THE BOOK OF EPHESIANS
Chapter
1:18-19a - The Study
"The Father's Calling, Inheritance, and Power"

J. Deering, AncientPath.net


The Father's Calling..

18 I pray that PAUL PRAYS
    the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, FOR ENLIGHTENMENT
        so that SO THAT
            you may know BELIEVERS MAY KNOW THAT
                    what is the hope of His calling THE FATHER CALLS WITH HOPE
                    what are the riches of the glory THE FATHER HAS GLORIOUS RICHES
                        of His inheritance THE FATHER'S INHERITANCE
                            in the saints; IN ALL BELIEVERS
19a and  
                    what is the surpassing greatness THE FATHER HAS SURPASSING GREATNESS
                        of His power THE FATHER HAS POWER
                            toward us who believe THE FATHERS POWER IS TOWARD BELIEVERS

 

COMMENTARY - "The Father's Calling, Inheritance, and Power," 1:18-19a

PAUL'S PRAYER LIST, PART 2, 18-19A, COMMENTARY

(1:18)
I pray that
    the eyes
of your heart may be enlightened, (Lit., "being")
         
so that
                you may know
                  
what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory
                         
of His inheritance
                             in the saints; (
Lit., "holy ones")


Here Paul opens up his heart and shows us his deep affections for these people. His imagery leads to the "eyes of the heart." His desire is that the path to our hearts be opened up and the light of Christ cast upon it in such a manner that we may KNOW something.  Knowledge is a wonderful thing - ignorance is NOT bliss. Ignorance leads to abuse, poverty, enslavement, pain, darkness and here, spiritual darkness concerning the "Hope" of God's calling and the "Riches" of the Glory that God feels for us who are saints. That kind of enlightenment comes only with the deep miraculous inward change that comes as the result of personal salvation in Christ. It is only then that the Holy Spirit of God can come freely in and open the spiritual eyes. The Ephesians have had this salvation, but they have not "looked" with their new spiritual eyes. So Paul tells them that his prayer is that the Father would send spiritual "light" to shine upon their hearts so that they may begin to see His truth and to see the Hope that comes from a personal relationship with the Father. God's desire is that we would KNOW (Gk gniwsko) the HOPE of His calling. Paul uses the word for hope that implies a physical experiential knowledge, like knowing your mother or father as apposed to knowing math. It is a hands-on kind of knowing. He tells us that if we allow God's Holy Spirit to enlighten our hearts and we willingly see those things that He wants us to see then we will be able to experientially KNOW His hope.

Being "Called" of God, what a wonderful privilege. Hand selected, chosen from out amongst all, richly blessed with all spiritual blessings and the opportunity to KNOW GOD PERSONALLY. If there is hope, it is here.

And seeing that there is this abundance of hope Paul wants these believers to also see the Riches of the Glory of His Inheritance in them. Because of what Christ has done at the cross, paying the price for all, in Him, we become the possessors of all that is the inheritance due to Jesus the Christ as adopted brothers and sisters. Paul wants us to see that so that this knowledge might encourage us to grow in-Christ.


(1:19)
"and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe..."

Verses :17-19 give us a picture of who the Father is and what He has accomplished In-Christ for our sake.
    :17 - That the Father of glory may give to you... and (a) a spirit of wisdom, (b) a revelation in the knowledge of Him
    :18 - That you may KNOW... (a) what is the HOPE of His Calling, (b) the RICHES of His Glory, and
    :19 - (c) what is the Surpassing  Greatness of His Power is toward US who believe.

Paul doesn't stop with just knowing about the Hope of God in-Christ, but he go on to remind us that the surpassing power of God is available, through Christ, to us who believe. We need to see that there is no reason to live in fear, no reason to life our lives in desperation and spiritual poverty. The Power of God is immediately available to us to live as Christ. The Father's power is directed toward us who believe. He stirs and moves the events of the world for the benefit of His children.

Those who believe in Christ Jesus are of great value to God the Father - they are an extension of His son. He will do everything He can to bring you to maturity in Christ.

VISUALIZED TEXT - "The Father's Calling, Inheritance, and Power," 1:18-19a

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

(1:18)
I pray that
    the eyes
of your heart may be enlightened, (Lit., "being")
         
so that
                you may know
                  
what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory
                         
of His inheritance
                             in the saints; (
Lit., "holy ones")

(1:19a)
                   
and what is the surpassing greatness
                           
of His power toward us who believe.

