Ephesians 1-14-23 (audio file for download)
The last time we were together we looked at Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians. We looked at how his prayer was that they would grow not just in their knowledge of God, but in the spirit of wisdom and revelation. His heart for them was that the eyes of their hearts would be enlightened. He wanted them to not just know about God, but to truly know Him intimately.
So what did He want them to see with the eyes of their hearts? We touched briefly on this last time, but we are going to look at it in depth today. You may remember that I mentioned the word that is the clue for us as we read this text. The word that clues us in on what He wants us to see here is the word, “that”.
Essentially there are things that He wants us to know as a result of the eyes of our hearts being enlightened. These three things create somewhat of a framework for the rest of the letter. This are three things that each of us as believers should be cherishing, depending on, and finding our identity in. In some ways these things are the result of having our identity in Christ as Tim shared last week. So in a nutshell, the broad categories that are mentioned here, and that Paul will flesh out as the book goes on are these: I have Hope, I have a family, I have power.
- In Christ, I Have Hope: “Hope to which we have been called” v.18:
Our salvation Chapter 2.
As Christians, our first identity is that we have hope. We live in a world that lacks hope…
Our outlook on life as Christians should be hopeful. It should reflect the Hope that we have in Christ. We should be more grateful, than complaining, we should praise God more than we criticize others. Also notice that you are not the main agent, this is a passive voice. You didn’t earn hope, or find hope, you were called into hope. You responded to it, for sure, but it was offered to you first.
- In Christ, I have a Family: Glorious Inheritance in the saints: the church 2:11-13, 4.
Imagine for a minute you get a call from a lawyer for a really rich relative, and they tell you that you don’t just have an inheritance, you have a Glorious inheritance. Would you be pretty stoked about that? How would you react when the lawyer told you that your inheritance is contained within a family that you are now a part of? That might be very confusing wouldn’t it?
Let’s think for a minute about this. Why would it be more appealing for us to receive monetary inheritance? Why would it be “better” in our eyes to get a glorious inheritance of money rather that something that is in a group of people? Well, For me, it is because I immediately think of all the stuff I could buy with the wealth I just inherited.
The difference is here, an inheritance that is in people, has way more to do with bringing in the Kingdom of God, rather than the kingdom of Bryan. An earthly mass of wealth does nothing to build my character, or feed the hungry, clothe the sick, and spread good news about Jesus. But think about this, what chances of a future do orphans in foreign countries have? Pretty dim huh? Many of them Would not know what to do with a pile of money. But do you think they would benefit from being placed in a family of meager means? Paul spends a lot of time in all his letters telling us how we are to operate as the family of God, and this letter is no exception.
- In Christ, I have Power: Immeasurable greatness of His power towards us who believe: against our flesh, against the world, against Satan, and most importantly over death. He talks about this everywhere, but especially 6:10-11
In closing I want you ask you a question related to each of these point that Paul makes:
- Is your outlook on life one of hope in Christ?
- Do you see the church as the location of your inheritance?
- How are you not trusting in his power?