Despite how well the Ephesians were doing, being commended for their faith in Christ and love for all the saints, Paul recognized something essential to Christian living that the Ephesians were deficient in, namely the proper degree of revelation of the hope to which they were called; to the riches inherent in that calling and to the greatness of God's power on their behalf.
If one's Christianity is to go beyond the status of a social club one must partake of the attitudes of faith. In fact much of the Christian life is not a matter of doing things (or not doing things, as the case may be), but rather these are outworkings of one's attitudes, one's character qualities, and one's revelation of truth.
Furthermore the Christian life is not simply a matter of knowledge, or information. The Bible is knowledge, including the gospel of Christ. It is information. But it is of no effect without revelation. One can memorize the whole Bible, but without wisdom and revelation as to its application, it is of no effect.
Then again you have those, even in the Christian community, that take the opposite view. They despise knowledge, even the knowledge in the Bible, replacing a proper grammato-historical hermeneutic (principle of Bible interpretation) with their own personal revelation. They allegorize the Bible to death to suit their ideas. They boast of their visions and create unncessary schizms and vain sect telling people what they want to hear so as to enhance their popularity.Much as the book of Ephesians contains much enlightenment, the Ephesians themselves, while legitimate Christians, were relatively unenlightened, which is why Paul wrote in such a manner. Consider what Jesus Christ Himself said of the Ephesian church later on.
I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked men, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary. Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love.Rev 2:2-4These were Christian who endured through persecution. They persevered in their faith. They were properly intolerant of the wicked of false teachers. They endured as Christians through hardships and not grown weary. And yet while these characteristics were commendable, there was something significant which they lacked. They had forsaken the love for Christ they had demonstrated at first. Perhaps this is somewhat analogous to the Jews who endured in their Jewishness even through dispersia and later the horrors of the holocaust. They were committed and intolerant, but they lacked revelation.
In the Christian community I am thinking of those who commendably despise wicked men and false teachings, who persevere in their convictions through persecutions, but who have a serious deficiency of the love of Christ which is a function of revelation. In a later study we will see in chapter 3 of Ephesians the link between the revelation of Christ's love and Christ's indwelling.
Now what of this revelation which Paul finds so essential to Christian
liiving? How does one obtain it. Much of the book of Ephesians is
all about the revelation. But Paul didn't see it as simple as just transferring
information. Just reading Ephesians will not necessarily give you the revelation.
That is why prayer is also called for.
And now for application I am going to ask you, the reader, to read through the book of Ephesians. And for those who do so, I offer a prayer to God on your behalf that God will give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe.If in your reading of Ephesians you receive revelation and insight which impacts your attitude in living the Christian life, feel free to glorify God and let me know that I and others may be encouraged to pray further along these lines.