Ephesians 1:15-17 Commentary


EPHESIANS - CHRIST AND THE CHURCH
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Charts from Jensen's Survey of the NT - used by permission

Ephesians 1:15 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 (NASB: Lockman)

Greek: Dia touto kago, akousas (AAPMSN) ten kath' humas pistin en to kurio Iesou kai ten agaphen ten eis pantas tous hagious

BGT   Διὰ τοῦτο κἀγὼ ἀκούσας τὴν καθ᾽ ὑμᾶς πίστιν ἐν τῷ κυρίῳ Ἰησοῦ καὶ τὴν ἀγάπην τὴν εἰς πάντας τοὺς ἁγίους

Amplified: For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints (the people of God), (Amplified Bible - Lockman)

CSB  This is why, since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints,

ESV  For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints,

KJV: Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints,

NET   For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints,

NIV   For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints,

NLT: Ever since I first heard of your strong faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for Christians everywhere, (NLT - Tyndale House)

NLT  (revised) Ever since I first heard of your strong faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for God's people everywhere,

Phillips: Since, then, I heard of this faith of yours in the Lord Jesus and the practical way in which you are expressing it towards fellow-Christians, (Phillips: Touchstone)

Wuest: On account of this, I also, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which is among you and of your love to all the saints,  (Eerdmans Publishing - used by permission)

Young's Literal: Because of this I also, having heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and the love to all the saints

FOR THIS REASON I TOO, HAVING HEARD OF THE FAITH IN THE LORD JESUS WHICH EXISTS AMONG YOU: Dia touto kago, akousas (AAPMSN) ten kath' humas pistin en to kurio Iesou:

  • Colossians 1:3-4; Philemon 1:5
  • Galatians 5:6; 1 Th 1:3; 2 Th 1:3; 1 Ti 1:5,14
  • Ephesians 1 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Related Passages:

Colossians 1:3-4 We give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, 4 since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and the love which you have for all the saints;

PAUL'S REASON FOR
GRATITUDE AND INTERCESSION

Moule notes that "The Apostle now passes from the adoring view of Divine Redemption to prayer that its treasures of grace may be realized in the whole experience and life of the saints. And this he does, as elsewhere (Col 1; 2Th 1) in close connection with thanksgiving for what they had already found. “ (Ephesians 1 Commentary)

Spurgeon comments on Ephesians 1:15-23 - How Paul glows as he writes on this great theme! He waxes warm, and rises to an enthusiasm of eloquence. We could not stop to explain his words; that were to spoil their mystic poetry. Oh, to have a heart that can glorify Christ as Paul did! Truly, if we know ourselves to be one with Christ, and know the privileges which come to us through that blessed gate, we may indeed extol him with all our heart and soul.

For this reason - (term of conclusion) Should always prompt a prayerful pause to ponder "What reason?" It is good to "Be still", to allow the Spirit to teach us, not mystically, but nevertheless supernaturally, as we make the choice to slow down and in a sense "be still" before the Lord. In view of the amazing blessings believers are heir to in Christ in Ephesians 1:3-14, Paul then begins to pray that the Gentile readers of this letter (including us today) would come to experientially and intuitively know their resources in Christ so that we might live in His power to the praise of the glory of God's grace.

Imagine how encouraging the news of their faith and love was to Paul. He was imprisoned, but the Word that he had shared with the saints at Ephesus for 3 years (Acts 20:31+) was not imprisoned, and it was clear that it was bearing spiritual fruit! Once again we see the power of the living and active Word, and this would buoy his faith in his affliction. How encouraging also to see that their faith was sincere, genuine, the "real deal," for it was bearing the fruit of brotherly love, without which it would be a fake faith. John emphasizes the importance of love as a marker of genuine faith writing "By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother." (1Jn 3:10+) and "We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love abides in death." (1Jn 3:14+) and "Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.." (1Jn 4:7-8+) So Paul was encouraged by this news that the Gospel he had sown for 3 years was bearing a "bumper crop!

Moule says "for this reason" ("wherefore" in KJV) - because such is the greatness of Redemption

Jamieson on says "for this reason"- because ye are in Christ and sealed by His Spirit (Eph 1:13, 14).

Max Anders points out that "The complexity and magnitude of these truths is beyond the ability of us to comprehend or appreciate fully. Therefore, Paul follows the presentation of these truths with a prayer for our enlightenment." (Holman New Testament Commentary)

Think of it this way -- "every spiritual blessings in heavenly places" was their promised possession. What Paul desires is that the saints actually possess their possessions (see Obadiah 1:17 for this phrase). The idea is similar to that in Joshua 1:3 where God says to Joshua...

"Every place on which the sole of your foot treads, I have given it to you, just as I spoke to Moses." (Joshua 1:3)

God had already given Israel the land (that's in part why it's called "the promised land"), but it was still their responsibility to put one foot in front of the other and begin to possess their possessions, stepping out in faith, trusting God's enablement and laying hold of what was theirs by divine decree. There is an important lesson for us today in all of this. God has given us "every spiritual blessing" in Christ, and yet we must step out by faith (which equates with obedience) and lay hold of God's precious and magnificent promises. And part of the secret of this process of laying hold is the prayers of the saints, interceding that they be enabled to do so.

A LAND was given to the people of Israel, just as LIFE in Christ is made available to believers, not based on any merit of our own but solely on God's sovereign pleasure. Note that just as the land that had been given needed to be possessed, so too, believers today must lay hold of God's precious & magnificent promises by faith. Title to it is the gift of God; possession of it is the result of an obedient walk. The idea is, you can have all that you will take. You can have every bit of the spiritual life that you want. You will never get any more. God will never give you more than you are ready to take. So if you are not satisfied with the degree of your real experience of victory, it is because you haven't really wanted any more. You can have all that you want. "Every place where the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given to you."

Salmond says "for this reason" - might cover the contents of the entire preceding paragraph, pointing back to Eph 1:3 and indicating that in his thanksgiving to God, in behalf of these Ephesians, the Apostle had in his mind the whole counsel and eternal choice of God of which he first made mention, and the whole operation of grace in the lives of the Ephesians in the several particulars afterwards instanced. In view, however, of the transition from the more general “us” to the more definite “ye also” in Eph 1:13 it is probably more accordant with the tenor of thought to take the διὰ τοῦτο to refer to the signal manifestation of God’s grace in the sealing of these believers, who had been taken from the dark pagan world, with the Spirit which was both assurance and foretaste of an inheritance undreamt of in their heathenism.

Alford says "for this reason" - on account of what has gone before since Eph 1:3: but especially of what has been said since Eph 1:13. (because ye are in Christ, and in Him were sealed, etc.)

MacDonald agrees writing that "In the preceding passage, extending from verse 3 through verse 14 (a single sentence in Greek!), the apostle has traced the thrilling sweep of God’s program from eternity past to eternity future. He has ranged over some of the most awe-inspiring thoughts that can occupy our minds, thoughts so exalted that Paul now shares with his readers his deep prayer burden for their spiritual enlightenment in such concepts. His great desire for them is that they might appreciate their glorious privileges in Christ and the tremendous power which was required to give Christ to the church as Head over all creation. The introductory Therefore looks back to all that God has done and will yet do for those who are members of the body of Christ, as described in verses 3-14. (Believer's Bible Commentary: Thomas Nelson)

I too, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which exists among you and your love for all the saints - Paul has received a good report on the saints at Ephesus, which must have encouraged him greatly in prison. With the phrase I too Paul places himself alongside the Gentile believes, as one who is interested in their welfare. It was when Paul received this information about their faith and love that he was assured his readers were genuine possessors of the spiritual blessings he had just described, and as a result he was driven to pray for them that they might begin to possess their possessions, to experience them in their everyday life. Although he had not seen the Ephesians face to face for about 8-10 years, Paul had heard about their faith and love, attitudes (and actions) which indicated the genuineness of their salvation for these are two of the cardinal marks of a true Christian...faith in Christ and love for other Christians.

How had Paul heard? Others must have told him about their changed life! In short, they were witnessing with their Spirit empowered transformed lives! Are you? Do others witness the transformation? If not why not? Cp Col 1:3-4, Philemon 1:5

Some interpreters have inferred from the fact that Paul says he had "heard of the faith..." that he had no personal acquaintance with them. That conclusion however is not necessarily valid, for Paul made a similar statement to Philemon, who he knew quite well, writing...

I thank my God always, making mention of you in my prayers, 5 because I hear of your love, and of the faith which you have toward the Lord Jesus, and toward all the saints; 6 and I pray that the fellowship of your faith may become effective through the knowledge of every good thing which is in you for Christ's sake. (Philemon 1:4-6)

Spurgeon writes that "You have eyes; God's grace has given them to you; but they are capable of additional power and force; and there is the telescope of faith, which you are allowed to use, which will enable you to see much more than you have ever seen as yet.

In the Lord Jesus - Their faith had an objective basis, resting firmly in Him, much like an anchor that holds fast a sailing vessel. 

