THE BOOK OF EPHESIANS
Chapter
1:15-17 - The Study
"That You Might Have a Spirit Of Wisdom and Knowledge"

J. Deering, AncientPath.net


For This Reason

15 For This Reason  
    I too, PAUL EXPRESSES HIS PRAYER FOR THE EPHESIANS
        having heard HEARING OF THEIR FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST
            of the faith in the Lord Jesus  
                which exists among you HEARING OF THEIR LOVE FOR ALL BELIEVERS
            and your love for all the saints, PAUL GIVES THANKS
    16 do not cease giving thanks for you WHEN HE PRAYS TO THE FATHER
        while making mention of you in my prayers;  
            17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ THAT THE GOD OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST
                The Father of Glory, THE FATHER OF GLORY
                    may give to you THE FATHER MAY GIVE TO YOU
                        a spirit of wisdom and WISDOM AND REVELATION
                        a revelation in the knowledge of Him OF GOD THE FATHER

 

COMMENTARY - "That You Might Have a Spirit Of Wisdom and Knowledge," 1:15-17

PAUL'S PRAY LIST, PART 1, 1:15-17

Keep notice of the word "you" in this triad of verses. The content of the Book of Ephesians is written to the plural you. The teachings included in this book are always in the context of you, as an individual, and your part in The Body of Christ.

(1:15)
For This Reason
    I too,
        having heard
           
of the faith in the Lord Jesus
               
which exists among you,
          
and your love for all the saints, (Many ancient mss. omit, "your love")

Paul states that this "Triune Blessing" (:3-14) which the Ephesian "set-apart" ones have received from God the Father, because of their belief, has also resulted in their expression of that faith in such a way that it has become known to Paul in Rome. Paul says he has heard about their faith and their love toward all believers.

What a dynamic change for these Gentiles. In the next chapter Paul will tell them of their former state. They "were separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world." But God has provided for them in such a life changing way, through Jesus Christ, that they now have become shining examples of how believers should express their faith and their love toward other believers - The indwelling Holy Spirit of God brings with Him great change in the life, He brings the very character of God into our everyday lives - "We shall know them by their love."

(1:16)
    do not cease giving thanks
for you
        while making mention
of you in my prayers;

Paul literally says that every time he prays he remembers them and mentions them to His Holy Father. When Paul does this he never ceases to give thanks for their faith. He often tells his churches in his letters that he prays for them, but here in Ephesians he makes this habit of prayer personal. Faith and love has touched these Ephesians and that can only be the ministry of God's Holy Spirit working through them. Their hearts have been opened up through salvation and their response to the love of God is to love in return. It would be good for you to take stock of your salvation experience and reflect on whether you have become a man or woman of Faith and Love. Do others speak of your faith and your love when they speak of you?

(1:17)
            
that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ,
               The Father
of Glory,
                     may give
to you
                             a spirit
of wisdom and
                             a revelation
in the knowledge of Him. (Alt., "true knowledge")

But alas, we come to those words that tell us that these believers, while having grown in faith and love, have not grown in other important ways at the same time. Paul encourages them by praying that they might open themselves up to allowing God to give them a spirit (a character of life) that is of wisdom, and that their hearts and minds may be opened up to understanding and knowing God, as He reveals Himself to them.

Paul's prayer does not say, "Father give them what they want, give them a new car, give them a new job, a new house, health, wealth, and happiness." He prays that they might desire God's wisdom and covet acquiring knowledge of Him. God - Father, Son, Holy Spirit. This is God's goal for your salvation."

"There is no thing or person so elevated or excellent, by whatever name it may be named that is not subject to the majesty of Christ Jesus."  (John Calvin, Commentaries on The Epistles of Paul to the Galatians and Ephesians, WM. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1948, p. 216)

 

VISUALIZED TEXT - "That You Might Have a Spirit Of Wisdom and Knowledge," 1:15-17

THE VISUALIZED TEXT (NASB) 1  (conjunctions & prepositions underlined, words not in original text in italics)  (alternate text in purple)

(1:15)

For This Reason
    I too,
        having heard
           
of the faith in the Lord Jesus
               
which exists among you,
          
and your love for all the saints, (Many ancient mss. omit, "your love")

(1:16)
    do not cease giving thanks
for you
        while making mention
of you in my prayers;

(1:17)
            
that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ,
               The Father
of Glory,
                     may give
to you
                             a spirit
of wisdom and
                             a revelation
in the knowledge of Him. (Alt., "true knowledge")

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS - "That You Might Have a Spirit Of Wisdom and Knowledge," 1:15-17

(1:15)
"For this reason I too, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which exists among you, and your love for all the saints,"
1.    For what previous reason does Paul pray for the Ephesians?
        Verses 3-14 summarize the "every Spiritual Blessing" that God the Father has bestowed upon every believer at salvation. We have termed this the "Triune Blessings" because they have been given by the Father, the Son, and The Holy Spirit.
2.    List the evidences of the Ephesian's faith.
        Their faith has become well known enough so that Paul has heard about it in Rome, as well as their proclivity to love other saints (believers).
3.    What is the importance of pointing out that this faith is that which is "in" the Lord Jesus?
        Where else would a faith that produces such love be found? In things? In this world? In the flesh? In Satan? Nowhere but In Christ can such a Faith and such a Love be found.
4.    What would be the difference in what is expressed "among you," and "for all the saints?"
        It is the Faith in the Lord Jesus that is among the Ephesians in such a manor that its expression results in Love for all other believers.


