HH, Sir Godfrey Gregg D.Div [wpedon id=”36898″]
Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints, 16 Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; 17 That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: 18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, 19 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, 20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, (Ephesians 1:15-20)
Selected by God to build the foundation of the church, the apostles did so by bearing witness to the resurrected Christ, by their teaching, and by prayer.
The apostles were noted for prayer. When there was a need to provide for the widows in the early church, the apostles couldn’t do it because they had to devote themselves to “prayer and the ministry of the word” (Acts 6:4). When the leaders of the church at Antioch were fasting and praying, the Holy Spirit told them to set apart Paul and Barnabas for the ministry God had called them to (Acts 13:1-3). This was the beginning of Paul’s missionary journeys.
In addition, in the majority of the apostle Paul’s epistles to churches, he starts off sharing how he has been praying for them (Romans 1:9-10, Philippians 1:4, Colossians 1:9). Praying for God’s church was an important component of laying the foundation.
Although the foundation of the church has been laid and the original apostles have passed away, we can still have an apostolic ministry, specifically in the area of prayer. God wants to use us to build his church through prayer.
As we consider Ephesians 1:15-20, we learn principles of apostolic prayer—prayer that builds up God’s church.
The hope of his calling includes ruling and serving with Christ in the kingdom.
When the Corinthian church was arguing and suing one another, Paul said this in 1 Corinthians 6:1-4:
If any of you has a dispute with another, dare he take it before the ungodly for judgment instead of before the saints? Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases? Do you not know that we will judge angels? How many more the things of this life! Therefore, if you have disputes about such matters, appoint as judges even men of little account in the church!
In essence, Paul is saying, “Why are you hiring the world to judge your disputes? Don’t you know that one day you will judge angels? So, how much more should you judge the temporary things of this life? If you really have this hope, it should change how you interact with one another. After all, one day you will rule and judge with Christ!” Romans 8:17 says we are “co-heirs” with Christ. Whatever belongs to Christ is also ours.
If we really have this hope, we will stop being so consumed with the temporary kingdom of this world. Why live for what’s temporary when the eternal is surpassingly better? Why live to rule on this earth, when we are called to rule in the new heaven and the new earth? Christ says, “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:5).
What is your hope? Is your hope earthly or heavenly? In the same way, people with an earthly hope are motivated and driven by it, the hope of our calling in Christ should motivate us. Let us pray for the eyes of our hearts to be enlightened and understand the hope of our calling in Christ. Let us pray to be driven by eternal hope.