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.
Understanding And Applying the Text
The Ephesians had been faithful in their devotion to both Christ and the saints. Paul was thankful to God for the Ephesians’ faithfulness. So, Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians was that they would be enlightened. We need enlightenment. Enlightenment comes from outside of us. It is not something we do ourselves. To enlighten is to expose or shine a light on a thing. When we are enlightened we see what was hidden. But the thing was already there. As an illustration, a dark room may be full of furniture. But we cannot see. The fact we cannot see does not mean there is no furniture there. The furniture’s existence does not depend on our perception. As we wander around the room we may stumble over a piece of furniture. But until the light exposes it we are unenlightened. We do not know its shape or color. We do not know the arrangement in the room. All we know is something bumped us.
When God shines the light and reveals to us what is true. We are enlightened. The light exposes and reveals what is already there. Our hope is there. We just don’t see it. Christ’s glorious inheritance is there. We just don’t see it. The power of Christ is there. We just do not see it. Unless we are enlightened we may stumble into it, or trip over it, but we do not see it. We do not understand it.
Christ’s inheritance in the saints is glorious. When I look in the mirror I do not see glory I see me, a wretched sinner. If you Christ has redeemed you, you too are part of Christ’s glorious inheritance. My thoughts are, there can be nothing glorious about an inheritance of which I am a part. But the Holy Spirit, through Paul, says Christ’s inheritance in the saints is glorious. I have been glorified, If you have been redeemed, you have been glorified, not for your sake, but for Christ’s. You and I belong to Christ. We are His property, His treasure. This is the immeasurable power towards us, that he would glorify you and me. Without enlightenment, we do not understand that hope, that power, or that glory.
God raised Christ from the dead and seated him at the right hand of the Father. God’s right hand is the place of “highest favor with God the Father” (Westminster Larger Catechism, Q 54). Scripture repeatedly uses the phrase, “seated at the right hand.” It indicates Christ’s power and sovereignty (Ex. 15:6; Isa. 48:13). As such, everything is under His rule. Everything is under Christ’s authority. And God has given Christ, who is over all things, to the church as head of the church. The church is the body of Christ. The church is the fullness of Christ. So we are Christ’s inheritance and He is our gift.
We need enlightenment because the ways of God are beyond us. God must enlighten us so we may understand the hope he gives. So we may understand the greatness of Christ’s inheritance and the greatness of His power. The natural man does not see this hope. As Thoreau said, “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.” Natural man knows nothing of hope only desperation. Even when told about the hope he does not see it unless God has called him and enlightened him.
We, the church, the saints, are Christ’s glorious inheritance. And He is our gift. The love of the Father to the Son, and the love of the Son to the saints, is not something we can grasp. But we know that we have been called to a hope. And we can know what that hope is. We can know the power of God. We can know the gloriousness of His inheritance. We can know because we have been enlightened through His word. Allow yourself to be enlightened through the study and His scripture. Study so you may know. He has shone the light so you may open your eyes.