Summary: Paul here goes into some detail about his own call and his aims with the Ephesians believers. It was clearly his fondest wish that all believers understand who we are in Christ.
Ephesians Chapter 3
July 27, 2008
(Read verses, then comments.)
(1-3) Paul, building upon the closing thoughts of chapter 2, refers to himself as the prisoner of the Lord Jesus Christ for the sake of the Gentiles. Note that Paul did not refer to himself as the prisoner of the Roman authorities. He clearly saw himself as in prison for the sake of others. He also clearly saw his imprisonment in terms of how the World system looks upon Jesus Christ. Therefore, He was in prison because of his uncompromising and total identification with Jesus Christ; being a faithful steward of the, now revealed, truths of Jesus Christ, which had been totally mysteries in previous times.
(4-5) Expanding on verse three, the apostle encourages the readers to understand these mysteries. He does not claim to be the only one to have gained an understanding of these mysteries from God. He clearly states that God revealed them, by the Holy Spirit, to His holy Apostles and Prophets. Thus Paul identifies himself as part of a group of people who had heard these things directly from the Holy Spirit. Paul is not glorifying himself.
This is a very clear contrast to the founders of false religions. They ALWAYS identify themselves as THE ONE. Think of Mohammad. (Islam) Think of Mary Baker Eddy. (Christian Science) Think of Joseph Smith (Mormonism)
(6-7) Here, the Apostle repeats the wonderful reality that Gentiles have been brought into the family of God and the Body of Christ. This is by means of the Gospel (good news) of Jesus Christ. Paul, again clarifies the truth that He is a minister of the Gospel through God’s working in him; not as a result of any special merit of his own.
(8) He was acutely aware that it was the grace of God, which enabled him to preach Jesus Christ to the Gentile peoples.
(9-11) These verses pull the curtain back for a glimpse into the second Heaven. As Paul faithfully made the mysteries of God known to and understood by the Gentiles, the wisdom of God in all of this, was also becoming known and understood by the spiritual rulers in heavenly places. God’s Holy Angels and the evil fallen angels who are referenced in more detail later in this letter, were listening and learning as the Gospel spread across the Greek and Roman World.
Paul assured his readers that this was all part of the original plan of God in sending Jesus Christ to Earth.
(12-13) Since we have boldness and confidence in God’s presence, through Jesus Christ, there was no reason for the Ephesian Believers to be discouraged over Paul’s imprisonment, and he did not want them to get pulled down about it. He was quite willing to suffer for their sake.
(14-15) Because of this love for the Ephesians, Paul prayed to the Heavenly Father for them, while in prison!
(16-19)What did he request for them?
• Inner strengthening by the Holy Spirit
• Christ (anointing) in their hearts (spirit) through faith
• Know the Love of Christ, which is beyond natural knowledge
• Be filled with all the fullness of God!
(20-21) He closes this part of the epistle, by giving all glory to God, while pointing out that God can do all things through the believers, by His power. This is for all generations, forever!