Summary: God wants his people enlightened about who they are, what he has for them, and what their purpose is.
Intro: Paul tells us that God wants to give us the spirit of wisdom - mentally putting things together, practical skill, understanding - and the spirit of revelation - coming to light, manifested, showed openly, to take off the cover, reveal. The reason behind this is so we can have a greater knowledge - to know and acknowledge, to become fully acquainted with - of Jesus Christ our Lord. When this happens, the eyes - our vision - of our understanding - our heart and mind - become enlightened - illuminated, to shed rays of light on, make to see, to make known.
When we get a greater knowledge of Jesus, great things begin to happen to us.
Example: Peter and his revelation of Jesus in Matt. 16:13-18
Ill. When John A. Broadus was the president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, he went to a country church to preach one Sunday. A man approached him after the service and said, "Brother, God kin git along without all your learnin’." Bro. Broadus replied, " Yes sir, God can. And he can also get along without all your ignorance."
2 Peter 3:18 - But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
Hosea 4:6 - My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.
There is no doudt that God wants his people illuminated. Paul gives 3 reasons in our text as to why God wants the vision of our hearts and minds open to Him.
(1) THAT YE MAY KNOW WHAT IS THE HOPE OF HIS CALLING
NIV - in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you.
God wants us to know what is to be expected of us in the vocation that He has called us into.
What’s expected out of us as Christians?
(a) Expected to be new creatures - 2 Cor. 5:17
(b) Expected to live by a new standard - 1 Peter 1:15-16
(c) Expected to be victors, not victims - Luke 10:19, Rom. 8:37
(e) Expected to watch and pray - Matt. 26:41
(f) Expected to study God’s holy word - 2 Tim. 2:15, Josh. 1:8
(g) Expected to be looking for and hastening the soon return of Jesus - 1 Thess. 4:13-17, James 5:8, 1 Cor. 15:51-53, Phil. 3:20
Real fulfillment in our Christianity comes as a result of knowing what God expects of us.
(2) WHAT THE RICHES OF THE GLORY OF HIS INHERITANCE IN THE SAINTS
NIV - the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints
Rom. 8:17 - And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
Gal. 3:29 - And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
Titus 3:7 - That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
God wants His people to know what their inheritance is!
The inheritance we have through Abraham’s blessing from God.
(a) Gen. 12:2
(b) Gen. 22:17
(c) Gen. 28:4 - ours being a spiritual canaan - 1 Cor. 2:9, John 14:1-3
(d) Deut. 28:2-8,12-13
Another part of our inheritance that we have through Jesus Christ.
(a) Matt. 16:19 - AUTHORITY
(3) WHAT IS THE EXCEEDING GREATNESS OF HIS POWER TO US-WARD WHO BELIEVE
NIV - his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength,
v.20 which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms,
v.21 far 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.
v.22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church,
v.23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in evry way.
EXCEEDING - to throw beyond the usual mark, to surpass
GREATNESS - magnitude, high, large, loud, mighty
POWER - force, miraculous power, ability, abundance, meaning, mighty wonderful work
GOD WANTS TO SHOW HIS POWER TO HIS CHURCH!
(a) DELIVERING POWER - Exodus 15:1-7
(b) SAVING POWER -Matt. 1:21, Matt. 18:11
(c) HEALING POWER - Matt. 10:1, Luke 4:18
CONCLUSION: God wants our eyes to be wide open so we can see Him as He really is and see ourselves for who we really are. Just as the scales fell from Paul’s eyes in Acts 9:17, the Lord wants the scales to fall from our eyes and understandings so we can see clearly. God expects certain things out of us as Christians, a certain lifestyle. God also wants to show us our inheritance that we have through Jesus Christ, and God wants to show believers the greatnes of His power. Will you, right now, let the Lord enlighten you?