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SIH’s Think On These Things: Ephesians 1:17

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SIH TOTT ICONReflections Of His Grace”

“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

 

EXPOSITION:

In this morning’s devotional, Paul explains his desire for the church to come to a greater understanding of the Lord’s person and work on their behalf…
(Eph 1:17)  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:
 

This is the first request Paul makes on behalf of the church at Ephesus…

That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, 
Here, God the Father is given two different titles….
1.  God of our Lord Jesus Christ – the One that deserves our worship and submission.  We can clearly see how we are to honor God by looking at the Lord Jesus Christ.  It is Christ, alone, who has set the perfect example for us as He worshipped and honored His heavenly Father.
2.  the Father of glory – The One that was the Originator of all that is glorious, honorable and praiseworthy.

Folks, in these two titles we find several keys to giving our God the reverence that He deserves.  We are to …

1. Put Him first in our lives… by following the example of submission and worship that Christ graciously set for us.
Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am [he], and [that] I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things.  And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.  As he spake these words, many believed on him.   (John 8:28-30)

2. Appreciate Him… by always keeping in mind that our Heavenly Father is the Source of all that is good in our lives and the world.
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”   (James 1:17)

 

may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:
Paul’s desire for the church was that the Lord might grant to them a greater understanding of the Father and His works on their behalf.  He describes this as:

1.  give you the “spirit” – the idea of “spirit” carries with it two separate aspects:
a.  First, Paul desired God to give them the proper attitude, or “spirit”, concerning truths about God’s person and work.  A very important factor in our getting the most out of the teachings of the Word is a proper level of esteem and reverence for His Word.  The higher the value we place on the Word, the more we will learn from it and the more we will apply to our lives.  This, in turn, results in greater benefit from the Word.
b.  Secondly,  Paul recognized that men cannot understand truths about God apart from the Holy Spirit’s intervention in their lives.  In this phrase he is asking the Father to send the Spirit to this church to reveal more about Himself.

2.  of “wisdom and revelation” – Paul desired for the truths of God to be revealed (“revelation”)  to the church and also to be applied to their lives in a practical way (“wisdom”)…
a.  If we simply know the truth without applying it to our lives we become conceited and prideful, thinking we know much but do not need to make it a living part of our lives.
b.  If we lack knowledge of the truth and only live our lives according to error, we become false worshippers.

3.  in the “knowledge of Him”  – Paul desired for the church to come to a greater understanding of who God is and what He has done for us.  Both aspects of knowledge about God go hand in hand and are crucial to our greater knowledge of God.  For example, if we understand He is Eternal, we can come to a fuller understanding of His role as Creator of us all.  If we understand He is All-knowing, it helps us to understand how He can always work on our behalf, allowing only those things are benefit us.

APPLICATION:
In this section of Scripture, we have several acts of God’s grace bestowed upon us…
1. The perfect example set by Christ for us to follow.
2. All that is good and perfect being bestowed to us.
3. An attitude that recognizes the value and importance of the Word for our lives.
4. The Holy Spirit who reveals to us the truths of God.
5.  His enabling to learn and apply His truths to our lives.
6.  His Word that reveals to us many truths about our Lord.

 

 

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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9 Comments

  1. Terry says:

    Thank you so much Rob for all you do

  2. Shofar says:

    Hi Pastor Rob, I believe that what you have shared is God’s will for all of us, that we would have “the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of (our) understanding being enlightened; that (we) 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. . .” Eph 1:17-19 Powerful scriptures!

    From studying God’s Word as you are sharing with us, we can learn how to please God and understand that God has a plan and purpose for our lives. \o/
    ~Liz

    • Rob Barkman says:

      Thanks so much for the kind words. How very true, if we all came to a better understanding and application of the Word for our lives this world would be a different place.

  3. SLIMJIM says:

    Thank you for this. It’s funny, this is the third time in one day I’ve encountered Ephesians 1…once during my own reading, secondly was in a chapter of a book on the Trinity I’m reading that has a chapter devoted to Eph. 1 and tonight with your exposition.

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