Summary: God has lavished spiritual blessings on us. He tells us that our calling, our hope, our forgiveness, our redemption, our inheritance, the sealing, preserving, protection and mark of ownership is all for God’s glory.
The Knowledge of God - Ephesians 1:15-17
Intro.: The more I study Paul’s writings, the more I understand those who are drawn to him 2000 years after his death. Paul is so filled with power and love, that he can’t even say ‘hello’ without bursting into praise.
“Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ”... and off he goes!
In Ephesians 1 he spells out all these spiritual blessings God has lavished on us. He tells us that our calling, our hope, our forgiveness, our redemption, our inheritance, the sealing, preserving, protection and mark of ownership is all for God’s glory.
READ: Ephesians 1:15-17
NOTE: Paul is praying an awesome prayer for these believers... That God would bring them into an intimate knowledge of Himself. Man’s ultimate purpose is to know God and to enjoy Him forever. This is why we should all be praying Ephesians 1:18-19 for each other regularly. You can’t go wrong praying the scriptures!
But let’s look at the best commentary on the final verse of our text: Ephesians 1:17.
READ: I Corinthians 2:6-8 & vs. 14
He is repeating what Jesus taught Nicodemus, “...unless a man is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
Without the knowledge of God, the best that man can hope to come up with is a god of futility. Since he can think no higher than his human spirit, he can only make gods like himself.
I. The Spirit of Wisdom
NOTE: Our culture intends to eradicate the memory of God. Many claim to have the answer but most don’t even know the question. Wisdom is needed, but neglected. James asks in 3:13, “Who is wise and understanding among you?” Wisdom is the application of knowledge. The word understanding speaks of a specialist who can skillfully apply his expertise to practical situations. With all the church faces in this day and time we need to be specialists in the wisdom and understanding of God
A. You’ll notice that wisdom precedes revelation, there is a reason for that
READ: Psalm 51:6 Behold, You desire truth in the innermost being, and in the hidden part You will make me know wisdom.
READ: Proverbs 24:14 Know that wisdom is thus for your soul; If you find it, then there will be a future, And your hope will not be cut off.
READ: Matt 13:54 He came to His hometown and began teaching them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished, and said, "Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers?
READ: Luke 2:52 And Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.
B. When revelation precedes wisdom, the result is often “calamity”
1. It’s like position without character
2. Or like authority without morality
II. The Spirit of Revelation – READ: II Corinthians 2:10-13
A. Man cannot have the knowledge of God w/o the Spirit revealing it… vs. 14
B. Apart from God revealing Himself, there is no understanding of God at all.
1. Just look at the gods man creates out of his own depravity
2. When people have knowledge, but no revelation – they are still in the dark
EXAMPLE: The disciples were w/Jesus for over 3 years. They constantly listened to Him teach, saw His miracles, asked Him questions, but they did not understand His purpose, until after the resurrection...and even then they asked questions that exposed their ignorance. “We were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel” and “Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?”
It wasn’t until the day of Pentecost that they really began to understand
C. They weren’t given a crash course in theology by Jesus w/ a dry erase board
D. They had certain knowledge that Jesus had stored up in them
1. But they had no revelation of the Spirit until their upper room experience
E. They were changed by the empowerment of the Holy Spirit
1. Only days before were asking questions in ignorance
2. They were filled with fear & doubt when they met him after the resurrection
3. They stood gazing into the sky, dumbfounded, as He ascended
4. But, when they stepped out of the upper room and preached a Holy Spirit
inspired sermon, they even had those who crucified Jesus crying, “What
must we do to be saved?”
E. So, It is not enough to have just a head-knowledge of Jesus
1. Our relationship must be based on a revelation of Him through His Spirit
Concl.: Here’s an excerpt from D. Martin Lloyd-Jones’ commentary on this verse: