The Eyes of the Heart

by Mike Ratliff

15 For this reason I too, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which exists among you and your love for all the saints, 16 do not cease giving thanks for you, while making mention of you in my prayers; 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. 18 I 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, 19 and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might 20 which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. 22 And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, 23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all. Ephesians 1:15-23 (NASB) 

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, “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 NASB, “I 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…”

Here is Ephesians 1:18 from the NA28 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 NA28 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 (phōtizō), which means, “to enlighten or give understanding.” The third word is the noun ὀφθαλμοὺς, which is the accusative, plural of ὀφθαλμός (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 (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 see this when a self-appointed “prophet” tells us that God wants us to stop our discernment ministry and simply minister to the people in our hometown. What’s wrong with that? It’s wrong because  the person who does says they have that “word from God” and we have to believe them because they said so. Ironically these same “prophets” with their “word from God” rebukes us 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!

4 thoughts on “The Eyes of the Heart

  1. Whenever I am struggling with the unbelievers in my life, it always seems that you write a post that mirrors what is happening. I find a lot of solace here. I am grateful for the solid spiritual perspectives I learn here. My prayers are with you.

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  2. 1Cor 3:19-23 (HCSB)
    For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God, since it is written: He catches the wise in their craftiness; and again, The Lord knows that the reasonings of the wise are meaningless. So no one should boast in human leaders, for everything is yours —whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or things present or things to come — everything is yours, and you belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God.

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