Summary: Continuing in our series on understanding the authority of a believer
Last week we began to look at the authority of believers Paul spoke of in the book of Ephesians. If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, you have untapped potential, untapped because most Christians are not aware of what they possess and they go through life limping along as a result.
We saw how God not only adopted us and seated us with Christ in the heavenly places, but He lavished upon us the riches of His grace, making known to us according to verse 9 of Ephesians 1, the mystery of His will. Why did he do this? Lets read verses 10-14 to get an understanding.
And this is his plan: At the right time he will bring everything together under the authority of Christ--everything in heaven and on earth. Furthermore, because of Christ, we have received an inheritance from God, for he chose us from the beginning, and all things happen just as he decided long ago. God’s purpose was that we who were the first to trust in Christ should praise our glorious God. And now you also have heard the truth, the Good News that God saves you. And when you believed in Christ, he identified you as his own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom he promised long ago. The Spirit is God’s guarantee that he will give us everything he promised and that he has purchased us to be his own people. This is just one more reason for us to praise our glorious God.
There is a day coming when Christ will return and establish His millennial Kingdom, when every knee will bow and tongue confess Christ is Lord of all. God has sent His Holy Spirit as the guarantee of that promise, so Paul states we should be people of praise, praising God in advance for his plan and purpose.
Lets look at the remaining verses in this chapter…
Ever since I first heard of your strong faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for Christians everywhere, I have never stopped thanking God for you. I pray for you constantly, asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you might grow in your knowledge of God. I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the wonderful future he has promised to those he called. I want you to realize what a rich and glorious inheritance he has given to his people. I pray that you will begin to understand the incredible greatness of his power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms. Now he is far above any ruler or authority or power or leader or anything else in this world or in the world to come. And God has put all things under the authority of Christ, and he gave him this authority for the benefit of the church. And the church is his body; it is filled by Christ, who fills everything everywhere with his presence.
I want to spend our time looking at these verses. There are important keys laid out here and in later verses we will look at that point out the spiritual authority we have in Christ.
Paul said he has asked the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, to give us spiritual wisdom so we would grow in spiritual wisdom and understanding. Here is the thing, if we are to grow in our Christian faith, we are going to need wisdom and understanding. One translation says we need revelation. We need God, through His Holy Spirit, to impart in us wisdom and revelation.
When we begin to comprehend what God has done for us, it opens the door to what He wants to do through us. Paul goes on to pray the eyes of our heart will be enlightened. The heart, in Paul’s time was considered to be the seat of the mind and the will. Our modern culture has the heart as the seat of emotion. We have to make this differentiation when we read this passage. Paul prays our minds and our wills will be enlightened. We have the information but we lack the transformation of information into understanding the will of God for situations in life, that comes when the Holy Spirit speaks to our hearts and brings us into an understanding, when the Holy Spirit enlightens the information we have so we can make rational decisions with right motivations.
What is it we need enlightenment for? Paul said so we might know the hope of our calling, what the riches of the glory of Christ’s inheritance is for us who believe in Him.