The eyes of our hearts need to be open because there are things that we need to know.
Calling: First, the hope to which God has called us. In this first chapter of Ephesians, hope is a major theme, and it is consistently linked with God’s eternal purpose for our lives.
Previously, we are told that we have been chosen, selected and predestined (verses 4, 5, 11, 12, 14). Now Paul adds the verb ‘call’. The meaning is plain. Just as Jesus called his first disciples to follow him (Mk 1:15), so we are called.
Here are some of the outcomes of this calling.
· We know that in everything God is working for good (Rom 8:28)
· Conformity to Christ (Rom 8:29)
· Suffering and hardship, following in the footsteps of Jesus (1 Pet 2:21)
· Humility: the calling is his choice (1 Cor 1:26-27)
· Walking worthily (Eph 4:1; 2 Thess 1:11)
· Righteousness (Rom 8:30)
· Holiness (Eph 1:4-5; 2 Timothy 1:9)
· A heavenly home (Heb 3:1).
Glorious inheritance: The word ‘riches’ occurs fifteen times in Paul’s writings, five of them in Ephesians. Earlier the apostle discusses the riches of our inheritance in Chrtidst. Now we read of his inheritance in us. This is extraordinary. To God, we are of great value. We are his riches. His greatest treasure is the Church. No matter how wretched and poor we may see ourselves to be, God sees us being of incredible value. We belong to him and he finds great joy in us. It is all of grace. Not that we chose him but that he chose us. It seems too much to believe. And so Paul prays for the eyes of our hearts to be open to see it—to see the invisible.
1. Of the eight outcomes of our calling listed above, which three seem to be the most important for you right now? Give reasons for your choice.
2. How difficult is it to believe that you are part of God’s inheritance? Why? What can you do about it? This would be a good discussion point.
3. Note that in both Eph 1:18 and Rom 8:28 the word ‘know’ is used. How can we be so sure?