18 …having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints.” (Ephesians 1:18 (ESV)
The Apostle Paul continued to pray that the Ephesian Christ followers would have the eyes of their hearts enlightened. What did he mean by this statement?
To begin with, the word eyes (ὀφθαλμός; ophthalmos) is used metaphorically to mean understanding and perception. The believers understanding and perception extends to the very core of their being: their heart. Heart (καρδία; kardia) is also used metaphorically to refer to the believer’s intellect, emotions and will.
Paul prayed that the Ephesian believers would have their complete understanding of salvation enlightened. The word enlightened (φωτίζω; photizo) means to reveal or to make plain. Paul desired that they would receive from God a permanent understanding of biblical truth.
Dr. Kenneth Weust writes, “The words, “being enlightened,” are a perfect participle in the Greek text, referring to a past complete act having present results. The translation reads, “The eyes of your heart having been enlightened with the present result that they are in a state of illumination.” That is, Paul is praying that a permanent work of the Holy Spirit be done in the human spirits of these saints, that their inner spiritual capacities for understanding the truth may be the recipients of a lasting benefit.”
What benefit is gained by understanding biblical truth? Dr. R.C. Sproul answers the question when he writes, “The crisis of modern humanity is found in the rupture between the study of human beings and the study of God. When our story is told in isolation or divorced from the story of God, then it (our life) become ‘a tale, told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.’ If we are considered without reference to God, we become a ‘useless passion’ as philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre declared.”
Paul expressed that this enlightenment unto biblical truth would extend to three particular areas of the believer’s life. The first two are mentioned in Ephesians 1:18. The third is found in 1:19. WE will begin to examine all three when next we meet.
Take the time today to pray that God would open the eyes of your heart and provide you a deeper understanding of biblical truth. Have a blessed day.
Soli deo Gloria!