On May 8, 2016, Billy Glosson preached from Ephesians 1:17-23 in a sermon titled, “Enlightened.”
One of the things I love most about my wife is how much she loves to learn new things. She never stops asking questions and taking interest in gaining more knowledge. I absolutely love her for this.
…This is the same attitude Paul is praying the Ephesians would have towards God. That their wonder would only grow, and they would keep desiring to grow and learn more about their King.
We are enlightened to know God and what he has done.
Paul is praying for the Ephesians that they would know God better…that the Ephesians would have the eyes of their hearts enlightened. We often fail to see that God offers us this, that he wants to open our understanding to give us a greater knowledge of him, to draw us closer, but we are often selfish and self-seeking. We often have a low view of God. But Paul did not. Paul prays boldly to the God of glory knowing that he is capable of opening eyes to see Him. Paul is petitioning this God of glory and power to open the eyes of his church.
I. WE ARE ENLIGHTENED TO KNOW GOD BETTER
“Nothing will so enlarge the intellect, nothing so magnify the whole soul of man, as a devout, earnest, continued investigation of the great subject of the Deity. And, whilst humbling and expanding, this subject is eminently comforting. Oh, there is, in contemplating Christ, a balm for every wound; in musing on the Father, there is a quietus for every grief; and in the influence of the Holy Ghost, there is a treatment for every sore. Would you lose your sorrows? Would you drown your cares? Then go, plunge yourself in the Godhead’s deepest sea; be lost in his immensity; and you shall come forth as from a bed of rest, refreshed and invigorated. I know nothing which can so comfort the soul; so calm the swelling billows of grief and sorrow; so speak peace to the winds of trial, as a devout musing upon the subject of God.” - C.H. Spurgeon
“We are cruel to ourselves if we try to live in this world without knowing about the God whose world it is and who runs it .The world becomes a strange, mad, painful place, and life in it a disappointing and unpleasant business, for those who do not know about God. Disregard the study of God, and you sentence yourself to stumble and blunder through life
blindfold, as it were, with no sense of direction, and no understanding of what surrounds you. This way you can waste your life and lose your soul…Our concern must be to enlarge our acquaintance, not simply with the doctrine of God’s attributes, but with the living God whose attributes they are.” - J.I. Packer
II. WE ARE ENLIGHTENED TO KNOW THE BLESSINGS OF THE GOSPEL
“That God should set such a high value on the community of sinners rescued from perdition and still bearing too many traces of their former state, might well seem incredible were it not made clear that he sees them in Christ, as from the beginning, he chose them in Christ.” - F.F. Bruce
III. WE ARE ENLIGHTENED TO KNOW GOD’S IMMEASURABLE POWER
And what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all. (Ephesians 1:19-23)
Are you seeking to know God? To rejoice in the blessings he has given us in the gospel, to rest in knowing his immeasurable power? What it would look like for you to seek God to yearn to know him, to contemplate all that he has done for you, to look and see his power revealed in the finished work of Jesus?
How do we do this?
1. Bible reading and study.
If we want to know God we need to meet him in his word. Apply yourself diligently to the scriptures. Meditate on God, know him.
If we want to know God we need to commune with him. We need to listen to the Holy Spirit and yearn for him to work in us.
3. Silence and solitude.
If we want to know God we need to drown out the noise. We need to cultivate quiet long enough to hear God’s conviction. We need take moments to be silent before our King and hear from him.
These spiritual disciplines are exactly how we can grow to know God and what he has done for us. The gospel enlightens our hearts with the truth of God’s immeasurable power and bountiful blessings, but far too often we are closed to this reality.
It is devastating that so many of us want to know so many things but we’re completely content only knowing God superficially. My prayer is that we would yearn for him. That we would search the scriptures and seek him in prayer for one another.