Thanks and Glory Goes to God for our Salvation
15 For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, 16 I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, 17 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,
Word Study: Wisdom, greek word “sophia” which means intelligence, understanding.
Comment: Paul here tells the Ephesians saints mentioned in verse 1 that, he does not cease to give thanks for them and he remembers them in his prayers, meaning that he always prays for them. Why, why does Paul give thanks for these saints and why does he always pray for them? Because He has heard of their faith in the Lord Jesus and their love towards all the saints. The Ephesian saints love for Jesus and fellow saints excited Paul, made Paul so happy that he went on to give thanks and pray for them. Why did this make Paul so happy? In my opinion, it is because this indicated that they were truly Christians, they had truly been regenerated and were true Christians. Why do I say this? Because John, in 1 John 5, tells us that if you are born of God, meaning if you are a Christian, you will love God and obey Him and will love fellow Christians. Now, Paul says that it is because of their faith in not just Jesus but, the Lord Jesus. To call someone Lord is to admit that the person has authority over you and you are willing to obey them. Therefore, Paul after hearing of the Ephesian’s faith in Jesus and their willingness to obey Him as Lord, and also their love for fellow Christians, that gave him confirmation that they are indeed born of God and are truly Christians. Hence he then decided to give thanks and pray for them.
What did Paul pray for? He prayed that God, not just any god but, God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father who deserves all the glory, may give them spiritual wisdom, intelligence or understanding. Not only that but, to also increase their knowledge of Himself. Why is Paul asking God to give them the Spirit of Wisdom? It is because in 1 Cor 2: 1-14, Paul indicates that the wisdom of God is secret and hidden and has been decreed by God before the ages for our glory. This secret and hidden wisdom is only revealed through the Spirit. Paul also said that it is through the Spirit of God that we understand freely the things given to us by God because it is the Spirit that teaches us and those without the spirit cannot understand or accept things of the Spirit of God. That is the reason then why Paul is praying and asking God to give them the Spirit of Wisdom. Paul also asked God to reveal to them more and more of Himself.
What was Paul giving thanks for? Paul was giving thanks to God for what happened to the Ephesians. Paul credits God for the Ephesians having been converted to Christians. Paul recognizes that it is only God who could have brought about the behavior that is now shown by the Ephesians saints of having faith in the Lord Jesus and loving fellow Christians. Paul does not credit them but rather glorifies God. This is because Paul did tell us that salvation is from God by grace through faith in Jesus And it is a gift from God (Eph 2:8-9). Now, this is why Paul is giving thanks to God.
Also take note that Paul says he does not cease to give thanks and pray. This is what Jesus said when He taught the parable in Luke 18:1. The purpose of the parable was to teach us to always pray and not lose heart.
18 having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might 20 that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. 22 And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.
Comment: Another thing that Paul prayed for was that the eyes of the hearts of the Ephesians saints be enlightened, be illuminated, be made to see. This is very difficult to interpret but, in the context of the passage, I believe that it simply means that their spiritual understanding and intelligence be increased. In other words, they must be made spiritually wiser. Therefore, Paul is praying for the Ephesian saints for God to make them spiritually wiser. Why does Paul pray for this? This is because Paul wants them to know:
- What is the hope to which God has called them
- First thing that we see here is Paul indicating that the Ephesians were called by God. They did not call themselves. Secondly, we see that they were called to a hope and according to Titus 1:2, the hope is for eternal life. The word called here means invited. In the context it refers to when God invited us through the word to accept Jesus as Lord. This is called regeneration. This process is defined clearly in Ezekiel 36:24-27. So, Paul is saying that they may know the hope of eternal life to which they were called.
- What are the riches of God’s glorious inheritance in the saints
- That they may how rich and glorious are the saints as an inheritance of God. In other words, the saints are a rich and glorious inheritance of God.
- What is the immeasurable greatness of God’s power towards those who believe.
- This is the same power that God used to raise Jesus Christ from the death and this is the same power that Paul is telling the Ephesians saints that they may know how immeasurable and great is this power for us who believe.
Paul then continues to tell the Ephesian saints that when God used this power to raise Jesus Christ,
- He seated Jesus at His right hand in the heavenly places.
- He seated Jesus far above
- all rule and authority
- All power and dominion
- Every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the name to come
- He put al things under his feet
- He gave him as head over al things relating to the church