Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Ephesians 1:18

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

The eyes of your understanding being enlightened - The understanding is that power or faculty in the soul by which knowledge or information is received, and the recipient power is here termed the Eyes of the understanding; and we learn from this that ὁπερ ὁ οφθαλμος εν τῳ σωματι, τουτο ὁ νους εν τῃ ψυχη, as Philo expresses it: What the eye is to the body, the understanding is to the soul; and that as the eye is not light in itself, and can discern nothing but by the means of light shining, not only on the objects to be viewed, but into the eye itself; so the understanding of man can discern no sacred thing of or by itself, but sees by the influence of the Spirit of wisdom and revelation; for without the influence of God's Holy Spirit no man ever became wise unto salvation, no more than a man ever discerned an object, (no matter how perfect soever his eye might have been), without the instrumentality of light.

Instead of της διανοιας, of your understanding, της καρδιας, of your heart, is the reading of ABDEFG, and several others; also both the Syriac, all the Arabic, the Coptic, the Ethiopic, Armenian, Sahidic, Slavonian, Vulgate, and Itala, besides several of the fathers. The eyes of your Heart is undoubtedly the true reading.

The hope of his calling - That you may clearly discern the glorious and important objects of your hope, to the enjoyment of which God has called or invited you.

The riches of the glory of his inheritance - That you may understand what is the glorious abundance of the spiritual things to which you are entitled, in consequence of being made children of God; for if children, then heirs, heirs of that glorious inheritance which God has provided for the saints - for all genuine Christians, whether formerly Jews or Gentiles. On the chief subject of this verse, see the notes on Galatians 4:6, Galatians 4:7; (note).

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

The eyes of your understanding being enlightened - The construction here in the Greek is, probably, “that he may give you ( δώη dōē Ephesians 1:17) the Spirit of wisdom, etc. - eyes of the understanding enlightened,” etc. Or the phrase, “the eyes of your understanding being enlightened,” may be in the accusative absolute, which Koppe and Bloomfield prefer. The phrase, “the eyes of the understanding,” is a figure that is common in all languages. Thus, Philo says, “What the eye is to the body, that is the mind to the soul;” compare Matthew 6:22. The eye is the instrument by which we see; and in like manner the understanding is that by which we perceive truth. The idea here is, that Paul not only wished their “hearts” to be right, but he wished their “understanding” to be right also. Religion has much to do in enlightening the mind. Indeed, its effect there is not less striking and decisive than it is on the heart. The understanding has been blinded by sin. The views which people entertain of themselves and of God are narrow and wrong. The understanding is enfeebled and perverted by the practice of sin. It is limited in its operations by the necessity of the case, and by the impossibility of fully comprehending the great truths which pertain to the divine administration. One of the first effects of true religion is on the understanding. It enlarges its views of truth; gives it more exalted conceptions of God; corrects its errors; raises it up toward the great Fountain of love. And nowhere is the effect of the true religion more apparent than in shedding light on the intellect of the world, and restoring the weak and perverted mind to a just view of the proportion of things, and to the true knowledge of God.

That ye may know what is the hope of his calling - What is the full import of that hope to which he has called and invited you by his Spirit and his promises. The meaning here is, that it would be an inestimable privilege to be made fully acquainted with the benefits of the Christian hope, and to be permitted to understand fully what Christians have a right to expect in the world of glory. This is the first thing which the apostle desires they should fully understand,

And what the riches of the glory of his inheritance - This is the second thing which Paul wishes them to understand. There is a force in this language which can be found perhaps nowhere else than in the writings of Paul. His mind is full, and language is burdened and borne down under the weight of his thoughts; see the notes at 2 Corinthians 4:17. On the word “riches” used here, see the notes at Ephesians 1:7. The phrase “riches of glory” means “glorious wealth;” or, as we would say, “how rich and glorious!” The meaning is, that there is an abundance - an infinitude of wealth. It is not such a possession as man may be heir to in this world, which is always limited from the necessity of the case, and which cannot be enjoyed long; it is infinite and inexhaustible; compare notes, Romans 2:4. The “inheritance” hero referred to is eternal life. notes, Romans 8:17.

In the saints - Among the saints. note, 1 Corinthians 1:2.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
God has laid up spiritual blessings for us in his Son the Lord Jesus; but requires us to draw them out and fetch them in by prayer. Even the best Christians need to be prayed for: and while we hear of the welfare of Christian friends, we should pray for them. Even true believers greatly want heavenly wisdom. Are not the best of us unwilling to come under God's yoke, though there is no other way to find rest for the soul? Do we not for a little pleasure often part with our peace? And if we dispute less, and prayed more with and for each other, we should daily see more and more what is the hope of our calling, and the riches of the Divine glory in this inheritance. It is desirable to feel the mighty power of Divine grace, beginning and carrying on the work of faith in our souls. But it is difficult to bring a soul to believe fully in Christ, and to venture its all, and the hope of eternal life, upon his righteousness. Nothing less than Almighty power will work this in us. Here is signified that it is Christ the Saviour, who supplies all the necessities of those who trust in him, and gives them all blessings in the richest abundance. And by being partakers of Christ himself, we come to be filled with the fulness of grace and glory in him. How then do those forget themselves who seek for righteousness out of him! This teaches us to come to Christ. And did we know what we are called to, and what we might find in him, surely we should come and be suitors to him. When feeling our weakness and the power of our enemies, we most perceive the greatness of that mighty power which effects the conversion of the believer, and is engaged to perfect his salvation. Surely this will constrain us by love to live to our Redeemer's glory.
Ellen G. White
Selected Messages Book 3, 164

