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Volume 27 - Page 106 of 212 Index | Zoom | |
enlightened: That ye may know what is the hope of His calling, and what is the riches of
the glory of His inheritance in the saints: And what is the exceeding greatness of His
power to us-ward who believe" (Eph. 1: 15-19).
The first word of this passage is one of great importance, inasmuch as it shows us the
relationship that is intended between the previous revelation of Eph. 1: 3-14 and the
subsequent prayer--"Wherefore (dia touto) because of this." We perceive that the prayer
is of a threefold nature:
What is the hope of His calling.
What is the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints.
What is the exceeding greatness of His power to usward who believe.
Let us also be clear on this point, that the prayer is not that we may know what is the
calling, or what is the inheritance, or what is faith--these are already known--but has to
do with the expansion of these basic features with a view to the enrichment of the
understanding. Now in Eph. 1: 3-14 we have a threefold revelation.
The will of the Father (3-6).--This is His calling.
The work of the Son (7-12).--Here we find our inheritance.
The witness of the Spirit (13-14).--Here we first read of believing.
Here we have "wisdom and revelation", but the prayer that follows is that we may
have "the spirit of wisdom and revelation". When this is given we shall not only know
that we were chosen before the overthrow of the world, but we shall have the spirit of this
choice. Not only shall we know that our blessings are all spiritual, and all in heavenly
places, but we shall receive the hope of this high calling of God in Christ Jesus. So with
the second part of the revelation, and the second clause of the prayer. The revelation
shows that the inheritance forfeited by sin becomes ours by the redemption of Christ, and
by His exaltation to headship over heaven and earth, "in Whom we have obtained an
inheritance". While the fact of the inheritance is there, and the security is revealed, the
spirit of it is a subject which awaits the added prayer. Revelation makes the inheritance
known: prayer reveals "What is the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints".
Surely we perceive the difference here.
So with the third part of the revelation and the third item of the prayer. Revelation has
indicated the "word of truth, the gospel of your salvation" as the object of belief. This is
accompanied by the "seal and the earnest", but it is the office of prayer to reveal the spirit
of this revelation, namely, "What is the exceeding greatness of His power to usward who
believe", and thereby the faith of the believer is associated with the risen and ascended
Lord, a source of strength, indeed!
What do we learn then by this relation of prayer to revealed truth? Let us endeavour
to illustrate it by a simple analogy. Without fear of contradiction or overstepping the
bounds of fact, the revelation of truth contained in the scriptures may be represented by
the figure of food. It is indeed a common scriptural figure.