… the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, Eph 1:18
As we have been studying the content of the Apostle Paul’s remarkable prayer, we have seen that the primary concern of his prayer, is that the Father would grant to the Ephesian Christians, a greater measure of the Spirit’s presence and power, particularly in the realm of His ministry of revelation of the Truth of God. Of all of the facets and ministries of the Holy Spirit, the one that Paul focuses on in this prayer, is the Spirit’s particular ministry of illumination of the mind and heart of the believer. Paul prays this because he knows that it is by the means of a more accurate, enlarged, spiritually perceptive view of divine Truth, that Christians grow as disciples of Jesus Christ. God has ordained that the sanctification of His people advance in the context of revealed Truth (Jn 8:31-32, 17:17, 2 Th 2:13, Ja 1:21). There is no valid sanctification apart from Truth, and Truth may be understood only as it is illuminated to the believer, by the Spirit of God (1 Co 2:6-10).
So Paul prays that the eyes of your understanding be enlightened that you may know what is the hope of His calling. He does not pray that they might obtain the hope, but he assumes that they already have the hope. Before being called by God, one description of every human being, found in Ephesians 2:12 is: having no hope and without God in the world. The mark of every unconverted man is that he is without hope; the mark of a converted man (along with, as we have already seen, faith and love) is hope. Our text reveals that the source of that hope is the calling of God (see also Eph 4:4); that the substance of that hope is the consummation of redemption – the inheritance of the saints; subsequent verses reveal that the means by which the hope is realized, is the power of God.
You, I, and every single human being that ever lived, are in one of two groups: either you have hope because you have been called, or you have no hope because you have not been called. Which group are you in? To answer this question you must know what the “call” of God is. Toward that end, this week do a word study on the word “call,” “calling,” or “the called.” See how the word is used in various contexts in Scripture. Compare how it is used in a generic manner (as in Mt 22:43, Lk 1:31, Mt 2:1, 25:14 and Rom 1:1) to how it is used to refer to a summons or invitation from God to partake in the blessings of salvation through the Gospel (Matt 22:1-14, Mk 9:13). Then contrast this use to the manner in which the call, calling, or called, is used in the epistles (for example Rom 8:28-30, 11:29, I Cor 1:24-26, Jude 1, and Rev 17:14). Such a study should produce in you greater hope, as you make your own calling sure.
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