Ephesians 1:17. 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places… 16 I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him…
The whole point of our life is to know God. Not know about God. Know God. Intimately. Personally. Relationally. The reason why God has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing is so we can have our relationship with him restored. The reason for Christ himself, his incarnation, life, death, resurrection and glorification is so we can know God.
As we saw yesterday knowledge must be preceded by wisdom. And Christ is God’s wisdom. To try to know God apart from the gospel of Christ is death. To try to know God within the gospel of Christ is life. Because it is grace. To this end Paul prays for us to have a spirit of wisdom. Which of course comes from the Holy Spirit of wisdom. We don’t just want to know about God. And we don’t just want to know what God knows. We want to know God through his grace. That’s wisdom.
But how do we know God? Our relationship with God must be rooted in knowledge and knowledge must be rooted in truth. We want to know God truthfully. We want to worship him in spirit and in truth. But where does the truth of God come from? The answer is revelation.
And so as we look at Ephesians 1:17 we see that Paul also prays that we will have a spirit of revelation.
What this doesn’t mean
A spirit of revelation does not mean that you or I are the source of any revelation. The Holy Spirit God is the source. Never us.
It also does not mean that we should be looking for any sort of new unique revelation apart from the revelation of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The gospel, the incarnation of Christ, his death and resurrection are the final revelation of God.
Hebrews 1:1-2. Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.
What this does mean
And so when Paul prays for us to have a spirit of revelation what is he talking about? What is being revealed? Paul’s answer in Ephesians is “the mystery.”
But the mystery for us is not a riddle to solve or a scavenger hunt to set off on. It’s not something that only the spiritually elite figure out, or something only for the gurus and the televangelists.
It’s Christ. It’s the gospel. It’s the church.
Remember how Paul described the revealed mystery in 1:9-10?
Ephesians 1:9-10. 9 making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.
And here’s how he will talk about it in 3:1-6:
Ephesians 3:1-6. For this reason I, Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles— 2 assuming that you have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace that was given to me for you, 3 how the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I have written briefly. 4 When you read this, you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ. 5 which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit. 6 This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.
What this means for us
All of God’s final mysteries have already been revealed in the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ, and his church. In our union with Christ (the Holy Spirit) we have the spirit of revelation allowing us to understand all of God’s mysterious will. His will to unite all things and all peoples in Christ through the Church.
Every Christian has this spirit. Every Christian has access to the revealed mysteries of God. There is no special knowledge. There are no degrees of understanding. No exclusivism in God’s revelation. If you are in Christ, you have received the revelation.
Gandalf the White revealed.
What does this mean on an everyday practical level?
It means that when you read the word of Christ, the gospel, the Bible, you can understand it as the wisdom of God revealing to you the knowledge of God by his grace through Jesus Christ. Someone without the Holy Spirit reads the Word and reads only law. Something to do. Or just another of many paths to God. But someone with the Spirit reads the Word and reads grace, and love, and hope, and trusts in it by faith. They read done not do. They read the revelation of Christ and they embrace it with everything that is in them. It is their life.
“To live is Christ” gives you the revelation you need to know God. And it gives you the wisdom you need to understand that revelation within the plan of God, which is the gospel of Jesus Christ and his Church. May the spirit of wisdom and revelation allow you to see the glories of God’s grace in your union with Christ in each and every situation you face day by day.