"Nothing before, nothing behind,
The steps of faith
Fall on the seeming void, and find
The rock beneath." 
        WHITTIER


Faith (4102) (pistis) means a firm persuasion, conviction, belief in the truth. Refers not only to their initial act of saving faith, but the day by day exercise of their faith in the Lord Jesus for daily living. The same faith that saved is the faith needed to live daily. Faith is the expression of the believer’s trust in God (vertical relationship) whereas love is the evidence of one's proper relationship with others (horizontal relationship). Faith is not something a sinful soul can conger up from their depraved heart but is the God-allotted ability or capacity to trust Him. True faith is not based on empirical evidence, but on divine assurance, a gift of God. Real faith is shown to be authentic by real obedience. As Spurgeon said "Faith is the foot of the soul by which it can march along the road of the commandments (ED: Enabled by the Spirit)."

MacArthur: adds that "Faith, like grace, is not static. Saving faith is more than just understanding the facts and mentally acquiescing. It is inseparable from repentance, surrender, and a supernatural longing to obey. None of those responses can be classified exclusively as a human work, any more than believing itself is solely a human effort." 

Barclay has a reasonable description of faith noting that "Faith begins with receptivity.  It begins when a man is at least willing to listen to the message of the truth.  It goes on to mental assent.  A man first hears and then agrees that this is true.  But mental assent need not issue in action.  Many a man knows very well that something is true, but does not change his actions to meet that knowledge.  The final stage is when this mental assent becomes total surrender.  In full-fledged faith, a man hears the Christian message, agrees that it is true, and then casts himself upon it in a life of total yieldedness."

Wuest - “Your faith” is tēn kath’ humas pistin, literally, “the down among you faith.” The preposition, kata, “down,” when used with the accusative case as it is here, means “down along.” It has a distributive sense. Paul referred to the faith existent among the Ephesian saints, not the initial act of appropriating faith when they were saved, but the day by day faith exercised in the Lord Jesus for daily living. This faith resulted in love exhibited toward all the saints.(Wuest Word Studies - Eerdman Publishing Company Volume 1Volume 2Volume 3 - used by permission)

Pistis - 8x in Ephesians - Eph 1:15 Eph 2:8 Eph 3:12 Eph 3:17 Eph 4:5 Eph 4:13 Eph 6:16 Eph 6:23

Lord (2962) see kurios below. 

Jesus (2424) see Iesous below

AND YOUR LOVE FOR ALL THE SAINTS: kai ten agaphen ten eis pantas tous hagious:

  • Ps 16:3; Colossians 1:4; 1Th 4:9; Hebrews 6:10; 1Pe 1:22; 1Jn 3:17; 4:21
  • Ephesians 1 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Related Passages:

Colossians 1:4+  since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and the love which you have for all the saints;

1 Thessalonians 4:9+  Now as to the love of the brethren, you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another;

1 Peter 1:22+  Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart,

1 John 3:14+  We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love abides in death.

1 John 4:7-12+ Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. 10In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us.

1 John 4:20+  If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen.

LOVE OF BRETHREN
FRUIT OF REAL FAITH

Your love for all the saints - Their love was spiritual fruit (Gal 5:22) testifying to the "authenticity" of the "tree", i.e., that they were genuine fruit bearing trees, genuine followers of Christ (Luke 8:15). The love of the Body of Christ is a powerful witnessing "tool" for Jesus said "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." (Jn 13:35)

Disciple's Study Bible -Love "does'' more than it "feels.'' God's people love one another (1Peter 1:22; 1John 3:17; 4:21). Others come to know about this love through the deeds of love we do for each other. Such loving action brings joy and thanksgiving to God's people.

Wiersbe - The Christian life has two dimensions: faith toward God and love toward men, and you cannot separate the two. (ED: COROLLARY - DON'T SAY YOU HAVE FAITH IN JESUS, IF YOU ARE NOT DEMONSTRATING THE LOVE OF JESUS TO YOUR BRETHREN - 1 John 3:14+, 1 Jn 4:7-12+, 1Jn 4:20+). 

Leon Wood - Faith finds its focus in Christ and expresses itself in love to others. Such outgoing love is the evidence of genuine faith (Gal 5:6). (The Expositor's Bible Commentary)


All ( 3956) (pas) means every and has the idea of “whole” as well as the idea of oneness or a totality. They did not just love the ones they liked! How about my love? Is it for ALL the saints? Unconditional?"

Love (26) (agape) is unconditional, sacrificial love. The love God Himself is. Not sentimental or emotional but obedient as act of will desiring another's highest good. Love for other believers evidences saving faith. In other words faith leads to love, specifically in the context of the NT "love in the truth", love in harmony with the word of God. Love in truth is sacrificial not sentimental and since it is supernatural reflects a love produced in the heart of the yielded believer by the Holy Spirit (Gal 5:23).

This love is not sentimental or emotional but is obedient, being an manifestation of the act of one's will that desires another's hightest good. It is unconditional so that if given and not returned then you don't stop giving it. Agape gives & gives & gives. Agape takes slaps in the face and still gives even as Jesus did saying Father forgive them. Agape is not withheld. 

"Love is the badge of discipleship, the landmark of heaven." "By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love (agape) one for another." John 13:35. Tertullian the early disciple wrote, "It is our care for the helpless, our practice of lovingkindness, that brands us in the eyes of many of our opponents. 'Look!' they say, 'How they love one another!' Look how they are prepared to die for one another." People do not care how much we know until they know how much we care.

Barclay - Unconquerable benevolence = nothing the other person can do will make us seek anything but their highest good. Though he injure us and insult us, we will never feel anything but kindness towards him. That quite clearly means that this Christian love is not an emotional thing.  Agape is not only not of the emotions, but it is of the will. It is the ability to retain unconquerable goodwill to the unlovely and the unlovable, towards those who do not love us, and even towards those whom we do not like. Agape is that quality of mind and heart which compels a Christian never to feel any bitterness, never to feel any desire for revenge, but always to seek the highest good of every man no matter what he may be. 

Agape 11x in 10v in Ephesians - Eph 1:4 Eph 1:15 Eph 2:4 Eph 3:17 Eph 3:19 Eph 4:2 Eph 4:15 Eph 4:16 Eph 5:2 Eph 6:23

Saints (40) (hagios) means set apart ones. Set apart for specific purpose. One set apart from the world and unto God for His use. It describes those separated from sin and consecrated or dedicated to service of God.

Hagios 15x in 15v in Ephesians - Eph 1:1 Eph 1:4 Eph 1:13 Eph 1:15 Eph 1:18 Eph 2:19 Eph 2:21 Eph 3:5 Eph 3:8 Eph 3:18 Eph 4:12 Eph 4:30 Eph 5:3 Eph 5:27 Eph 6:18. Note that 9/15 uses refers to saints (Ep 1:1, 15, 18, 2:19, 3:8, 18, 4:12, 5:3, 6:18 - notes 1:1, 1:15, 1:18; 2:19; 3:8, 3:18; 4:12; 5:3; 6:18).

Ephesians 1:16 do not cease giving thanks for you, while making mention of you in my prayers (NASB: Lockman)

Greek: ou pauomai (1SPMI) euchariston (PAPMSN) huper humon mneian poioumenos (PMPMSN) epi ton proseuchon mou,

BGT   οὐ παύομαι εὐχαριστῶν ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν μνείαν ποιούμενος ἐπὶ τῶν προσευχῶν μου,

Amplified: I do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers. (Amplified Bible - Lockman)

CSB   I never stop giving thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers.

ESV   I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers,

KJV   Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers;

NET  I do not cease to give thanks for you when I remember you in my prayers.

NIV   I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers.

NLT: I have never stopped thanking God for you. I pray for you constantly, (NLT - Tyndale House)

NLT (revised)   I have not stopped thanking God for you. I pray for you constantly,

Phillips: I thank God continually for you and I never give up praying for you; and this is my prayer. (Phillips: Touchstone)

Wuest: do not cease giving thanks for you as I constantly make mention of you in my prayers, (Eerdmans Publishing - used by permission)  

Young's Literal: do not cease giving thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers,

  • do not cease - Ro 1:8-9; 1Sa 7:8; 12:23; Php 1:3,4; Colossians 1:3; 1Th 5:17; 2Th 1:3
  • Mention - Genesis 40:14; Isaiah 62:6; 1Thessalonians 1:2
  • Ephesians 1 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Related Passages:

Romans 1:8-9+  First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, because your faith is being proclaimed throughout the whole world. 9 For God, Whom I serve in my spirit in the preaching of the Gospel of His Son, is my witness as to how unceasingly I make mention of you,

PAUL PRAYS WITHOUT
CEASING FOR THE SAINTS

Mark Holmes gives an excellent introduction to this section on prayer - Paul’s prayer speaks to the heart of a Christian’s need. Most people desire a better understanding of God. When asked why we read our Bibles and attend church services, we often reply, “To learn more about God.” But knowledge is not the same as knowing. What we often seek is breadth rather than depth. We errantly assume that the more facts we know, the closer we grow. But Paul’s prayer is for depth, not breadth. His concern is not that the people know of God, but to actually know God (A Commentary in the Wesleyan Tradition)

Do not cease (pauo) giving thanks (eucharisteo in present tense - continually) for you - Note that not (ou) indicates absolute negation of what follows. Cease (pauo) is preceded by this absolute negative (ou) indicating that Paul did take a respite from his thanksgiving filled prayers for these beloved saints at Ephesus. Stated in the positive, he continually (eucharisteo in present tense) prayed for them. In other words Paul is praying without ceasing! The only way a man could pray without ceasing like Paul was by continually being filled with the Spirit Who supernaturally enabled him to pray like this. Phillips paraphrases it "I never give up praying for you." For (huper)  means in behalf of, for the sake of. In other words Paul was interceding on behalf of others. Do we underestimate our holy privilege of functioning as priests interceding with the Most High God on behalf of others! Lord raise up intercessors who pray scriptural prayers like the apostle Paul!

