“Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints, cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him: the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of His calling, and what the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of His mighty power, which He wrought in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead, and set Him at His own right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: and hath put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be the head over all to the church, which is His body, the fulness of Him that filleth all in all.” Ephesians 1:15-23
We have been richly blessed with “All spiritual blessings in Christ”. From being “Chosen” by God to being “Predestinated” to the image of Christ, to being “Accepted in the Beloved”. What riches.
It does not stop there though. That is only the beginning.
We are a people who recrive revelation from God about Himself, and of the blessings we have in Him.
We need to learn how to pray. So many times we ask God for things we already have. We pray for the fullness of the Spirit. We already have it; we just do not appropriate the power into our lives. The fulness of the Spirit enables us to do things nor normally done by human beings. Living the supernatural life.
This power comes about because of Jesus’s death, burial and resurrection. He has become Head of the Church and fills and enables the Church (all redeemed, regenerated persons)to do His will on earth.
vv. 15 – 16 — Paul has heard good testimony of the faith of those who are in Ephesus. It is believed by some that this Epistle was a circular letter, intended for more than just the Church of Ephesus. Some, therefore, believe Paul’s statement to be made such that he does not know the people to whom he is writing.
The faith of the Church – each individual – grows when they exercise it in accordance with God’s Word. I believe Paul was affirming their growing faith. Of course, there is no real problem if this is a circular letter. After all it is to us as well. The one letter that came to Ephesus ended up with the Ephesus named therein.
Paul makes mention in verse 16 of his prayer. What is the character of Paul’s prayers for the Ephesian Church? 1.) It is unceasing prayer; 2.) It is thankful prayer; 3.) It is specific prayer. He begins in verse 17 describing how he prays for them.
v. 17 – Who is the One who can answer prayer? Only God. Isn’t God the God of all? Only through the Lord Jesus Christ. This is why Paul mentions “The Lord God of our Lord Jesus Christ”. This statement does not lower Christ. It speaks of His humanity. As a Man He was subject to God, “The Father of glory” obeying Him completely. No man could claim God as his God more so than Jesus Christ.
Paul’s prayer was that we might receive the wisdom of God and have revealed to us more fully the knowledge of Him. Revelation is the only means by which man can know God. Man can know some facts about God without knowing Him.
When we read 1 Corinthians 2:9-16 we discover that no man can know God, or the things of God apart from the Spirit of God. A lost, condemned individual is ignorant of God, His “Things” and His ways. He cannot know God until the Spirit reveals God to him or her. Intellectual knowledge about God, if not made personal by the revelation of Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit is damnable.
There is a story of William Randolf Hearst that illustrates the truth of asking for what we already possess; It seems that Hearst, a wealthy Newspaper man, invested a fortune in collecting art treasures from all over the world. One day he had a description of some fine articles which he desired to have. He asked his agent to search the world over for these treasures. After months of searching and many dollars spent Mr. Hearst’s agent reported that he had found them. “They are in your warehouse”, the agent told him.
The treasures of God are ours. Our prayer needs to be for these “Things” to be revealed in us.
v. 18 – As far as the Christian disciple is concerned enlightenment and illumination comes by the person of the Holy Spirit. This is how we know God.
It is by illumination of the Spirit we also know “The hope of His calling.” The word “Hope” used here is not used in the same sense of fantasy, wish or such. You can wish you would win the “Powerball” jackpot, but your chances are slim, and you stand more chance of being struck by lightening. Hope in this Scriptural sense is based on God’s promise of fulfillment. The promise is from God. He never breaks His promises.
“HIS CALLING” IS OF HOLINESS, RIGHTEOUSNESS, AND “TO THE PRAISE OF HIS GLORY”.
“The hope of His calling” is the coming of Jesus Christ. “Hope” in the Biblical perspective carries with it the definite “assurance for the future”. “And every man that hath this hope in Him purifieth himself, even as He is pure.” (1 John 3:3). Having this “Hope” is the greatest motivation for Christ-like living.
Isn’t it amazing that God counts us, as the saints, part of His inheritance. Even more, “The riches of the glory”. This is not saying that Jesus needs His saints to ber glory. The glory of God, though, abounds through us, because of the work of Jesus Christ’s death, burial and resurrection. This simply stating God finishes what He begins.
vv. 19-20 – Paul would have us know the “Exceeding greatness” of the power of God. His power is immeasurable. He works the impossible.
It is power given to all who believe – trusts, depends, and rely – on Him to be and do exactly what He says. It is within us empowering us to live resurrected lives to His glory.
This is the very same Almighty powe which raised Jesus up from death, then what is prohibiting your actions for His glory? Our ignorance of “WHO WE ARE IN JESUS CHRIST” or our refusal to see who we are. The power of the Holy Spirit i us is of greater power than the A-bombs which destroyed Nagasake and Hiroshima combined. It is easy to take life. It is impossible to raise a dead, decaying body – at least it is impossible with men; but nothing is impossible with God.
This same Jesus raised from death is now seated in heavenly places at the right hand of the Father. Since He ever lives in that position we live in Him forever.
vv. 21 – 23 – There is no power in Heaven, Hell or on earth that is above Him. The angels, both of Heaven and Hell, are subject unto Him; including Lucifer. The kings of the earth can “Set themselves agaisnt Him”, but God says, “I have set My King upon My holy hill of Zion” (Psalm 2:6). He is King forever.
All things are under His feet. The feet are a symblol of authority, ownership, and subject to obedience to others. Certainly, this applies to Jesus exalted and glorified.
The Church is the authoritative Body of Christ on earth. Jesus is the Head of the Body, and the Body functioning properly responds faithfully to His commands. So, when the lost condemned world looks at the Church made up of born again individuals they are seeing the glory of Christ on earth. What do they see? What will they see when we are walking with God?
This teaching “Gave Him…the head over all…to the Church”, could relate back to what Jesus told Peter in Matthew 16:19. The Church is responsible for souls being born into the kingdom.
Read Colossians 2:9, and then read verse 23 of our text. The Church is Christ’s Body, which is the fullness of God that fills all things in all the members. There is strength in His Body, but only as each works in accordance with the directives of the Head. When the Church operates this way it is full of Christ Jesus and His power.
To receive the spiritual wisdom and revelation of the knowledge of Him, believe His Word He has given.
Christian, the revelation of Jesus Christ to you by the Holy Spirit was the greatest event of your life. However, you may not realize your full potential in His power. We must continue to grow in faith, putting into practice what we do know.
The Body of Christ operates in power and fullness when we recognize who we are in Jesus Christ.