The Eyes of the Heart

by Mike Ratliff

For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all. (Ephesians 1:15-23 ESV)

I have used the term “Spiritual Blindness” quite a bit here in my posts and I have done so assuming that you all know what I am talking about. There are times, however, when I am utterly amazed at the depth of spiritual blindness in some professing Christians. I am not God. I am not omniscient so I do not know if some of these people are false believers or if they are simply very immature. If I knew them more personally perhaps I would know, but, in any case, when someone professes to be a Christian, but holds the view that “we are not under law but under grace” (Romans 6:14), therefore, we need not bother with the law at all. We may do whatever we please even if it is condemned in Scripture. This is the error of antinomianism. That term, antinomianism, means lawlessness – being against law. Those who are afflicted with this disease are so because God has not enlightened the eyes of their hearts with His truth. 

Here is Ephesians 1:18 from the ESV, “having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints…”

Here is Ephesians 1:18 from the NA27 Greek text, “πεφωτισμένους τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς τῆς καρδίας [ὑμῶν] εἰς τὸ εἰδέναι ὑμᾶς τίς ἐστιν ἡ ἐλπὶς τῆς κλήσεως αὐτοῦ, τίς ὁ πλοῦτος τῆς δόξης τῆς κληρονομίας αὐτοῦ ἐν τοῖς ἁγίοις”

Here is my translation of Ephesians 1:18 from NA27 text, “Having had the eyes of your hearts enlightened to know the hope of His calling, which is the wealth of the glory of His inheritance in the saints.”

How do Christians come “to know” the hope of His calling? We must have the eyes of our hearts enlightened. What does that mean? The first five words in the Greek text, πεφωτισμένους τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς τῆς καρδίας literally say, “having been enlightened the eyes of the heart…” The first word is the verb πεφωτισμένους, which is the perfect, passive, accusative, participle of φωτίζω or phōtizō, which means, “to enlighten or give understanding.” The third word is the noun ὀφθαλμοὺς, which is the accusative, plural of ὀφθαλμός or ophthalmos, which refers to the eyes, but is used here and throughout the Bible analogously to speak of the “eyes of the mind, that is, the ability to perceive and understand.” Of course, the last word in this phrase confirms this for it is καρδίας the plural form of καρδία or kardia, which is, of course, the Greek word for “heart.” This is not the physical heart of a person, but the spiritual heart that is the real being within each of us that is either alive in Christ or dead in trespasses and sins. Those whose hearts are alive in Christ are also those whose hearts that have been enlightened to know the hope of His calling, which is the wealth of the glory of His inheritance in the saints. Of course, the job of teaching these truths falls on those of us who have been given the spiritual gift of teaching from God’s Word. Of course, the Holy Spirit applies these truths to the heart.

Now, back to the extremes we are witnessing in the visible church in our time like rampant antinomianism in both the liberal extreme as we saw above and the legalistic extreme called gnostic spiritualism in which those in this form of darkness say that there is a secret knowledge or leading of the Spirit that can circumvent the revealed, written will of God. We saw this the other day when my friend Ken Silva received that so-called “prophecy” to stop his discernment ministry and simply minister to the people in his hometown. Why? Because the person with that “word from God” said so. In that same “word from God” this person rebuked Ken for doing exactly what we are commanded to do in scripture as those who discern between false prophets and true teachers of the Word of God.

In any case, those who have had the eyes of their hearts enlightened by God to know His truth are keyed to finishing this race. Their focus is on God and eternity, not the here and now as what is all in all. I think many of us are still having those ties severed by God so we will be usable to Him in the upcoming Kingdom battles. How useful could we be to our Lord in the Kingdom and this Truth War if we are all about being the coolest blogger or commenter on the Internet or whatever? I doubt if our Lord really values those fellows who are glib and cool and are bent on embarrassing and silencing their critics with their sarcasm and wit rather than being His tool to enlighten the darkness by expounding His truth in love to those He draws to hear and read. Do you really think our Lord is impressed with certain bloggers whose wit and sarcasm and coolness are the big draw? The truth may not be so cool to the world, but for those of you hungry for it, you are welcome here any time. Please pray that God will continue to use me in this Truth War for His glory alone.

Soli Deo Gloria!

 

12 thoughts on “The Eyes of the Heart

  1. Dear Mike,
    Be blessed to find yourself in good company!

    Currently reading Memoir Of John Bunyan by John S. Roberts and he writes; “‘Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?’ is a question constantly being put when a humble son of nature, by the sheer force of inherent genius, thrusts himself among the immortals. After generations have passed, the mere cirucmstance of life of a great man are forgotten, and he comes to be thought of only in relation to his work. This was long deferred in Bunyan’s case, as more than a hundred years after his death, we find [William] Cowper [famous hymnist] stating that he could not put the now glorious name of Bunyan into his verse for fear of provoking a sneer.” pg.19 John Bunyan was a “nothing” as far as this world was concerned, but God chose to use him in his weakness and humility.

    “For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong.” 1 Corinthians 1:26-27

    We are BLESSED to be kept weak and humble and ignored in this world, lest it would become a snare to our souls.

    Blessings in the Strong name of Jesus,
    charisse

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  2. 2 Timothy 2

    19Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.

    20But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour.

    21If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.

    22Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

    23But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes.

    24And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,

    25In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;

    26And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.

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  3. I’m a bit immature and I want to know more, but there is so much confusion and so many complications that sometimes I simply don’t understand. I often read Christian blogs and find some very hard to understand, I wish they could explain it better. But why it is so complicated? And maybe some Christian don’t understand because of this, or don’t have time to read so much, they became false Christians, or very immature.

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  4. Puzzling Christian. I would agree with your first statement after looking at your blog. Your focus is all over the place primarily because you are all about self rather than all about Christ and His glory. Seek Him and His glory. Seek to line yourself up with His will in all things instead of seeking what you want first. That is the key. Also, those opinion surveys are simply that, opinions. God doesn’t care about our opinions.

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