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The Good Life in Christ (2) Ephesians 3,4

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Ephesians 3

The mystery now revealed
For this cause, I Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles, 2 if indeed you have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which was given to me for you, 3 as I wrote before in few words: How by revelation was the mystery made known to me, 4 whereby, as you read, you can perceive my understanding in the mystery of Christ. 5 This in other generations was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit: 6 That the Gentiles are fellow-heirs and fellow-members of the body and fellow-partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel, 7 of which I was made a servant, according to the gift of that grace of God which was given me according to the working of His power. 8 To me, who am less than the least of all saints, was this grace given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, 9 and to make all men see what is the intention of this mystery which for ages has been hid in God who created all things. 10 The intention was that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places, 11 according to the eternal purpose which God purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord. 12 In whom we have boldness and access in confidence through our faith in him. 13 Therefore I ask that you do not lose heart at my tribulations for you, which is your glory.

Paul’s further prayer for the Ephesians
   14 For this cause I bow my knees to the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, 16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, that you may be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man. 17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, to the end that you would be rooted and grounded in love, 18 that you might be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height, 19 and to truly know and understand the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
   20 Now to Him that is able to do immeasurably above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, 21 to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations for ever and ever. Amen.


3:8 Less than the least- Paul preached the Gospel very aware of his own weakness and unworthiness. Hence his witness was in humility and with power. We should preach with the same spirit. Paul’s awareness of his sinfulness grew over time. In an earlier letter he felt “least of the apostles” (1 Cor. 15:9), now least of all believers, and at the end of his life he felt the worst sinner in the world (1 Tim. 1:15). Yet he was progressively more and more confident in his ultimate salvation, even though he increasingly realized the extent of his unworthiness. We will go through the same pattern in our spiritual growth.

3:10 This refers to how the Gospel was preached before the rulers of the first century Mediterranean world (Lk. 21:12; Acts 9:15). They are described as in “heavenly places”, following the Biblical way of speaking of positions of power and authority as the ‘heavens’.

3:19 We can “know” what is beyond human knowledge, because God will open our hearts and understanding- if we let Him.

3:20 God delights to do for us more than we could even imagine; we should have the same generous spirit to others.