Life-Study of Ephesiansby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
In this message we shall consider the matters of a spirit of wisdom and revelation, and the eyes of our heart (1:15-18).
In considering these matters, we come to the first prayer of the Apostle Paul in Ephesians: “Therefore, I also, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which is among you, and your love to all the saints” (v. 15). Paul prayed for the saints because they had faith in the Lord and love toward the saints. Faith and love are crucial in our Christian life. Toward the Lord we must have faith and toward the saints we must have love.
Verse 16 continues, “Do not cease giving thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers.” The Apostle always remembers the good points of the saints and thanks the Lord for them.
In his first prayer Paul prayed to “the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory” (v. 17). In verse 3 Paul spoke of the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, putting God and the Father together. But here he mentions them separately, saying, “the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory.” In incarnation, the Lord Jesus Christ, God Himself (Phil. 2:6), became a man. As a man, He is related to God’s creation; therefore God the Creator is His God. The incarnation brought God the Creator into man, God’s creature. The title “the God of our Lord Jesus Christ” implies that God the Creator has come into man. Whenever we speak of God in this way, we imply that God is no longer merely the Creator outside of His creature, man, but that He has been brought into humanity. The Jews do not recognize that the Creator of the universe has come into man. They believe in Jehovah God only as the Creator and refuse to admit that God is the God of the Lord Jesus Christ.
This title implies creation, incarnation, and redemption. God is the Creator; yet He is the God of Jesus Christ, who is God incarnate. Jesus Christ is not only God in creation, but also God in incarnation and redemption. In referring to God as the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, we are saying that we have been created, that the creating God has come into humanity, and that we have been redeemed. Incarnation indicates that we have the enjoyment of God. We enjoy God because He has come into humanity. Divinity becomes our enjoyment in Jesus Christ.
In 1:17 Paul uses the term “the Father of glory.” Glory is God expressed. Hence, the Father of glory is God expressed through His many sons. The title “Father” implies regeneration, and the word “glory” implies expression. Therefore, the title “Father of glory” implies regeneration and expression. We have been regenerated by God, and we are His expression.
In this one title, “the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory,” five important things are implied: creation, incarnation, redemption, regeneration, and expression. We have already been regenerated but in the future we shall be glorified and express God’s glory (Rom. 8:30). The regeneration of many sons and the expression of God are the consummation of the divine economy. Before creation there was nothing in existence except God. God had neither generation nor expression. Then God created the universe and everything in it. By His work of creation He became the Creator. After creation He took the step of incarnation, thereby coming into His creature, man. By incarnation the Creator and the creature became one. When the Lord Jesus was on earth, He was the uniting of God and man. Through crucifixion the Lord accomplished redemption. As a result, we, the fallen creatures, were redeemed. Then we were regenerated to become sons of God the Father so that we may express Him. On the day we are glorified, God will be fully expressed from within us. In this way we shall become His expression. All these important steps—creation, incarnation, redemption, regeneration, and expression—are implied by the title “the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory.”
Paul prayed to such a divine Person. The Jews, however, pray only to God the Creator, with no concept of incarnation, regeneration, or expression. But we Christians have God in creation, incarnation, redemption, regeneration and expression. How much more we have than the Jews!
Paul’s prayer to the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, was for revelation. The Greek word rendered “revelation” in verse 17 means the opening of a veil. Hence, revelation is the lifting of a veil.
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