Summary: This study will encourage the Christian to get to know God in a more intimate way; And mature in faith
1. (15-16) Paul’s statement of prayer and declaration of thanksgiving.
Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, do no cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers:
When Paul hears of the faith and love of the Ephesians, he can nothing else but to give thanks for them, because their faith and love is evidence of their participation in this great work of God.
Jesus said in Matthew 5:14-16, “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bushel. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”
It says in James 2:17-20, “In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds and I will show you my faith by what I do. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that – and tremble.
You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless?”
Significantly, Paul gives thanks not for their love for God, but for the love for all saints. The real evidence of God’s work in us is not our claimed love for Him, but our observable love for His people. (1 John 4:8, 11-12 and John 13:34-35)
“Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” “Dear friends, since God loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.”
John 13:34-35 says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
So God’s work in our lives is evidenced by our love for one another.
This is what marks the Christian’s life. Colossians 3:12-14 says, “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”
Do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers: Paul did not only give thanks for God’s work among the Ephesians; he also prayed that it would continue with greater strength, as the prayer in Ephesians 1:17-23 makes clear.
2. (17) Paul prays that they would know God.
That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him,
Paul prays that the Father would grant the Ephesians the spirit of wisdom and that He would give them revelation.
In Colossians 1:9 Paul prays a similar prayer. “For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of His will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding.”