“That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in [his] kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.”
The Gracious Revelation Of The Truth To The Saints: Ephesians 1:15-23
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 [things] to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.
Paul now shares with the church at Ephesus the content of his prayers on their behalf. By doing this Paul is declaring his motivation for his great love, concern, and desire for their spiritual welfare and receipt of various blessings of God. Please keep in mind, all of these blessings would be given to the believers at Ephesus only through the gracious intervention of the Lord. They did not deserve these wonderful blessings nor could they earn them in any way.
A very basic outline of this section of Scripture:
I. Paul’s motivation for desiring and praying for gracious blessings on behalf of the church – 15-16
II. The gracious blessing of a knowledge of the person and work of the Lord – 17
III. The gracious blessing of a understanding of their eternal blessings that await them – 18
IV. The gracious blessing of awareness of the Lord’s power exhibited in in all aspects of salvation – 19-20a
V. The gracious blessing of a comprehension of the exaltation of Christ – 20b-22a
VI. The gracious blessing of the exaltation/Lordship of Christ – 22b-23
In this morning’s devotional, Paul explains his motivation for the great desires he held on behalf of the church at Ephesus…
(Ephesians 1:15-16) – 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;
Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints,
Paul’s great desire for the spiritual prosperity of the church at Ephesus was based upon the church’s wonderful testimony of service to their Lord:
1. “your faith in the Lord Jesus” – Paul had heard of the faith they had placed in Christ that was outwardly manifested by consistent obedience to their Lord through the bearing of spiritual fruits. Even in the midst of rejection and opposition from idolaters, the body continued to trust in their Lord and live faithfully for Him.
2. “love unto all saints” – Not only did they exhibit faithfulness to their Lord, but they also possessed a love for their spiritual family which was expressed through self-sacrifice for their brethren.
Both of these wonderful attributes should be exhibited by every local assembly (Col 1:4) and individual believer as well (Philemon 1:5).
Absolute trust and reliance upon the Lord in all areas of our lives and sacrificial love for our spiritual brethren are the hallmarks of a genuine living relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. These two completely fulfill the responsibilities that have been placed upon us by our Lord Himself…
And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all?
And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments [is], Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this [is] the first commandment. And the second [is] like, [namely] this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.
And the scribe said unto him, Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but he: And to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love [his] neighbour as himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.
And when Jesus saw that he answered discreetly, he said unto him, Thou art not far from the kingdom of God. And no man after that durst ask him [any question].
Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers;
The church’s testimony of faithfulness and love drove Paul:
1. “give thanks for you” – he highly valued the grace of God that was being shown to the church in the brilliant testimony they possessed.
2. “making mention of you in my prayers” – Paul’s prayer concerning the church consisted of:
a. Paul expressed his thankfulness for this grace as he communed with the Lord during his prayers.
b. Paul held up the church in prayer and requested even greater blessings because he saw God’s gracious hand at work in the church, and their faithfulness to follow His leading.
(Paul’s request for further blessings will be covered in detail in the following verses.)
Does our local assembly possess a testimony of faithfulness and love?
Do our lives possess the same type of testimony?
When we see this type of testimony exhibited by others, do we take the time to appreciate them, pray for them and seek their spiritual benefit?
By God’s grace alone may we be able to answer all the above in the affirmative…
May we all get a clearer picture of our Lord and Savior, and the great grace He has shown to us. Let us be always watchful to keep His great acts of grace on our behalf in the center of our attention… In doing so, may we be motivated to LOVE Him more, APPRECIATE Him more and SERVE Him more!
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