Sunday, April 16, 2006

Hope and Knowledge on Easter

Pastordan's incredible Word for the Week almost sparked a comment there [which has grown to a diary at Street Prophets and a post here] based on Jeff Bell's teaching on Paul's prayer for the Ephesians:

Ephesians 1:15 For this reason I too, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which exists among you and your love for all the saints, 16 do not cease giving thanks for you, while making mention of you in my prayers; 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe.
The two words in bold above are mentioned by pastordan in his excellant diary; and I think they require a little bit of study.

I will flip the order and start with
  • verb intransitive
    1. to cherish a desire with anticipation
    2. archaic : trust
  • verb transitive
    1. to desire with expectation of obtainment
    2. to expect with confidence : trust syn see expect
(C)1996 Zane Publishing, Inc. and Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. All rights reserved.
The greek word translated "hope" in Ephesians is elpiß which best means in this passage "expectation of good" or better "joyful and confident expectation of eternal salvation". This is much more in the sense of the second part of the Webster meaning: "to expect with confidence : trust".

This is not "I hope I win the lottery". This is not a wish as in "hopin' and wishin". This "expectation with confidence" - this trust - comes from the Spirit and revelation in the knowledge of Jesus which is seen through the eyes of your heart and enlightens you. The Greek word that is translated knowledge in the passage is epignosiß. Like the word "love" the Greeks had a number of words for different types of knowledge. Here Paul is asking for a "full knowledge" and "complete discernment" through the eyes of your heart

the soul or mind, as it is the fountain and seat of the thoughts, passions, desires, appetites, affections, purposes, endeavours
or as Carl Palmer said:
The human heart is the "control center" of the person. The heart controls what you do and what you want. Another person said "we live from our heart" . . . The heart is the part of us that compels us, motivates us, draws us, fuels us, and moves us.
This is not an intellectual knowledge about Jesus and God; but a complete, deep, intimate knowledge of Jesus and God "that compels us, motivates us, draws us, fuels us, and moves us".

On this Easter I can wish no more for anyone. Paul was speaking to believers in Ephesians; but here

I wish to all, believer or not, a deep, intimate vision, through the eyes of your heart, of Jesus - one that brings enlightenment and complete discernment - so that you may have a joyful and confident expectation of eternal salvation.
He is Risen - He is Risen Indeed!

Happy Easter.

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How to debate charitably (rules are links to more description of rule):
1. The Golden Rule
2. You cannot read minds
3. People are not evil
4. Debates are not for winning
5. You make mistakes
6. Not everyone cares as much as you
7. Engaging is hard work
8. Differences can be subtle
9. Give up quietly