 

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS - "The Father's Calling, Inheritance, and Power," 1:18-19a

(1:18)
"I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,"
1.    Who is praying here?
        Paul is praying.
2.    What is the content of his prayer in this verse?
        That the "eyes of your heart" (their hearts would be touched, opened, made sensitive) in such a way as we might KNOW of God's power used toward us.
3.    What is / are "the eyes of your heart?"
        In our culture the heart is the seat of our feelings and emotions, that place where we can be touched in our relationships with others.
4.    What is the implications of the word "heart" (what does the Greek mean)?
        While we see the heart as the center of emotion the Greek words carry a different meaning. "The eyes of your mind," or "The eyes of your understanding" would be a better translation.
5.    What does "enlightened" mean and imply (light vs. darkness)?
        The Greek word here is photizo and carries the meaning of being able to see something when a light is shined upon it - to bring to light. The implication would be that without the wisdom and knowledge of Christ we would stay in darkness.
6.    Why does "so that" imply?
        This paragraph implies that Paul, even though he loved the Ephesians very much, regarded them as living in a kind of spiritual darkness, and that they needed to "open their eyes" to those things that "the light of the Holy Spirit" could reveal to them in the wisdom and knowledge of Jesus Christ.
7.    Who are the "your and you" of this verse?
        These words were directed to the members of the body of Christ at Ephesus (and/or the other Asian churches of the area). By application, then, because these matters are universal in nature, we can also apply these truths to others members of the body of Christ.
8.    What does it mean to "know" something, How many kinds of knowledge can you identify, which kind is referred to here (hint: Greek, hint: 2+2 vs. Mother)?
        The Greek language has more unique words for many things than we do in English. In Greek we can differentiate between knowledge that is rational and logical, like mathamatics "2+2=4", and knowledge that is experienced (not just the emotions but all the senses (science, relationships, emotions, etc.) "knowing another person." The verses of this paragraph constantly refer to knowledge that is of the first variety - a knowledge that is not about practicality but about fact. A knowledge that is based upon the revelation of Almighty God.
9.    What is Hope?
        Confident expectation. Faith and Hope go together. Hebrews 11:1 says, "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence (or conviction) of things not seen." Hope then is the grounds that Faith stands upon.
10.  What is the hope of His calling?
        Fifty students gather together and compete in testing for the highest grade. The professor stands and says "The student with the highest grade will now be asked to come forward for his reward, and the winner is ..." Only those who have finished the exams with confidence have the hope of the professor's calling. That hope brings with it a feeling of great anticipation. The Hope of God's calling is not based upon performance but upon faith. Not how much or how little, but the posession of it. Paul intimates that it is through the knowledge of Jesus Christ that our faith can produce hope.
11.  What is His calling?
        Jesus said (John 14:6) "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me." God calls His own to Himself through Jesus Christ. "... He calls his own sheep by name, and He leads them out. When He pus forth all His own, He goes before them, and the sheep follow Him because they know His voice."
12.  What is the importance of HIS calling versus any other kind of calling?
        It is the matter of who He is that is calling. Almighty God, Creator and Sustainer of the universe - He has called.
13.  What are riches?
        Material wealth, great worth or value, abounding in resources, meaningful and significant, productive, full of choice ingredients, strong aroma, a large proportion of fuel to air, highly amusing.
14.  What would riches of Glory mean?
        Content and quality of the Glory of God (Honor, praise, renown, adoration, thanksgiving, splendor, resplendence, bliss) as expressed in His inheritance.
15.  What would His inheritance be?
        Those who have willingly believed upon Jesus the Christ for their salvation are God's Inheritance.
16.  What would the Riches of the Glory of His inheritance be?
        All that God receives as a result of every believer being in-Christ.
17.  What is implied by the fact that these riches are found "in the saints?"
        It is "in the saints" where this glory has it's origins. When God forgives it brings Him great glory for being so merciful. God is seen as glorious because He has done glorious things in "the Body of Christ."


(1:19a)
"and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might"
1.    What does the phrase "surpassing greatness" mean?
        Like the game of leap-frog. Every time greatness gets ahead, greatness leaps over and gets ahead even more.
2.    List the attributes and evidences of His power?
        Salvation, overcoming sin and evil, creation of all that there is, sustaining all that there is, etc.
3.    Which of these attributes and evidences are for believers?
        All of His power and greatness has been expended toward those who would willingly love and obey Him.
4.    What is the implication for you as a believer concerning this Power of God?
        "If God be for you, who can stand against you" (Romans 8:31)
5.    The last sentence of this verse implies what concerning God's power?
        The plan of God is worked out in the strength of His might toward us who believe.
6.    What is the implication for you as a believer as to the intentions of God and His power?
        The implication is that God is working in and with you in all things using the might of His power in your interests, and that brings Him great glory.

BIBLE REFERENCE - "The Father's Calling, Inheritance, and Power," 1:18-19a

(1:18)
"I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,"
    Acts 26:18 - "To open their eyes"
    2 Corinthians 4:6 - "To give the light of knowledge"
    Hebrews 6:4 - "Those who were once enlightened"
    Ephesians 4:4 - "One body and one Spirit"
    Romans 11:29 - "The gifts of God are without repentance"
    Ephesians 1:7 - "According to the riches of His grace"
    Ephesians 1:11 - "Obtained an inheritance"
    Colossians 1:12 - "Inheritance of the saints"


(1:19)
"and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might"
    Ephesians 3:7 - "The working of His power"
    Philippians 3:21 - "Able to subdue all things unto Himself"
    Colossians 1:29 - "I labor, striving according to His labor"
    Ephesians 6:10 - "In the strength of His might"


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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