Adam Clarke comments that "The apostle intimates, so fully satisfied was he of the genuineness of their conversion, and of their steadiness since their conversion, that it was to him a continual cause of thanksgiving to God, who had brought them into that state of salvation; and of prayer, that they might be preserved blameless to the end.

Graham Scroggie has a nice explanation of thanksgiving and intercession writing that...

Thanksgiving is for the foundation already laid, but intercession is for the superstructure going up.

Thanksgiving is for past attainments, but intercession is for future advancements.

Thanksgiving is for the actual in their experience, but intercession is for the possible in God’s purpose for them.

Paul modeled his command to pray without ceasing (he prayed what he preached!) - Pray (present imperative see our need to depend on the Holy Spirit to obey) without ceasing (1 Th 5:17+)

Philippians 1:3+ I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, 1:4 always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all,

Colossians 1:3+ We give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you,

1Th 1:2+ We give thanks to God always for all of you, making mention of you in our prayers;

Compare Paul's pattern of praying to the pattern which he later exhorts these prayed for saints to pray in the context of spiritual warfare 

With all prayer and petition pray (present tense = continually, as one's lifestyle) at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert (present tense) with all perseverance and petition for all the saints, and pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak (Ephesians 6:18-20+).

Albert Barnes writes that although "Paul was far distant from them, and expected to see them no more. But he had faith in prayer, and he sought that they might advance in knowledge and in grace."

Spurgeon adds "Where there was much good, the apostle prayed for more. We all need still further to advance in divine things. To stand still is impossible."

Sometimes we forget that we should pray as earnestly for people
after they are saved, as we do for their salvation.

Robert Murray McCheyne remarks that here we see "the mark of a true shepherd. But a hireling cares not for the sheep, he does not and cannot weep for the sheep, he has no anguish of heart for them. Pray that we may so love Christ that we may care for the sheep. (ED: Lord raise up shepherds like this in America, men who feed their sheep the Word and pray the Word for their sheep! Amen)

The IVP Bible Background Commentary has an interesting note - Like pious Jews, pious Christians apparently had a time set aside for prayer each day. Many pious Jews prayed several hours a day, and if Paul continued such a custom we can understand how he could pray for all his churches.

While making (poieo in the present tense = continually) mention (mneia) of you in my prayers (proseuche) - My (ego in genitive = possessive) indicates the prayers were his own personal prayers on behalf of the saints, praying for realization of the truths he has just taught about their blessings by virtue of their position in Christ.

Paul's deep concern for his churches is shown by his frequent prayers for them (2 Co 13:7; Php 1:4; Col 1:3; 2:1; 1 Th 1:2; 2 Th 1:11).

Jon Courson asks "Who do you pray for? I have a tendency to pray for those who are hurting, for those who are going through tragedies and difficulties, for those who are backsliding and failing—and that’s fine. But here Paul is saying something very different when he says, “When I heard how well you’re doing, I was moved to pray for you.” (Jon Courson's Application Commentary)

Disciple's Study Bible - Intercession reaches its highest authority and power when it is for spiritual purposes. Paul prayed the Ephesians would know God better and experience His strength. Paul's deep concern for his churches is shown by his frequent prayers for them (2 Co 13:7; Php 1:4; Col 1:3; 2:1; 1 Th 1:2; 2 Th 1:11).


Cease (3973) (pauo) means to cease (middle voice = oneself) from an activity in which one is engaged. Pauo in the active sense means to cause something or someone to cease from some activity or state. To make stop. To stop, restrain, refrain, quit, desist. To come to an end. The idea is to stop or restrain from an activity in which one is engaged. 

Pauo - 15x in NT - Lk. 5:4; Lk. 8:24; Lk. 11:1; Acts 5:42; Acts 6:13; Acts 13:10; Acts 20:1; Acts 20:31; Acts 21:32; 1 Co. 13:8; Eph. 1:16; Col. 1:9; Heb. 10:2; 1 Pet. 3:10; 1 Pet. 4:1

Giving thanks (2168) (eucharisteo from eu = well + charizomai = to grant, give) means to express appreciation for benefits or blessings. To be grateful or feel thankful. Paul continually (present tense) was grateful to God for what He had done in the life of the saints at Ephesus and he thanked God for how they had responded. Thankfulness is a good attitude in prayer.

Eucharisteo - used 2x in Ephesians - Eph 1:16, Eph 5:20

Making (4160) (poieo) make, do, expressing action continued (present tense). In context of this verse making mention conveys the idea of mentioning someone in prayer, even naming them one by one! Paul labored earnestly for others in his prayers. Do I?

Poieo - 10x in 10v - Eph 1:16 Eph 2:3 Eph 2:14 Eph 2:15 Eph 3:11 Eph 3:20 Eph 4:16 Eph 6:6 Eph 6:8 Eph 6:9

Mention (3417) (mneia) is a recalling to mind memory, recollection, remembrance. It is used in the NT predominantly of remembering others in prayer and thus making mention of them. Clearly the apostle Paul did not regard prayer as something vague and indefinite, but remembered his readers and their needs specifically before the throne of grace giving us all a very convicting pattern!

Prayers (4335) (proseuche from pros = toward or immediately before + euchomai = to pray or vow) is the more general word for prayer and is used only of prayer to God. The prefix "pros" would convey the sense of being immediately before Him and hence the ideas of adoration, devotion, and worship. The basic idea is to bring something, and in prayer this pertains to bringing up prayer requests. In early Greek culture an offering was brought with a prayer that it be accepted. Later the idea was changed slightly, so that the thing brought to God was a prayer. In later Greek, prayers appealed to God for His presence. Proseuche stresses fervency and includes the idea of devotion to God for Who He is.

Proseuche - 2x in the Ephesians - Eph 1:16, Eph 6:18


Illustration - On January 6, 1822, the wife of a poor German pastor had a son, never dreaming that he would one day achieve world renown and great wealth. When Heinrich Schliemann was seven years old, a picture of ancient Troy in flames captured his imagination. Contrary to what many people believed, Heinrich argued that Homer’s great poems, the Iliad and the Odyssey, were based on historic facts and he set out to prove it. In 1873, he uncovered the ancient site of Troy, along with some fabulous treasure which he smuggled out of the country, much to the anger of the Turkish government. Schliemann became a famous, wealthy man because he dared to believe an ancient record and act on his faith. We discovered that we were “born rich” when we trusted Christ. But this is not enough, for we must grow in our understanding of our riches if we are ever going to use them to the glory of God.

Too many Christians have never “read the bank book” to find out the vast spiritual wealth that God has put to their account through Jesus Christ. They are like the late newspaper publisher, William Randolph Hearst, who invested a fortune collecting art treasures from around the world. One day Mr. Hearst found a description of some valuable items that he felt he must own, so he sent his agent abroad to find them. After months of searching, the agent reported that he had finally found the treasures. They were in Mr. Hearst’s warehouse. Hearst had been searching frantically for treasures he already owned! Had he read the catalog of his treasures, he would have saved himself a great deal of money and trouble. Paul desired the Ephesian Christians to understand what great wealth they had in Christ. (Wiersbe)

John MacArthur's comment is relevant to this illustration from the life of William Hearst - It is tragic that many believers become entangled in a quest for something more in the Christian life, for something special, something extra that the "ordinary" Christian life does not possess. They talk of getting more of Jesus Christ, more of the Holy Spirit, more power, more blessings, a higher life, a deeper life—as if the resources of God were divinely doled out one at a time like so many pharmaceutical prescriptions or were unlocked by some spiritual combination that only an initiated few can know.To say, "I want to get all of Jesus there is," implies that when we were saved Christ did not give us all of Himself, that He held some blessings in reserve to be parceled out to those who meet certain extra requirements.....The New Testament teaching of salvation is that the new birth grants every believer everything in Christ. There is consequently no need and no justification in searching for anything more. Though it does not do so intentionally, such searching undermines the essence of God's revealed truth about salvation.

Yet today many Christians spend a great deal of time and effort vainly looking for blessings already available to them. They pray for God's light, although He has already supplied light in abundance through His Word. Their need is to follow the light they already have. They pray for strength, although His Word tells them they can do all things through Christ who strengthens them (Phil. 4:13). They pray for more love, although Paul says that God's own love is already poured out within their hearts through the Holy Spirit (Rom. 5:5). They pray for more grace, although the Lord says the grace He has already given is sufficient (2 Cor. 12:9). They pray for peace, although the Lord has given them His own peace, which surpasses all comprehension" (Phil. 4:7). It is expected that we pray for such blessings if the tone of the prayer is one of seeking the grace to appropriate what is already given, rather than one of pleading for something we think is scarcely available or is reluctantly shared by God.

