Summary: Grace. We often think about grace as the salvation that God gives us that we do not deserve. But God gives us His grace to serve as well.
The Administration of God’s Grace
Have you ever been in the midst of a conversation and then a new thought that you have to get out comes into your head?
Maybe you have been talking to someone, and then a word or some other trigger brings to mind something that you think you need to tell the person you are talking to, so you leave the topic you are on and share with them this piece of important information before turning back to what you were originally talking about.
Well, this happens to Paul in Ephesians 3:1-13, today’s Scripture that we will be studying
We have been studying Ephesians over these past several weeks and Paul has been telling the Ephesians about all of the blessings we have in Christ and the unity we can experience. Christianity is not just for some nation, like Judaism was, but salvation and relationship with God was available to people from every tribe, tongue and nation because of what Christ had done and God was bringing them to unity in the church.
Now, as we begin Chapter 3, he is about to pray for the Ephesians but gets sidetracked by something that he feels it is important to realize so he pauses to tell them before he prays for them.
Let’s read about the Grace of God that Paul received and the effects of this grace on the lives of others and on Paul.
3 For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles—
2 Surely you have heard about the administration of God's grace that was given to me for you, 3 that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation, as I have already written briefly. 4 In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, 5 which was not made known to men in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God's holy apostles and prophets. 6 This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus.
7 I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God's grace given me through the working of his power. 8 Although I am less than the least of all God's people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, 9 and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things. 10 His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, 11 according to his eternal purpose which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. 12 In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence. 13 I ask you, therefore, not to be discouraged because of my sufferings for you, which are your glory.
Ok, So Paul starts out this passage, and as I said earlier, I believe he is about to pray for the Ephesians. I believe that because in verse 14, he starts that verse out with the same words, indicating he is going back to his original thought
Eph 3:14 - For this reason I bow my knees before the Father,
But in verse 1, he halts after he describes himself as “the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles.”
I believe this has sparked something in him, by the Lord of course, that he feels it is important to communicate to the Ephesians and that is
The Administration of God’s grace through Paul
Ephesians 3:1-11 (esp. vv. 2, 7)
When we think of God’s grace, what do we normally think of?
I believe we think of the salvation that we receive through God’s grace. He has given us something we don’t deserve.
But I am not sure we always think of God’s grace in the gift he gives us to serve others.
That is what Paul has turned his attention to and what he wants the Ephesians to be aware of, that it is God’s grace that has enabled and directed and called Paul to preach the good news of Jesus Christ to Gentile’s so they can come to unity in the church.
And he relates to them that this good news of God’s grace to all men, not just the Jews, was a mystery in that it was something that was not seen in the times beforehand or anywhere in the Old Testament. It has only been revealed at this time and it has made things from the Old Testament even more apparent now about God’s mercy and grace.