Study Notes

Ephesians 1:18-20


Paul has been telling the Ephesians that he has been praying for them. Specifically, he is praying that they will be given...

Eph. 1:17 ...a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of (God the Father).

In other words, Paul wanted them to know God more, to grow in their understanding of God, and in their understanding of all of the blessings He has available for His children.

That was Paul's desire for every Christian, including those here today. This morning, we're going to see three things which we should seek to understand in greater depth as we grow in our knowledge of God.

1:18-19a An Enlightened Heart

Paul prayed that they would know God more, that the eyes of their heart would be opened, just as we sang this morning.

When our heart's eyes are opened, three things begin to be revealed to us:

1) The hope of His calling; 2) The riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints; and, 3) The surpassing greatness of His power

Let's look at these three in more detail.

Know What Is The Hope Of His Calling

First, as the eyes of our hearts are opened, we begin to know what is the hope of His calling. The calling he is speaking of is a holy calling and a heavenly calling. The Bible says that God...

2Tim. 1:9 ...has saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace...

God called us to be His children. He chose us, not because we were holy, had a great resume of good works, or even because we showed great potential. In fact, he called us to show His grace, which is undeserved favor. In other words, God didn't call us to be Christians because we were so good, but because we were so bad! So that anyone who looks at the radical transformation in our lives, changing from unholy to holy, has to admit, "Only God could do that!"

Our calling is not only holy, but also heavenly. The book of Hebrews says that we are...

Hebr. 3:1 ...partakers of a heavenly calling...

It is when we begin to consider that part - the heavenly part - of our calling that we start to realize what is the hope of His calling. Saints,

1Cor. 2:9 ...eye has not seen and ear has not heard, AND HAVE not entered the heart of man, ALL THAT GOD HAS PREPARED FOR THOSE WHO LOVE HIM.

You cannot imagine how great heaven will be! No matter how close to paradise you think you may have come in this world, it pales in comparison to the hope of our heavenly calling.

Listen to what God's Word tells us about heaven:

Ps. 16:11 ...In Thy presence is fulness of joy; In Thy right hand there are pleasures forever.

Luke 20:36 ...neither can they die anymore, for they are like angels, and are sons of God...

Rev. 7:16-17 "They shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore; neither shall the sun beat down on them, nor any heat; for the Lamb in the center of the throne shall be their shepherd, and shall guide them to springs of the water of life; and God shall wipe every tear from their eyes."

Rev. 22:5 And there shall no longer be {any} night; and they shall not have need of the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun, because the Lord God shall illumine them; and they shall reign forever and ever.

We have never experienced anything even remotely like this on earth. This is the hope of this heavenly calling.

Know What Are The Riches Of Inheritance

Secondly, as our hearts' eyes are opened, we begin to learn what are the riches of the glory of God's inheritance in the saints. That's a mouthful, isn't it?

But what does it mean? First of all, there are two ways to read this in the Greek language. It can be read to say that we are God's inheritance, or it can be read to say that God gave us an inheritance. Either translation would be valid, but in the context of these verses, along with the way that Paul speaks about inheritance in the rest of Ephesians, it becomes clear that this is speaking of our inheritance.

Eph. 1:10-11 ...In Him also we have obtained an inheritance...

Eph. 1:13-14 ...the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance...

Eph. 5:5 immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom...

We have an inheritance in the kingdom of God. As the eyes of our hearts are opened, we begin to recognize that while most people in this world are looking for the riches and glory which are so fleeting and temporary, we know that the glory and the riches which we will receive in heaven will be permanent. Peter said that you will...

1Pet. 1:4 ...obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,

Jesus called these riches...

Luke 12:33 "...purses which do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near, nor moth destroys.

It's good to know that although the stock market can crash, the economy can take a dive, and your bank can be robbed, the glorious inheritance you have in heaven is secure.

Know The Surpassing Greatness Of His Power

Thirdly, when we receive this enlightenment of knowledge, we begin to know that God's power towards us can only be described as "surpassing greatness." The amazing thing is not just that God is powerful, but that His power is directed toward us! Remember, He...

Eph. 3:20 able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us,

Those who have placed their faith in Christ have all of the power of God available to them! This is why

Rom. 8:28 ...we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to {His} purpose.

And it is why...

Isa. 54:17 "No weapon that is formed against you shall prosper..."

And, this power will resurrect you to eternal life, for the Bible says,

1Cor. 6:14 Now God has not only raised the Lord, but will also raise us up through His power.

1:19b-20 Strength Brought About In Christ

All three of these things we have reviewed: the heavenly calling, the riches of our inheritance, and the power given us, were brought about when Christ raised from the dead and we became believers in His resurrection.

If you are here today and you haven't yet put your trust in Jesus Christ, the opposite is true: You do not have the hope of heaven, a rich inheritance, or God's power working in your life. But it doesn't have to be this way. All you need to do to receive these things is to recognize that your sin has separated you from God, and believe that Jesus died and rose from the dead to pay for your forgiveness.

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