A Study of Knowledge (epignosis): from Ephesians 1:17-19
In part one of this study, we found out that this particular knowledge of God (epignosis) is a knowledge that is more intimate and personal and suggests a personal relationship. In this post we will examine knowledge from Ephesian 1:17-19.
Paul’s Prayer for this Knowledge of God
That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge [epignosis] of Him, 18 the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power.
Here we see that Paul prayed for the Ephesians that God would open their mind and reveal to them the deep things about God (that they would have this epignosis of Him). Then in the preceding verses (vv. 18-19), Paul prays for three more things: (1) to know the hope of His calling, (2) to know “what are the riches of His inheritance in the saints,” and (3) to know the greatness of His power toward us.
I suggest that these three things will be a result of our getting to know God. Let’s take a closer look at them. When we get to know God…
(1) We will grow to understand that we have a great hope in Christ.
(2) We will come to know that we have a very rich inheritance. In 1 Peter 1:3-4 our inheritance is described as incorruptible, undefiled, does not fade away, and is reserved in heaven for us. I want to suggest that there is also another possible meaning here. According to Warren Wiersbe in his Be Rich, “His inheritance in the saints” means that we (all believers) are Christ’s inheritance; that He regards us as His wealth and great possession. Hence, when we get to know God we will understand more and more that we exist to please Him, to glorify Him; and we will get to know how important we are to God. I think there may actually be a double meaning to this verse; that we are His possession, and also that He is our possession.
(3) We will come to know His great power—a power that is within us. The more we abide in Him the more we will experience this power and have use of it in our life and prayers.
In the next post we will look at this knowledge from Ephesians 4:13. We will discover both how to get this knowledge and what benefits it brings us.