The Book of Ephesians.
(Verse by verse study.)
Eph 1:18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints.
Let us take this verse and chew on it piece by piece so we can thoroughly savor the meat of the word, then prayerfully digest into our soul.
Some Greek manuscripts say eyes of your heart. The meaning is that the heart and the soul more important than the flesh. I looked in an older dictionary (Webster Encyclopedic Dictionary 1969 Edition) the meaning of the heart and it gives a good description and also it says the following.
“The mind; the soul; the consciousness; the thinking faculty; the seat of the affections and passions; the moral side of our nature; seat of the will.”
Christianity is the only religion that speaks on the heart of man than any other religion. The heart has to do with the soul, the center of the person. Your ears hear and the heart responds, as it is the thinking facility and the seat of affections and your will to say yes or no.
The heart is the core of life, the fountain of thoughts. Heart includes the mind and the eye, these eyes are not the outward vision but the inward vision we see spiritual things and with the mind we understand spiritual things. The heart is your spiritual eye.
Mt 6:22 The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.
23 But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!
Here in scripture we see the eyes of your understanding or the heart of the eyes of your heart being enlightened. Note very carefully being enlightened. If your heart was enlightened what was the condition before? Was it not enlightened? What is the opposite view of enlightened?
Eph 4:18 Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart.
Yes, it was not your eyes that were blinded so you could not see but the heart was blinded so you could not understand the spiritual things of God. I can see many of you very healthy, they could see well, they could hear well but may be some of their hearts are blinded and they cannot respond.
Mt 13:15 For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.
16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.
So in Eph 1:18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened. This is a beautiful figure, the heart regarded as having eyes looking out toward Christ. When we were in darkness like Lydia in Acts 16 God opened our hearts to respond and we saw the great light and were enlightened. Our hearts were in darkness and we did not know that we were in darkness until the Spirit of God shined into us. Just like in the creation of God there was darkness. Then God said: “Let there be light: and there was light.”
2Co 4:6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of
darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the
glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ
Mt 4:16 The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up.
This enlightenment or the light comes from Christ as he is called the light. We are enlightened by the light of his word. We have been illuminated and enlightened.
Joh 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
Eph 5:14 Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.
So Christ Jesus enlightened us.
Joh 1:4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
Once you are enlightened with the knowledge of Christ it will bring humility. True knowledge will humble the pride of man. You cannot come to Christ is pride. The sin of pride has to be exposed torn down, and then you will see the righteousness of Christ, the beauty, glory and the fullness of Christ.
That ye may know what is the hope of his calling,
We may know the hope of his calling. In theology this is called effectual calling of the saints. This is not the external calling one to be a pastor, Sunday school teacher, missionary or an evangelist.
Remember we need to be in context, we just saw how our hearts are being enlightened; we are talking of salvation, the internal calling, the special, and powerful and the heavenly calling of God. This is the calling of salvation, to eternal life in Christ Jesus. This is the encouragement we have the hope for eternal life. We are called by the grace of God.
Some of you under our ministry have heard the word effectual calling or sometimes it is called effective calling or internal calling, but they’re some who have not heard.
There is an external calling where the gospel goes to all people. There are lots of scriptures in the Bible for the external calling or the general calling.
Mr 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
Read Matthew 22:2-14
But the effectual calling is closely connected with regeneration. (Regeneration means born again.) In regeneration the man is brought from spiritual death to spiritual life and in effectual calling he is drawn out the new life and points it in God-ward direction. It brings the new life into action. In a broader sense this is the complete work of regeneration. There is lot of scriptures for effectual call but I am going to limit with a few.
1Co 1:23 But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness;
24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.
25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
26 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:
There are many scientists, engineers, doctors who cannot understand spiritual things, they are wise men, mighty men and noble men of the world but they are not called. So the gospel is foolishness to them but to you who are called it is the power and the wisdom of God.
Paul said that you may know the hope of his calling. He called us to eternal life and the eternal life is so rich.
1Pe 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
And do you know the hope of his calling?
And what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints.
His inheritance in the saints": as His inheritance is there said to be in the saints. Besides the heavenly inheritance prepared for the saints, there is a present inheritance in the saints.
De 4:20 But the LORD hath taken you, and brought you forth out of the iron furnace, even out of Egypt, to be unto him a people of inheritance, as ye are this day.
We are brought from the power of Satan to God to be the Lord's inheritance.
De 32:9 For the LORD'S portion is his people; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance.
This is the reason why the Lord so early provided a portion or inheritance for the children of Israel in the land of Canaan; because they were his part, his portion, his inheritance, which he chose by lot for himself, or allotted to himself; whom he chose to be his special and peculiar people; for though all the world is his, he only reserved a part for himself, which he separated from all the rest.
In the same way we the true believers are blessed as there are many people in the world yet he chose you for his own inheritance.
Ps 33:12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.
We were not purchased by corruptible things as silver and gold by with the precious blood of the Lord Jesus Christ; the Lord’s portion had been fully redeemed. There is no mortgage on his property. The price was paid and the church is the Lord’s belongs to him, his inheritance. I am glad that I do not belong to me anymore. But I belong to the Lord.
What is the only comfort you have in life and death?
The answer is I am not my own but belong to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ, who with his precious blood had fully satisfied for all my sins, and delivered me from all the power of the devil; and so preserves me that without the will of my Father, not a hair can fall from my head.
Remember we are his by conquest. There was the opposition force of Satan; there was a battle just like there was battle between God and Pharaoh. There were times we heard the word of God but we put up a fight against God, however there was that time when the power of God was so effective we could not resist. We were hiding from God like Zacchaeus on the tree but we wanted to listen to what he said but Jesus came and that effectual call was so powerful like Zacchaeus we fell into his hands.
We are conquered captives of his omnipotent love, we are chosen and purchased and the Lord's portion, and the lot of his inheritance, in whom he is, and will be abundantly glorified.