Life-Study of Ephesiansby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
In 1:18 and 19 Paul prayed that we would know what is the hope of God’s calling, what are the riches of God’s inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of God’s power to us who believe. Related to these three things we need to know three key words: hope, glory, and power. The hope is the hope of God’s calling, the glory is the glory of God’s inheritance among the saints, and the power is the power toward us according to the operation of the might of God’s strength which He wrought in Christ.
Hope, glory, and power are all related to the blessings in verses 3 through 14, where five aspects of God’s well-speaking are covered: the Father’s selection, the Father’s predestination, the Son’s redemption, the Spirit’s sealing, and the Spirit’s pledging. The Father’s selection was that we should be holy, and His predestination was that we should become His sons. The Son’s redemption was that we may be headed up in Christ. The Spirit’s sealing is that we may be transformed into God’s image, fully saturated with Him in order to bear His appearance. Furthermore, the Spirit’s pledging is God’s pledging Himself into us as our enjoyment, taste, and guarantee. These are the contents of the Triune God’s well-speaking concerning us.
The result of these blessings is hope. Our calling is the sum total of the spiritual blessings, and our hope is the issue of these blessings. This hope is also a glory. After mentioning the contents of God’s well-speaking, the Apostle Paul, out of the depths of his spiritual understanding, prayed that we would have a spirit of wisdom and revelation and that the eyes of our heart would be enlightened. For this, our entire inner being must be dealt with. Our spirit must be open, our conscience must be purified, our heart must be pure, our mind must be sober, our emotion must be loving, and our will must be submissive. When every part of our inner being has been dealt with, we can know the hope, the glory, and the power. Since the calling includes all of God’s blessings, the hope is the hope of these blessings. This hope is the glory of becoming holy. The glory is also the full sonship. When we arrive at full sonship, our body will be glorified, transfigured. According to Romans 8:21, all creation will enjoy the liberty of the glory of the sons of God. This glory is our hope.
We have seen that this glory has its riches, including all the items of God’s attributes and virtues. God is rich in attributes and virtues such as love, life, light, humility, righteousness, holiness, and long-suffering. When these are fully expressed in us, that expression will be the riches of God’s glory. Now we can see that hope and glory are the result of the five blessings, of the five items of God’s well-speaking concerning us.
The divine power is the unique means to fulfill this hope and to arrive at this glory. Although hope and glory may be somewhat objective, the surpassing greatness of God’s power toward us is very subjective and experiential. God’s power toward us is surpassingly great. We need to know this power and experience it.
Twenty-five years ago, I conducted a thorough study of the book of Ephesians in Taipei. However, at that time I did not see that hope and glory are the result of God’s blessings and that they are accomplished by the divine power. Now I see that after mentioning the blessings of the Triune God related to us, Paul prayed that we would know the hope and glory of God’s blessings. Glory is the expression of God’s blessings. In His blessings God intends that we become His inheritance. In order to be God’s inheritance, we must inherit Him and enjoy Him. Firstly we inherit Him and then we become His inheritance. This is the result of God’s working of Himself into us to make us one with Him. Through God’s working in us, we become His satisfaction, and He becomes our satisfaction. This mutual satisfaction is also a mutual inheritance, an inheritance that will have the glory that expresses all God is in His attributes and virtues. This will be the expression of the Triune God for eternity. This glory is our hope.
Now we come to the subjective matter of the fulfillment of this hope and glory by the divine power. Especially in this nuclear age, we are very conscious of the need of power to do everything. For example, it took power for man to land on the moon. Without power we are nothing. The power that fulfills our hope is the power spoken of in 3:20, where Paul says that God is able to do exceeding abundantly above all we ask or think according to the power that works in us. The Greek word translated “works” in 3:20 means operates. The English equivalent is energizes. The power within us not only works and operates; it energizes. Human language is not adequate to describe the surpassing greatness of this power.
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