Word Day 10 Eyes To See: Digging Deeper

Digging Deeper Days

Finding the original intent of Scripture and making good application to our everyday lives as we become equipped to correctly handle the Word of Truth!

Today is 2-for-1 Friday!
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The Questions

1) What does it mean to have the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Christ? (verse 17)

2)
How can the eyes of our heart be enlightened? (verse 18)

3) What can we gain by having the eyes of our heart enlightened? (verse 18)

Ephesians 1:1-23

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by God’s will: To the faithful saints in Christ Jesus at Ephesus. Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavens in Christ. For he chose us in him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless in love before him He predestined us to be adopted as sons through Jesus Christ for himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace that he lavished on us in the Beloved One. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace that he richly poured out on us with all wisdom and understanding.He made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure that he purposed in Christ 10 as a plan for the right time—to bring everything together in Christ, both things in heaven and things on earth in him. 11 In him we have also received an inheritance, because we were predestined according to the plan of the one who works out everything in agreement with the purpose of his will, 12 so that we who had already put our hope in Christ might bring praise to his glory. 13 In him you also were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and when you believed. 14 The Holy Spirit is the down payment of our inheritance, until the redemption of the possession, to the praise of his glory. 15 This is why, since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, 16 I never stop giving thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers. 17 I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father would give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened so that you may know what is the hope of his calling, what is the wealth of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the mighty working of his strength. 20 He exercised this power in Christ by raising him from the dead and seating him at his right hand in the heavens— 21 far above every ruler and authority, power and dominion, and every title given, not only in this age but also in the one to come. 22 And he subjected everything under his feet and appointed him as head over everything for the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of the one who fills all things in every way.

Original Intent

1) What does it mean to have the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Christ? (verse 17)
God is so benevolent that He gives us everything we need to follow His commandments and obey Him. In Ephesians 1:17 Paul prays that God will give believers the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Christ. Paul asks the Father to give us supernatural help in understanding Jesus and His ways. One way God does this is by providing the Holy Spirit to teach us and remind us of Jesus’ words. (John 14:26) The Holy Spirit is called the “Helper” because one of His jobs is to help us understand Jesus more in our daily lives. (John 14:16) By knowing God more and understanding Him better, we will live our lives according to His precepts and avoid the pitfalls that come with disobedience and forging our own path. Author David Guzik suggests, “Our Christian life must be centered around this purpose – to know God as He is in truth, as revealed by His Word, and to correct our false, idolatrous ideas of who God is.” Because God gives us the wisdom and revelation we need to understand Him, we can live our lives according to His purposes without getting sidetracked by misconceptions and deceptions about who God is and what He wants for us and from us.

2) How can the eyes of our heart be enlightened? (verse 18)
In Ephesians 1:18, Paul told the saints (all who believe in Jesus), “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened so that you may know what is the hope of his calling, what is the wealth of his glorious inheritance in the saints.” The Greek word for eyes, opthalmos, “is literally the organ of vision, but in Paul’s use it is obviously figurative.” (Preceptaustin.org) Because the heart signified more than just a vital organ, for Paul to use the term “eyes of your heart” meant his teaching was of utmost importance for his audience to understand and take in. Author Henry Alford explains, “The word ‘heart’ in Scripture signifies the very core and centre of life, where the intelligence has its post of observation, where the stores of experience are laid up, and the thoughts have their fountain.” If your heart has eyes to see, you can truly understand and receive all God has for you. Paul prayed God would give the people a vision that was clearer and sharper, so they could more fully know God. His prayer asked God to “move in our hearts to help us to see or know the reality or presence of God” (Umdiscipleship.org) Only God can enlighten the eyes of our heart and give us a clear picture of His gifts and plans for us. He wants to open our eyes through His Word, prayer, and the work of His Holy Spirit, to the great power that exists for those who follow His ways.

3) What can we gain by having the eyes of our heart enlightened? (verse 18)
In Ephesians 1: 18-19, PauI prays some very specific things will happen for the Ephesians once God enlightens the eyes of their hearts, including that they will “know what is the hope of his calling, what is the wealth of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the mighty working of his strength.” If we have the hope of His calling, we have the hope of what God has for us here during life and after we die. Author Jon Courson explains, “Throughout Scripture, the word hope always refers to that which is coming, to that which is ahead.” When God enlightens us to the hope of our calling, we can see the blessed future that awaits us. His glorious inheritance in the saints can mean that the saints are God’s treasure (Deuteronomy 32:9) or that God has a rich inheritance for all who believe in Him (1 Peter 1:3-4). Either interpretation brings a blessing for those who receive enlightenment from the Lord. Having our eyes opened to the power and mighty strength of God means having His immeasurable power working in and through us. (Ephesians 3:20) The fact that God provides enlightenment for the eyes of our hearts is an amazing blessing!

