The Scriptural Vision
When we read Ephesians 1:15-23, we read the desire and prayer of the apostle Paul concerning the saints of the Ephesian Church. Paul reminds them of the hope of God’s calling for the Church, the rich glory of His inheritance that is in the saints, and the great power which worked in and through Jesus Christ and is now at work through the body. In other words, Paul is trying to communicate the vision that he has for the churches of Ephesus. Verse 18 opens with the words, “The eyes of your understanding being enlightened…” This is spiritual vision and it is what every local assembly and every national church needs! As we read about the power of God working through the Church in the Book of Acts or the churches to which the Epistles were written, we must be careful to realize that we are part of the same Church, moved by the same Spirit, and dedicated to the same task of revival and harvest. This helps to define our own vision for the mission ahead.
Another passage helpful in this is 2 Corinthians 4:1-7:
“Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; but have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.”
In these verses Paul tells us what our source of vision is, and what it is not. He tells us that it starts with the revelation that we have a true ministry. Knowing this, we do not faint at adversity, but we persevere. It comes by way of commitment to the revelation of the truth to others, not by the hidden things of dishonesty, walking in craftiness, or in handling the Word of God deceitfully. Interestingly enough, the chapter concludes with Paul telling the Corinthians in verse 18, “While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.” Whatever we eventually claim as our vision must be God inspired and based upon scripture.
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