November 13th, 2022: Christ in Wisdom- 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;
In the first thirteen verses of Ephesians chapter one, Paul told the church at Ephesus that God intended all along for believers from every place, every culture, and every ethnicity to be united into one family through the blood of his Son. The following verses encourage the church for being faithful and living out the love of God for each other. Paul gave thanks for their steadfastness and commitment. They did not err from the pure gospel he preached, nor did they declare that they had earned the right to be called Christians because of what they do. Their actions were a result of the change made inwardly through redemption.
A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. (John 13:34-35) .
How often could we encourage and lift the burdens of our fellow Christians if we would practice giving thanks for them and lift their names to Heaven in prayer? Notice that this prayer for others is a pattern in Paul’s life. He frequently writes that he “makes mention of you without ceasing or always” in his letters to the churches. God, forgive us for our narcissistic self-centeredness that weakens your believers. All too often, we point out the flaws in our brothers and sisters in Christ or compare their weaknesses to our strengths in order to feel superior.
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:
Not only does he lift them in prayer, but he is also specific in what he is asking of God. He doesn’t say, “be with” them. He asks for God to bless them with wisdom and to reveal himself to them by increasing their knowledge of Him.
For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding. (Proverbs 2:6).
Let us learn to pray specifically, not only for a closer walk with God for ourselves but for our loved ones and neighbors, as well. The trifecta of spiritual discernment can be found in this verse. Paul asks for wisdom, knowledge, and understanding for the church. The definition of knowledge includes the examples, truths, and commands that are given by God. Wisdom is the right use and application of knowledge. And according to proverbs, the highest goal is to have understanding, which may be defined as the cognitive, moral, and spiritual agreement with God about the word He has given. Simply put, we accept and learn His word, then we learn to live by it, and ultimately we grow in our relationship with Him to the point that we appreciate and live in the beauty of the purpose behind it.
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,
He continues praying for the opening of their eyes in understanding. In many places scripture tells us not to be wise in our own eyes and that the eyes of God ponder the activities of man. To be enlightened is to elevate our thinking and correct our vision to bring it into subjection and agreement with the Lord. Paul is praying for them to expand their vision to see why God has called them and how great the benefit is to walking with the Lord.
Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law. (Psalm 119:18) .
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:
This is not a quick “Bless them Lord'' prayer. Paul continues to ask God to show them the greatness of His power. God is all-powerful. He is just waiting to show, whosoever will, what He can do. He can heal brokenness and forgive sins. He can prepare a place in heaven, wipe away all tears, and create a new heaven and earth. There is nothing that is too hard for God to handle. His power and authority are beyond our ability to comprehend. He has proven this power and His love for mankind through Jesus Christ. Jesus is the only one to purposefully lay down His life (when He was ready) and pick it back up again at His resurrection. No man took it from Him. No man could. No one else can do what Jesus can do. He is higher, wiser, stronger, and greater than every name that is known. Notice this is true not only in this world but in the world 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.
Jesus is the authority over everything.
The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. (John 1:2-3) For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. (Col 1:16-18).
There was a song by Southern Gospel artists The McKameys that said “when things are over our heads they are under his feet.” Hebrews tells us that God the Father has placed all things under His subjection, or, control. Christ is the head of the Church. This new multicultural group of believers from every tribe, nation, kindred, and tongue may use the names of many denominations, but it is part of the one true church if it believes in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, His Holy Spirit, and the inspired Word of God. it is a body, fitly framed together, and under the subjection of Christ. Each of us with a purpose and calling. Each of us has a job to do. Each of us should strive to bring as many as possible into the family.
Thank you for studying with us! God bless!