Ephesians 1:15-18

In Ephesians 1:15-18 Paul now shifts from talking about “In Him” where he shared the power of our walk with Christ to “For this reason”. He’s changing from schooling us on the facts of our walk as a believer to the impact the Ephesians were having on his ministry to them. When Paul hears of the faith and love of the church at Ephesus, it brought the only response it could – thanksgiving for them. “For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, I do not cease to give thanks for you….” Faith and love do not earn us participation in this great work of God. They are evidence of our participation in God’s plan.

Paul gives thanks not only for their love of the Lord but also for their love for all the saints. The real evidence of walking with Christ is how we love people, especially those in the Body of Christ. But Paul doesn’t just give thanks, he prays for them. “.…remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation….” Paul prayed that God would grant the Ephesians the spirit of wisdom and that He would give them revelation. But these are not so they may see into the lives of others, have the ability to predict events, or do what we commonly think of as “prophet stuff.” He wanted them to have the spirit of wisdom and revelation simply so that they would have a better knowledge of God.

Our Christian life must be centered around the purpose of knowing God as He is the truth, as revealed by His Word. We also must correct our false, idolatrous ideas of who God is. “in the knowledge of him….” It is important for us to have an accurate knowledge and understanding of who we are. Yet it is far more important (and beneficial) for us to know and understand who God is. Spurgeon wrote “the proper study of God’s elect is God; the proper study of a Christian is the Godhead. The highest science, the loftiest speculation, the mightiest philosophy which can ever engage the attention of a child of God, is the name, the nature, the person, the work, the doings, and the existence of the great God whom he calls his Father.”

Paul then prays that they would understand everything God gave them in Jesus Christ. “….having the eyes of your hearts enlightened….” For the Ephesians to know all God has given them in Jesus, it will take a supernatural work of the Spirit. Guzik wrote “Too many Christian hearts have no eyes (places where they gain real knowledge and understanding), and too many Christian eyes have no heart — God wants both to be combined in us.” The word ‘heart’ means our very core and center of life. Alford explains that is “where the intelligence has its post of observation, where the stores of experience are laid up, and the thoughts have their fountain.” We need to both see and feel as God does!

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