Scripture Reading: Ephesians 1:15-20
“That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him.” (Ephesians 1:17)
In the opening verses of his epistle to the Ephesians (1:1-14), Paul laid out the spiritual blessings we have in Christ. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places” (1:4). Paul was overwhelmed with the extent of the blessings. So he now prays that God will give us the wisdom to understand what we have as a result of being “in Christ.” Of course, there is a sense in which we cannot comprehend the extent of these blessings, for they are too great for us to grasp! Thus Paul prayed that the Father of Glory would give us a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him.
Paul specifically prayed, “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, and what is the immeasurable greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to His great might” (vs. 18,19). In order for us to grasp spiritual realities, God has to open the eyes of our heart to see them. It is the Holy Spirit who illuminates our hearts, by giving us a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of God. We cannot begin to grasp the truths of God apart from the illuminating work of the Holy Spirit, who alone gives us the knowledge of God. The Holy Spirit is the One who inspired Paul to write these words and it is the Spirit of God who must illuminate the eyes of our hearts to understand the words that He inspired. “And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual” (I Corinthians 2:13).
We must understand that the Spirit of God is vital and necessary for our salvation. “The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned” (I Corinthians 2:14). Until a person has been regenerated by the Spirit, he or she cannot understand the things of the Spirit. Once a person has been born again, he has a new ability to comprehend the things of the Spirit. However, the Spirit’s illumination is required to grasp the truths revealed in the Scripture, because the Spirit is the Author of the words of Scripture.
Therefore, when we study the Scriptures, we must ask the Spirit to illuminate the eyes of our hearts so that we can grasp the meaning of the inspired words and be able to apply them to our lives. Praying for illumination by the Spirit before we read Scripture is a necessity.
O Holy Spirit, I thank You for inspiring the writers of the Bible. I acknowledge that what they wrote is from You. I also thank you for Your work of illumination. You are the One who opens the eyes of my heart to grasp the meaning and application of the Scriptures.
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