Everyday Application

1) What does it mean to have the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Christ? (verse 17)
Have you ever heard someone say they should give you a manual about babies when you come home from the hospital with your little bundle of joy? Some information you pick up from other parents, some things seem instinctual, but mostly, new parents feel like they are flying blind for the first year or so. Sometimes Christians feel this way, too, though they do have a manual, the Bible. The knowledge is readily available, but living out God’s Word also requires wisdom and revelation that can only come from the Holy Spirit. The good news is that God pours out wisdom and revelation on us when we come to Him. (Ephesians 1:17) He doesn’t leave us to our own abilities and strength to learn about Him. James 3:17 says, “The wisdom from above is first pure, then peace-loving, gentle, compliant, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without pretense.” If we rely on earthly wisdom, we end up with envy and selfish ambition (James 3:16), but God gives us access by His Spirit to wisdom that is pure, merciful, and gentle. He asks us to be like Him, and then He enables us to be like Him through His Holy Spirit. God shows us what our lives will look like if we are led by the wisdom given by His Spirit. We will be filled with the fruit of the Spirit, which means our lives display “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” (Galatians 5:22-23) When I try to be patient or have self-control in my own strength, I often fail. I am thankful for God’s gracious provision of wisdom and revelation through His Holy Spirit, which enables me to know more about God and be more like Him.

2) How can the eyes of our heart be enlightened? (verse 18)
As a teacher, I loved it when students would have a “light bulb” moment, one where I could tell they really understood a concept for the first time. You could literally see the lights come on as their eyes brightened, their expressions lifted, and comprehension settled over them.  In the same way, when the eyes of our heart are enlightened (verse 18), it is like a “light bulb” moment from God. He can help us see things in Scripture we have missed before, or He causes a word or phrase to jump off the page and come to life for us. I experienced this in college when I was reading the story of Jacob and Rachel in Genesis 29. I had heard or read the story many times before, but this time Genesis 29:9 caught my attention. “While he was still speaking with them, Rachel came with her father’s sheep, for she was a shepherdess.” I already knew that my name, Rachel, meant Ewe (or sheep) in Hebrew, but I had never noticed that the biblical Rachel was also a shepherdess. As soon as I read that verse, I realized God was confirming for me the career path I had chosen as a teacher. It was like He was telling me “you are my lamb, and you will also tend My little lambs.”  What a blessing that God empowers us to see with our hearts the gifts and plans He has for us!

3) What can we gain by having the eyes of our heart enlightened? (verse 18)
When Paul prays for the Ephesians to have the eyes of their hearts enlightened (Ephesians 1:18), it reminds me a bit of a scene from the movie The Wizard of Oz. When Dorothy tells Glenda she wants to get back home, Glenda points to her ruby red slippers and tells her she’s had the ability to return home all during her journey. Dorothy possessed power she did not understand without being shown how to use it. When Glenda told her to click her heels together three times, Dorothy returned to Kansas. Christians are similar. Paul tells us in Ephesians 1:18-19 that God provides a hopeful calling, an inheritance and power to His followers. However, they need the eyes of their hearts opened to fully utilize the gifts God has given them. As John Piper explains, Paul is not “praying that we get the calling, or become heirs, or get the power. He is saying: You have the calling; you are heirs; you have the power of God toward you, and you don’t know them as you could and as you should. I want you to know them.” God not only gives us access to everything we need to know and serve Him well, He also provides the enlightenment we need to move with proficiency in the power He gives.

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Digging Deeper is for Everyone!

1) Take this passage (or any other passage).
2) Read it, and the verses around it,
several times
3) Write down your questions
as you think of them.
4) Ask specific culture related questions and be ready to dig around for your answers. Google them, use www.studylight.org, or look them up in a study Bible and read the footnotes (click on the little letters next to a word and it will show you
other related verses!). (www.esvbible.org)
5) Check your applications with other trusted Christians that you are in community with and embrace the fullness of God
in your everyday!

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Why Dig Deeper?

Finding the original meaning is a huge deal when we study Scripture and can make all the difference in our understanding as we apply God’s truths to our everyday lives.

In our modern-day relationships, we want people to understand our original intention as we communicate; how much more so between God and humanity?!

Here’s a little bit more on why we take Digging Deeper so seriously.

Study Tools

We love getting help while we study and www.studylight.org is one of many excellent resources, providing the original Hebrew (Old Testament) or Greek (New Testament) with an English translation.

Want to know more about a specific word in a verse? Click on “Strong’s Interlinear Bible” then click the word you’d like to study. Discover “origin”, “definition” and hear the original pronunciation – That Is Awesome!

Want more background? Click “Study Tools”, then pick a few commentaries to read their scholarly approach, keeping in mind that just because a commentary says it, doesn’t mean it’s true. (just like the internet :-))

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