“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 desire for the church to come to a greater understanding of the Lord’s person and work on their behalf…
(Eph 1:18) 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,
In our study this morning, we will be looking at God’s grace as He gives us the ability to understand the blessings that await us throughout eternity.
Please take note that this verse is preceded by the verse…
“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 verse reveals to us the Lord’s work in revealing Himself to man through the intervention of the Holy Spirit of God. Our verse for this morning continues this idea by teaching us that the great blessings of God are also revealed to us through divine intervention…
The eyes of your understanding being enlightened;
The Lord, as He intervenes in our lives, graciously “turns on the light”. This results in our ability to:
1. recognize the blessings that await us
2. comprehend much about that which we have yet to experience
3. appreciate the great eternal value these blessings hold for us.
Left to himself, due to his sinful flesh, a saved man cannot begin to understand the eternal riches that God has prepared for His people. He is in desperate need of the Lord to open his eyes to come to the truth about the great spiritual wealth that has already been given to him. Think of it like this…
It is like a man is in a totally dark room that contains a chest full of gold. If no light is given to him, he will never see the wonderful treasure that awaits him. It is only when the “light is turned on” (enlightening of the understanding), that he can:
1. see that a chest exists – recognize there is an eternal inheritance awaiting him
2. open the latch and raise the lid – revealing to him the nature of this inheritance
3. closely examining the contents – allowing him to fathom the great value of these wonderful eternal blessings
This enlightening begins at the initial salvation experience and then, by His grace, can continue on throughout the Christian’s life as he comes to a greater understanding of his eternal inheritance found only in Christ.
“For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” (1 Corinthians 13:12)
“Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away. Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord [is], there [is] liberty. But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, [even] as by the Spirit of the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 3:16-18)
what ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what are the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,
The our future blessings in Christ are described as:
1. “the hope of his calling” – The great hope received when we were summoned to Him at our salvation.
An eternity with Christ separated from sin… this is the ultimate destination and motive for living given to His people.
2. “the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints” – The treasured possession of heaven.
Why is our eternal dwelling place (heaven) described as our “inheritance”? It comes to us based upon:
a. His death – His death on the cross.
b. Our membership in His family – our spiritual adoption into the family of God.
Both of which are necessary for the inheritance to be received.
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen… These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of [them], and embraced [them], and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. And truly, if they had been mindful of that [country] from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better [country], that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.” (Hebrews 11:1, 13-16)
“Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought: But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, [even] the hidden [wisdom], which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known [it], they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed [them] unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.” (1 Corinthians 2:6-12)
The grace of the Lord continues to amaze each and every one of us when we stop and consider that, it is only by His grace, that we are able to come to an understanding of the glorious eternity that we have awaiting us. What would our life be like if we did not have this wonderful knowledge to comfort and motivate us as we serve the Lord in this sin darkened world?
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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