it is.

 

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

 

This doesn’t mean that we rejoice in our sins and pat ourselves on the back for failure because our Father always sees us as His beloved sons. The truth of what our Father beholds in us moves us to respect ourselves in relation to righteousness and goodness.

 

From what we can see in His revelation, God cares little for the upholstery and machinery of the universe; but He cares immensely about men, about the character and destiny of men.

 

The Bible says that God takes pleasure in those who walk in His way. This makes sense as God loves righteousness and so takes pleasure in seeing it in His creatures. The Father loves His sons and daughters, so of course He would take pleasure in them seeing through the eyes of their heart what is actually life indeed, and also, we should take great pleasure in it also, as opposed to the pleasure of sin.  

 

2CO 5:9 Therefore also we have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him.

 

God cares for His people. He cares to look to the one who is humble, obeys Him, and walks in His ways. He does not care for the material world in the same way.

 

ISA 66:1 Thus says the Lord,

“Heaven is My throne, and the earth is My footstool.

Where then is a house you could build for Me?

And where is a place that I may rest?

 

ISA 66:2 For My hand made all these things,

Thus all these things came into being,” declares the Lord.

“But to this one I will look,

To him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word.”

 

Implied is that God will make a house with the humble son who obeys.

 

JOH 14:23

“If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him, and make Our abode with him.”

 

Let us then learn to respect ourselves. Men with character are of value. Nothing else is. The strength of our church lays not in the amount of money saved in our account or the building we gather in, but the people that are in it. Learn to value and respect yourself as the elected and predestined son of God. Character and virtue are what give distinction to human life, above all other things, and are beautiful in the eyes of God.

 

So then, Paul’s prayer is that God would give us a spirit of wisdom and revelation (Greek: uncovering) in knowledge of Christ, and enlightened eyes in the hope of election, the riches of our inheritance, and the surpassing greatness of His power.

 

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.

 

Wisdom and understanding are grace gifts mentioned in 1:8-9, and Paul’s prayer is that the veil that covers them would be removed for you.

 

PSA 49:20

Man in his pomp, yet without understanding,

Is like the beasts that perish.

 

A Christian that doesn’t please God by having a spirit of wisdom and eyes enlightened is like a ship laden with exquisite treasures that set off on a journey and sunk irrecoverably into the depths of the ocean.

 

So how do we make the journey? We have the treasures, the inheritance, and the wisdom and understanding from God, but these will be dreams of vanity if we don’t know “the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe.”

 

Just as an inheritance remains unexploited without wisdom and intelligence in God’s word, so the journey to maturity where the inheritance is fully exploited cannot be made without power.

 

What is God’s power in us that is surpassingly great? God creates the universe, moves massive objects, alters the physical laws of earth, none of which does He impart to us. 

 

It is the power of faith, of promises believed. It is the power of hope, of a future known to be victorious. It is the power of love, the loss of all self into the hands of God without reservation, giving all of ourselves to the desire of His will. And it is God Himself in us, willing and working to His good pleasure when we obey Him.

 

God’s power in us - faith in His word (promises and commands) which is empowered by God the Holy Spirit within.

 

This power changed the course of human history forever through the person of Christ. This power made Western Culture. What can it do inside of you and me?

 

EPH 1:19 and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might

 

EPH 1:20 which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead, and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places,

 

EPH 1:21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age, but also in the one to come.

 

EPH 1:22 And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church,

 

EPH 1:23 which is His body, the fulness of Him who fills all in all.

 

The church does not fulfill Christ, but rather she is filled with Him. The church is the fulness of Him like a masterpiece painting is the fulness skill and beauty of the master painter. The painter pours the fulness of himself into his ultimate masterpiece, and the church is Christ’s ultimate masterpiece.

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