“Having the eyes of your hearts enlightened” (Ephesians 1:18)
Chapter one of Ephesians is one of the most gospel saturated text’s ever written. This part of the letter is full of the gospel and God’s amazing grace for sinners. We see each member of the Trinity working in the gift of salvation for sinners like you and me. Paul then starts rejoicing in what he had been hearing about these saints and giving thanks to God for the work he was doing in the lives of these believers. What an example for us to follow as we rejoice in God’s work in the life of other believers “having the eyes of your hearts enlightened” by the work of the Spirit.
Salvation is the gracious work of God in the life of hard-hearted sinners. This is the love of God. He had a plan before the foundation of the world to redeem a people for his own possession. “In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved” (Eph. 1:4-6). This is love like no other. Before “in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” we see that God’s love for his people already was. I’m humbled typing that right now. God knew me, the sinner, and had planned to adopt me into his kingdom according to his will before time began. This is mind blowing stuff. He accomplished this work through Christ. “In [Christ]we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ” (Eph. 1:7-9). Do you see all the phrases that make it clear this is God’s work in the life of the sinner? God’s plan! God’s grace! He predestined! He lavished upon us! According to his will! According to his purpose! He set forth in Christ! The holy God of the universe did the work to redeem dirty sinners for eternal joy with him. How can we comprehend these realities?
Praise the Holy Spirit for his work in our lives. It is God the Father’s amazing grace that we have been elected. It is through the atonement of Jesus Christ that we have been forgiven and cleansed. But we must not forget the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit to illumine our eyes to this truth. “In [Christ] you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory” (Eph. 1:13-14). The Holy Spirit was left here on earth to be our helper and guide into the great glories of the gospel of Jesus Christ. No way can we comprehend it all. No way will we ever fully understand this truth. But we can know! It is not as if the gospel is not clear because the gospel is plenty clear but it is the depths of the gospel we will never fully reach. We clearly see that God sent his Son to take the place of sinners on the cross whereby sinners can place their trust in Christ receiving his perfect righteousness of Christ and in exchange our sins are place upon Christ. This is the gospel. But to have eyes to see this reality is nothing short of the miraculous work of the grace of God through the Holy Spirit.
The more I’ve shared the gospel with those who reject Christ the more I begin to understand the work of the Holy Spirit. Trusting in Christ crucified is revealed to sinners through the work of the Spirit in hearing the gospel. Our hope is in Christ! Rejoice in that hope knowing Paul is encouraging us as well to persevere in the truth “having the eyes of your hearts enlightened” by the promised Holy Spirit.
Grace upon grace,