Hope, Riches, and Power

 

          Though considered one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, the temple of Diana was a shabby shack when correctly compared to the temple built by Jesus of Nazareth.

          In Ephesians 1:18-19, the apostle Paul gives three ways Jesus’ glorious temple is exponentially superior to Diana’s two-bit temple: hope, riches, and power.

          His fervent prayer for his readers is for “the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power” (Ephesians 1:18-19).

          Hope. Diana’s earthly wealth and splendor offer no genuine hope. Peace of mind and confidence about the future do not arise from an abundance of the things you possess. Moth and rust destroy earthly treasures; thieves break in and seek to steal them. Christ’s hope—legitimate, confident expectation about the blessedness of the future based upon His word—is immune to moth, rust, and materially minded thieves.

          Riches. No stock market can track God’s riches. He has invested His wealth in the imperishable, spiritual assets of godliness and holiness. The dividends on these investments are enormous in this life and incalculable in the life to come, because “godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come” (1 Timothy 4:8). The eternal, imperishable reward of genuine holiness is seeing the Lord (Hebrews 12:14).

          Power. The divine power which reunited Jesus’ body and spirit on the third day and seated Him at God’s right hand as King of kings, Lord of lords, the only Potentate (Ephesians 1:20-21) and then made Him head over all things to the church (Ephesians 1:22-23) is the same power which regenerates sinners dead in their trespasses and sins (Ephesians 2:1-3) and makes them alive in Christ, sons of God, and heirs of eternal life (Ephesians 2:4-7). Since she is an idol, Diana has a mouth which cannot speak, eyes which cannot see, ears which cannot hear, a nose which cannot smell, hands which cannot handle, and feet which cannot walk (Psalm 115:5-7). The only power Diana is credited with having was the ability to fall out of heaven! (Acts 19:35). What impotence!

          No wonder Paul fervently prayed for his readers’ eyes and understanding to be enlightened!

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Author: jchowning

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