Editor’s note: The purpose of this series is to walk our readers through the book of Ephesians in order to help them understand what it teaches and how to apply it to our lives. This series is part of our larger commitment to help Christians learn to read, interpret, reflect, and apply the Bible to their own lives. To read the rest of posts in this series click here.
Ephesians 1:15-23, “15 For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, 16 I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, 18 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, 19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might 20 that he worked 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 above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. 22 And he put all things 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.”
Have you ever had a hard time in your walk with the Lord where you struggled to give thanks? Or perhaps you’ve had a time when your prayer life seemed to be very dry. In Ephesians 1:15-23, Paul wants to encourage his readers to give thanks to God for His great grace. To this end, Paul makes three petitions, all of which are instructive for our prayer lives. We should pray to know God better (Ephesians 1:17). We should pray to know God’s riches (Ephesians 1:18). We should pray to know God’s power (Ephesians 1:19).
God’s for us is remarkable. First, we are told that the One who is for us is at the right hand of God, the position of highest privilege given to Christ for all ages after his resurrection and ascension (Ephesians 1:20-21).
Next, as Jesus is in that honored position, God places all things under his feet and gives him authority over all (Ephesians 1:21-22).
Finally, we are told the purpose of Christ’s dominion is for the church (Ephesians 1:22), his body, which not only reflects him but ultimately “fills all in all” (Ephesians 1:23).
These are amazing statements and should truly take our breath away. They also articulate the awesome privilege, power, and future for the church of which all believers are a part.
Later in this epistle, Paul will go on to tell us we can fulfill God’s calling to fill all things with Christ’s purposes because the risen Lord who is head over the church is the One who cares for the church (Ephesians 5:29), strengthens the church (Ephesians 4:15-16), and exercises authority over the church (Ephesians 5:22-24).
Paul reminds us that we do this together because we are the body of Christ, held together by him and made to be like him in every way (Ephesians 4:13). When we recall all of this power is for us, it is no wonder that we should pray that our eyes might be opened to see it, marvel, and believe (Ephesians 1:18).
Perhaps today you are at a point in your walk with the Lord where thanksgiving is hard. You may be facing a mountain of problems either in your family, with friends, or at work. In the midst of whatever is going on in your life, look to Jesus. Consider the great and precious promises that God has articulated in this passage. For example, we have the “riches of his glorious inheritance” (Ephesians 1:19). Along with this, he longs to give us “wisdom” and “revelation in the knowledge of him”, and so much more.
In every way, Christ is for His people. Christ’s sovereign grace and rule, mingled with His precious promises are comforting to me. In seasons where thanksgiving seemingly is hard or easy, look to Christ. He is enough.
Read Ephesians 1:15-23 and meditate on it. As you do may the Holy Spirit comfort and minister to you in the midst of whatever is going on in your life. May you know hope, along with the riches, and the immeasurable greatness of His power that is yours now since you union with Christ. Now enjoy your communion with the Lord.