Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation


In Ephesians, the apostle Paul prayed for believers, asking that the Father would give them the “Spirit of wisdom and revelation” — that is, wisdom and revelation by the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:17). Paul was an adept theologian and teacher who could be quite eloquent, and his teaching and letters were inspired by the Spirit of God. But that was only part of the equation. As he knew very well, the illuminating work of the Holy Spirit was required on the part of those who heard that teaching and read those epistles. Paul’s words went only so far; the Spirit of God would have to carry them through all the way.
Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. (1 Corinthians 2:12-14)
So Paul prayed that God would reveal by His Spirit the things Paul himself never could. The purpose was that these believers might know God more and more and, specifically, that they would know understand these three things:
  1. What is the hope of His calling. In both the Old and New Testaments, the words for “hope” speak of a confident expectation, a joyful anticipation. God has called us, set us apart for His own special purposes, not just for the life to come but for this present life as well. It is a life-changing, world-changing destiny, and every believer should live with the joyful expectation of fulfilling that divine purpose.
  2. What are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints. Toward the fulfillment of this calling, God has placed an inheritance in each one who has received His Son, King Jesus the Messiah. Paul tells us elsewhere that we are joint heirs with Him (Romans 8:17). It is the richness of His own glory that He wants to reveal in and through us.
  3. What is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe. This is the same divine power that raised Jesus from the dead and seated Him at the right hand of the Father, “far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come” (Ephesians 1:21). It is the same power by which God is able to doing exceeding abundantly above all we can ask or imagine, the power that is now at work in us.
Paul prayed that God would release wisdom and revelation by the Holy Spirit to His people, and that is my prayer for you. Do you suppose that anyone could ever receive that holy wisdom and divine revelation and not be changed by it?