The Christian's primary need is for wisdom and obedience to appropriate the abundance of blessings the Lord has already given. Our problem is not lack of blessings, but lack of insight and wisdom to understand and use them properly and faithfully. Our blessings are so vast that the human mind cannot comprehend them. In our own minds we cannot fathom the riches we have in our position in Jesus Christ. Such things are totally beyond the human mind to grasp.....But no Christian needs, or can have, more of the Lord or of His blessing and inheritance than he already has. That is why Paul tells us, as he told the Ephesian believers, not to seek more spiritual resources but to understand and use those we were given in absolute completeness the moment we received Christ..(Ephesians MacArthur New Testament Commentary)

Ephesians 1:17 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. (NASB: Lockman)

Greek: hina o theos tou kuriou hemon Iesou Christou, o pater tes doxes, doe (3SAAS) humin pneuma sophias kai apokalupseos en epignosei autou,

BGT  Ephesians 1:17 ἵνα ὁ θεὸς τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ, ὁ πατὴρ τῆς δόξης, δώῃ ὑμῖν πνεῦμα σοφίας καὶ ἀποκαλύψεως ἐν ἐπιγνώσει αὐτοῦ,

Amplified: [For I always pray to] the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, that He may grant you a spirit of wisdom and revelation [of insight into mysteries and secrets] in the [deep and intimate] knowledge of Him, (Amplified Bible - Lockman)

CSB   I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, would give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him.

ESV  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,

KJV  That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:

NET  I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you spiritual wisdom and revelation in your growing knowledge of him,

NIV  I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.

NLT (revised) asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom and insight so that you might grow in your knowledge of God.

NLT: asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you might grow in your knowledge of God. (NLT - Tyndale House)

Phillips: That God, the God of our Lord Jesus Christ and the all-glorious Father, will give you spiritual wisdom and the insight to know more of Him: (Phillips: Touchstone)

Wuest: that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of the glory, might give to you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the sphere of a full knowledge of Him,  (Eerdmans Publishing - used by permission)  

Young's Literal: that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of the glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the recognition of Him,

THAT THE GOD OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST ,THE FATHER OF GLORY: hina o theos tou kuriou hemon Iesou Christou, o pater tes doxes:

  • That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ Ep 1:3; John 20:17
  • The Father of glory - 1 Chronicles 29:11; Psalm 24:7,10; 29:3; Jeremiah 2:11; Matthew 6:13; Luke 2:14; Acts 7:2; 1Corinthians 2:8; James 2:1; Revelation 7:12
  • Ephesians 1 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Related Passage:

1 Chronicles 29:11 “Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, indeed everything that is in the heavens and the earth; Yours is the dominion, O LORD, and You exalt Yourself as head over all.

FATHER OF GLORY
OUR GLORIOUS FATHER

One could subtitle this next section "A Pauline Pattern for Prayer." 

That is the conjunction hina which means in order that a phrase which introduces a purpose clause (see term of purpose). The purpose of Paul’s prayer for the saints at Ephesus could be summed up in his desire that the Father would enable them to more fully comprehend the great spiritual resources that they possess in Christ. It is a prayer for the Spirit to give them deeper understanding of the deep spiritual truths in the preceding section! They know the facts, the "head knowledge," but now Paul wants them to know the facts in a more intimate, experiential way, a way that grounds their faith and stirs zeal for godly living and Gospel giving. He wants them to know the Father's heart, that magnanimous heart that in love and kindness bestowed such bountiful spiritual treasures on them. 

THOUGHT - As an aside, whenever you encounter a purpose clause, discipline yourself to pause and ponder, asking questions (interrogate with the 5W/H questions), like what is the purpose, etc (even when the purpose is obvious, as this slows you down and allows you to become more actively involved with the text instead of passively reading the text.)

William MacDonald comments "What a privilege it is to have this glimpse into the prayer life of a man of God. In fact, there are two such glimpses in this Letter—here and in 3:14–21. Here the prayer is for spiritual illumination; there it is for spiritual strength. Here the prayer is addressed to God; there to the Father. But in every case Paul’s prayers were unceasing, specific, and appropriate to the current needs of the people." (Believer's Bible Commentary).

What the Bible Teaches - The God of our Lord Jesus Christ is God in relation to Christ [as a man]: Psalm 22:10 from His birth; Psalm 22:1 in the darkness of Golgotha; John 20:17 as a man risen from the dead; Heb 1:9 [as an] exalted man in heaven. The Father of glory is the source of all glory.(What the Bible Teaches: Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians )

The God of our Lord Jesus Christ the Father of glory - NLT = "glorious Father." This is the only place in the Bible that uses the phrase "Father of glory." God of our Lord Jesus Christ is a reference to God the Father. Glory in this verse could refer to (1) Source or Originator of all glory, (2) the One to whom all glory belongs or (3) the Father of the Lord Jesus, Who is the manifestation of God’s glory. Here are several comments on the phrase Father of glory...

Wuest - “The Father of glory” is “the Father of the glory,” the definite article appearing in the Greek text. He is the Father of the glory in the sense that He is the Father to Whom glory belongs. (Wuest Word Studies - Eerdman Publishing Company Volume 1Volume 2Volume 3 - used by permission)

A T Robertson - The Father of glory. The God characterized by glory (the Shekinah, Heb. 9:5) as in Acts 7:2; I Cor. 2:8; II Cor. 1:3; James 2:1.

NET Note on Father of glory -  Or "glorious Father." The genitive phrase "of glory" is most likely an attributive genitive. The literal translation "Father of glory" has been retained because of the parallelism with the first line of the verse: "the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory."

Expositor's Bible Commentary on Father of glory - "Glorious Father" is a typically Hebraic expression that points both to God's essential being and to what proceeds from it in mercy (Eph 1:7). (The Expositor's Bible Commentary: Ephesians)

Marvin Vincent - Father of glory. The Father to Whom the glory belongs. Note the article, the glory, preeminently. Compare Acts 7:2; 1Co 2:8.

Henry Alford feels that doxa is not "be understood of the divine nature of Christ...but God is the Father,—by being the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,—of that glory, the true and all-including glory, and only glory, of the Godhead, which shone forth in the manhood of the only-begotten Son (John 1:14),—the true Shechinah, which His saints beheld in the face of Christ, 2 Cor. 4:4, 6, and into which they are changed by the Lord the Spirit, 2Cor 3:18.

CHRYSOSTOM: Glory is the name among us which denotes that which is most magnificent. The “Father of glory” means “the one who has given you these most extraordinary gifts.” Through

Best - attributes a quality to God which we should expect to bear some relation to the content of the prayer. Normally ‘father of’ would be followed by the name of a person, however a metaphorical use of father is found in Jas 1:17; 2Cor 1:3 (cf Heb 12:9) with the sense ‘source of’; thus here he is the source of glory to those who are his children. The phrase may be derived from liturgical usage (cf Ps 23:7; 28:3; Acts 7:2; 1Cor 2:8) and is not then an indirect reference to Christ, he being equated with doxa since God is His Father. ‘Of glory’ could be taken as adjectival, signifying ‘the glorious father’; but this is weak. Sellin, returning to an older interpretation, argues that we have an inversion of the genitive and it should be understood as ‘the glory of God’ and compares 2Cor 4:6; the glory of God is Jesus Christ and so God is the father of glory; it seems easier to understand ‘father’ as meaning ‘source of’. (Best, E.. A critical and exegetical commentary on Ephesians)

Adam Clarke - The Father of glory The Author and Giver of that glory which you expect at the end of your Christian race. This may be a Hebraism for glorious Father, but the former appears to be the best sense.

Jamieson has a less commonly offered interpretation "The Father of that infinite glory which shines in the face of Christ, Who is “the glory” (the true Shekinah); through Whom also “the glory of the inheritance” (Eph 1:18) shall be ours (Jn 17:24; 2Co 3:7-4:6).


God (2316) (theos) is the supreme divine being, the true, living, and personal God. Theos is a term generally used in the ancient world of beings who have powers or confer benefits that lie beyond the capacity of mortals. In translation the capitalized term God refers to a specific deity and ordinarily to the One God of Israel.—God of Israel, as opposed to other so-called deities. 

Theos 32x in 32v in Ephesians - Eph. 1:1; Eph. 1:2; Eph. 1:3; Eph. 1:17; Eph. 2:4; Eph. 2:8; Eph. 2:10; Eph. 2:16; Eph. 2:19; Eph. 2:22; Eph. 3:2; Eph. 3:7; Eph. 3:9; Eph. 3:10; Eph. 3:19; Eph. 4:6; Eph. 4:13; Eph. 4:18; Eph. 4:24; Eph. 4:30; Eph. 4:32; Eph. 5:1; Eph. 5:2; Eph. 5:5; Eph. 5:6; Eph. 5:20; Eph. 6:6; Eph. 6:11; Eph. 6:13; Eph. 6:17; Eph. 6:23

Lord (2962) (kurios) means master, ruler, controller or owner, the one who has absolute ownership, absolute authority and sovereign, uncontested power. Jesus is referred to some ten times as Savior and some seven hundred times as Lord. He is supreme in authority. Kurios also translates Jehovah (LORD in OT) in Septuagint (LXX) some 7000 times. Martin Luther puts "Lord" in an interesting perspective noting that "The life of Christianity consists of possessive pronouns. It is one thing to say, "Christ is a Saviour"; it is quite another thing to say, "He is my Saviour and my Lord." The devil can say the first; the true Christian alone can say the second.

