His name was Victor, but he felt like a loser. He didn't do very well in school a when he was 16 years old, a teacher advised him to drop out of high school and get a job. He didn't do much better in the working world so that, by the time he was 32, he had failed at 76 different jobs.
But applying for job number 77 was to change Victor's life. As a part of the interview process, he was required to take an I.Q. test - a test designed to measure his intelligence. A score of 100 was considered to be normal. Victor scored 161. He had never before realized it, but Victor was a genius. The knowledge of that fact was transforming in his life. Victor Serienko went on to become famous for his research in laser surgery and to become president of MENSA, an organization for geniuses - all because a test said that he was special.
God has said some tremendous things about YOU. He has said that you are special to Him. And in this chapter, he calls you to open your eyes and see what it is that HE says about you.
We have already noted that the verses 3-14 are made up in the Greek text of one very long run-on sentence. Paul begins talking about the blessings which we have in Christ Jesus and he does not stop to take a breath until the end of verse 14. Verses 15-23 form a second overly long sentence, although our English translation breaks it up into several shorter sentences.
Verses 3-14 give Paul's praise. Now verses 15-23 give Paul's prayer. He begins His prayer with thanksgiving to the Lord.
A PRAYER OF THANKS.
For this reason I too, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which exists among you and your love for all the saints, 16 do not cease giving thanks for you, while making mention of you in my prayers (Ephesians 1:15-16).
When Paul says, "For this reason," he is referring back to everything he has said up to this point. The truth that we have been blessed and chosen and predestined and adopted as sons and redeemed and forgiven and given an inheritance and sealed and made a special possession of God. Because of all those things, Paul gives thanks.
He has heard some news about the Ephesians. It is news that drives him to his knees in thanksgiving. He has heard news that makes him believe that Christ is working in the Ephesian church.
1. He has heard of their FAITH in the Lord Jesus.
For this reason I too, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which exists among you... (Ephesians 1:15).
Notice that he does not say that he has heard of THEIR faith. He has heard of THE faith which was among them. You see, Paul had already warned the Ephesians that not everyone in the church would necessarily be in the faith. He warned that there would come a time when the world would get into the church. He told the Ephesian elders that men would arise within their own church "speaking perverse things to draw away the disciples after them" (Acts 20:30).
If you are a part of a local church, then there is faith among you today. But the key question is whether there is faith IN you. Have you entered into the riches of the blessing of Christ Jesus? Or are you an outsider looking in? There is a litmus test given by Paul. It is your love for other Christians.
2. He has heard of their LOVE for all the saints. For this reason I too, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which exists among you and your love for all the saints (Ephesians 1:15).
One of the signs of a true Christian is that he loves other true Christians. Why is that a sign? Because Christians can be rather unlovable. God didn't choose the most loveable people to be His. God didn't choose you because of any good quality that you possessed. He chose you freely and without cause.
Christians can be rather unlovable. But when you come to Christ through a heart of faith and repentance and when you recognize how much God has loved you, then your response is to begin to love other Christians.
A PRAYER FOR WISDOM AND REVELATION.
...while making mention of you in my prayers; 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. (Ephesians 1:16-17).
Having seen the evidence of their faith and their love, Paul proceeds to pray for the Ephesians. His prayer for them is that they might know something. That they might have a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in their knowledge of God.