Eph 1: 18-23 Toward Us Who Believe
Aug 15, 2021 // By:Dave // No Comment
we are in Eph 1:19 “and what is the boundless greatness of His power towards us who believe.
boundless greatness is part of a trinity started in verse 18.
Paul says that he prays that the eyes of our hearts be illuminated to three things:
- the hope of His calling
- the riches of the glory of His inheritance
- boundless greatness of His power (towards us who believe)
we already outlined the hope of His calling and discussed the riches of the inheritance
what is the hope of His calling?
ἐλπίδι τῆς κλήσεως = expectation(s) associated with one’s appointment (can mean benefits and duty)
The hope of his calling.—(See Ephesians 4:4.) That is, probably, “the thing hoped for,” because promised, at our calling (as in Galatians 5:5; Colossians 1:5; Titus 2:3; Hebrews 6:18, for the other objects of knowledge with which it is here joined are certainly objective or external to ourselves. This hope is of the perfection of all, which we are called to enjoy really, but imperfectly, here.
the great act of the divine mercy revealed to us in the Gospel, by which God summons and invites men to Himself, will naturally produce in those who have yielded to it a hope of immortal and perfect life.
what is the riches of the glory of His inheritance ?
The riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints.—Comp. Colossians 1:27, “the riches of the glory of this mystery . . . which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” The inheritance of God is the unity with Christ, in which lies the earnest and hope of glory. “Among the saints” is best connected with the word “inheritance,” showing that our personal inheritance of Christ gives us a place in the kingdom of heaven here and hereafter.
Col. 1:27 to whom aGod willed to make known what bthe wealth of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles is, the mystery that is cChrist in you, the dhope of glory.
What is the portion for a soul? God. God is Heaven, and Heaven is God. No interpretation of ‘the inheritance,’ however it may run into cheap and vulgar sensuous descriptions of a future glory, has come within sight of the meaning of the word, unless it has grasped this as the central thought: ‘Whom have I in heaven but Thee? And there is none upon earth that I desire beside Thee.’ Only God can be the portion of a human spirit. And none else can fill the narrowest and the smallest of man’s needs.
today we focus on this “boundless greatness of His power”
Eph. 1:18 your eyes focused and clear, so that you can see exactly what it is he is calling you to do, grasp the immensity of this glorious way of life he has for Christians,
Eph. 1:19 oh, the utter extravagance of his work in us who trust him—endless energy, boundless strength!
19 and what is the boundless greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might NASB
in OT, God uses His strength to deliver His chosen from external enemies
(expressions of this power are external miracles and experiences)
- 10 plagues upon Egypt (Exodus 7 – 11)
- parting of the Red Sea (Exodus 14)
- pillar of cloud by day and fire by night (Exodus 13 and 14)
- victory against the Amalekites by Aaron and Hur helping Moses hold up a staff (while he sat on a rock) (Exodus 17)
- sacking of Jericho (Joshua 6)
- sun staying in place in sky to ensure a victory (Joshua 10:13)
- human high priest (mediator) who can be killed
- Leviticus 16:24 priest had to change and wash first
- Exodus 28:35 describes the bells
in NT, God uses His strength to deliver His chosen from internal enemies
(expression of this power are internal miracles and experiences)
- penalty of sin paid (John 19:30)
- freed from sin and death (Gal 5:1; Rom 6:7; 2 Cor 3:17; Rom 8:1)
- given life in the spirit
- new nature and new heart
- indwelling Spirit of God (Rom 8:11; Eph 2:6)
- seal us (Eph 1:13)
- empower us (Eph 3:14-19)
- guide us (Rom 8:14, Gal 5:18, Rom 8:26-27, 1 Cor 12:7-11
- teach us (John 14:26; 1 Cor 2: 12-13)
- divine high priest (mediator) who cannot be killed (Heb 4:14-16)
Jesus himself becomes the model for God’s exercise of his power. Jesus was “declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead” (Ro 1:4). While OT believers constantly returned to Creation and the Exodus as examples of the divine power, the writers of the NT return to the Resurrection (e.g., Eph 1:19-20; 3:16-20; Php 3:10; Col 1:11). The parallelism is striking.
A study of the NT Epistles shows this exciting emphasis again and again. Because “the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you” (Ro 8:11).
No wonder Paul wrote: “I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand” (Eph 1:18-20).
One can also understand how he could exclaim, “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen” (Eph 3:20-21).
6. Conclusion. Both Testaments call on us to recognize God as the ultimate power in our universe.
The testimony of the OT is that His power is exerted to deliver from danger those who trust and obey him.
The testimony of the NT is that God’s power is exerted in Christ to bring life to the dead. As we rely on Jesus, we are released from the hostile powers that hold us in their grip, we begin to experience a resurrection kind of life now, and ultimately we will experience a resurrection through which we will be transformed into Jesus’ image.
18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,
19 and what is the boundless greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might
20 which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places,
21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.
22 And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and made Him head over all things to the church,
23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.
If we do not understand the hope of our calling, the richness of our inheritance, and the great power and might used through Christ towards us who believe (including our resurrection from death to life) we have no chance of fulfilling our calling or our purpose here on earth.
Do you appreciate the fact of God bringing you from death in sin to life in Spirit is a miracle on the same level as the resurrection of Jesus ? (Same Spirit, same power), if you are born again as you are reading this.
Read the object lesson about God bringing things back to life in Ezek 37: 1-11 (and the reason for the object lesson at the end in Ezek 37: 12-14)
God is in the business of bring dead things back to life (we don’t often truly see our selves as dead before we came to Christ, but we were)
This is why Paul prays a similar prayer at the beginning of all of his prison epistles… the heartbeat of his missionary journeys was to teach the gentiles these three things.
- the hope of our calling
- richness of our inheritance
- the boundless power God used towards us who believe