Ephesians 1:17

… my prayers that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him.

This is part of a much longer sentence in Greek that goes from verse 15 right through to verse 19.

Paul is saying that he prays constantly for the church at Ephesus, the saints. Part of that prayer is that God will give us a Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in our knowledge of Him.

Paul here affirms the christian doctrine of the Trinity- Father, Son and Holy Spirit are mentioned together here. All through the New Testament we see these statements about God’s three-fold nature- one God revealed in three “persons.” This is a mystery that is easy to state, but very difficult to understand.

This God is first of all the”God of our Lord Jesus Christ. When Jesus speaks of God or the Father it is this God, the God of the Bible, that He refers to.

This God is not Allah, the god of the Muslims, nor is he one of the countless gods revered by Hindus, or any so-called god or goddess worshipped by pagans.

This God is the God revealed in the Old Testament, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Yahweh, the great “I AM.”

He is the Father of glory or “glorious Father.” The majesty or glory of God can only be imagined by the human mind. There are clues given to us in creation, but we need a revelation, an understanding that comes from the Holy Spirit and is planted into our spirit.

He is the Father because He brings all things into being. This is His nature- to create and relate. The Father is not distant as some imagine, but is always right near us,

The Father’s heart is for relationship with His creation, particularly with human beings. Like any earthly father, He is devastated by the sinfulness and waywardness of people, who prefer to go their own way rather than walking with Him in His love.

Jesus is given the title “the Lord Jesus Christ.” The Lord is, of course, the title of Yahweh in the Old Testament. To say “Jesus is Lord” is to confess that He is the one true God, that He is Yahweh.

To say that Jesus is Lord is to confess that I am not Lord, that Jesus has a claim to authority over me, that I recognise His right to direct me.

To call Jesus Christ the Lord is also to deny that any other person or ideology has the right to call themselves Lord. They might think they are like God, but in reality they are not.

So Paul’s prayer now is that we receive the Spirit of wisdom and revelation.

All wisdom ultimately comes from God. Wisdom is about applying our knowledge of God and of the world in such a way that God is glorified, and our lives reach their true potential in Him.

Human wisdom is not true wisdom unless it proceeds from the Holy Spirit. Human wisdom is concerned with making our lives effective in achieving our goals,

Human wisdom is about self- self-motivation, self-actualisation, self-esteem, self improvement- self, self, self.

The wisdom that comes from God puts its focus on the Lordship of Christ. Our lives achieve their true purpose as they are submitted to His Lordship.
Godly wisdom recognises that a kite flies best when it is tethered. Human wisdom seeks to achieve its selfish goals by cutting the string and flying free of constraints.

The Spirit also gives a revelation of God. There are many who claim to have a “revelation” of God, gods and spirits. Unless they are revealed by the Spirit of God, they are revelations of satan and come to bring deception not enlightenment.

Revelation that is from God comes through the Spirit of God. This is the same Spirit who inspired the writers of the Scriptures. No so-called revelation will contradict Scripture. No so-called revelation will encourage people to dishonour God by sinning.

The Spirit of revelation is also needed when we read the Bible. Many have read the Bible in a spirit of rebellion, and consequently they see just words from an ancient culture that has no connection today. But when we read the same words with the Holy Spirit guiding us, we find the words of eternal life.

We need the Spirit of revelation, the Holy Spirit, revealing the truth of God as we seek Him.

Key points from this verse:

  • God has revealed Himself as three in one- Father, Son and Holy Spirit

  • Jesus is Lord of all things because He is God

  • The Father brings all things into existence and desires relationship with us

  • If Jesus is Lord, then the claims of all other things to be “lords” are false claims

  • The Holy Spirit gives us wisdom, revelation, and knowledge of God