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Ephesians 1:17

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

That the God of our Lord Jesus - Jesus Christ, as man and mediator, has the Father for his God and Father: and it is in reference to this that he himself says: I ascend unto my Father and your Father, and to my God and your God; John 20:17.

The Father of glory - The author and giver of that glory which you expect at the end of your Christian race. This may be a Hebraism for glorious Father, but the former appears to be the best sense.

The Spirit of wisdom and revelation - I pray that God may give you his Holy Spirit, by whom his will is revealed to men, that he may teach and make you wise unto salvation, that you may continue to acknowledge him, Christ Jesus, as your only Lord and Savior.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ - The God who has sent the Lord Jesus into the world, and appointed him as the Mediator between himself and man. The particular reason why Paul here speaks of him as “the God of the Lord Jesus” is, that he prays that they might be further acquainted with the Redeemer, and be enlightened in regard to the great work which he came to do.

The Father of glory - The glorious Father, that is, the Father who is worthy to be praised and honored.

May give unto you the Spirit of wisdom - May make you wise to understand the great doctrines of the religion of the Redeemer.

And revelation - That is, revealing to you more and more of the character of the Redeemer, and of the nature and results of his work. It is probable here that by the word “Spirit” the apostle refers to the Holy Spirit as the Author of all wisdom, and the Revealer of all truth. His prayer is, that God would grant to them the Holy Spirit to make them wise, and to reveal his will to them.

In the knowledge of him - Margin, “for the acknowledgment.” That is, in order that you may more fully acknowledge him, or know him more intimately and thoroughly. They had already made high attainments Ephesians 1:15, but Paul felt that they might make still higher; and the idea here is, that however far Christians may have advanced in knowledge and in love, there is an unfathomed depth of knowledge which they may still explore, and which they should be exhorted still to attempt to fathom. How far was Paul from supposing that the Ephesians had attained to perfection!

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
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 8, 335

To all who are willing for self to be humbled are given God's promises: 8T 335.1

“I will make all My goodness pass before thee, and will proclaim the name of Jehovah before thee.” Exodus 33:19, A. R. V. 8T 335.2

“Call unto Me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.” Jeremiah 33:3. 8T 335.3

“Exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think,” will be given unto us, “the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him,” that we “may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge,” that we may be “filled with all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:20; 1:17; Ephesians 3:18, 19. 8T 335.4

This is the knowledge which God is inviting us to receive, and beside which all else is vanity and nothingness. 8T 335.5

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 104

We should come into a position where every difference will be melted away. If I think I have light, I shall do my duty in presenting it. Suppose I consulted others concerning the message the Lord would have me give to the people; the door might be closed so that the light might not reach the ones to whom God had send it. When Jesus rode into Jerusalem, “the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen; saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest. And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto Him, Master, rebuke Thy disciples. And He answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.”—The Review and Herald, February 18, 1890. TM 104.1

*****

My brethren, in His great mercy and love God has given you great light, and Christ says to you, “Freely ye have received, freely give.” Let the light bestowed on you shine forth to those in darkness. Let us rejoice and be glad that Christ has not only given us His word, but has given us also the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of God, and that in His strength we may be more than conquerors. Christ is saying: “Come unto Me. To Me belong right counsel and sound judgment. I have understanding and strength for you.” By faith we must rest in Christ, remembering the words of one who was inspired of God to write, “Thy gentleness hath made me great.” Ask God to give you much of the oil of His grace. Carefully consider every word, whether it be written or spoken.—The Review and Herald, December 22, 1904. TM 104.2

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Ellen G. White
The Great Controversy, 9

For the believers at Ephesus the apostle prayed, “That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him: the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of His calling, and ... what is the exceeding greatness of His power to usward who believe.” Ephesians 1:17-19. The ministry of the divine Spirit in enlightening the understanding and opening to the mind the deep things of God's holy word, was the blessing which Paul thus besought for the Ephesian church. GC ix.1

After the wonderful manifestation of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost, Peter exhorted the people to repentance and baptism in the name of Christ, for the remission of their sins; and he said: “Ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.” Acts 2:38, 39. GC ix.2

