Revelation 12 and the Source of our Endurance

(For the message from Sunday, July 25, 2021: “The Accuser Has Been Thrown Down.” You can view this sermon by clicking HERE.)

As a part of his sermon notes for yesterday’s sermon, Pastor Gerald wrote the following:

Revelation 12 shows us what can be seen only with eyes of faith, and what we see is nothing less than war in the unseen spiritual realms…The purpose is to encourage us to persevere in our faith and witness despite persecution. “Here is a call for endurance and faith of the saints” (Rev 13:10, 14:12). We can endure because the accuser has been thrown down; there is no basis for Satan’s accusations! The guilt of our sins has been removed! The penalty has paid in full. Sin no longer has any hold upon us. The truth of the gospel has set us free. “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God” (Rev 12:10).

-Gerald Hodges

I have thought a lot yesterday and today about Paul’s prayer for believers addressed to the church in Ephesus (Ephesians 1:15-23), and how that prayer is so very relevant to this purpose by God in giving us the message of Revelation 12 through John. In that passage Paul prays on their behalf, “that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened” that they may know three spiritual truths.

He asks for the Spirit to do the work of opening the eyes of the hearts of believers to reveal, or unveil (which is the same word for the title of the book of Revelation) for us what our eyes do not readily see. And the three spiritual truths that he desires for us to see are integral to progressing in our journey of faith and enduring in this broken world.

I. Paul prays, “that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you…”

Paul prays that believers would be able to set their focus on the hope to which God has called them. This hope is the hope that he will finish what he has started. This hope is one that transcends whatever we face in this life. And no matter how much our enemy rages against us, he is powerless concerning the certainty of this hope. We are endure as we cast our gaze ever more intently on this hope. It is when we are fixed on the certainty of this hope that we are reminded that our sovereign God uses every season–even every struggle–for our good in conforming us to the image of his Son and bringing us to completeness in him!

II. He prays that we may know “what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints…”

Paul prays that believers may truly come to know our identity in him. We are his people, his inheritance! He has purchased us with his blood, and if our Father gave his only Son for our redemption, would he not grant to us everything that we need!? We are loved by him, and nothing can separate us from his love. We must be reminded of this, especially when the tempter whispers his indictments in our ears. Our refrain is not, “nuh hu! That’s not true,” bur rather, “I have been united in him, my propitiation!” This is a reminder that we must preach the gospel to ourselves often! We need to be reminded of who we are in him and continue to press deeply into him!

III. Finally, Paul prays that we may know “what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe…”

As the song says, “When the tempter would prevail, Christ will hold me fast!” It is his power that prevails through us! Oh, that the Spirit of revelation would open the eyes of our hearts to the immeasurable greatness of his power toward me. That I would rest in that power. That I would rely fully on that power. That I would not ever dare seek to battle in my own strength. That I would become evermore dependent on him. And as a picture of that power, Paul offers the illustration of the resurrection! The same power that rose Jesus from the dead is the same power that is at work in those who are in Christ Jesus. And it is him, the head of the church that “fills all in all” (Col 1:23).

Praying through this Passage

As I seek to pray through this passage this week, I think I will use those three spiritual realities that Paul prayed I would know as my outline, or my prompts. Would you join me in that?

Pray that the Spirit of wisdom and revelation would enlighten the eyes of your heart, that…

  1. …you might know the hope to which he has called you. Are your eyes fixed there?
  2. …you might know what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints. Is your identity rooted there?
  3. …you might know the immeasurable greatness of his power toward you who believes. Is your dependence there?

What do you think? I would love to hear your thoughts!

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