doctrine of Christ, Kingdom of God, Ministry, sound doctrine

Enlightening the eyes of your understanding… in order to walk according to the faith of Jesus


The understanding is the part of human intellect that processes all the information that the senses send to the brain; however, the understanding can only ‘recognize’ as valid information that pertains to the physical-material plane. Understanding was the first human attribute that was disrupted by the sin of disobedience; in the book of Genesis we read that Adam and Eve were formed by the Creator with an understanding almost similar to that of the angels; [1] in chapters 2 and 3 we see an Adam with an understanding capable of even assigning names to the other created beings, however after the sin of disobedience we find him hidden, and in fear.[2]

The human understanding does not have the capacity to process knowledge of a spiritual nature, it almost automatically dismisses it and classifies it as implausible knowledge because it lacks the necessary evidence for validation. This is the main reason why a natural man cannot understand the things that are of the Spirit.

But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

1st. Corinthians 2:14

The main cause of the absence of understanding is sinful behavior; all attitudes of disobedience, rebellion, and self-centeredness are conducive to fostering the absence of understanding.

The Bible highlights ‘understanding’ as a virtue that comes directly from God.

Only the Lord give thee wisdom and understanding, and give thee charge concerning Israel, that thou mayest keep the law of the Lord thy God.

1 Chronicles 22:12

Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto thee.

Psalm 32:9

 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth forever.

Psalm 111:10

 Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart.

Psalm 119:34

No human discipline has the capacity to provoke understanding, God turns it into insolence.

 but God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;

1st. Corinthians 1:27

When men and women come to the Gospel of Jesus, and submit themselves under the Lordship of Jesus, the strongest battle they have to face is against the perverted thought structures with which they lived during their previous life; this battle is not easy, for they have to ‘reprogram’ their understanding according to the spiritual teachings of the Gospel of Jesus. According to the parable of the sower, lack of understanding, the cares of life and persecution for the sake of the Gospel ‘choke’ the Word.[3]

The first step in renewing the structures of thought consists in ‘seeing’ all things under the ‘Light’ of the Word.

In the text of Ephesians 1:17-19, Paul speaks about the faith exercise of ‘enlightening’ the eyes of the understanding as the strictly necessary condition for overthrowing the structures of sin that directed the life of disobedience.

17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: 18 the eyes of your understanding(καρδίας) 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, 19 and what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,

Ephesians 1:17-19

In what does it consist to ‘enlighten’ the eyes of the understanding? To ‘enlighten’ the eyes of the understanding means the capacity for ‘discernment’ according to the Wisdom which the Spirit of Truth establishes by the Revelation of the Word concerning the work and Will of God on earth.

The purpose of the life of faith in Jesus is to participate in the establishment of the Kingdom, this is achieved to the extent that our sense understands the Scriptures.

Philip’s experience in his encounter with the Ethiopian eunuch teaches us, firstly, that it is important to God that we all understand the Scriptures, without exception; and secondly, that no one can ‘understand’ if someone does not adequately explain the Word, this is the work of the vocation to which we have been called by His Grace.

In the original text, however, it does not read, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened, but, the eyes of your heart (καρδίας) being enlightened. According to Hebrew thought, the heart is considered to be the place where thoughts originate.

A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.

Matthew 12:35

but I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

Matthew 5:28

for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

Matthew 6:21

And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts?

Matthew 9:4

O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.

Matthew 12:34

For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:

Matthew 15:19

It is not a matter of substituting terms without first understanding the meaning of their original use. Paul uses in his wording the word ‘heart’ (καρδίας), and not the word ‘mind’ (νοός), to show thereby that life according to Grace (2:5) is not a philosophical indoctrination, aimed at the transformation of the way of thinking (νοός), but the manifestation of the Supereminent Greatness of the Power of God who by the adoption of sons by the good pleasure of His Will (1:5), chose us from before the foundation of the world that we should be holy and without blemish (1:4). God’s Grace consists in the transformation of man’s sinful nature.

