JohnSWilson3 Blog

“…so that you may know him better.”
October 3, 2010, 2:24 pm
Filed under: P Letter to the Ephesians

In this first chapter of Paul’s letter to the church in Ephesus He has been describing some of the incredible spiritual blessings that are found in being in Christ Jesus which are “the riches of” God’s “glorious grace.” These blessings are found only in Christ who is “holy and blameless” and is “the Son of glory.” Christ desires that His holiness and blamelessness be manifested through His people, and as this occurs individually and corporately we show ourselves “to be adopted as his sons…to the praise of his glorious grace!” Paul then describes in an incredible way this mystery and “purpose of his will.” In the letter to the Colossians Paul succinctly states that this “glorious mystery…is Christ in you, the hope of glory!”

Paul has to stop for a moment and mention his not stopping to give ‘thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers.” (1) He says that “I keep 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” or “a full knowledge of him” (literal). That is the crux of the matter, that is what we do when we come together! Paul describes three things that seems to be the things that when “the eyes of the heart” are enlightened, we will know: “the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power.” Under girding this entire statement is Paul’s next words which is literally “toward us the ones believing.” When the body of Christ gathers together in an organic way living by His Spirit which involves authentic relationships and being able to freely share within the context of face to face community, all part of living a shared life, His Spirit will uncover and reveal to us in depth the riches of God’s grace! “The hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power” so that we “may know him better!” It involves hope, inheritance, and power, all of which are from Christ! In fact this hope, this inheritance, and this power are Christ! Christ is “the hope of glory,” Christ is “our inheritance,” and He is “God’s power”!

This “power for us who believe” is “according to the energy (literal)” or “the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion (or lordship – literal), and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.” God’s power is resurrection power and not just resurrection power it is ascension power! How much the church needs to know him better! We will not know him better by sitting and listening to someone speak or sing. To the Philippians Paul said: “What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things…I want to know Christ ans the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.”

Paul told the church in Colosse: “We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all the saints – the faith and love that spring from the hope that is stored up for you in heaven…bearing fruit in every good work…” Paul also mentioned to the church in Colosse that his purpose was “that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” We will know Christ better when living by His life, “Christ in you,” we love one another. There is so much to this one statement! No wonder Paul ends this statement of knowing Christ better with “and God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.” Everything that is under his feet has been given to the church! How that should humble us before our Lord! How like Paul we should “consider everything a loss.” The church, with Christ as head, is His body! The church is the fullness of Christ! It is all about Christ being our everything! Christ desires His life to be manifested through His people. He desires through the church to fill “everything in every way!” This can only happen when He is head of the body when we gather together, when each is freely able to share Christ, by faith, in love, to one another. Only then will “we know him better.”

(1) It is interesting that Paul when says that “ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints” the thought comes to mind whether this letter was actually written to the church in Ephesus, since Paul knew this church probably better than any other. Perhaps this letter is the letter that he asked the church in Colosse “in turn read the letter from Laodicea” (Colossians 4:16). It is difficult to say.