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The Identity and Power We Have in Jesus (Ephesians 1:15-23)

Ephesians 1:15–23 - 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, 16 do not cease giving thanks for you, while making mention of you in my prayers; 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. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might 20 which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. 22 And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, 23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all. 

 

What does today’s passage say?

In today's passage, Paul expresses gratefulness to God for the Ephesian believers and lets them know he prays for them regularly (vv. 15-16). At the top of his prayer list is asking God to lavish them with spiritual wisdom and revelation that unfolds greater knowledge of Him (v. 17). He longs for the eyes of their hearts to be flooded with light to grasp the immense hope they now have in Christ (v. 18). Paul wants them to fully comprehend the sheer greatness of God's power for believers; this power is shown in the fact that God raised Jesus from the grave and seated Him triumphantly in the heavenly realm (vv. 19-20). Jesus' authority far outranks any ruler or authority structure in this age or the next (v. 21). On top of that victory and supremacy, God appointed Jesus as the authoritative Head over the entire worldwide church (vv. 22-23).

 

How can I apply Ephesians 1:15-23 to my life?

Paul’s opening prayer for the Ephesian believers models essential truths for how we should seek God. Though positionally seated with Christ in the heavens, followers of Jesus still struggle against dark spiritual forces and need strength, wisdom, and revelation to press onward. Our minds and hearts yearn to comprehend the vast riches and power God lavishes on His children through faith in Christ alone. Paul longs for their enlightenment just as the Holy Spirit longs to reveal God’s wisdom to us if we continually ask, seek, and knock. Practical applications of gospel truths unfold when we yield completely to God’s Word and Spirit. Of all Paul’s recorded prayers, this still stands as one of the most spiritually packed and poignant. Here are some basic principles from this passage that we should apply to our lives:

1.     Pray for Wisdom and Revelation in Knowing God for Yourself and Fellow Believers (vv. 15-17): Paul expresses his prayers for the Ephesian believers to have spiritual wisdom and revelation in knowing God more fully. We ought to follow his example by consistently lifting up similar requests in our own prayer life. Ask God to open your mind to comprehend the greatness of Christ's love, power and calling. Pray for boldness in sharing that knowledge and testifying to unbelievers. Be specific in praying for strength to understand the immense hope that all believers have through salvation. Pray for fellow believers who might be struggling with doubt or stagnancy in their walk with God. Allow God to show you more of who He is through persistent prayer. As you devote time to scripture reading and prayer this week, consciously open your heart and mind to the Spirit’s teaching (Psalm 119:18; 2 Corinthians 4:6; Colossians 1:9).


Food for Thought:  What areas of knowing God more fully are you praying for wisdom and revelation in lately? Are there relationships where you need prayer for greater wisdom in conveying gospel truth about Jesus?


2.     Recognize that Your Identity and Position Are in Christ Through the Greatness of God’s Power (vv. 18-21): Paul longs for the Ephesians to grasp the incredible hope and divine power they now have access to through their unity with Christ. As believers, we share that same position and inheritance by faith. Take time to meditate on the immense greatness of God's power toward us displayed in the resurrection and authority of Jesus. Stand in awe of His immeasurable strength that raised Christ over all other rulers and names. Consider areas where you still struggle to see yourself as God sees you - a dearly loved, accepted, and empowered saint sealed by the Holy Spirit. Ask Him to do away with orphan mentalities or spiritual inferiority by revealing the riches of your identity in Christ to you. Remember every spiritual blessing this chapter of Ephesians describes that now belong to you. As you are strengthened internally by God's Spirit, you will walk with greater boldness and freedom in your calling (Colossians 1:11-12; Ephesians 3:16-19; 2 Peter 1:3-4).


Food for Thought: What verses or promises do you need to revisit when you feel powerless? How can you practically keep your mind set on the authority and victory Christ shares with you this week?


3.     Recognize Christ's Authority Over All Things as Head of the Church (vv. 22-23): In graphic detail, Paul spotlights the supremacy and authority of the resurrected Christ who reigns over every other power. Take time to exalt Jesus as the sovereign Head of the Church universal and your life specifically. Worship Him for the uncontested rule He holds through the mighty strength of God's right hand. Consider any areas where you struggle to fully submit your thoughts, plans, or desires to Him as your Lord and surrender control to the One before whom every knee will bow. Walk in renewed awe that the Holy Spirit within you serves as an ever-present seal guaranteeing your relationship to the supreme, triumphant Christ. Ask Him to more fully align your will and your work to His will.  Live out this surrender and submission fully through Spirit led attitudes, words, actions, and obedience (Philippians 2:9-11; Matthew 28:18-20; Colossians 1:15-18)


Food for Thought: What mindsets or habits do you need to shift to exalt Christ's supreme authority in your workplace or ministry this week? What does living under His lordship look like for you right now?


If we desire deeper revelation of God, it starts with asking. Through the Holy Spirit’s work, our minds can grasp the richness of meaning found even in these complex passages overflowing with truth. Take hold of the purpose found here by letting this passage shape your prayers and fuel your heart’s desire. Do not breeze past such weighty theology too quickly. The remarkable empowerment described in these verses already belongs to believers through Christ as Head of the Church. God most often reveals Himself and His truth to those who regularly make the effort and give the time to seek Him. May our hearts echo Paul’s request for our souls to be filled with understanding that translates into bold, Spirit-led living.

 

Prayer

Dear Heavenly Father,

I pray that You would give me spiritual wisdom and revelation to grow in my understanding of Your truth and knowing You more intimately. Open the eyes of my heart to grasp the incredible riches You provide in Christ Jesus. Help me to see myself as You see me - as Your beloved, redeemed child through faith in the finished work of Jesus on the cross. Empower me to walk in the freedom, calling, and authority You have given me. Align my thoughts, plans, and desires to the supremacy and lordship of Christ in all areas. Give me boldness and clarity in sharing with others the hope that is within me because of the gospel. I long to live out the resurrection power of Jesus through obedience to You.

I pray these things in the most precious name of Jesus, Amen.

 

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.”

 

 

With His Blessings,

Pastor Corby

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