The Bible

What Is the Spirit of Understanding in the Bible?

According to Ephesians 1:17 -18, Paul prayed for the Ephesian saints, where he mentioned,

The eyes of your understanding being enlightened”.

Take note that this is an operation of the Spirit- The Holy Spirit.

The Spirit of understanding can be referred to as one of the seven spirits of God (one of the manifestations of the Spirit) and any believer who has received the Holy Spirit has this Spirit dwelling in him. This spirit also implies the fullness of the Holy Spirit at work in the life of a believer.

The Holy Spirit is the one that helps Christians to understand the hope to which they have been called by God and the wealth of his glorious inheritance in them. In this article, we will discuss on the topic; What is the Spirit of Understanding in the Bible?

What Is the Spirit of Understanding in the Bible?

What is the Spirit of Understanding in the Bible

It was also stated in Ephesians 3:18 – 19 that apostle Paul prayed for the Ephesus Christians so that they would be able to understand the breadth and length, depth, and height of the love of Christ that is greater than any knowledge. Paul prayed this prayer for the Ephesus saints because they were yet to understand or know the depth and power of the love of Christ. They did not have the manifestation of the Spirit of understanding and the Spirit of Knowledge.

From the time of the early Christians till date, there have been several believers who might have the gifts of the Spirit in manifestation but do not have the understanding of the Word of God. Such individuals will have to pray to be filled with the spirit of understanding in order to understand, together with other Christians, the power of Jesus’ love for all.

The Impartation of the Spirit of Understanding

The anointing of the Spirit of understanding is imparted on Christians at different times and ways, however the Spirit’s purpose first has to be understood. Of a truth, anybody can easily read the Bible, but it takes the anointing of the Spirit to fully understand the word of God and get revelations of the Spirit.

Another apostle of Jesus, John, stated in John 20:21 – 22 that

“ Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:”.


In this bible verse, Jesus Christ was speaking to His disciples, and He then breathed on them. The word breathed is translated from the Greek word “emphusao’ which simply implies to “ blow on or at”. So in other words, Lord Jesus blew on them as he spoke to them to receive the Holy Ghost.

Bear in mind that this was a rather different occasion from when the Holy Spirit came to live in the disciples on the day of the Pentecost, where they gathered together in one place and accord at the upper room in Jerusalem and started speaking in other tongues, (Acts 2:1 – 4).

John’s explanation of what happened in John 20:22 also further elaborates on the events of Luke 24:45. It showed that the understanding of the disciples of Jesus was opened so that they might be able to understand the scriptures. In other words, Jesus opened their hearts and imparted a spirit of understanding to them.

It is a well-known fact that the book of Matthew, Mark, and Luke are synoptic gospels and was written long before the book of John was written, hence the reason why John recorded it to clarify what several believers had thought to be the dark areas in the synoptic gospels.

We can get a clearer illustration of the occurrence of the spirit of understanding when we put together John 20:22 and Luke 24:45. As explained earlier, when Jesus blew on his disciples to receive the Holy Ghost, they instantly became imparted with the spirit of understanding which resulted in anointing their minds to understand the scriptures.

Understanding by Revelation

In Ephesians 3:1 – 4, Apostle Paul explained that God had made known to him the mystery of Christ by revelation. The word “Known”  is derived from the Greek word “Gnorizo” which is known as “to give to understand”. What Paul was trying to explain here is that by revelation, God allowed him to understand the mystery of Christ.

It is certainly impossible to get an understanding of a spiritual mystery from a school or any form of intellectual knowledge; it can only come by the revelation of the Spirit of God.

Understanding is for All Who Believe

Jesus often spoke in parables not only to his disciples but as well as multitudes who always gathered to listen to him. One of such time, He told them the parable of the sower, and none of his disciples and the mammoth crowd understood it (Matthew 13).

When He had gotten away from the crowd, His disciples came to Him and asked Him why He often spoke to them in Parables.  In Matthew 13:11, Jesus then told them that He speaks in parables because it is given to God’s children to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them, it is not given. Although the disciples didn’t understand this parable at that time, yet Jesus stated that they already had the ability to understand, but they didn’t know that simple truth.

No wonder, in Matthew 13:15, Jesus said ‘For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should be converted, and I should heal them”.

It is great to know that as a child of God, we have been given the understanding of the mysteries of the kingdom of Heaven because Our Lord Jesus said so. Hence, when you talk in agreement with Jesus, you will barely read the word of God but will also know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven. This gift of understanding mysteries is the child of God’s inheritance, specifically for those who accept Jesus as their lord and personal savior and have also been baptized with the Holy Ghost. 

In other words, Christians have the ability to understand the things of the kingdom of God.


According to Matthew 13:19, God’s word is the only thing the Devil strives to steal from Christians since all things come from the word of God.

When Christians hear the word of God and refuse to understand it, they are creating room for the Devil to steal it from their hearts. This is why it is very crucial to have the spirit of understanding at work in your life. This spirit is the one to help believers understand the word of God that comes to them through meditation on the word of God or listening to their Pastors preach God’s message.


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