Summary: This is the second in a letter study of Ephesians. This sermon looks at what happens when our eyes are enlightened to the things of God.
That Your Eyes May Be Enlightened
All the world is looking for enlightenment. The Buddhists and Hindu’s meditate seeking to find in themselves the enlightenment that will bring them to salvation. The new age gurus chant and meditate and seek to find enlightenment in the same eastern religions that have left so many hopeless. Intellectuals seek enlightenment in the scientific theory and evolutionary models. The native Americans seek enlightenment praying to the spirits of nature and dead ancestors.
Take a look at the shelves of any bookstore- you will find volumes of books dedicated to the proposition that man can find enlightenment - knowledge- peace - and hope if he just seeks it hard enough in the things of his own heart or the things of the world.
The scriptures tell us something completely different than our world tells us today-
Isaiah 9:2 The people who walk in darkness Will see a great light; Those who live in a dark land, The light will shine on them.
This is only one of many places that we find that enlightenment comes from without not from within.
Pauls prayer for the Ephesians - is that the eyes of their hearts might be enlightened - but that enlightenment comes from the spirit of wisdom and revelation that comes only from God. Paul’s prayer for this people is that their hearts would be enlightened.
1) The enlightened heart knows the hope of it’s calling -
Hope here means - anticipation Calling means invitation -
So literally Paul prays that they might know in their hearts the
anticipation and excitement of Christ’s invitation-
His invitation is one to salvation - Let me ask you - do you still have that anticipation or excitement about your salvation- or have you lost it somewhere down the line.
On occasion we loose our focus on the great calling of God -our worship gets stale and lackluster, our hearts get tired and worn, our prayers get repetitious and lazy,- we get so lost in the religion that we forget that God cares for us personally- We forget the joy of salvation -
Have you forgotten what it will be like to be with God - Have you forgotten the power of His presence, the peace of His touch, the comfort of His voice, the healing of His hand-
If so today is the day to pray for your heart to be enlightened - to know again the Joy of His salvation.
2) The Enlightened Heart knows the Riches of its Inheritance -
The apostle Paul writing to the Romans by the Spirit of God said this you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, "Abba! Father!" The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ,
We have been adopted into the household of the King of Kings- adopted with all the rights and privileges that goes along with it.
it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
The Enlightened Heart knows that the privilege of calling the Sovereign God of the Universe Father ABBA is of more value than anything else in the world.
3) The Enlightened Heart knows the surpassing Power of God toward us-
Power = Dunamis - supernatural power, explosive power
The expression toward us literally means power reaching or entering us -
The Power of God - that touches us in our daily life- our walk
If we really believed that the Power that hung the stars in place- that created the world and all that we know, the power that raised Christ from the dead - was working in us- If we really believed it was working in us- wouldn’t that change our lives and the way we live them?
In Burma, Adiniram Judson the great missionary was lying in a foul jail with 32 lbs. of chains on his ankles, his feet bound to a bamboo pole. A fellow prisoner said, "Dr. Judson, what about the prospect of the conversion of the heathen?", with a sneer on his face. His instant reply was, "The prospects are just as bright as the promises of God."
In Chapter 3 Paul says Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us-
Thank God that He works beyond our ability to believe or think-
Osawald Chambers said “We impoverish God’s ministry to us the moment we forget he is Almighty; the impoverishment is in us, not in him.”
Conc. Pauls prayer for the Ephesians was that God through the power of His Spirit might enlighten the eyes of their hearts. I believe that today you and I need to pray for the same insight- For if the eyes of our hearts are enlightened to know
the hope of His calling
the riches of our inheritance
and the power of God in us
We will be changed -