| || |The Berean Expositor Volume 52 - Page 61 of 207 Index | Zoom | |
In other words, their eyes had already been opened so that further understanding might
be given of the new calling and its hope. The Apostle had made it abundantly clear that
this spiritual perception must be experienced before the Word of God can be understood.
It can only be "spiritually discerned" (I Cor. 2: 14). Intellectual attainment is of no avail
by itself to gain divine understanding. If it was so then all brainy people should be able
to gain an understanding of the Scriptures without the Spirit's enlightenment. To teach
that every believer gets this automatically because he is saved is to go beyond what the
Word reveals. There was no need for Paul to pray for the Ephesian believers if this was
true, nor any need for the Psalmist to ask the Lord, "Open Thou mine eyes, that I may
behold wondrous (marvelous) things out of Thy law" (Psa. 119: 18).
Moreover without these "opened eyes" how can one "guard the good deposit"
(I.Tim.vi.20; II Tim. 1: 13, 14)? How can one guard what is not seen and understood?
Timothy was warned by the Apostle that this faithful guarding would result in suffering
and enduring hardness (II Tim. 1: 8; 2: 3). How is it possible to suffer and endure
hardness for truth that is not appreciated?
These searching questions need a Scriptural answer and that answer is given clearly in
Eph. 1: The Apostle Paul could say to the Thessalonian believers, "knowing, brethren
beloved, your election of God" (I Thess. 1: 4). But how was he able to say this? Had he
received some special knowledge of the Lord's elective purposes? No, the following
verses make clear that it was their faithful response to the truth which proved this. The
Lord Jesus had said, "by their fruits ye shall know them" and this is true for all time.
May all who claim to be members of the Body of Christ, the new man, show by their
response and actions that they have had "opened eyes" to the heavenly calling that is
enshrined in "the good deposit" of truth and by their practical response indicate that they
belong to the "saints and faithful in Christ Jesus" (Eph. 1: 1; Col. 1: 2).
Those who wish to take this important study further,
We recommend Charles H. Welch's booklet "John and the Mystery".