By Stan Brown
Ephesians 1:17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him.
Paul now expresses the request of his prayer in a nutshell. Ultimately the request concerns knowledge of Him. This is the same thing that John wrote about in I John. Paul wants us to know God in an extremely personal manner, but before we get there let’s examine what Paul says about that knowledge. First, the source of that knowledge is God. There is no other source and without including God all knowledge remains incomplete. He is designated as the God of our Lord Jesus Christ. This phrase is unique as it is used only here in the New Testament. It uniquely designates the unity of essence of both the Father and the Son. He is designated as the Father of glory. He is the One to whom all glory belongs. I do not have time to even begin to unpack all that means. Simply stated (if that is possible) Paul goes right to the source of all glory as he makes His request for us.
Paul asks that God may give to us the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation. In doing so Paul brings the Holy Spirit into the mix. Wisdom suggests insight into the facts which were already revealed while revelation speaks of those things which in the past were hidden in God and are now being revealed to us through the Holy Spirit. This is the major reason that it must be the Holy Spirit who is in view in this verse since this revelation can only be disclosed by God Himself. It is true that as believers, we already have the indwelling Holy Spirit yet Paul still requests that the Holy Spirit will enable us to know the deep things of God through insight into His previous revelation and the unfolding of those things now being revealed.
Paul requests that we might have a profound knowledge of Him. Paul requests that we might have this relationship with God that is freely available to us as believers. Paul wrote to the Corinthian believers, For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God (1Cor. 2:10-11). The request is that God will provide to us all the resources necessary to fellowship with Him. He has provided us with the Holy Spirit.
Paul is asking for us the same things that John wants us to have. Paul makes the request to God on behalf of believers. He asks that we not only possess eternal life but also revel in the deep, intimate and personal knowledge of God as the Holy Spirit gives both insight into God and reveals deep, hidden things about God. Paul includes all three persons of the Trinity in this prayer which requests intimate knowledge of Him.