This past week in our study of Ephesians, we delved into one of Paul’s prayers found in the first chapter of Ephesians and then we began a cursory look at Ephesians 2:1-10. We observed and marked the following words and phrases: prayer, praying, what is, what are, knowledge, know, in accordance, and power. These key words and phrases acted as guides to help us discover more about the message Paul was writing to these believers.
“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, do not cease giving thanks for you, while making mention of you in my prayers; 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. 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, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe.” Ephesians 1:15-19
Paul prays that those who are blessed would know what they have in Christ. He asked that they be given a spirit of wisdom. Wisdom, Paul knew, was needed in order to understand how to live out knowledge. The word in Greek for knowledge is epignosis meaning “‘to possess information’; ‘participation in the acquiring of knowledge … a knowledge laying claim to personal involvement’; ‘exact or full knowledge.’”
Paul wanted these believers to understand the knowledge of God. He asked God to enlighten their hearts. We might ask the same of ourselves. How well do I know God? How can I get to know Him better?
Paul prayed very specifically for them to know three things. First, he prayed for them to know the hope of His calling. In Ephesians 1:12, he writes that the hope is in Christ. Secondly, Paul prayed for them to know the riches of the glory of His inheritance. Those riches, we learn in Ephesians 1:7,8, have been lavished on believers. Lastly, he prays for them to know the greatness of God’s power toward them.
We also spent time this week listing what we learned from our reading about God, our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. To further understand, our lesson instructed us to make a stick drawing depicting what we learned about Jesus. Ephesians 1:20-23 states that God seated Jesus at His right hand in the heavenly places. (where believers are blessed with spiritual blessings v.3) God’s power and strength seated Jesus far above rule, authority, power, dominion, and every name in this age and the one to come. These rulers can refer to those on earth and those in the spiritual realm. In addition to drawing a depiction of these things about Jesus, you should have drawn a stick figure of Jesus as the head of the church (His body) and all things under His feet.
We concluded the week by marking these key words located in Ephesians 2:1-10: formerly, walk, grace, and saved. We also listed what we learned from marking formerly and in Christ and then considered the contrasts we discovered in these verses.
Like these Gentile believers of Paul’s day, those of us who are believers in Christ were formerly sinners, dead in our trespasses and sins. We constantly walked according to the course of the world and the prince of the power of the air. We lived as sons and daughters of disobedience as children of wrath and indulged in the desires of our flesh and mind. We lived under the Devil’s control. (Ephesians 2:1-3)
“But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” Ephesians 2:4-6
“ so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;” Ephesians 2:7,8
We’re created in Christ for good works. We are no longer under the Devil’s control because we have been saved by God’s lavish, incredibly amazing grace. We have good works to do – we need to walk in them. In Christ, we can.
Please begin Week 4 of the study. To order a book and join in this study, click here.