Bristol, Virginia

Prayers of Paul – Pt 2

Subtitle: Knowledge of Him

that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him.” (Eph 1:17)

In the first article we looked at the spirit of wisdom and revelation. They key question is what is the revelation about? In every great mystery there is something to be revealed – a hidden truth, treasure, ect. The spirit of wisdom and revelation unveils the knowledge of Him – God Himself.
Ancient Greek culture greatly valued knowledge. In fact, the world owes much to the Greeks for the advancement of math, science, the arts and other disciplines. The Khan Academy had this to say in that regard.

“The Greeks made major contributions to math and science. We owe our basic ideas about geometry and the concept of mathematical proofs to ancient Greek mathematicians such as Pythagoras, Euclid, and Archimedes. Some of the first astronomical models were developed by Ancient Greeks trying to describe planetary movement, the Earth’s axis, and the heliocentric system—a model that places the Sun at the center of the solar system. Hippocrates, another ancient Greek, is the most famous physician in antiquity. He established a medical school, wrote many medical treatises, and is— because of his systematic and empirical investigation of diseases and remedies—credited with being the founder of modern medicine. The Hippocratic oath, a medical standard for doctors, is named after him.”

You get the idea. When the Apostle Paul mentioned knowledge in our Ephesians passage he used the Greek word epígnōsis, which means “precise and correct knowledge.” It can also be translated as “acknowledgment.” It comes from two Greek words – epi – “upon, on, at, by, before” and – gnōsis – “knowledge signifies in general intelligence, understanding.” Paul viewed it as a supreme knowledge that went way beyond basic human knowledge. We can call it a true knowing.

This word was so significant to Paul that he employed in three of the four Epistle prayers found in Ephesians, Philippians and Colossians. Here they are:

that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the KNOWLEDGE of Him. (Eph 1:17)

And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in KNOWLEDGE and all discernment. (Philippians 1:9)

For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the KNOWLEDGE of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the KNOWLEDGE of God. (Colossians 1:9-10)

We can see Paul placed a heavy emphasis on the people he prayed for having that God kind of knowledge. He believed – and we are learning – to pray along these lines. We believe that this knowledge of God can run into the depths of a person, bringing healing, restoration, affirmation, freedom and more.

In Ephesians 4 Paul layed out what we call the five-fold ministries of Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers. He said their pupose was “for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.” (v.12) Paul goes on to the climax of his statement:

till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the KNOWLEDGE of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” (v.13)

We need to be praying for those that are in these offices. They allow the body of Christ to come into maturity and most importantly to come to knowledge of the Son of God. It must also be noted that we come to the knowledge of the Son of God as we sit under these ministries. Watching church online will not cut it. We must not forsake assembling together. The enemy, mainly through COVID, is seeking to divide and conquer us. But we must resist, shaking off fear and comfort, and come together. It is only in that place will we come to the knowledge of God.

In 2 Timothy chapter 3 the Apostle Paul goes into great detail about the perilious last days. Some would argue (and its hard to deny) that we are living in that time. Paul describes some of that generation.

For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!” (vv. 2-5)

The temptation is to peg this on the people of the world. But Paul was talking about people in the church. He said they have a “form of godliness” but deny God’s power. Going down a bit farther Paul makes a profound statement that requires our attention. He said those people are

always learning and never able to come to the KNOWLEDGE of the truth.” (v.7)

Here Paul made the clear distinction between learning and true knowledge. We must guard ourselves from learning that is void of true knowledge. We must also be on the watch for those who profess Christ but are only puffed up with a lot of learning.

We know from the book of Daniel that in the last days there is a great increase of knowledge. (“Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.” – Daniel 12:4) It is truly amazing to think about the rapid advancements humans have made just in the last 200 years. We have gained an incredible amount of knowledge of math, science, technology, medicine and so on. I believe this is all a part of the increase in knowledge.
All of that knowledge is great but the ultimate knowledge is the knowledge of God. It is beautiful as I see the knowledge of God increase in the body. We live in an amazing and blessed time. But, as Paul showed in 2 Timothy, we also live in very difficult times with much sin and learning. By God’s grace we must determine to set our hearts on receiving true knowledge, the kind layed out in Paul’s prayers.

FATHER, we thank you for the increase of knowledge in our time. We count it as a privilege to be a live today. We also know the enemy seeks to flood our minds and hearts with learning that doesn’t lead to You. We ask for the Spirit of Wisdom in the knowledge of You. In Jesus’ name.

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