Kurios 28x in 27v in Ephesians -  Eph. 1:2; Eph. 1:3; Eph. 1:15; Eph. 1:17; Eph. 2:21; Eph. 3:11; Eph. 4:1; Eph. 4:5; Eph. 4:17; Eph. 5:8; Eph. 5:10; Eph. 5:17; Eph. 5:19; Eph. 5:20; Eph. 5:22; Eph. 6:1; Eph. 6:4; Eph. 6:5; Eph. 6:7; Eph. 6:8; Eph. 6:9; Eph. 6:10; Eph. 6:21; Eph. 6:23; Eph. 6:24

Jesus (2424) (Iesous from the Hebrew Yeshu'a = Jehovah will save or Yahweh is salvation) is the Hellenized as Jesus. In this Name is His deity, humanity vicarious atonement. God incarnate died for sinners to satisfy the just demands of His law. In the gospels, our Savior is designated by the name of Christ alone in nearly 300 passages; by the name of Jesus Christ or Christ Jesus less than 100 times, and by the name of the Lord Jesus Christ less than 50 times. Prior to His resurrection, He was designated as Jesus Christ; after His resurrection, He is often referred to as Christ Jesus 

Here is note from the Jewish Historian Josephus on Jesus (he calls Him "Christ" which normally speaks of the Messiah. He also speaks of His resurrection!)  3.(63) Now, there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works—a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure.  He drew over to him both many of the Jews, and many of the Gentiles.  He was [the] Christ (64) and when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him, for he appeared to them alive again the third day, as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him; and the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day. (Source Antiquities of the Jews, Book 18, chapter 3, paragraph 3) (ED: Given these statements, one had to wonder if Josephus eventually was saved?)

Iesous 21x in 20v in Ephesians -  Eph. 1:2; Eph. 1:3; Eph. 1:5; Eph. 1:15; Eph. 1:17; Eph. 2:6; Eph. 2:7; Eph. 2:10; Eph. 2:13; Eph. 2:20; Eph. 3:1; Eph. 3:6; Eph. 3:11; Eph. 3:21; Eph. 4:21; Eph. 5:20; Eph. 6:23; Eph. 6:24;

Father (3962) (pater) speaks of the Supreme Deity, Who is the responsible for the origin and care of all that exists. Father is God's family name which can be uttered with its full significance only by His children, those in the family having been born again by His Spirit. Pater is one of the titles for God and is a name which combines the aspects of supernatural authority and care for His people. Note that the word “Abba” is the Aramaic word for “Father.”  Aramaic is the language which the Jews spoke in Palestine in the first century. Thus the words “Abba, Father,” were a formula familiar to the bilingual Palestinian Church. God is our Father as thru salvation we come into His family and can now approach Him as child to his father. A blessed thought to encourage our praying, faith that He hears and a sweet feeling of nearness to Him as objects of special care love! 

Pater 11x in 11v in Ephesians - Eph. 1:2; Eph. 1:3; Eph. 1:17; Eph. 2:18; Eph. 3:14; Eph. 4:6; Eph. 5:20; Eph. 5:31; Eph. 6:2; Eph. 6:4; Eph. 6:23;

Glory (1391) (doxa from dokeō = exercising personal opinion to determine value) gives a proper opinion of. Thayer says doxa literally means "what evokes good opinion, i.e. that something has inherent, intrinsic worth". Doxa relates to inherent value (real weight) and hence used of the glory of God, i.e. His substance (the essence of His eternal, infinite being).  God's glory encompasses all of His attributes. Glory (doxa) speaks of a manifestation of God's true nature, presence, or likeness. He is glorified when He is allowed to be seen as He really is. To be where God is will be glory. To be what God intended will be glory. To do what God purposed will be glory. The basic idea in the word doxa is that of manifestation. The glory of God is the manifestation of His Being, His character and His acts. The glory of God is what He is essentially. Glory, therefore, is the true apprehension of God.  God's being (glory) is the only measure (ultimately) to weigh anything.  Only the Lord has meaning in and of Himself; people derive their meaning by knowing Him – like the moon draws its light (reflects) the sun (Son).

Doxa 8x in 8v in Ephesians -  Eph. 1:6; Eph. 1:12; Eph. 1:14; Eph. 1:17; Eph. 1:18; Eph. 3:13; Eph. 3:16; Eph. 3:21


I Want to Know You More
Don Moen

One thing have I desired
Forever will I seek
To behold the beauty of His holiness
And to dwell within the presence of the King
How could I ask for more
He's done so much for me
For I have tasted of the goodness of the Lord
And I've feasted at the table of the King
I just want to know Him more
I just want to know Him more
I just want to know Him more
I just want to know Him more

You've called me by Your name
And You've filled me with your love
You have covered with mercy and with grace
And have showered me with blessings from above
And yet I know there's more
I hear You calling me
To a place where I have never been before
Where Your love is flowing
Deeper than the sea
I just want to know You more
I just want to know You more
I just want to know You more
I just want to know You more

Open my eyes
Lord I want to see
All you have promised and given to me
I want to know the secrets that are hidden in your word
I want to know You
I want to know You

One day i'll see your face
And I'll look into Your eyes
And through all eternity I'll sing your praise
And forevermore fulfil my heart's desire

I just want to know You more
I just want to know You more
I just want to know You more
I just want to know You more

I just want to know You more
I just want to know You more
I just want to know You more
I just want to know You more


A W Pink on Father of glory - Thomas Goodwin states:

He is called ‘the Father of glory.’ First, by way of eminency of fatherhood: there is no such father as He is. He is a glorious Father, and by a Hebrewism He is a Father of glory: that is, a glorious Father, such as no father else is. He is called ‘the King of glory:’ there are other kings, but He only is the glorious king. There are other fathers: he only is the Father of glory; He is therefore called the ‘heavenly Father.’ … Heaven and glory are the highest things we can conceive of, and therefore when He would put forth how great a God, how glorious a Father, He is, He calleth Himself the heavenly Father, the Father of glory, in distinction from all fatherhoods. The use of this is: Never be ashamed of your Father, you that are the sons of God, for you are the highest born in the world—no nobility rises up to glory. Therefore walk worthy of Him, and let your light so shine before men that you may glorify your Father, the Father of glory, which is in Heaven.”

As the God of glory, the Father first appeared to the father of the faithful, when He called him to leave Chaldea and go forth to Canaan (Acts 7:2). And as the most glorious God He reveals Himself to the newly born soul.

Second, God is designated “the Father of glory” not only because He is infinitely glorious in Himself, but also because He is the Bestower of glory upon His dear children: “The LORD will give grace and glory” (Ps. 84:11). He is the Author of all the glory with which His saints are or ever will be invested. There is what we may call (for want of a better term) the official glory of God, which is incommunicable; and there is His moral glory, of which He makes His people partakers. That distinction is observed in those words of Christ’s: “The glory which thou gavest me I have given them;” on the other hand, “Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my [mediatorial and incommunicable] glory, which thou hast given me” (John 17:22, 24). A measure of His moral glory is communicated to us in this life: “But we all with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Cor. 3:18). Utterly unable as we are to explain the mystery of that spiritual alchemy, yet the fact is clearly stated. And the fact receives verification in the experience of the saints, for as faith is exercised (ED: AND THE WORD INGESTED) that divine glory has a transforming efficacy on their souls.

Third, there was a particular propriety in addressing God on this occasion as “the Father of glory.” As we have pointed out in former chapters, the titles given to God when approaching Him in prayer were not selected at random, nor were different ones used merely for the sake of variety. Rather was the particular character in which God was viewed most in accord with the special exercises of Paul’s heart and the specific nature of the requests he was about to make. Such was the case here. He was about to pray for spiritual knowledge of glorious things, an apprehension of the riches of the glory of God’s inheritance in the saints and of the exceeding greatness of His power. Suitably, therefore, he called on the Father of glory just as he addressed Him as “the God of hope” when making request that the saints might “abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost” (Ro 15:13).

We cannot anticipate too much that which immediately follows in this prayer, but we may at least point out that each of its petitions is closely related to the particular title which is here ascribed to the Father. Paul asked God to give His people “the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him”—a knowledge of Him as the glorious One. Paul also requested that they might know “what is the hope of his calling.” From 1 Peter 5:10 we learn that, among other things, this calling is “unto his eternal glory.” Yes, we are called to glory itself (2 Pet. 1:3). The phrase “riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints” (Eph. 1:18) signifies a glorious inheritance, an inheritance in the Glory. In making request that we might know “what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward” something more than the bare exercise of Omnipotence is included, namely, the putting forth in a special manner of “his glorious power” (Col. 1:11). Thus we may better perceive why the apostle here addressed God as “the Father of glory,” this title being most consistent to the particular favors he was about to ask for.

MAY GIVE TO YOU A SPIRIT OF WISDOM AND OF REVELATION: doe (3SAAS) humin pneuma sophias kai apokalupseos:

  • A spirit - Ge 41:38,39; Isa 11:2; Da 5:11; Lk 12:12; 21:15; Jn 14:17,26; Acts 6:10; 1Co 12:8; 14:6; Col 1:9; Col 2:3; James 3:17,18
  • Revelation - Ep 3:5; Da 2:28-30; 10:1; Mt 11:25; 16:17; 1Co 2:10; 2Co 12:1
  • Ephesians 1 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Related Passages: 

Daniel 2:19-24+ Then the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a night vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven; 20 Daniel said, “Let the name of God be blessed forever and ever, For wisdom and power belong to Him.  21 “It is He who changes the times and the epochs; He removes kings and establishes kings; He gives wisdom to wise men And knowledge to men of understanding.  22 “It is He who reveals the profound and hidden things; He knows what is in the darkness, And the light dwells with Him.  23 “To You, O God of my fathers, I give thanks and praise, For You have given me wisdom and power; Even now You have made known to me what we requested of You, For You have made known to us the king’s matter.”  

