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Ephesians, Chapter One, Lesson Six

STRENGTH IN CHRIST            Page 2
V.18 (Cont'd.)

** What is Paul's prayerful request for us this week?

"that the eyes of your heart my be enlightened"

** What does the heart represent in this expression?

In our culture today, the heart speaks of the seat of emotions. The "Hallmark" greeting card industry thrives on this understanding of the use of the word heart. In the Hebrew/Greek culture of Paul's day it was quite different. The heart (kardia) always referred to the "center of knowledge, understanding, thinking and wisdom". They used a totally different word (splanchnon) for emotions. It meant bowels and was saying that you feel your emotions in your gut rather than your heart.

** So in asking that God would enlighten the "eyes of your heart", was Paul hoping that Christians would "feel" just wonderful about the hope of God's calling and get all goose bumpily?

No, the apostle is calling for Christians to have a clear, thought out understanding of what God has done through the sacrifice of His Son. Paul wants us to use our mental capacities to fully appreciate and then respond to God's marvelous grace.

All see - Proverbs 23:4-8 and Proverbs 4:20-27

Back in Ephesians 1:18

** Paul asks for our hearts to be enlightened. What does that word mean to you? What do you think of when you consider its application to your thinking process?

Lit. - "to give light, illumine or to bring to the light". It means that God has "turned on the lights" in our thinking process!

** Who does that for us?

The Holy Spirit of Christ, since He (Jesus) is the light.
cf. John 8:12, 9:5, 12:35-36 and John 16:8

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