Enlightened Understanding

What is the hope of His calling? It boils down to this. God wants to see something happen as a result of His having called you to Himself. He did this with something in mind.

Scripture: Ephesians 1:18, Romans 12:2


Alright, thank you very much. And hello again dear radio friend. How in the world are you? Doing Alright?

Now, we’re looking at the first chapter of Ephesians, you and I, and we came down to verse 18, where Paul is praying. The first part of his prayer was that God would give to these people the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him. Now, in verse 18, he says, “The eyes of your understanding being enlightened.” Now, what is involved in enlightened understanding? Well, he goes on to explain, “That you may know what is the hope of his calling, what is the riches of the glory of his inheritance and the saints. And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us who believe.” What kind of power? “According to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ” When? “When he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places.”

So what is Paul saying? He says I want you to know the hope of his calling. Now that hope has to do with what God has in store for you, Alright? The riches of the glory of his inheritance and the saints. What will you mean to your Lord when you get home to heaven? Not necessarily just then, but beginning now. And then third, Paul says I want them to know the exceeding greatness of your power that you can work in the believer, the resurrection power, the same kind of power that was present when the Lord Jesus Christ stepped from the tomb — resurrected, living, and alive forevermore.

Well, that’s quite a prayer isn’t it? You want to think about it for a while? Now he says the “eyes of your understanding being enlightened.” What is an enlightened understanding? An enlightened understanding is one that is related to your own personal experience.

When I was in high school, I suppose, I would have been a sophomore in high school. I was even then tremendously interested in cars of all kinds. And finally, I got my father to agree to buy an old 1921. I think it was model T Ford. It was a sedan, one of the old two door sedans, where they had the door in the middle of the body. You got in the middle and either went up toward the front or sank back toward the back. And someone had taken loving care of it in the beginning because it had special extra springs on the end of each one of those elliptical springs that Henry put on his creations that made it ride little more easily, and had shock absorbers on it to keep it from bouncing too much. It even had a vase on the inside by the door to hold flowers, I remember.

It had been left out in the rain too long, however, because the fiber top had sagged in between the cross bars of the roof and so there were waves on the top I remember. It didn’t leak but it was sort of a wavy top. Color black of course that’s the only color that Henry Ford believed you should have. He said you can have any color you want as long as it’s black, remember that? So there we were, now I had read every book I could on cars. I spent more time reading about cars and what to do about them and motors and how to disassemble them and put them back together again, spent more time on that than on algebra, I assure you. Interested. And now here was this wonderful, wonderful car, 1921 model T Ford and I was going to overhaul it — sure I was.

Well, I started taking it apart and it wasn’t too hard to take it apart. As a matter of fact I had a system. I had a bunch of coffee cans that were numbered so that the smaller parts as they came off, because you don’t have to number the cylinder head, you know what that is. But the smaller parts as they came off I put in to numbered cans so that I’d be able to put it back together again the way it came apart. Inevitably, of course, I got stuck and I had to call on my good friend, Walter Davis, who lived a mile down Nevada street in East Toledo, and he would come up and help me and get me straightened around to get the thing running.

And after he had worked with me on the thing, after he had showed me that you put this part here first before you put that part there — and you mechanics know what we’re talking about. There is a way to do things. Even on so simple a mechanism as an old model T Ford. And after he showed me, then I understood. Now before I had read in the book and I knew that every one of those valves had a spring underneath it and every one of those springs had some keepers under the spring to hold it, then that you had to take them out and so on. I knew that. And I knew that you had to use what we call a valve spring lifter to get the thing lose and all of that. But after he had worked with me my — the eyes of my understanding were enlightened. I knew now because of the, you might say, hands on training. I understood what I had understood before.