PAUL PRAYS FOR THE
SPIRITUAL ENLIGHTENMENT

The essence of Paul's prayer request is that the saints in Ephesus would have a deeper understanding of what God has accomplished for them in Ephesians 1:3-14, to know it in a deeper, more intimate and experiential way. 

THOUGHT - Can you see why praying Paul's prayer (this one and all of Paul's great prayers) for yourself and your brothers and sisters in Christ is such a powerful pattern? Clearly God will answer this prayer powerfully and affirmatively because it is a prayer that is IN HIS WILL. Indeed, the apostle John would encourage us to pray the "Pauline Prayers" for each other writing "This is the confidence (boldness - parrhesia) which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will (WHERE IS HIS WILL? HIS WORD!), He hears us. 15 And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him." (1 John 5:14-15+). This is genuine, Biblical "name it, claim it!" And it begs the question -- How Biblically based are my prayers? Are they more often prayers for spiritual needs or for physical needs? Paul's prayers ALWAYS focus on the spiritual needs of saints, not their physical needs. We should seek to imitate Paul's pattern (1Cor 11:1+). 

May give to you a spirit (pneuma) of wisdom (sophia)  and of revelation (apokalupsis) in the knowledge (epignosis) of Him - KJV is incorrect translating it "the spirit" for there is no "the" in the Greek text. Paul prays for their spirit to grow in two respects, in wisdom and in revelation. ESV and NIV capitalize "spirit" thus interpreting this as the Holy Spirit (as an aside note how every translation is also to some degree an interpretation). Of course no one would argue that it is only by the Holy Spirit (using the Holy Word) that one receives wisdom and revelation and spiritual knowledge about God. 

Utley combines the meanings of spirit - "The term “spirit” is anarthrous (no DEFINITE ARTICLE), but really serves the double purpose of referring to the human spirit energized by the Holy Spirit." (ED: AND A GOOD PARALLEL PASSAGE IS 1Cor 2:10+ - "For to us God revealed [apokalupto] them through the Spirit [pneuma] ; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God.") He adds that "In the NT there is a series of passages which describe what the Spirit produces in the lives of believers: (1) “a spirit of adoption as sons,” Ro 8:15; (2) “a spirit of gentleness,” 1 Cor 4:21; (3) “a spirit of wisdom and revelation,” Eph 1:17; and (4) “the spirit of truth,” 1 Jn 4:6."

Wayne Barber adds that "many conservative scholars (ED: AND SOME BIBLE TRANSLATIONS) think that he refers here to the Holy Spirit. I don’t agree with that, directly. Certainly he’s including Him in his thought, but he’s not speaking directly of Him because it says God will give you a spirit. The Holy Spirit is God. Secondly, there’s no definite article here. It’s not "the spirit". It’s "a spirit" as the New American Standard brings it out. He prays that God will give them a spirit of wisdom and of revelation. They already have the Holy Spirit. (ED: AND I WOULD ADD A THIRD THOUGHT - HE IS PRAYING FOR THE FATHER TO GIVE THEM "A SPIRIT" -- THINK ABOUT THAT -- DO THEY NEED TO RECEIVE THE HOLY SPIRIT? NO, THEY RECEIVED HIM WHEN THEY WERE BORN AGAIN AND EVERY BELIEVER HAS THE HOLY SPIRIT - cf Ro 8:9+). One of the things it can refer to is a special work of the Holy Spirit in the spirit of men that have been redeemed, that have the attitude and the willingness to let God do a work. Now there are two things implied in that. He’s asking God the Holy Spirit to give a spirit of wisdom and a spirit of revelation concerning the knowledge of God to the Ephesian believers. Included and implied in that is a heart that has been made tender and is willing to let that happen. In other words, God does it, yes, but we make the choice. All of life is just saying "Yes" to God. When we’re willing to say "Yes" to Him, the Spirit, as another work of grace, can give us a spirit of wisdom and a spirit of revelation concerning the knowledge of God.

MacArthur - In essence Paul prayed that the Ephesians would be spared from frantically searching for what was already theirs, but rather would see that the great God who is their God is the source of all they need and has it ready for them if they are open to receive it. (Ephesians MacArthur New Testament Commentary)

Given the fact that the ESV translation renders "spirit" as the Holy Spirit, the ESV Study note says that the "Spirit of wisdom refers to the Holy Spirit’s secret working in Christians to give them insights into God’s Word and the saving knowledge of him (1 Cor. 2:6–12)."

POSB says that "to grow in the knowledge of God a believer must have the spirit of wisdom. What the believer needs from God is a spirit a spirit that reaches out and grasps after wisdom, a spirit that hungers and thirsts after wisdom, a spirit that seeks and seeks after wisdom. Wisdom can best be understood by the single words what and how. Wisdom means knowing what something is, what is behind something, and what can be done. It is knowing how to use or relate to something. Therefore, spiritual wisdom means knowing who God is and how to relate to Him, knowing the truth and how to use it, knowing what to do and how to do it, knowing how to live more and more fruitful lives—for the glory of God and for the welfare of men.  Wisdom differs from knowledge. Knowledge is the grasping of facts, but grasping facts is not enough. Much more is needed: a person must know how to use the facts. That is where wisdom comes in. Wisdom knows how to use the facts. The point is this: it is not enough to know the facts about God; a person must know God personally. He must know how to experience the facts about God. He must use the facts to develop a personal relationship with God—a growing relationship—a relationship that is intimate, that grows deeper and deeper. This is the meaning of the word "knowledge" (epignosei): a personal and intimate relationship with God; a personal experience with God. It is not an intellectual knowledge of God, but an experiential knowledge of God. If the believer is to grow in the knowledge of God, he must seek the wisdom of God more than anything else on this earth. It is the person who hungers and thirsts after God and His righteousness that is filled (Mt 5:6) (The Preacher's Outline and Sermon Bible)

May give (1325) (didomi) means to give based on a decision of the will of giver no merit of recipient and thus can carry the ideas of bestow, grant. Paul prays that God might give the spirit of wisdom and revelation to the Ephesians. Note that some Greek sources state that give is in the optative mood, which expresses a wish or desire in prayer (as in 2Th 3:16, Ro 15:5, 2Ti 1:16,18)

Wayne Barber says wisdom 'teaches a man how he can relate to God, how he can experience God. If God gives you wisdom He takes that same. Word that you thought didn’t apply and supernaturally shows you how the Word meets every need of your life. Not only that, it leads you into a deep, deep understanding of that by letting you experience what God’s saying in that Word. That’s what the Holy Spirit does. You see, wisdom is very important. How is this wisdom received? By revelation. This to me is one of the real keys of Paul’s prayer. These Ephesian believers are not that old in the faith. These Ephesian believers were influenced by the Greek thinking of that day that said everything you do you have to do yourself. You have to intellectualize. You have to figure it out yourself. As a result, Paul is praying, "Oh no, you can’t do it that way. I’m praying that God will give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation concerning the knowledge of God....To me this is one of the real root thoughts of Paul’s prayer. He’s leading them to a deeper understanding of God, but he’s trying to show them that it doesn’t come by their own intellect. It comes by the revelation of the Spirit of God. Yes, the intellect is needed because God gives understanding, but it’s the Holy Spirit doing it in a person’s life. (A Prayer for Understanding)

Max Anders writes that " Wisdom involves the practical ability to act on what one knows and believes. Revelation is God letting you experience himself and his truth. Paul referred to it here as guiding one into God’s truth and God’s way of life. For us it also involves God’s authoritative revelation in Scripture. Wisdom then becomes the practical ability to understand Scripture and apply its truth to daily living (Holman New Testament Commentary)

Craig Evans - God is described as the Father of glory in Ps. 29:3 (LXX 28:3; cf. Acts 7:2). Spirit of wisdom and revelation. An epitaph dating from the third century A.D. to the goddess Gellia claims that divinely revealed wisdom enabled her love for her husband (NIP 4.8, 75–58, ND 3.48). In the Old Testament the Spirit of God was sometimes called the Spirit of wisdom (Exod. 28:3; 31:3; 35:31; Isa. 11:2; cf. Deut. 34:9) by virtue of the wisdom it imparted to those called to a particular task. These include Bezalel, the craftsman of the tabernacle and its articles (Exod. 31:3; 35:31), Joshua for his leadership of Israel in succession to Moses (Deut. 34:9), and the Messiah (Isa. 11:2; 1 Enoch 49.3).  (Bible Knowledge Background Commentary)

Spirit of wisdom is a phrase found 4 times in the NAS:

In a prophecy of the Messiah, Isaiah writes "The Spirit of the LORD will rest on Him, The spirit of wisdom and understanding, The spirit of counsel and strength, The spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD." (Isaiah 11:2+)

The phrase "spirit of wisdom" is used to describe Joshua (Lxx = Iesous = "Jesus" in NT) - "Now Joshua the son of Nun was filled with the spirit of wisdom, for Moses had laid his hands on him; and the sons of Israel listened to him and did as the LORD had commanded Moses." (Dt 34:9+)

