DAILY DEVOTIONAL, THURSDAY, MAY 05, 2022

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that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the accurate knowledge of him. (Ephesians 1:17)

That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Father who has sent the Lord Jesus Christ into the world and appointed him as the Mediator between man and himself. “The God” of our Lord Jesus is the One Jesus came to make known. (John 1:18) He is the One Jesus called “My God” (Matt 27:46; John 20:17). He is the One that Jesus and Paul addressed their prayers as “my God.”

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The Father of glory. The glorious Father is worthy of our praise and is to be honored. A Handbook on Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians says, “The genitive phrase ‘of glory’ functions as an attributive adjective, the glorious Father. The noun “glory,” with reference to God, always has an implicit reference to the visible manifestation among his people of God’s saving power.”[1]

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May give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation. “To all the wise of heart, [that is, skilled workers] whom [God has] given a gift of skill [that is, filled with the spirit of wisdom].” (Ex. 28:3; 35:30-35) Joshua became “full of the spirit of wisdom” as he was to replace Moses. (Deut. 34:9) And  Jesus Christ would possess “the spirit of wisdom and understanding.” (Isa. 11:2) And here we are told that the believers would also possess “a spirit of wisdom.” This is not a reference to the Holy Spirit giving believers wisdom and accurate knowledge and that they would grasp these things without the need of being taught. If the Holy Spirit were miraculous supplying believers with wisdom and accurate knowledge so that they would grasp these things without the need of being taught, there would have been no need for the inspired Word of God.

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Wisdom: (חָכְמָה chokmah; Gr. σοφία sophia) is sound judgment based on knowledge and understanding. It is the balanced application of that knowledge to answer difficulties, achieve objectives, sidestep or ward off dangers, and help others accomplish the same. The wise person is often contrasted with the fool or stupid person. Wisdom has the capacity to understand and then act wisely and so have skill in living, adhering to the standards set out in the Word of God. Wisdom belongs to the person who has accumulated knowledge, intellect, or enlightenment. – Deut. 4:6; 1Ki 5:9; Deut. 32:6; Prov. 11:29; Eccles. 6:8; Col. 1:28; 4:5.

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In the accurate knowledge of him. The Greek word (ἐπίγνωσις epignōsis) behind the English rendering accurate knowledge is a strengthened or intensified form of gnosis (epi, meaning “additional”), meaning “true,” “real,” “full,” “complete,” or “accurate,” depending upon the context. Paul and Peter alone use epignosis. Let’s reflect on ‘the spirit of wisdom and revelation in accurate knowledge’ by looking at Max Anders’ thoughts, “A spirit of wisdom is given through the Holy Spirit, but this spirit probably does not refer to the Holy Spirit himself, even though the word is capitalized in the NIV. The Ephesian believers were already possessed by the Holy Spirit. Nor does it seem that Paul was speaking of the human spirit, which everyone already has. The most likely meaning is that he is using the word spirit to mean ‘an attitude, a disposition, a mind-set,’ as we mean when we say, ‘The cheerleaders want to give the student body a spirit of enthusiasm.’ Jesus used ‘spirit’ in this fashion in the Beatitudes when he said, ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit,’ meaning, ‘Blessed are those who have an attitude of humility.’ [It can also mean blessed are those aware of their spiritual needs. – Andrews] “Wisdom is insight into the true nature of things. This wisdom is not the ‘cause/effect’ wisdom that the world can know; rather, it is the wisdom that stands for knowledge and understanding, of things as they truly are, as, for example, we see in Proverbs 9:10, ‘The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.’”[2]

[1] Robert G. Bratcher and Eugene Albert Nida, A Handbook on Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians, UBS Handbook Series (New York: United Bible Societies, 1993), 30.

[2] Max Anders, Galatians-Colossians, vol. 8, Holman New Testament Commentary (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1999), 104.

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