It was an enlightened understanding. All of which leads me to say that your knowledge of the Christian life has to get into the experiential, out of the academic and out of the theoretical into the real. This is what Paul was praying. He said I want you to have an enlightened understanding. Talk to somebody you meet and say what do you have to do to be a Christian, and this person has been brought up in Sunday school and so he rattles it off, “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shall be saved.” “Have you done that?” “Well no.”

He understands the way of salvation. But meet that same person a year later, life has fallen in on him and he’s been brought forcibly to his knees and he’s cried out to God for help and Jesus has saved him. You say to him, “Well, now, Jim, what about salvation? Do you understand anything about it?” “Oh yes,” he said, “I got down to the bottom.” He said, “The only place I could look was up and I cried out to God for help and he forgave me and he saved me and I know now what it is to be saved.” Ah, there’s the difference. He had an enlightened understanding, you follow me?

You see what God wants for you and for me is not just to think about eternal matters and talk about them and understand the theory of them. He wants it to get in where we live. How real is the Lord Jesus to you at 10 o’clock up a Tuesday morning? How real is He when things are going rough? How real is He when you’re under pressure? Do you understand what it means really, to trust the Lord Jesus Christ?

I have a little card that my sister Mildred gave me years ago. I carry it around in my wallet, and it say’s, “When you’re down to nothing at all then for the first time you may realize that God is enough.” You know, sometimes he has to bring us to a place where we simply have no further resources. And at that point you’ll get an enlightened understanding of what God can do. My good friend Mr. Hill, who’s now with the Lord, used to say, “look at every one of these tests and trials as an opportunity for God to work.” And he told what happened when his car broke down. I told you about this a while back.

When his car broke down in the middle of the city and he had prayer right there. A couple of brothers with him who were grumbling and saying, “Why does this have to happen to us now? We’re going to miss our meeting.” And he prayed he said, “Now, Lord, this is your chance to work. Thank you for what you’re going to do. This is a chance for you, blessed Father, to work. Amen.” And he looked at it that that way. When you look at your trials as an opportunity for God to do something, it turns around your entire perspective and instead of a victim of circumstances you become an adventurer with Christ through the circumstance. Have you been there yet? If you haven’t, you will. An enlightened understanding means hands on training in what God can do.

And he said I want you to know — now, when you’ve been walking with the Lord enough to have what we call this hands-on training what’s going to happen? Well, he says you’re going to know something. You’re going to know the hope of His calling. Now you follow out in your concordance the Christian calling. We’re called to be saints and called to be His own and called to glory and called to suffer, all the different elements of the Christian call, right? What is the hope of His calling? It boils down to this. God wants to see something happen as a result of His having called you to Himself. He did this with something in mind. And our Lord Jesus said, “The Father seeketh such to worship him.” That’s people who worship in spirit and in truth.

God is looking for people who’ll be real with Him. Our savior chooses disciples that they might be with him and he said later on, “If I go away I will come again and receive you into myself, that where I am there you may be also.” Paul writing about the second coming says, “And so shall we ever be with the Lord.” The hope of His calling.

God has in mind the final wrap-up of all of history where Satan will forever have been proved the deceiver that he is, and God will forever have been demonstrated as being the redeeming, merciful loving God that He is and you and I will be exhibit A throughout all eternity that in the ages to come might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, says Paul. You’ll be God’s exhibit A, the hope of his calling is, God wants to place you as one of his shinning exhibits in the glory land to show to angels and demons and everybody else that God is right.

Paul puts it in Romans 12:2, “That you may prove what is good and what is acceptable and what is perfect namely, the will of God.” Satan said the will of God isn’t good and it isn’t acceptable and it isn’t perfect and you can better yourself by disobeying. That was the devil’s lie, he’s still telling it. God’s plan, is to show you and me off as proof that His will is good and acceptable and perfect, and that’s why He called you by His grace; the hope of His calling. We’ll come back to this the next time we get together.

Father God today, oh may we justify what you had in mind when you called us by your grace. We love you and worship you. Thank you for Jesus. Amen.

Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!

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