A Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation—Ephesians 1:17
“I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better” (Ephesians 1:17)
I’ve been involved in a small Bible study group for almost three years. A good friend of mine is also in this group. Watching the transformation that has taken place over the years has been incredible. As he’s come into a deeper understanding of Jesus, I’ve seen him overcome the religious ideas he grew up with. God has given him a spirit of wisdom and revelation, and he’s entered into a deep and intimate knowledge of God that has transformed him.
It’s been beautiful to watch, but more impressively, it is something that can be replicated!
In this verse, the Apostle Paul prays for two things: wisdom and revelation. His purpose is to come into a profound knowledge of God and His ways. This is not a new prayer for the Church. In John 17, Jesus prays essentially the same thing for believers when giving His definition of eternal life, “Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent” (John 17:3).
God wants us to know Him intimately, and because His ways are so unfathomable, He has given us the Holy Spirit to enable us to come into that continual revelation. The idea behind the word for revelation literally means an uncovering or unveiling. It is used in several ways, but here it is used for “the communication of the knowledge of God to the soul.” In other words, it is a gift from God that He directly imparts into our understanding.
What does He impart? Knowledge. In many translations, this verse ends with the phrase, “in the knowledge of Him.” The word for knowledge denotes exact or full knowledge, expressing a fuller or greater participation by the “knower,” which powerfully influences them. But here’s the beautiful thing, this word for knowledge is not found in the Gospels or in Acts, which means it is only through the gift of the Holy Spirit for the believer.
This is why we need wisdom, which is the application of knowledge. There is so much that God wants to communicate to us through the Holy Spirit, so Paul stops and prays that God will grant us the capacity to receive and understand it.
This verse is incredible! Imagine the amazing revelation the Letter of Ephesians contains if Paul stops to ask God for help in understanding the depth of it. I, too, like the Apostle Paul, pray for God to grant us the spirit of wisdom and revelation into a deeper and more intimate knowledge of Him so that we will have a continual revelation of Him and His ways.
I pray as we continue on this journey through the book of Ephesians that we will understand it in a profound way and, like my friend, this will transform our lives.