God tells Moses  “You shall speak to all the skillful persons whom I have endowed with the spirit of wisdom, that they make Aaron’s garments to consecrate him, that he may minister as priest to Me." (Ex 28:3+)

R W Dale - Ephesian Christians had already Divine illumination, or they would not have been Christians at all; but Paul prayed that the Divine Spirit who dwelt in them would make their vision clearer, keener, stronger, that the Divine power and love and greatness might be revealed to them far more fully. And perhaps in these days in which men are making such rapid discoveries in inferior provinces of thought, discoveries so fascinating and so exciting as to rival in interest, even for Christian men, the manifestation of God in Christ, there is exceptional need for the church to pray that God would grant it a “spirit of wisdom and revelation”; if He were to answer that prayer we should no longer be dazzled by the knowledge which relates to “things seen and temporal,” it would be outshone by the transcendent glory of “things unseen and eternal.” (R. W. Dale, The Epistle to the Ephesians; Its Doctrines and Ethics. London, Hodder and Stoughton, 1882)


Spirit (breath, wind)(4151)(pneuma) means blowing, breathing, wind, breath, etc. Pneuma in this passage could be either the Holy Spirit or the spirit of man. A compromise interpretation is that it refers to the spirit of man indwelt by the Spirit of God so that they will have spiritual wisdom and revelation from Him as result of Spirit’s work within their human spirit.

Spirit (pneuma) in Ephesians - Eph. 1:13; Eph. 1:17; Eph. 2:2; Eph. 2:18; Eph. 2:22; Eph. 3:5; Eph. 3:16; Eph. 4:3; Eph. 4:4; Eph. 4:23; Eph. 4:30; Eph. 5:18; Eph. 6:17; Eph. 6:18;

Wisdom (4678) (sophia) apply the knowledge of God's will to life's situations. Wisdom enables one to perceive reality accurately. Wisdom is not just ''head'' knowledge but knowledge that has sifted down into the heart and which affects daily life. Wisdom is the know-how to apply the revealed spiritual truths to one's daily life. Wisdom is the ability to judge correctly and to follow the best course of action, based on knowledge and understanding.

Sophia is found 3x in Ephesians - Eph 1:8, Eph 1;17, Eph 3:10. 

Revelation (602) (apokalupsis from from apó = from + kalúpto = cover, conceal) is an unveiling of something hidden. Here apokalupsis deals with God's imparting knowledge to us (Wisdom is proper use of this knowledge in daily living). Revelation conveys the idea of "taking the lid off" and means to remove the cover and expose to open view that which was heretofore not visible, known or disclosed. It means to make manifest or reveal a thing previously secret or unknown. Revelation has to do with the imparting of knowledge (in context) of spiritual things whereas wisdom has to do with the proper use of such knowledge in our daily lives. Originally in secular Greek apokalupsis was not an especially religious word (other words were used in secular Greek to designate divine revelations) but meant simply the disclosure of any fact. It was used to mean "uncovering" as of one's head. It was used to describe the "disclosing" of hidden springs. In contrast apokalupsis as used in the NT always has theological meaning.

Apokalupsis - 2x in Ephesians - Eph 1:17, Eph 3:3


OH, I WANT TO KNOW YOU MORE
Steve Green

Just the time I feel, that I've been caught in the mire of self
Just the time I feel, my mind's been bought by worldly wealth
That's when the breeze begins to blow, I know the Spirit's call
And all my worldly wanderings, just melt into His love

Oh, I want to know You more, deep within my soul I want to know you
Oh, I want to know You, to feel your heart and know Your mind
Looking in Your eyes, stirs up within me
Cries that say, "I want to know You, oh, I want to know You, more

And when my daily deeds ordinarily lose life and song
My heart begins to bleed, sensitivity to Him is gone
I've run the race but set my own pace and face a shattered soul
Now, the gentle arms of Jesus, warm my hunger to behold

Oh, I want to know You more, deep within my soul I want to know You
Oh, I want to know You, to feel Your heart and know Your mind
Looking in Your eyes, stirs up within me
Cries that say, "I want to know You, oh, I want to know You

And I would give my final breath
To know You in Your death and resurrection
Oh, I want to know You more
Oh, I want to know You, to know You more
Oh, I want to know You more

IN THE KNOWLEDGE OF HIM: en epignosei autou:

  • In the knowledge of Him - Eph 3:18-19; Proverbs 2:5; Jeremiah 9:24; 24:7; 31:34; Matthew 11:27; John 8:54,55; 16:3; John 17:3,25,26; Romans 1:28; Colossians 1:10; 2:2; 2Ti 2:25; Titus 1:1; 2Pe 1:3; 2Pe 3:18; 1Jn 2:3,4
  • Ephesians 1 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Related Passage:

Ephesians 3:18-19+ (PAUL IS PRAYING FOR THAT THE SAINTS) may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God

Philippians 3:10-11+ that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; 11 in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. 

Colossians 1:9-10+ (PRAYER FOR EPIGNOSIS) For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge (epignosis) of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that (hina - PURPOSE) you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge (epignosis) of God;

COMMENT - Notice the double use of epignosis, the first use related to prayer the saints be filled with it and the second that the saints would increase in this intimate, personal, experiential knowledge as the walked obedient and carried out good works energized by the Holy Spirit. John 7:17 says “If anyone is willing to do His will, he will know of the teaching, whether it is of God or whether I speak from Myself." In other words, here we also see the obedience (do) brings about increased knowledge (will know). 

THOUGHT - If you are disobedient to the written Word, do not expect to experience increased intimacy with the Living Word (Jesus)!

Philippians 1:9-10+ (PRAYER FOR EPIGNOSIS) And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge (epignosis) and all discernment,  so that (hina - PURPOSE) you may approve the things that are excellent, in order (hina - PURPOSE) to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ;

COMMENT - "The real knowledge which these Philippians needed to gain by experience was a better understanding of God's Word as translated into their experience, and a clearer vision of the Lord Jesus in all the beauty and fragrance of His Person.  A Christian can have an 'understanding' knowledge of the Word, that is, be able to explain its meaning to others, without having an experiential knowledge of the same.  But when that Christian has put the Word of God into practice in his life, then he has what Paul is talking about here" (Wuest Word Studies)

2 Peter 1:2+ (PETER PRAYS FOR THE SAINTS) Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge (epignosis) of God and of Jesus our Lord;

PURPOSE: TO KNOW
THE FATHER BETTER

In the knowledge (epignosisof Him  - NIV = "so that you may know Him better." Amplified - "in the [deep and intimate] knowledge of Him." NJB is closer to the original Greek word epignosis = "to bring you to full knowledge of him." As discussed more below Paul is not praying for more facts, more spiritual truths, but for a deeper understanding of the truths he had just summarized in vv3-14.

As Wayne Barber says the idea is not only to "know it but to understand it and literally, if you please, to experience God. In other words, it means to be drawn into God Himself and not just the facts about Him. How many people do you know who come to church and quote v3-14 and never miss a word, but do not have the deep understanding of what that means in their life? That’s not something a man can get on his own. It’s a work of God’s grace as I bow down to Him, as I surrender to Him. Then the Holy Spirit, who is God, gives me a spirit of wisdom and a spirit of revelation so that I might grow in that knowledge, not of His Word so much, yes, that’s important, but of Him, the God of the Word. To me the whole key of the Christian life is what Paul is praying here because we need to know God and fear God. When a man begins to know God he begins to see himself.

Most commentators interpret HIM as referring to God the Father but a few interpret HIM as referring to the Son. Whether it is the Father or the Son, the great need of every believer is to grow in the knowledge of HIM. And so we would all do well to pray for each other and ourselves that we each would (by His Word and His Spirit) continually "grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen." (2Pe 3:18+)

It is important to understand Paul's use of the noun epignosis (which he also uses in similar prayers in Col 1:9-10+ and Php 1:9-10+ recorded above) because epignosis  describes a more intimate, personal relationship than gnosis (knowledge). To say it another way,  Paul's prayer for epignosis is not for the saints to merely have more "head" knowledge ("facts") about God, but that they would have greater heart knowledge which in turn produces  transformed lives. Paul is not praying for something "mystical." Of course, the saints would still need to study the truths in Ephesians 1:3-14, but the prayer functions much like a "catalyst" in a chemical reaction, supernaturally energizing the Holy Word and the Holy Spirit, in such a way that the saints would experience greater intimacy with their Father. 

NET Note - The point of the knowledge of Him has nothing to do with what God knows, but with what believers are to know (hence, "your…knowledge"). Further, the author's prayer is that this knowledge of God would increase, not simply be initiated, since he is writing to believers who already know God (hence, "your growing knowledge of him" = NET TRANSLATION). 

