Paul prays for us to know the power and value of this great gift. Ephesians 1:15-23
15For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, 16I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, 17that 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, 18having the eyes of your hearts enlightened…
I know something you don’t know. Is it possible that Paul the apostle is saying that to us? Of course not in a childish, teasing tone for he is writing to the faithful and loving. He is addressing the saints of God. Yet Paul wants desperately for us to know something. So much that he unceasingly prays for it. He realizes it will require spiritual revelation to perceive this wisdom, to understand this mystery hid through the ages. He makes his request to the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Paul asks for light to be turned on in the dark room of our hearts. Earlier in Ephesians 1:7-10, we were told there is grace for understanding. It is Paul’s desire for us to know and experience what our glorious Father has given to us.
…that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you,
Know that Christ is the hope of our calling
Smelling the inviting aromas from the kitchen, a family awaits the call that dinner is ready. So the fragrance of Christ’s goodness in our lives calls to us. This call is for us to hope in Christ’s return. Christ dwelling within us now is the hope for eternal glory. (Colossians 1:27)
We are being called to our Father’s deliciously prepared table, not just to consume. We are called to savor. To anticipate and imagine what awaits us.
…what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe,
Know the riches of our inheritance
Naturally the glorious Father has a glorious inheritance in store for us. Nonetheless, Paul wants for us to know the layers and dimension of our Father’s investment in us and to us. Paul refers to these as riches throughout the book of Ephesians.
- Riches of grace (Ephesians 1:7)
- Riches of mercy (Ephesians 2:4)
- Riches of immeasurable kindness (Ephesians 2:7)
- Unsearchable riches (Ephesians 3:8)
- Glorious riches (Ephesians 3:16)
19 …and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might 20 that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21 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. 22 And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.
Christ is our means and strength
Along with glorious hope and a rich inheritance, our glorious Father has given us power. Paul goes into much detail concerning the power that works in believers of Christ. This power is immeasurable and great. It is not an untapped, dormant power. We’ve seen this power in action when God raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand.
The first Biblical mention of being seated is in Genesis 43:33. Joseph who is second in authority in Egypt serves his brothers a meal after being betrayed by them 20 years earlier. Not recognizing him, Joseph’s seats his 11 brothers in proper birth order. The Bible tells us they are astonished. God has seated us with Christ, the ruler who has total authority. He is putting everything, including all things pertaining to us in proper order. Let us be astonished also.
The popular Bible verse John 3:16 tells us that… God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16). God, our glorious Father gave Christ to believers that they may live eternally with him. In verse 22 of Ephesians 1, we’re told that Christ is also gifted to those who believe as preeminent leader. For he is the head over all things in this life and for eternity which is the age to come. As a part of his body believers share his inheritance and supreme rule.
In any other case, this level of authority would be frightening in a single entity. Can he be trusted? Of course, for Jesus is gentle and lowly in heart. (Matthew 11:29) There is no fear or condemnation for those in Christ. (1 John 4:18; Romans 8:1) No need to hide as Adam and Eve did after eating the forbidden fruit in the garden. J. I. Packer states that after the fall, God “ordains for Eve grief in childbirth, for Adam frustrating labor and for both certain death”. Yet God the Father gives the antidote for each poison in Christ Jesus. Hope for our grief; a rich inheritance for our labor and for death, our resurrected life with Christ.