Open Eyes, Enlightened Hearts

On Oct 12th, 2014, Pastor Darin continued the series in Ephesians with a sermon from Eph 1:15-23 entitled Opened Eyes, Enlightened Hearts. In Eph 1:3-14, we explored the truth that God has a grand and glorious purpose for all things in the universe that is centered in Christ. Dig deeper: notice in those verses how many times Paul uses the phrase “in Christ (or some variation of it). This refers to the doctrine of union with Christ: this is the true center of the Gospel.  And in our text today Paul prays that the great truths he spoke of in 1:3-14 would be pressed deeply within our hearts and minds. How? Paul prays that that the eyes of our heart would be opened. This is language that is pregnant with meaning. Examples:

 

                       1) Psa 119:18 “Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law” Dig deeper: Notice, the wondrous things are found in God’s Word (law). We need to “dig deeply” into the Word, and as we do, pray God enables us to see the wondrous things there!  

                       2) Job 42:5-6 – “… but now my eye sees you; therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes." Dig deeper: this vision of God moves Job to repentance. If we never have this sense, our eyes are not opened to who God is in all His grandeur and glory.

                       3)  Jesus speaks about the need to have eyes that truly see (Matt 13:13-16). Dig deeper: Has your heart, like those in that passage, grown dull? Pray for eyes to see.

 

So, we need our “spiritual” eyes opened. How? Paul prays in verse 17 that we would receive the “spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him” Dig deeper: wisdom is applying God’s Word, revelation is to unveil--to make something known. So, Paul prays that God would make Himself more and more known to us (revelation), which will lead us to live the way He wants (wisdom). God’s wants you to know the life changing hope, inheritance, and power that is yours in Christ. So, the message of the sermon is that God desires to open our eyes so that we would know and live in light of the hope, inheritance, and power that is ours in Christ. 3 things Paul prays for us to know: 1) hope; 2) inheritance; 3) power.

 

1. Hope:

           a. Hope is the certain expectation for something in the future. In 1 Peter 3:15, we are encouraged to be prepared to tell others about the hope that is in us.  Dig deeper: What is that hope in us? It is Christ, who is the hope of glory (see Col 1:27). Think of it: Christ is the substance of every spiritual blessing and God’s glory, and because of His perfect life and sacrificial death for our sins, that hope forever belongs to all who believe in Christ (Rom 5:1-2), and is the anchor of their soul (Heb 6:19-20) ! Whatever you are going through now is nothing to be compared to that glory that will be revealed when Christ returns (Rom 8:18-25).

 

           b. The unmatched value of this hope:  Jesus likens His kingdom to a treasure hidden in a field that a man sells everything to buy (Matt 13:44).  The apostle Paul actually caught of a glimpse of it and was captivated (2 Corinthians 12:1-10).  Dig Deeper: What is the hope that captivates your life so much that everything in your life is centered upon getting it? Christ must be the hope that shapes us, commands us, and centers our lives. Turn from the worthless things you’ve set your hope on, and put your hope in the supreme treasure: the risen Christ!

2. Inheritance:  Up to now, Paul says inheritance is for you. Now he says it’s in you.  If you are in Christ, then you are God’s inheritance. God people are God’s treasure because they are in the True Treasure, Jesus Christ, whom He purchased with His blood. God rejoices over His people in Christ (Zephaniah 3:17).  Dig deeper: If you are in Christ, God doesn’t merely tolerate you; He looks on you with delight! Stop working to earn right standing and favor with God! Rest Christ, who is your right standing and favor with God (1 Cor 1:30).

 

3. Power: 2 characteristics:

           a. This power is immeasurable. It accords with the working of God’s mighty power when he raised Christ from the dead and seated Him in heavenly places

 

                       1) Language again of heavenly places (see also 1:3, 2:2, 6:12). Eph 6:12 - We don’t battle against flesh and blood—it just looks like we do! The spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places work tirelessly to bring about brokenness in our lives, tear apart relationships, and distract us from God’s kingdom (Matt 16:21-28).  

                       2) But Christ is exalted above these forces! Dig deeper: Paul prays for us to know Christ’s immeasurable power in this realm. How do we take hold of this?

 

  1. We, like Paul here, must pray! We neglect this at our own peril.
  2. It is toward those who believe:  We must come to Jesus and live a life of humble dependence upon Him, trusting, relying, clinging to the power of Jesus toward us.
  3. Verse 22 – Christ head in the church, so all His power is to be sought in Christ’s body; the covenant community. This is the God ordained organism that God wants to fill up, and where His power is to explode. Dig deeper: isolated Christians are powerless Christians. We must connect ourselves to Christ’s body to grow in our hope, rejoice in our inheritance, and access this immeasurable power by grace through faith in Christ.