Summary: You need hope to cope. Where can you find the hope you need in this mixed-up world? Paul tells us in Ephesians 1:15-23.
A Study in Ephesians:
WHERE TO FIND THE HOPE YOU NEED
The Ephesians were exhibiting ample amounts of faith and love but were coming up short in hope.
Paul praised the Ephesians for their faith and love but prayed for their hope.
As a believer we need all three Christian virtues. We need faith, hope and love.
The Ephesians had two of these but were evidently weak in hope.
So Paul prayed for them to have hope. As people emerging from a dark life of occult practices, the Ephesians would need to be taught some basic truths and doctrines.
Living under the lies of Satan had kept them in the dark about the truth. Satan kept these people under his power by deceiving them and telling them lies.
Now, Paul knew they needed to be reinforced in the truth.
Satan works in overt ways and covert ways. Overtly, Satan works through witchcraft, séances, Ouija boards, etc.
But covertly Satan works through false doctrine. Since these Christians had come out of lives of Satan’s overt activity, Satan would surely try to continue working their lives covertly, through continuing to try and convince them of his lies.
“The most obvious activity of Prince Lucifer in our present age is that form of activity that can be seen, his overt activity. As a consequence, even the public press is filled with accounts of Satan worship, witchcraft, occult practices, spiritism, pagan religious rites, and many other evidences of Satanism. Millions are addicting themselves to fortune-telling, palmistry, astrology, and tarot cards. From cemetery séances to Ouija board parties, the story of the occult revival continues to grow. These viewable forms of satanic activity are frightening evidence that Prince Lucifer is continuing, even expanding, his work in our “modern” world. There is, however, a form of satanic activity that is more deadly than witchcraft. Serious damage has been done in naïve personalities because of overt spiritualist activity, but far greater havoc has been wrought by another kind of Satanism, the covert production and propagation of false doctrine. The enemy has produced a significant triumph when he can spread in our society a broad set of false views about God, Christ, the Holy Spirit, sin, and the purpose of life, and other imperative points of Christian doctrine. For every one person who is subverted by Satan worship, thousands are enmeshed in Satan’s more deadly trap: doctrinal error. People who are otherwise perfectly rational, who would not dream of attending a séance, are, nevertheless, the more thoroughly undermined simply because they believe the wrong thing.” – David Breese, Satan’s Ten Most Believable Lies
Since these Ephesians had come out of a life of Satan’s overt, obvious activity, now Satan would try another tactic with them: the tactic of false doctrine.
Did you know that Satan is a theologian? Satan has a systematic theology that is coherent and convincing.
“Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons…” – 1 Timothy 4:1 (NKJV)