Phil Cox


(Bible quotations are from the NIV unless otherwise stated)

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Stubbington Baptist Church
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The Greatest Wisdom

26th July 2010

Paul wrote:

Ephesians 1v16-17
I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.

How good it is for pastors and apostles to give thanks for the people in their care, as well as pray for them. Every member of our church is a gift from God to us. Sometimes pastors forget this, and sometimes people in their care forget it. But it's always true.

Paul says that his constant prayer for those he cares for is that God may give them the Spirit of wisdom and revelation. How much prayer do pastors make for people's health and finances and relationships? It's good, of course, to pray for these things. But it's a higher priority to pray for people to receive the Spirit of wisdom and revelation.

Of course, all Christians have been given the Holy Spirit (Romans 8v9) and, of course, not all Christians know the fulness of the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5v18). In fact not one of us has received as much of the Holy Spirit as is possible. Not one of us has all the wisdom and revelation that is there for us. So Paul's prayer is a continuing prayer, because no matter how much wisdom and revelation they - or we - have received, there is more to be received.

Beware the Christian who thinks he knows everything.

But what is the highest purpose of all the wisdom and revelation that God wants to give us? Paul tells us it's so that you may know him [Jesus] better.

We can get so wrapped up in everyday life: our jobs, our families, our health problems, our relationships, our finances, even our hobbies. We can spend so much time watching television or reading the newspaper. We can neglect our relationship with Jesus Christ. This is the opposite of wisdom. This is foolishness.

True wisdom is the knowledge of Him who created us and redeemed us.

Paul then writes:

Ephesians 1v18-19a
I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.

This enlightenment comes from God, by the Holy Spirit, through the scriptures and in prayer. May God make us wise, so that we will spend time seeking these things, and leave foolishness behind.

How great is God's power for us who believe?

Ephesians 1v19b-21
That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.