Ephesians 1:15-23 ESV
“For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.”
What is the faith that Paul is referring to here? It is faith in Jesus Christ, for sure, but what kind of faith? Is it just believing Jesus to forgive us our sins so that when we die we can go to heaven to be with him? Or is there more to it than that? It is surely the faith that comes from God, which is perfected by Jesus Christ, and that is not of ourselves, lest we should boast.
So, what does that kind of faith look like? It involves faithfulness, for Paul addressed this writing to the saints who were faithful in Christ Jesus. It also involves holiness, which means to be set apart (unlike, different) from the world so that we can become like Jesus, for Paul said the saints were chosen by God to be holy and blameless before him.
We were predestined according to the purpose of God who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so we might be for the praise of God’s glory. And his purpose for us is clearly that we are to die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness, and that we are to no longer walk in sin (Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; Gal 5:16-21; 1 Jn 2:3-6).
And this faith also involves us loving God and loving our neighbors as ourselves and loving our fellow Christians (saints of God). And this love prefers what God prefers which is what is holy, righteous, morally pure, honest, faithful, and committed to walks of obedience to our Lord. So, we will not continue in deliberate and habitual sin against God and others.
The Spirit of Wisdom
Our faith is also not a one-time experience we go through in our lives where we decide to believe in Jesus to save us from our sins. We don’t “get saved” so that when we die we can go to heaven. Jesus saves us from our sins so that we will no longer live in sin, according to the flesh, but so we will now walk in holiness and righteousness, according to and empowered by God’s Spirit (Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Pet 2:24).
So our salvation from sin is to be lived out in our daily lives. We are to grow in our faith and in our understanding of God’s word and in our walks of obedience to the Lord. And we need the wisdom of God in our lives in order to walk in that faith, and in order to continue in obedience to our Lord. And we get that wisdom from God’s word and via putting that word into practice.
And to have our eyes enlightened we need to be listening to the Lord and doing what he says to do, for we aren’t going to be discerning of things if we are giving way to the flesh and if we are not making obedience to our Lord our practice. But in this day and age, we definitely need to have our eyes enlightened to what is going on all around us, for deception abounds!
And knowing the hope to which he has called us can only come through seeking his face and his counsel and through prayer and through the study of the word of God, and also through obedience. The more we listen, and the more we obey, the more our eyes will be enlightened, and the greater our understanding will be regarding all that God has for us.
So, what is this hope? It isn’t just eternal life with God. It isn’t just getting to go to heaven when we die. We aren’t saved just so we can go to heaven. We are saved so that we live our lives to the glory of God and for his will and purposes while we still live on this earth. So, our hope is so much more than just heaven as our eternal destiny.
Our hope is salvation from sin, but it is deliverance from our slavery to sin so we can become slaves of God and of his righteousness. And our hope is that we have a Savior and Lord (master) who now lives within us who is directing our lives, and who is empowering us to live godly and holy lives, and that he has a purpose for our lives for his praise and glory.
The Greatness of His Power
We can’t live the Christian life absent of the power of God in our lives. We can’t say “no” to sin daily and walk in holiness daily absent of the power of God. The power of God is what gives us the strength, the power, the wisdom, the courage, and the direction for how to live for the Lord day by day, and the knowledge of what God’s will and purpose is for our lives.
The power of God is what delivered us from our slavery to sin and what gave us new lives in Christ Jesus, our Lord, to be lived for his glory. For, it is the power of God which raised Jesus from the dead, and which returned him to heaven, and which gives him all rule and authority and power and dominion over everything.
So, in that same power we can live free from the control of sin over our lives, free from addiction to sin, and we can walk in obedience to our Lord, doing what he has called us to do. In his power we can resist Satan, and we can fight off his evil attacks against us, and we can endure great suffering that comes upon us because of our walks of faith.
In the power of God we can be his servants and witness, too, sharing the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ with the people of this world and with worldly people who claim to be Christians, too. For, if we are indeed sharing the whole gospel message, and not the half-truth gospel that is so popular today, we are going to face strong opposition and lots of rejection.
So, listen to the voice of the Lord. Spend lots of time in God’s word reading it in context, praying for wisdom and understanding and for the Lord to direct you to his truth and to show you his will for your life. Then, in his power and strength, be who he created you to be, and take his gospel to the ends of the earth, for time is short, and many need to know Jesus.
Days Of Elijah
Artist: Robin Mark
Songwriter: Francis Robert Mark
These are the days of Elijah
Declaring the Word of the Lord
And these are the days
Of Your servant Moses
Righteousness being restored
And though these are days
Of great trials
Of famine and darkness and sword
Still we are the voice
In the desert crying
Prepare ye the way of the Lord
Behold He comes
Riding on the clouds
Shining like the sun
At the trumpet call
So lift your voice
It’s the year of Jubilee
And out of Zion’s hill
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