I heard it said that knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad. The Bible is full of wisdom — especially the books of Ecclesiastes, Psalms and Proverbs. Today we start a study of spiritual wisdom to help combat spiritual warfare in the Book of Ephesians.
The Church in Ephesus
Ephesus was one of the 7 churches that Jesus wrote to in the Book of Revelation. I covered that in this blog article and podcast (there’s a video there explaining some of its history). That took place around 95 AD. Way before that, in 60 AD, Paul wrote an emotional letter to the church members there while he was in prison in Rome. Ephesus was a very pagan area. It’s claim to fame was the temple of Artemis which was one of the 7 Wonders of the World until it was destroyed in an earthquake.
Paul spent 3 years in Ephesus, knowing its strategic importance. He wanted them to understand and remember the truth — especially when they battled evil and persecution — spiritual warfare — daily. Hence, Paul’s emphasis on the truth.
Ephesians Chapter 1
This letter is from Paul, chosen by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus.
I am writing to God’s holy people in Ephesus, who are faithful followers of Christ Jesus.
2 May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace.
3 All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. 4 Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. 5 God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. 6 So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son. 7 He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. 8 He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding.
9 God has now revealed to us his mysterious will regarding Christ—which is to fulfill his own good plan. 10 And this is the plan: At the right time he will bring everything together under the authority of Christ—everything in heaven and on earth. 11 Furthermore, because we are united with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God, for he chose us in advance, and he makes everything work out according to his plan.
12 God’s purpose was that we Jews who were the first to trust in Christ would bring praise and glory to God. 13 And now you Gentiles have also heard the truth, the Good News that God saves you. And when you believed in Christ, he identified you as his own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom he promised long ago. 14 The Spirit is God’s guarantee that he will give us the inheritance he promised and that he has purchased us to be his own people. He did this so we would praise and glorify him.
Paul’s Prayer for Spiritual Wisdom
15 Ever since I first heard of your strong faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for God’s people everywhere, 16 I have not stopped thanking God for you. I pray for you constantly, 17 asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom and insight so that you might grow in your knowledge of God. 18 I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called—his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance.
19 I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power 20 that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms. 21 Now he is far above any ruler or authority or power or leader or anything else—not only in this world but also in the world to come. 22 God has put all things under the authority of Christ and has made him head over all things for the benefit of the church. 23 And the church is his body; it is made full and complete by Christ, who fills all things everywhere with himself.Ephesians 1 NLT
Paul praises the Gospel truth in his opening …
- God the Father, who blessed us
- Jesus, the Son, who redeemed us
- The Holy Spirit, who sealed us
Spiritual wisdom is not served up like a buffet. God wants us to ask Him for it. He wants us to realize that we need Him daily. Personally, I pray for wisdom and guidance every morning. I also pray that for the leaders in our nation.
The Holy Spirit opens our hearts to better understand the Word of God. That’s why many people read the Bible like if it was a history book rather than God speaking to you.
Paul told the Ephesians before he left them for good in the book of Acts…
I know that false teachers, like vicious wolves, will come in among you after I leave, not sparing the flock. 30 Even some men from your own group will rise up and distort the truth in order to draw a following.Acts 20:29-30 NLT
False teachers are around today, too! They may be in the church you’re attending (or watching online). That’s where spiritual wisdom comes in. Ask God to reveal the truth to you. Many false teachers preach a watered-down Gospel. That’s why you MUST always Seek The Truth!
Here’s a podcast I did on the Holy Spirit’s gift of truth and discernment…
Soli Deo Gloria — to God Alone be the Glory!