As I presented the goodness, the love, the tender compassion of our heavenly Father, I felt that the Spirit of the Lord was resting not only upon me but upon the people. Light and freedom and blessing came to the hearers and there was hearty response to the words spoken. The social meeting that followed evidenced that the Word had found lodgment in the hearts of the hearers. Many bore testimony that this day was the happiest of their lives, and it was indeed a precious season, for we knew the presence of the Lord Jesus was in the assembly and that to bless. I knew that the special revealing of the Spirit of God was for a purpose, to quell the doubts, to roll back the tide of unbelief which had been admitted into hearts and minds concerning Sister White and the work the Lord had given her to do. 3SM 164.1

Many Refreshed, but Not all—This was a season of refreshing to many souls, but it did not abide upon some. Just as soon as they saw that Sister White did not agree with all their ideas and harmonize with the propositions and resolutions to be voted upon in that conference, the evidence they had received had as little weight with some as did the words spoken by Christ in the synagogue to the Nazarenes. Their hearts [the hearers at Nazareth] were touched by the Spirit of God. They heard as it were God speaking to them through His Son. They saw, they felt the divine influence of the Spirit of God and all witnessed to the gracious words that proceeded from His mouth. But Satan was at their side with his unbelief and they admitted the questioning and the doubts, and unbelief followed. The Spirit of God was quenched. In their madness they would have hurled Jesus from the precipice had not God protected Him that their rage did not harm Him. When Satan once has control of the mind he makes fools and demons of those who have been esteemed as excellent men. Prejudice, pride, and stubbornness are terrible elements to take possession of the human mind. 3SM 164.2

Ellen White Counsels With Some of the Leaders—I had received a long epistle from Elder Butler, [The president of the General Conference was detained in Battle Creek because of illness.] which I read carefully. I was surprised at its contents. I did not know what to do with this letter, but as the same sentiments expressed in it seemed to be working and controlling my brother ministers I called a few of them together in an upper room and read this letter to them. They did not, any of them, seem to be surprised at its contents, several saying they knew this was the mind of Elder Butler, for they had heard him state the same things. 3SM 165.1

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Ellen G. White
SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 4 (EGW), 1180

Word Flows Into Messengers’ Hearts—[Zechariah 4:11-14 quoted.] These empty themselves into the golden bowls, which represent the hearts of the living messengers of God, who bear the Word of the Lord to the people in warnings and entreaties. The Word itself must be as represented, the golden oil, emptied from the two olive trees that stand by the Lord of the whole earth. This is the baptism by the Holy Spirit with fire. This will open the soul of unbelievers to conviction. The wants of the soul can be met only by the working of the Holy Spirit of God. Man can of himself do nothing to satisfy the longings and meet the aspirations of the heart (Manuscript 109, 1897). 4BC 1180.1

12 (Isaiah 58:8). To Constantly Receive, One Must Constantly Impart—The capacity for receiving the holy oil from the two olive trees which empty themselves, is by the receiver emptying that holy oil out of himself in word and in action to supply the necessities of other souls. Work, precious, satisfying work—to be constantly receiving and constantly imparting! The capacity for receiving is only kept up by imparting (NL No. 12, pp. 3, 4). 4BC 1180.2

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, 309

But what is this compared with the joy that will be theirs in the great day of final revealing? “Now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face;” now we know in part, but then we shall know even as also we are known. 1 Corinthians 13:12. 6T 309.1

It is the reward of Christ's workers to enter into His joy. That joy, to which Christ Himself looks forward with eager desire, is presented in His request to His Father: “I will that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am.” John 17:24. 6T 309.2

The angels were waiting to welcome Jesus as He ascended after His resurrection. The heavenly host longed to greet again their loved Commander, returned to them from the prison house of death. Eagerly they pressed about Him as He entered the gates of heaven. But He waved them back. His heart was with the lonely, sorrowing band of disciples whom He had left upon Olivet. It is still with His struggling children on earth, who have the battle with the destroyer yet to wage. “Father,” He says, “I will that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am.” 6T 309.3

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Ellen G. White
That I May Know Him, 369.5

Christ's redeemed ones are His jewels, His precious and peculiar treasure. “They shall be as the stones of a crown”—“the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints” (Zechariah 9:16; Ephesians 1:18). In them “he shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied.” Christ looks upon His people in their purity and perfection as the reward of all His sufferings, His humiliation, and His love, and the supplement of His glory—Christ the great center, from whom radiates all glory.40 TMK 369.5

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