gratitude & hoopla: Wisdom and Revelation

gratitude & hoopla

"Nothing taken for granted; everything received with gratitude; everything passed on with grace." G. K. Chesterton

14.11.05

Wisdom and Revelation

Ephesians 1:15-23
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, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.
I have been sinking into the first chapter of Ephesians each morning for, oh, maybe two weeks now. Like a stick of dynamite, this small package of words packs a powerful punch. It sweeps from the counsels of God prior to creation, to the redemptive purpose of the cross of Christ, and on to the glorious inheritance of those who believe, to whom is given the Holy Spirit as a guarantee or down payment. And that's just the first 14 verses! After that, Paul prays for the Ephesians, and really he simply prays that they would understand and be assured of two things.

1) He wants them to be assured of their inheritance. This is Paul's word for their eternal destination, and all the spiritual blessings stored up for them there. Paul's emphasis in this chapter is on this inheritance. It is clearly quite important to Paul that the Ephesians settle this matter in their hearts. He wants them to rest assured. Their inheritance is certain. This understanding only comes through revelation. This is, in other words, deep knowledge. We don't get it by looking at the stars or by contemplating our own depths, but by God's own self-revelation to our hearts.

2) He wants them to know the power of God at work in them. God does not make promises he cannot keep. God's "I will . . ." is as good as done. His power toward us is, after all, the same power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in a place of heavenly rule, eternal sovereignty. And so if Christ is for us, what matter who comes against us? God's power is immeasurable power. God is fully capable. He will finish what he started, for he cannot lie, he cannot fail, and he does not grow weary. In Christ we have overcome the world!

"For everyone that is born of God overcomes the world, and this is the victory that has overcome--our faith." 1 John 5:4 [ESV]

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