Thus, the eyes of your heart being enlightened, is the exhortation of faith to allow the Spirit of Grace in Jesus to ‘convert’ us into another person, that is, that the Spirit transform the personal identity of every man and woman of faith, ‘abolishing’ by the working of the Power of His might (1:19) all past conduct, hostile to God, bringing forth through Christ Jesus a new person in the holiness of the family of God (2:19).

The eyes of your heart being enlightened, presents us with a much broader vision than just a transformation of the mind, it means a complete and radical transformation of the way of being and acting.  It means to stop seeing things according to the carnal vision of the Adamic man, and to begin to see according to the faith that in Jesus we are also seated at the right hand of God the Father (2:6).

33 Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit34 O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. 35 A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.

Mathew 12:33-35

Thus, with the instruction, the eyes of your heart being enlightened, the apostle unveils to us the ‘mystery’ of the good pleasure of God’s will for us who have believed, so that with the knowledge of what the life of Grace means, we may learn to live it and take care of it. The apostle presents in the whole epistle a striking summary of the benefits of faith in Jesus Christ.

  • 1:3:… hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
  • 1:4: … he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love:
  • 1:5:   having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself,…
  • 1:6: … he hath made us accepted in the beloved.
  • 1:7:… we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;
  • 1:9:   having made known unto us the mystery of his will,…
  • 1:11:   … we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:
  • 1:13:   … after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
  • 2:1:  And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;
  • 2:2:   … in time past ye walked according to the course of this world,…
  • 2:3:   … in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
  • 2:5:  … hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
  • 2:6:  … hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
  • 2:8:   For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
  • 2:10:   … we are his workmanship,…
  • 2:11:   … that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision…
  • 2:12:   … ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:
  • 2:13:   … in Christ Jesus,… are made nigh by the blood of Christ. 
  • 2:14:   … He is our peace,…
  • 2:15:   having abolished in his flesh the enmity,…  for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; 
  • 2:16:   and that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross,…
  • 2:17:  … and came and preached peace to you which were afar off,…
  • 2:18:    … we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.
  • 2:19:  … ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God;
  • 2:20:  are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;
  • 2:22:  … ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

In the final part of the apostle’s instruction, in chapter 1, Paul says that this whole process is developed by the working of the Power of His might, which means the ‘immersion’ that the Spirit of Truth does with the one who has believed in Jesus, bringing him spiritually into the Body of Christ,[4] to reconcile him to the Father,[5]  and make him a member of the community of faith through Christ Jesus.[6]

17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: 18 the 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, 19 and what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power20 which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: 22 and hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, 23 which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

(1:17-23)

pastor Pedro Montoya


[1]     Génesis 2:19: Formó, pues, Jehová Dios de la tierra toda bestia del campo, y toda ave de los cielos, y trájolas á Adam, para que viese cómo les había de llamar; y todo lo que Adam llamó a los animales vivientes, ese es su nombre.

[2]     Génesis 3:10: Y él respondió: Oí tu voz en el huerto, y tuve miedo, porque estaba desnudo; y escondí me.

[3]     Mateo 13

[4]     Romanos 6:3-4: ¿O no sabéis que todos los que somos bautizados en Cristo Jesús, somos bautizados en su muerte? Porque somos sepultados juntamente con él a muerte por el bautismo; para que como Cristo resucitó de los muertos por la gloria del Padre, así también nosotros andemos en novedad de vida.

[5]     Efesios 2:14: Porque Él es nuestra paz, que de ambos hizo uno, derribando la pared intermedia de separación;

[6]     1 Corintios 12:27: Pues vosotros sois el cuerpo de Cristo, y miembros en parte.

      Efesios 1:22-23: 22 Y sometió todas las cosas debajo de sus pies, y diólo por cabeza sobre todas las cosas a la iglesia, 23 La cual es su cuerpo, la plenitud de Aquel que hinche todas las cosas en todos.