(1:16)
"do not cease giving thanks for you, while making mention of you in my prayers;"
1.    What would have been the relationship between Paul and the saints at Ephesus based on this verse?
        Paul has obviously been in very close contact with them. He prays often, and when he does he remembers them. Not like "I will remember you in my prayers," but "every time I pray, I remember you and pray for you." The assembly at Ephesus must have been a praying assembly for when Paul prays, he remembers them.
2.    Should we be praying for faithful believers in our own home church?
        The work of God is often accomplished alongside the Power of Prayer. It is our privilege to bring fellow believers from the local assembly before our God in prayer.
3.    Should we be praying for faithful believers everywhere?
        YES! Know the names of believers around the world and pray for them by name every time you get a chance. It will help keep you in God's will, and it will keep you involved in His work.
4.    When should we be giving thanks for those whom we pray for?
        ALWAYS!
5.    Was prayer a regular part of Paul's life?
        Paul's writings are full of references to His deep and loving prayer life. Every letter he writes speaks of his remembrance of them in his prayers.


(1:17)
"that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him."
1.    Why would Paul refer to the Father as "the God" of our Lord Jesus Christ?
        That is God the Father's official Biblical name and when God the Son left heaven to become a man in such a manner, that God was His God as well as ours.
2.    Take apart the phrase "Lord Jesus Christ" and list as many facts and ideas that it represents.
        Lord (master, leader, head, oversight, office, title, obedience)
        Jesus (Son of God, Emmanuel, Salvation, Resurrection, healing, loving, son of Mary and Joseph, stable born, became a man, God, eternity)
        Christ (office, Messiah, pre-existent, "before the world began," Angel of the Lord)

3.    What does the phrase "Father of Glory" mean?
        Hebrew idiom for "The Glorious Father," Our God of Great Glory (value, appreciation, excitement)
4.    Who is the "Him" in this verse?
        The Father or the Son, both readings do justice to the context. I prefer the reading of The Father as the rest of Chapter 1 is reporting the greatness of God the Father and what He accomplished through His son.
5.    Who grants the "Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him"
        Whether you read this verse as Him being God the Father or Jesus the Son, the source is The Father of Glory - God the Father Himself.
6.    What would be the difference between wisdom and revelation?
        The context could indicate that these two words are used interchangeably, however wisdom is the application of God's revelation of truth. So that the gift of wisdom would need to be simultaneous  with the gift of revelation. God reveals His truth and His truth allows us to appropriate it and apply it to life, thus becoming wise in His truth.
7.    What's so important about having knowledge of Jesus Christ?
        This question is post-salvation. The place of the Christian is to emulate Jesus Christ. How can one emulate, or take on the characteristics, of someone they do not know. It is not enough to become "acquainted" with Him through salvation. We must know Him intimately - for only there is wisdom and true knowledge.
8.    Is it appropriate for a Christian to pray for such a "Spirit" for themselves and for other Christians?
        Yes, as long as it is in the spirit of the way Paul prays. We are not to pray for wisdom and knowledge so that we may have advantage over others, but that we may grow in these areas to know Him more fully each day.
9.    Is Paul praying that they might acquire a "Spirit" or is he praying that the "Spirit" may give them knowledge and revelation of Jesus Christ?
        Of course it is the latter. We pray for spiritual enablement. We already have the Spirit of God.
10.  What would that revelation be?
        Most important is the revealing of the Scriptures to the Believer. It is there that Jesus Christ is revealed.
11.  What would that knowledge be?
        The complete knowledge (all that God has given us) of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit - That we might know them.

BIBLE REFERENCE - "That You Might Have a Spirit Of Wisdom and Knowledge," 1:15-17

(1:15)
"For this reason I too, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which exists among you, and your love for all the saints,"
    Romans 1:8 - "Your faith is spoken of"
    Colossians 1:4 - "Since we've heard of your faith"
    Philemon 1:5 - "Hearing of Thy love and faith"
    Ephesians 1:1 - Reference to the word "Saints"
    Ephesians 3:18 - Reference to the word "Saints"


(1:16)
"do not cease giving thanks for you, while making mention of you in my prayers;"
    Romans 1:8 f. - "Making mention of you always"
    Colossians 1:9 - "Do not cease to pray for you"
    Romans 1:9 - "Without ceasing making mention of you"


(1:17)
"that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him."
    John 20:17 - "I ascend unto My Father"
    Romans 15:6 - "even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ"
    Acts 7:2 - "The Father of Glory"
    1 Corinthians 2:8 - "The Lord of Glory"
    Colossians 1:9 - "Filled with the knowledge of His will"
    1 Corinthians 14:6 - "Shall speak to you... by knowledge"


1 "Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE,
Copyright The Lockman Foundation 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968
1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1988.
Used by permission."


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