Lesson 2 – Ephesians 1:15 – 2:10
Part 1 – Ephesians 1:15 to 1:19
In Lesson 1 we recounted the great blessings that believers have received in Christ Jesus. In this passage, we see that God’s abundant generosity to his children is still not complete. Even greater gifts are waiting. As you read this passage, look for additional gifts that the Ephesian Christians can anticipate.
Where do you fit in? Many Christians, both new converts and life long believers, find themselves in the same position as the people Paul was addressing this letter to. They are aware of God’s goodness to them, but have never grasped all that is theirs in the Lord.
Now Paul continues by telling the Ephesians that even though they’ve reached a level of maturity and experienced many spiritual blessings, they have only seen the tip of the iceberg. Greater blessings still are theirs in the Lord.
He also reminds them towards the end of the full passage that these blessings do not belong to them for their own enjoyment. They have them for a purpose; and the purpose is to do good deeds. Again, how many of us fall into the trap of believing that God’s gifts are intended for our personal enjoyment rather than seeing them first and foremost as intended for the health of the body (the church), the growth of the kingdom and the glory of God?
Read verse 17
What additional blessing is Paul praying for the Ephesians to receive?
– Spirit of wisdom and revelation – In the section from Acts we saw that the Ephesians had received the Holy Spirit; yet Paul keeps praying that they receive it, or possibly keep receiving it. Also, he’s praying for them to receive a specific aspect of the Spirit.
wisdom and revelation to know God better
Paul prays that they will know God better – the Spirit enhances our knowledge of God. How? By opening his word to us. Through interactive prayer. Have you experienced other ways? Our growth in Christ begins with Bible reading and prayer, but isn’t limited to that, as we’re about to see.
Read 18 & 19
List all the further blessings yet to come.
- Eyes of our hearts enlightened – We should see God’ in our daily lives.
- Know the hope to which we are called. Our hope is Heaven; so to live the life of heaven, to live in the Kingdom of Heaven. Paul develops this idea later but here presents that we are living in the kingdom of heaven even though we are still on earth. As members of Christ’s body and as sons of God, we are part of his kingdom even though the fullness of that will not be revealed until later.
- The riches of his glorious inheritance – We will see that in Christ we are adopted by God as his sons. All that the Father has entrusted to the Son is ours in Christ.
- Incomparably great power – power like that shown in Christ, the power that raised Christ from the dead is the same power that saved us. Few people today really experience the power of the spirit, but God intends for us to grow into this.
As we think about these four ways in which we are to come to know God better, we are struck by how compromised our expectations often become. If we have regular Bible reading, we expect no more than an occasional nugget of wisdom to use in our earthly lives, yet the Word of God is intended to lead us into enlightenment, hope, glorious riches and great power.
Similarly, our prayers can become no more than a laundry list of our worldly concerns. When we settle for this, we fall so far short of the opportunity we have to commune with the Lord, walking with him as Adam and Eve did in the garden before the fall. As we’ll see, we were made “in Christ” before creation for that purpose and in Him we can enjoy that now.