PAULíS PRAYER FOR THE EPHESIANS
INTRODUCTION: Warren Wiersbe tells a story of
how William Randolph Hearst once read of a valuable piece of art and decided
that he must add it to his collection. He sent an agents all over the world
to find and secure the art object. After many months his agent came back
and told him that he had found the object. It had been stored all the time
in a warehouse of Hearst. It had been purchased years ago by Hearst and
Christians often forget about the blessings that
God has given to His people. In Ephesians 1:18 Paul prays that we might
have a full appreciate of what God has done for us and the greatness of
our God. But first he begins by praying for us to fully understand Godís
I. HE PRAYED THAT GOD WOULD GIVE THEM SPIRITUAL
UNDERSTANDING (VERSES 15-18a).
A. God is the source of all spiritual
Connecting sentence: Paul has encouraged the
Ephesians to seek understanding from Godís will. He will now tell them
what he wants them the fully appreciate concerning that will.
1. God is the fount of all good gifts.
B. Paul gives two ways that God would help Christians
have spiritual understanding - "the spirit of wisdom and revelation in
the knowledge of Him."
a. James 1:17 - "Every good gift and
every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights,
with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning."
2. Paul expects God to give answer to his prayer
and help the Ephesian Christians to grow spiritually.
3. It is only though a relationship with Jehovah
God that we can hope to have true spiritual enlightenment and wisdom.
a. Jeremiah 9:23-24 "Thus says the LORD:
"Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, Let not the mighty man glory
in his might, Nor let the rich man glory in his riches; 24- But let him
who glories glory in this, That he understands and knows Me, That I am
the LORD, exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the
earth. For in these I delight," says the LORD."
1. The "spirit of wisdom" is simply
the ability to discern the truth and apply it to our lives.
b. God has never promised instant revelation
(new truth) for all his saints. In fact, very few Christians in the first
century, when the final truth was being revealed had privilege to have
revelation given directly to them. Jude 3 teaches us that the truth has
been completely revealed to mankind.
c. The Lord does, however, promise wisdom to
every child of God who will seek it from Him.
d. James 1:5-6 "If any of you lacks wisdom, let
him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it
will be given to him. 6- But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for
he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind."
2. "Revelation in the knowledge of Him"
B. He asks God that Christians might have that understanding
of Godís will - "the eyes of your understanding being enlightened."
a. Does this passage have a first century
connotation? Is it referring to a miraculous revelation? Even though revelation
was not yet completed, it seems likely that Paul was referring to something
that all Christians could have access to. The revealed will of God that
had been provided by Inspired writers.
b. What is Paul praying that the Ephesians would
do? He prays that they would have the wisdom to go to Godís revelation
to receive a knowledge on God.
c. How do we receive the knowledge of Godís revelation?
By diligently studying that revelation and applying it to our lives.
i. 2 Timothy 2:15
ii. Acts 17:11 - "These were more fair-minded
than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness,
and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were
1. "The eyes of understanding" seems
to be equivalent to the inner man, the heart, or mind.
2. This is quite possibly simply a poetic restatement
of what Paul has already prayed for. It is possible for the "eyes of understanding,"
or mind, to be closed to the truth.
a. Matthew 13:15 - For the hearts of
this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, And their
eyes they have closed, Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with
their ears, Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, So
that I should heal them.'
3. How are we enlightened? He has already told us.
It is through wisdom, which God supplies, and a searching of Godís divine
b. Hebrews 3:12-13 "Beware, brethren, lest there
be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living
God; 13- but exhort one another daily, while it is called "Today," lest
any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin."
II. HE PRAYED THAT THEY MIGHT KNOW THE HOPE
OF HIS CALLING (VERSE 18b)
A. Hope in the New Testament is a full
assurance of what God has provided for us.
1. is firmly rooted in the truth of
a. Hebrews 6:18-19 "that by two immutable
things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong
consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before
us. 19- This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast,
and which enters the Presence behind the veil,"
III. HE PRAYED THAT THEY WOULD KNOW THE RICHES
OF HIS INHERITANCE (VERSE 18c).
b. 1 Peter 1:13 - Therefore gird up
the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace
that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
c. Romans 15:4
2. This is the great hope that we have
in our hearts.
B. Look at the beauty of Godís calling for His people.
a. Romans 5:5 - "Now hope does not disappoint,
because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit
who was given to us."
1. The call to obtain the glory of Christ.
a. 2 Thessalonians 2:14 - to which He
called you by our gospel, for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus
2. The call to peace
a. Colossians 3:15 - And let the peace
of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body;
and be thankful.
3. The call to receive eternal blessings.
a. 1 Peter 3:9 - not returning evil
for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing
that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing.
A. What a grand, rich inheritance we
have reserved for us and every faithful child of God.
IV. HE PRAYED THAT THEY WOULD KNOW GODíS POWER
1. Romans 8:17 - and if children, then
heirs; heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with
Him, that we may also be glorified together.
B. We can Know the riches of that inheritance.
2. Hebrews 9:15 - And for this reason He is the
Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of
the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called
may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.
3. 1 Peter 1:4 - to an inheritance incorruptible
and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,
1. 1 John 5:13 - These things I have
written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may
know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in
the name of the Son of God.
2. Actually 1 John 5:13-15 is a passage that
should build our confidence in the inheritance which we have been promised.
He use the word know three times and the word confidence once.
A. It is the working of Godís power
CONCLUSION: In the Summer of 1945 America tested
the first Atomic Bomb. They stood with amazement at the awesome power of
that first bomb. But the atomic bomb pales in insignificance to the power
of God. As Christians, we should always remember that our God is truly
an awesome God!
1. Look at the words the inspired writer
B. The might power is toward "us who believe."
a. Power - from dunamis, "the
ability to accomplish, the cognitive verb means, "I am able."
b. Working - from energeia, "power at
work, not mere potential power but active power."
c. Strength - from kratos, "the power
that rules, has dominion, especially over rational beings."
d. Might - from ischus, "inherent strength,
or might. Has more to do with potential, intrinsic might, whether active
1. Godís power to salvation has the
power to reach out to the most wicked and make them accepted with the heavenly
C. The power of God is illustrated by two events.
2. Romans 1:16
3. Colossians 1:13 - He has delivered us from
the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His
4. 2 Peter 1:3 - as His divine power has given
to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge
of Him who called us by glory and virtue,
1. God raised Jesus from the dead.
a. Acts 17:31 - "because He has appointed
a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom
He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from
2. God seating Christ on His right hand.
b. 1 Peter 1:21 - who through Him believe in
God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith
and hope are in God.
a. Acts 2:33 - "Therefore being exalted
to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise
of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear.
b. Matthew 28:18
c. 1 Peter 3:22 - who has gone into heaven and
is at the right hand of God, angels and authorities and powers having been
made subject to Him.
Copyright 1999 by Grady
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