The Hope of His Calling- Ephesians 1:18-21

As we continue in our examination of Paul’s prayer for the believers in Ephesus, we find Paul continuing on in what he (and God) would like to see become a reality in the life of every believer. He has just expressed God’s desire that the “eyes of our hearts would be enlightened”, that we would come to understand what motivates us to think, feel, behave and desire the way we do, and we now find him informing us of three things we should know and what this understanding is intended to produce in our lives. The word translated know here is the perfect active infinitive of oida, to comprehend or understand. The use of the perfect tense here indicates a once for all understanding and awareness of these three things. The first of these is the “hope to which He has called us”. God has a “calling” for every believer, a purpose and plan for each of our lives. It is this purpose and plan which produces lives characterized by “hope”. God has created each of us with a specific purpose in mind, created each one of us to be and do something, and Paul here prays that all believers would be aware of who they are and why they are here, for it is this awareness which produces a life characterized by hope rather than despair. The second thing which Paul prays for their awareness of is “the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints”. The key concept in this expression is the concept of our “inheritance”. The Greek word inheritance here is kleronomias, and refers not necessarily to money or material possessions, but primarily to our place or assignment within God’s kingdom, to the specific “work” or “ministry” to which we are to devote our energies and efforts. This “inheritance” is the outworking of God’s purpose and plan for each of us, and we walk in our “inheritance” as we live out His plan and purpose for our lives. According to Paul here, living in this way produces true “riches”. The Greek word translated “riches” here is ploutos, whose root means “that which is precious”, and is often translated as “treasures”. We treasure what is most precious to us, and Paul’s prayer here is that each believer would see what is truly precious, that his or here place and purpose in God’s kingdom would be the most precious thing in their lives, for we naturally pursue that which is most precious to us, and those for whom their “inheritance” is the most precious thing in their lives will naturally make it their top priority and will dedicate their energies and efforts toward it above all else. So we find here that it is God’s desire for every believer to understand who they are, why they are here and what they are to do with their lives, for this is what will bring true “riches” into the life of the believer. Those who come to understand these three things will then spend their lives seeking after true riches, the riches of fulfilling God’s purpose for their lives, rather than pursuing the empty “riches” which the world has to offer, the false “riches” of money, possessions, power, fame, etc. Paul then tells us, in verse 19, that those who find and seek after the true riches will discover “His (God’s) incomparably great power for us who believe”. Paul concludes here with a promise that all who come to realize their true purpose and calling, who understand who they are, why they are here and what they are to do with their lives will find God’s power begin to manifest itself in their lives. If we, as believers, truly understand and earnestly endeavor to live out “the hope to which He has called us”, no devil in hell can stop us from fulfilling God’s call upon and purpose for our lives. The same power which raised Jesus Christ from the dead, which no other power can thwart or overcome, will work in our lives to enable us to be all God has created us to be and do all God has called us to do. Our part is simply to come to understand who we are and why we are here, and choose to earnestly endeavor to do what we believe God is calling us to do with our lives. This is what Paul prays here for the Ephesians (and for all believers), and it is our prayer that this same thing may become a reality in the lives of all who read this, and they may discover and possess “true” riches, the eternal riches of fulfilling God’s purpose and plan for our lives.

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