Summary: Our growing knowledge of God enables us to remain committed to Him.
In Ephesians 1:1-14, Paul praised God that in Christ all spiritual blessings are ours. Since we have these spiritual blessings Paul prayed that the Ephesians would know God better (vv. 17-18).
How can one know God better?
1. By our Faith in God and our Love for God’s People (vv. 15-16)
Every Christian both believes and loves. Faith and love are basic Christian graces. It is impossible to be in Christ and not to find oneself drawn both to him in trust and to his people in love.
Read 1 John 4:19–21 (NIV)
2. By God’s Provision of Wisdom and Revelation (vv. 17)
Paul prayed that the Ephesians may be given the Spirit of wisdom and revelation. It means a spirit which can fathom and unfold the deep things of God. Spirit of wisdom and revelation refers to works of the Holy Spirit who is the agent of revelation and the teacher of the people of God.
Wisdom (Sophia) refers to the capacity to understand and, as a result, to act wisely. It includes knowledge, insight, and deep understanding. In relation to God, Sophía stands for divine wisdom, the ability to regulate one’s relationship with God.
Revelation (Apokalupsis) means uncovering, unveiling, and disclosure. It also means the removal of ignorance and darkness by illumination and instruction.
We need to pray for the Spirit’s ministry of illumination and understanding pertaining to our relationship with God.
Read Proverbs 2:3–6 (NIV)
We need to pray for the Spirit of wisdom and revelation is so that we would know God better. Knowing God better is a priority for believers but it only happens when we were given a spirit of wisdom and revelation.
The word ‘know’ (Epignosis) shows the relationship of the learner to the object of his knowledge. It also means to recognize by a more thorough participation in the acquiring of knowledge on the part of the learner.
3. By God’s enlightening the eyes of our heart (v. 18)
Not only did Paul pray for the Spirit of wisdom and revelation for the Ephesians but he also prayed that they eyes of their heart may be enlightened (v. 18). In biblical usage the heart is the whole inward self, comprising mind as well as emotion. So ‘the eyes of the heart’ are simply our ‘inner eyes’, which need to be opened or ‘enlightened’ before we can grasp God’s truth.
Note here that we are talking of believers needing their inner eyes be opened or enlightened. In other words, in order for us to keep growing in our relationship with God, we need the Spirit’s work in our lives.
We need to rely on the Holy Spirit to enable us to know God better. The term “enlightened” (photizo) means to cause something to be fully known by revealing clearly and in some detail.
Why do we need to know God better?
1. The Hope of God’s Calling (v. 18)
God called us in the beginning of our Christian life and we responded. What did God call us for? His call was not a random or purposeless thing. He had some object in view when he called us. He called us to something and for something better.
Read Romans 1:6 (NIV)
Read 2 Timothy 1:9–10 (NIV)
Read Galatians 5:13 (NIV)
Read Colossians 3:15 (NIV)
Read 1 Peter 2:20–21 (NIV)
Read Philippians 3:14 (NIV)
All these were in God’s mind when he called us. He called us to Christ and holiness, to freedom and peace, to suffering and glory. More simply, it was a call to an altogether new life in which we know, love, obey and serve Christ. This is the hope to which he has called you. Paul prays that our eyes may be opened to know it.
2. The Glory of God’s Inheritance (v. 18)
Read Colossians 1:12 (NIV)
God’s inheritance refers to what He will give us. If God’s call points to the beginning of our Christian life, God’s inheritance points to its end of our Christian life.
Read Ephesians 1:14 (NIV)
Read 1 Peter 1:4–5 (NIV)
Our inheritance is that we shall see God and His Christ and worship him; that we shall enjoy perfect fellowship with each other before the presence of God.
Read 1 John 3:2 (NIV)
Read Philippians 3:20–21 (NIV)
Read Revelation 7:9–10 (NIV)
3. The Greatness of God’s Power (vv. 19-23)
If God’s ‘call’ looks back to the beginning, and God’s ‘inheritance’ looks on to the end, then surely God’s ‘power’ spans the interim period in between.
Only God’s power can fulfill the expectation which belongs to his call and brings us safely to his inheritance in heaven.
God’s power is sufficient and mighty as displayed in the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The resurrection and ascension were a decisive demonstration of divine power. For if there are two powers which man cannot control, but which hold him in bondage, they are death and evil.