There is one body and one Spirit,
even as you are called in one hope of your calling….Eph.4:4
In the letter to the Hebrews the writer uses the figure of an anchor to magnify the sense of security and stability that hope brings;
Heb 6:19 ….. hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast,….
Hope is an essential part of our faith, the doctrines we hold. Hope is a firm conviction, a sure belief that God will fulfill his promise or promises to us in His good time. Is it any wonder Paul pleads with the Colossians not to be moved away from the hope of the good news they had received;
Col 1:23 However, you must remain firmly established and steadfast in the faith, without being moved from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven and of which I, Paul, have become a servant. (ISV).
Christ is our hope of course, and all the promises of God are in Him, amen (2Cor.1:19-20). However, we can and should be more specific about our hope and the promises given to us today.
If our understanding of our hope is confused, then the anchor is insecure. Too many Christians declare their hope is to be with Christ, but the Word of Christ is more specific. Abraham will be with Christ, so will the twelve apostles sitting on twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel on the earth (Matt.19:27-30). Where is our inheritance God has promised us today?
Our hope includes the expectation of the unending life we have in Christ (Col.3:4, Tit.1:2), and the new body we have been promised (Phils.3:20,21). But hope includes the promised inheritance, that place where God has placed us and where our blessings are to be enjoyed.
When Paul opened his letter to the Ephesians, he blessed God with a doxology;
Eph 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies in Christ;
Paul blesses God in the light of the incredible nature of our blessings and incredible place our blessings are found. They are spiritual blessings and located in the heavenlies, or heavenly places. Further down in chapter one he tells us we have obtained an inheritance;
Eph 1:11 in whom also we have been chosen to an inheritance,
Then further down he offers a wonderful prayer for the Ephesians and for you and me today:
Eph 1:15 Therefore I also, hearing of your faith in the Lord Jesus and love to all the saints,
Eph 1:16 do not cease giving thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers,
Eph 1:17 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 of Him,
Eph 1:18 the eyes of your understanding being enlightened, that you may know what is the hope of His calling
Please notice that Paul acknowledged their faith and love but then prays they will know the Hope of His calling. Why would this be if Paul had spent two years with them back in Acts 19? It is also noteworthy that in Acts 20:20, 27 he told the Ephesians elders he had not failed to declare all the counsel of God and had kept back nothing that was profitable to them. Had Paul forgotten to tell them about their Hope? Or could it be the hope had changed since he had seen them last?
Paul wanted the Ephesians to know the hope of His calling; he wanted the Ephesians and us to have this great anchor God has given us today through Paul. He continues his prayer;
Eph 1:18 the eyes of your understanding being enlightened, that you may know what is the hope of His calling, and what is the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,
Eph 1:19 and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us, the ones believing
There are three things that are from God in this prayer, hope, riches of glory and power:
1. They would know the hope of HIS calling.
2. They would know the riches of the GLORY of HIS inheritance in the saints.
3. They would know HIS Power toward us, the ones believing.
These three things are linked together and Paul goes on to outline them. He describes this power in us and what it accomplishes and we soon begin to appreciate the riches of glory and the hope of His calling. Here is an outline of Pauls expansion of the prayer which I know you will find helpful. I have personalized it and given it a heading.
His Glorious inheritance for me
His power in me
Paul explains that the power in us is according to the working of His mighty strength which he wrought in Christ.
Eph 1:19 and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us, the ones believing according to the working of His mighty strength
Eph 1:20 which He worked in Christ:
Here are the things accomplished in Christ by the power of God. Please note where our Lord is and what He is;
1. Christ was raised from the Dead. Eph.1:20
2. Christ was seated at Gods right hand. Eph.1:20
3. In the heavenly Places. Eph.1:20 (Far above all….)
4. Christ was given to be Head of The Church His Body. Eph.1:22-23
Here are the things accomplished in US by the power of God. Please note where we have been placed by God and the name of our church:
1. We have been made alive (quickened). Eph.2:1,5 (in Christ)
2. We have been seated together. Eph.2:6 (In Christ).
3. In the heavenlies. Eph.2:6.
4. We are the Church which is His BODY. Eph.1:22-23
Power in Christ – Power in Us
1. Christ – raised from the dead: Eph 1:20 1.
Us – made alive with Christ. Eph.2:1,5.
2. Christ – seated Christ at Gods right hand. Eph 1:20
Us – seated together in Christ. Eph.2:6.
3. Christ – In the heavenly Places. Eph 1:20 (Far above all)
Us – In the heavenly places….Eph.2:6.
4. Christ – the HEAD of the church. Eph.1:22-23. 4.
Us – The Church.. His BODY. Eph.1:22-23.
Why did God do this? Why have we been seated in the heavenlies where Christ is seated? Certainly not because we have any worth or value and because of any good works we may or may not do, but as Paul explains, it is to show forth something in the future:
Eph 2:7 so that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
What a glorious hope we have, to be seated in the heavenlies! Gods declares we are there now and in Gods good time, when faith becomes sight, we shall be seated there in wonderful reality. Why not praise and thank our wonderful God for the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness towards us right now.