The Hope of His Calling
A Sermon on Ephesians 1:18
18I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,
18The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,
Christians can often feel distant from God. What is their response when coldness towards spiritual matters creeps into their heart? Does their assurance waver? How can they have a steady anchor for their Christian life? Rather than wait for another experience, the prayer of the apostle Paul for Christians is that they may know the hope of their calling. This is not a general hopefulness, but hope in God. More specifically, hope in God’s calling of them. This will have a profound effect on the assurance says Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones. In this sermon on Ephesians 1:18 titled “The Hope of His Calling,” Dr. Lloyd-Jones expounds this great prayer of Paul and carefully navigates between the general call of God in the gospel for all and the effectual call of the Holy Spirit for believers. To find assurance, one must look to the covenant-keeping God and Scripture. The Christian must look to the God in whom there is no variation or change, to the Father who will keep His children by His grace until the very end. Dr. Lloyd-Jones challenges Christians to consider these wonderful truths of Scripture and pray this for themselves.
- The apostle Paul is praying for the Ephesians that the eyes of their understanding may be enlightened.
- He wants them to know three things in particular:
- The hope of God's calling
- The riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints
- The exceeding greatness of His power toward believers
- Paul reminds them that spiritual knowledge is only possible through the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit. Without Him, we are in darkness and ignorance.
- The "eyes of your understanding" refers to having a spiritual understanding that permeates our whole being, not just an intellectual understanding. Our natural understanding is darkened until enlightened by the Spirit.
- Paul is praying for believers, showing we always need the Spirit's enlightenment and spiritual growth is progressive. We should pray for increasing knowledge of God.
- The "hope of His calling" refers to the assurance and certainty we have in our salvation by God's effectual calling. This is opposed to the general call of the gospel that goes out to all.
- Assurance comes through:
- Knowing the unchanging character and covenant of God who called us
- Understanding our calling is part of God's eternal plan, so if called, we are justified and glorified
- Grasping the truth of our regeneration and union with Christ by faith
- We should rest in Christ's unchanging grace, even when we can't see or feel Him. Our hope is in His oath, covenant, and blood.
The Book of Ephesians
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.