Knowing Him and knowing about Him are quite different.
-- J M Boice

POSB writes "that the God we are to know is clearly identified. He is not the god of our own minds and thoughts—the god we conceive when we picture what God is like—the god made by men's minds and hands—the god of religion. The God we are to know is the God of Jesus Christ: that is, the God whom Jesus Christ worshipped when He was on earth as a Man; the God whom Jesus Christ came to reveal to men. There is no other God—not a true and living God. If we are to really know God, we must come to know the God whom Christ worshipped and revealed. The God we are to know is the Father of glory, that is, the only true and living God, the Supreme Majesty and Sovereign Lord of the Universe—the One who is the Supreme intelligence and power of the universe and who has created all and rules over all—the One who is omnipotent (all powerful), omnipresent (present everywhere), and so expansive that His very being and presence reaches out beyond the stars and embraces all that is or ever will be—the One who declares that He has "set His glory above the heavens" (Psalm 8:1). This is the God we are to know. As stated, He is the only living and true God, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the God of glory. Believers must grow more and more in the knowledge of Him; they must gain an ever-increasing knowledge of Him. (The Preacher's Outline and Sermon Bible)

Wiersbe - The believer must grow in his knowledge of God. To know God personally is salvation (John 17:3). To know Him increasingly is sanctification (Phil. 3:10). To know Him perfectly is glorification (1 Cor. 13:9–12). Since we are made in the image of God (Ge 1:26–28+), the better we know God, the better we know ourselves and each other. It is not enough to know God only as Saviour. We must get to know Him as Father, Friend, Guide, and the better we know Him, the more satisfying our spiritual lives will be. The goal of Paul's prayer for believers is that we...

know God personally (in) salvation (John 17:3)...

know Him increasingly (in) sanctification (Php 3:10+)...

know Him perfectly (in) glorification (1Cor 13:9-12+).” (Bible Exposition Commentary)

THOUGHT - How well do you know God as your Father?

Of Him - As noted above, most interpreters feel "Him" is a reference not to the Son but to the Father, thus the idea is that the readers might gain greater knowledge of God, an exact, complete and experiential knowledge, not just abstract knowledge of God or facts about God.

James Montgomery Boice - Put together, it (THE COMPLETE PRAYER IN Eph 1:16-19) is really one great prayer for knowledge: knowledge of God and a fuller knowledge of the elements of salvation, consisting in our hope, our inheritance, and the power available to us through the Lord Jesus Christ. The chief idea is that we might know God...Knowing Him and knowing about Him are quite different. (Boice, J. M.: Ephesians: An Expositional Commentary)


Knowledge (1922) (epignosis from epí = upon, intensive, giving to the compound word a greater strength + ginosko = to know) the prefix "epi--" intensifies or strengthens the meaning of gnosis and conveys the thought of a full, thorough knowledge, the idea of knowing something (Someone - the Father here in Eph 1:17) more exactly and completely. It speaks of an intimate, experiential and personal relationship. It describes knowledge gained through direct, personal experience or first-hand relationship. 

Marvin Vincent adds that epignosis is "always used of a knowledge which powerfully influences the form of the religious life, and hence, containing more of the element of personal sympathy than the simple gnosis ('knowledge'), which may be concerned with the intellect alone without affecting the character."  

Wuest adds that epignosis represents."full, perfect, precise knowledge as opposed to gnósis, imperfect, partial knowledge. Strachan says:“epignosis, ‘involving the complete appropriation of all truth and the unreserved acquiescence in God’s will, is the goal and crown of the believer’s course." (Wuest Word Studies - Eerdman Publishing Company Volume 1Volume 2Volume 3 - used by permission)


Listen to this contemporary Christian song and as you do consider making this your prayer this year...

KNOW YOU
Koryn Hawthorne

I don't wanna live in the shallows
I was made to search the deep
If You're not in it, I don't want it
I want all of You, take all of me

I wanna know You
Really know You
I wanna know You Lord
I wanna know You
Long to show You
Nothing matters more

Lead me Lord and I will follow
Bind my wandering heart to Thee
There's no life without You in it
I want all of You, take all of me
I want all of You, take all of me

I wanna know You
Really know You
I wanna know You Lord
I wanna know You
Long to show You
Nothing matters more

I wanna know You
Really know You
I wanna know You Lord
I wanna know You
Long to show You
Nothing matters more

Anything else is empty
And everything else has an ending
Nobody else
Nobody else satisfies
And anything else is empty
And everything else has an ending
Nobody else
Nobody else satisfies

I wanna know You
Really know You
I wanna know You Lord
I, I wanna know You
Long to show You
Nothing, nothing matters more (and anything else is empty)

I wanna know You (and everything else has an ending)
Really know You (nobody else, nobody else)
I wanna know You Lord (nobody else, nobody else satisfies)
I wanna know You (satisfies)
Long to show You
Nothing matters more

I don't wanna live in the shallows
I was made to search the deep
If You're not in it, I don't want it
I want all of You, take all of me
I want all of You, take all of me


Jon Courson - All of us crave wisdom and revelation. Each of us longs for instruction and insight in knowing how we should walk, what we should do, where we should go. (ED: THAT IS AN INTERESTING STATEMENT, BUT I WONDER IF THAT REALLY DESCRIBES THE CHURCH IN AMERICA IN 2022). But notice what Paul tells us. It is profoundly simple and simply profound, for he says that the wisdom and revelation you and I so desperately desire is found solely in the knowledge of Him. 

Peter and John found this to be true. The singular explanation for their ability to boldly and intelligently address the multitude was the acknowledgement that they had been with Jesus (Acts 4:13). 

When people ask, ‘What should I do? What is God’s will in this situation?’ the answer is very simple: the wisdom you need, the revelation you seek is found in knowing Jesus. 

How do we know Jesus? By spending time in the Gospels. You may be working your way through Ezekiel or chewing on Romans—but make sure that you daily take in something from Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John. I believe a real key to understanding God’s will for your life is to continually focus on Jesus. There’s only one Isaiah, only one Hebrews—but there are four Gospels. Could it be that in this God is saying, ‘I don’t want you to miss this. Whatever else you’re learning, the key to it all is My Son’? 

Just as Jesus said on the Emmaus Road, all Scripture points to Him (Luke 24:27). If you’re spending time with Him in the Gospels, the rest of the Word will all become clear. (A Day's Journey)


I'm Rich! (Ephesians 1:17) - A troubled Tallahassee couple had been kicked out of their house and were sleeping in a battered car. They were afraid their three children would be taken from them and placed in a foster home. But then they won $709,943 in the state lottery. Suddenly they were rich. They rented a stretch limousine to pick up their after-tax payoff of $565,554.68.

Imagine stumbling on to that kind of money. How would you feel? What if you won 100 times that much? How would all that money compare with the kind of riches described in Ephesians 1? If we have put our hope of salvation in Jesus Christ alone, we are spiritually rich! Do we realize it?

The anxieties of daily troubles can blind us to what it means to know the Son of God, the hope of His calling, the riches of His inheritance, and the power that He has to provide for us (Eph. 1:18-19). Bills and mindless desires can make it easy to envy those who stumble upon infinitely less than the eternal riches we possess.

Father, forgive us for our distraction and unbelief. Open once more these eyes that desperately need to see the inexpressible riches You have given us through Your Son Jesus Christ. --M R De Haan II (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

You may have much gold and grandeur,
Yet by God be counted poor;
He alone has riches truly
Who has Christ, though nothing more.
-Anon.

To be rich in God is far better than
to be rich in goods.


F B Meyer - OUR FATHER IS THE FATHER OF GLORY (Ephesians 1:17) - Do we enough consider the glory of our relationship? Are we not apt to become so familiar with the thought of God as not sufficiently to consider the majesty of His nature, or the wonderful advantages that must accrue to those who know Him as their Father? All that He was to Jesus, He is willing to be to us; and all that He has He is willing to place at the disposal of our faith. Think, O tried and straightened soul, that God loves thee and watches thee, as no father ever loved or watched the helpless babe given him from the dying hand of his young and passionately-loved wife. Remember, too, His wealth as the Father of Glory. All beings in all worlds, all worlds in all spheres, all spheres in all ages, wait his word! be still and trust! Men and things could have no power against thee, except it were given them from above; their power is controlled by the Father's care; there is a thus-far beyond which they cannot go: and it is through them that the Father is bringing you, as one of his many sons, to glory. May He give you the spirit of wisdom and revelation, and open the eyes of your heart that you may know Him! (Devotional Commentary of Ephesians)


A Powerful Lesson Ephesians 1:15-21 - In 1892, John Hyde boarded a ship in New York harbor and set out for India. His goal was to proclaim the gospel to people who had not heard about Jesus. During the next 20 years he earned the nickname "Praying Hyde" because he often spent hours and even many days in prayer for the salvation of nonbelievers and the revival of Christ's followers.

On one occasion, Hyde was upset about the spiritual coldness of a pastor, so he began to pray, "O Father, you know how cold—" But it was as if a finger stopped his lips from uttering the man's name.

Hyde was horrified when he realized that he had judged the man harshly. He confessed his critical spirit and then determined not to focus on the shortcomings of others but to see them as individuals whom God loves. Hyde asked the Lord to show him things that were "of good report" (Philippians 4:8) in the pastor's life, and he praised God for the man's virtues. Hyde learned later that during this exact time the pastor's spiritual life was revitalized.

Let's not be faultfinders—even in prayer. We can follow Paul's example of focusing on what God has done and what He can do in the lives of others (Ephesians 1:17, 18, 19, 20, 21). Instead of praying against people, let's pray for them. —Joanie Yoder

Prayer - Father, give me the wisdom to know how to pray for others—with kindness, not criticism; with love, not anger; with grace, not judgment.

Be a grace-giver,
not a faultfinder

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