By Oscar M. Baker
Although the prayer in Ephesians 1 is for the saints and faithful at Ephesus, nevertheless it is applicable to such folks today. In 1:17 we note that the first thing necessary is that we have the gift of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Christ. Trying to learn about the mystery without learning Christ is about as foolish as some who want the kingdom without the King. The mystery of Christ can never be fully known without a grasp of the dispensation of the mystery. Neither can the dispensation of the mystery be known without a full revelation of the mystery of Christ. Study these two mysteries in 3:1-6.
Then before the prayer is opened there is an additional requirement, and that is that the eyes of the understanding be enlightened. Those spiritually blind can never get to see the mystery. Note that education is of no help. It is the spiritual realm that there must be the light, the understanding.
1. The hope of His calling. In the dispensation of promise the highest revelation of Christ is His position as King of kings and Lord of lords here on the earth. But now in the dispensation of the mystery we find a purpose for the ages in which Christ will be over all things, both in heaven and earth, and that these things will be gathered together as one. See verse 10. He is called to be the highest potentate in all the universe. And the purpose seems to be that God shall have the glory.
2. The riches of the glory of His inheritance in the holiest of all. We know nothing of the character of the place that is called the holiest of all. We do know that the tabernacle in the wilderness was a pattern of things in the heavens, but the pattern is all we have had revealed to us. We know nothing of heavenly geography, its materials, and its climate. But we do know that there are riches there and that they are a part of Christ's inheritance. We also find that the saints and faithful are made meet (fit or worthy) to be partakers of that inheritance (Col.1:12). In Eph. 2:6 we learn in these heavenly places, the holy of holies. And much more, in the ages to come will be piled up kindness upon kindness. Those in the dispensation of promise were partakers with Abraham of an inheritance which was the land that was promised. That we can see and understand to some extent. But in the dispensation of the mystery are things far higher and greater than Abraham ever dreamed of.
3. The exceeding greatness of His power to usward who believe. This is resurrection power. But it is only for those who believe. There is no record that in any dispensation resurrection power will be exercised in behalf of those who do not believe. This power raised Christ from the dead and set Him at the right hand of God in heavenly places. This power does the same thing for the believer in the dispensation of the mystery. This is identification with Him. Truly God is gracious to us because of the work of the Son. We should be thankful.