Summary: Paul is asking God to give us spiritual eyes to understand the hope we have been called to. What is the hope we have been called to? Is it Sunday morning Church attendance and trying to be good people?
Dakota Community Church
November 7, 2010
Getting to Know Him - 2
15For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, 16I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. 17I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 18I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, 20which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.
What do we need to know?
1. The hope to which we are called
18I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you…
Paul is asking God to give us spiritual eyes to understand the hope we have been called to.
What is the hope we have been called to?
Is it Sunday morning Church attendance and trying to be good people? – NO
Do we need enlightened eyes for that kind of hope?
The Old Covenant had synagogue attendance and human effort!
Well we got up early on our only day to sleep in, fought with each other, fought with the kids, got here late, worship was too loud, Dan was okay, now Montana’s and a nap – glorious!
Is that the great hope we are called to?
At one time we were without it.
11Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called "uncircumcised" by those who call themselves "the circumcision" (that done in the body by the hands of men)— 12remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. 13But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.
How many here got all the way into adult life before you became a Christian?
Did you have hope before you met Christ?
How many have ever been drowning in a sense of hopelessness even though you are a believer?
The despair I have been battling over this neck and arm pain is an example.
Paul is praying that the Ephesians will see it, will know it, will become intimately acquainted with the Christian hope.
Malcolm Muggeridge was a very famous and highly respected British journalist who for many years was an ardent atheist. His opinions and thoughts were coveted by American publishers and he occasionally wrote the editorial page for Time magazine. Toward the end of his illustrious career as the Dean of British broadcasters, he became a Christian.
Several years ago he was a guest at a breakfast in Washington, D.C. where he shared his life story. When he had finished his testimony, he made a number of comments about world affairs, all of which were very pessimistic. One of those present asked, “Dr. Muggeridge, you have been very pessimistic. Don’t you have any reason for optimism?” He replied, “I could not be more optimistic than I am, because my hope is in Jesus Christ alone.”
He allowed that remark to settle in for a few seconds, and then he added,“ Just think if the apostolic church had pinned its hopes on the Roman Empire!”(Halverson/ The Living Body)
Immanuel Kant, said that there are three questions that everyone asks:
“What can I know?”
“What shall I do?”
“For what shall I hope?”
Ravi Zacharias said, “Hope is that indispensable element that makes the present so important. Significantly, the absence of future hope has an amazing capacity to reach into the present and eat away at the structure of life, as termites would a giant foundation.”
Dr. Emil Brunner said, “What oxygen is for the lungs, such is hope for the meaning of human life.” Take oxygen away and death occurs through suffocation, take hope away and humanity is constricted through lack of breath; despair and hopelessness set it.”