In immediate connection with the scenes of the great day of God, the Lord by the prophet Joel has promised a special manifestation of His Spirit. Joel 2:28. This prophecy received a partial fulfillment in the outpouring of the Spirit on the Day of Pentecost; but it will reach its full accomplishment in the manifestation of divine grace which will attend the closing work of the gospel. GC ix.3

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, 740

All the paternal love which has come down from generation to generation through the channel of human hearts, all the springs of tenderness which have opened in the souls of men, are but as a tiny rill to the boundless ocean when compared with the infinite, exhaustless love of God. Tongue cannot utter it; pen cannot portray it. You may meditate upon it every day of your life; you may search the Scriptures diligently in order to understand it; you may summon every power and capability that God has given you, in the endeavor to comprehend the love and compassion of the heavenly Father; and yet there is an infinity beyond. You may study that love for ages; yet you can never fully comprehend the length and the breadth, the depth and the height, of the love of God in giving His Son to die for the world. Eternity itself can never fully reveal it. Yet as we study the Bible and meditate upon the life of Christ and the plan of redemption, these great themes will open to our understanding more and more. And it will be ours to realize the blessing which Paul desired for the Ephesian church when he prayed “that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him; the eyes of your understanding being enlightened, that ye may know what is the hope of His calling, and what the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power to usward who believe.” 5T 740.1

It is Satan's constant study to keep the minds of men occupied with those things which will prevent them from obtaining the knowledge of God. He seeks to keep them dwelling upon what will darken the understanding and discourage the soul. We are in a world of sin and corruption, surrounded by influences that tend to allure or dishearten the followers of Christ. The Saviour said: “Because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.” Many fix their eyes upon the terrible wickedness existing around them, the apostasy and weakness on every side, and they talk of these things until their hearts are filled with sadness and doubt. They keep uppermost before the mind the masterly working of the archdeceiver and dwell upon the discouraging features of their experience, while they seem to lose sight of the heavenly Father's power and His matchless love. All this is as Satan would have it. It is a mistake to think of the enemy of righteousness as clothed with so great power, when we dwell so little upon the love of God and His might. We must talk of the mightiness of Christ. We are utterly powerless to rescue ourselves from the grasp of Satan; but God has appointed a way of escape. The Son of the Highest has strength to fight the battle for us, and “through Him that loved us” we may come off “more than conquerors.” 5T 740.2

There is no spiritual strength for us in constantly brooding over our weakness and backslidings, and bemoaning the power of Satan. This great truth must be established as a living principle in our minds and hearts—the efficacy of the offering made for us; that God can and does save to the uttermost all who come unto Him complying with the conditions specified in His word. Our work is to place our will on the side of God's will. Then, through the blood of the atonement, we become partakers of the divine nature; through Christ we are children of God, and we have the assurance that God loves us even as He loved His Son. We are one with Jesus. We walk where Christ leads the way; He has power to dispel the dark shadows which Satan casts across our path; and, in place of darkness and discouragement, the sunlight of His glory shines into our hearts. 5T 741.1

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 7, 154

This is the experience needed by those who labor in all our institutions. There is danger that they will fail of maintaining a vital connection with God, of being sanctified through the truth. It is thus that they lose a sense of the power of the truth, lose the ability to discriminate between the sacred and the common. 7T 154.1

My brethren in responsible positions, may the Lord not only anoint your eyes that they may see, but pour into your hearts the holy oil that from the two olive branches flows through the golden pipes into the golden bowl which feeds the lamps of the sanctuary. May He “give unto you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him: the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of His calling, ... and what is the exceeding greatness of His power to usward who believe.” Ephesians 1:17-19. 7T 154.2

As faithful householders, give meat in due season to the household of God. Present truth to the people. Work as if in full view of the whole universe of heaven. We have no time to lose—not a moment. Important issues must soon be met, and we need to be hidden in the cleft of the rock, that we may see Jesus and be quickened by His Holy Spirit. 7T 154.3

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