Here's more on Jesus reigning through the Church. As I was teaching
this same series in Spanish, for our Spanish broadcasts, I came to
understand it better myself. Here I discuss how the prayers in
Ephesians 1, prayers Paul prayed for the church at Ephesus, are
actually prayers that the Ephesians might come to know what God has
created them, and us, and all Christians, to be.
The prayer is, I'm pretty sure, a Hebrew parallelism, i.e. Paul
repeats the same idea in different ways. When we read it in English we
tend to think he's talking about three different things. Here's the
prayer and I've numbered the three items which I believe are parallels.
16 Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers;
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:
18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know
Here Paul is praying for the Ephesians, (It applies to us as well
though.), to know something. Why doesn't he just tell us what he wants
us to know? Why doesn't he just explain it to us? Well in some sense he
is telling us, but he doesn't want us to know it with our intellect but
in heart, our spirit. He wants us to receive a revelation of it. He
wants us to KNOW IT.
What is it he want us to know:
1. what is the hope of his calling, and
2. what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, 19 And
3. what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe,
When we read this in English we tend to think that he is talking
about three separate things. When however, we understand that Hebrew is
full of parallelisms like this, in other words the same idea repeated
in different ways for emphasis, it occurs to us that this might be one
of those. And I think it is. Paul is repeating the same idea in three
different ways. He wants us to get it.
In the first clause he prays for us to know what God has called us
to be. What the hope, the purpose, the end state, of his calling us is?
Then he prays for us to know what is his inheritance in the saints. Not
what our inheritance is but what is his inheritance.
"His" means God's. What do we become to God as the result of our
becoming saints? What ever it is it involves a lot of glory. "…the
riches of the glory," Paul says. Whatever it is that we become to God,
it is a very, very, very, glorious thing. Finally he prays that we
would know, "what is the exceeding greatness of his power to usward who
The first thousand time I read this I thought he was talking about
the power that God makes available to us