THE BOOK OF EPHESIANS
Chapter
3:7-12
"Paul's Ministry"

J. Deering, AncientPath.net


TEXT TOPIC
(3:7)
              of which I was made a minister,
                    according to the gift of God's grace
                    which was given to me
The FATHER is GRACEFUL
                    according to the working of His power. The FATHER works through GRACE
(3:8a)
                      To me,
                        the very least of all saints, (Lit., "holy ones")
                    this grace was given,
The FATHER works through PEOPLE
(3:8b)

                        to preach to the Gentiles
                            the unfathomable riches of Christ,
THE UNFATHOMABLE RICHES OF CHRIST
(3:9)
                        And bring to light
                            what is the administration of the mystery
                                which for ages has been hidden in God,
The Plan of God for the Age of Christ's Bride
                                    who created all things;
(3:10)
                        in order that
                            the manifold wisdom of God
                                might now be made known
In Order That the Wisdom of God might be Made Known
                                  through the church Through the ekklesia, the called-ones, the set-apart ones
                                  to the rulers and
                                    the authorities
                                      in the heavenly places.
For ALL Heavenly Authorities to SEE His GRACE
(3:11)
This was in accordance with the eternal purpose (Lit., "purpose of the ages")
This was the Design from the begining
    which He carried out (Lit., "formed")
        in Christ Jesus our Lord,
God the FATHER carried out this design IN CHRIST JESUS

(3:12)
           in whom we have
                boldness and
                confident access (Lit., "access in confidence")
                  through faith
                      in Him. (Lit., "of Him")

Because of the SON - WE BELONG TO THE FATHER

 

 

COMMENTARY - "Paul's Ministry," 3:7-12


C. Paul's Ministry, 3:7-12
"of which I was made a minister, according to the gift of God's grace which was given to me according to the working of His power.

Paul's story is not new to us, a great persecutor of the Christians, saved by the Grace of God for this specific ministry of gathering the Church from among the Gentiles.

Paul tells us that his salvation had specific purposes that God would accomplish using His grace.

History is full of myths about gods who accomplish mighty deeds, but among them there are no stories of a god who would sacrifice himself in order to provide for the needs of man. Only the God of the Scriptures has the ultimate glory of God made possible through His reaching down to love men and women. Only the God of the Scriptures has a plan and program whereby mankind may be released from the effects and penalty of sin. Like the new hymn says, "Only a God like ours!"

He wants us to know that this act of pulling the world together under His Son's grace - through belief - took GREAT POWER to accomplish. God worked through some of that great power in bringing Paul to Christ. God also worked through His great power to establish a body of men and women who would freely choose to love Him and then to establish a man named Paul for the role of Teacher and Organizer of the new "Body of Christ."


D. Eternal Purposes Carried Out in Christ Jesus 3:8-12
To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ, 9 and to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God who created all things; 10 so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places. 11 This was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord, 12 in whom we have boldness and confident access through faith in Him.

Paul's humility is not an act. If you met him on the street you might think so, but through the Scriptures we learn that His life was completely changed - from persecutor to protector - through the power of Christ. Only a man who has known such grace can look upon himself and see that he is indeed a great sinner.

However, it does not stop there, Paul goes on to see his mission of preaching the gospel to those who don't know anything about it.

He was preaching the Unfathomable Riches of Christ. We who have been educated in the Scriptures know much of the revelation of God's grace. Think of what Paul learned and understood from Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Then think of the fact that Paul spoke of the Grace of God and of the depth of it that was unfathomable - too deep to see to the bottom of it - beyond our comprehension. Indeed the richness of His kindness toward us is unfathomable.

Ephesians 3:9
and to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God who created all things;

Mid-sentence Paul brings the revelation from God the Father, concerning God the Son, that educates us concerning God's government (administration) for this age and the one to come. The "administration of the mystery" that was hidden for ages. God choose not to reveal this new age of grace. Why?

Ephesians 3:10
"In order that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the Body of Christ to all rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.


Manifold is a wonderful word, having its root in knowledge that is bound up into a garment which is folded upon itself so that it is "many folded." Wonderful things revealed as each fold is opened. Heating and Air Conditioning systems, automobile engines, and many other items use manifolds to channel the output of a single source to multiple outputs. That's one picture of the manifold wisdom of God. Its source is one, the channels of delivery are manifold. Paul's thought takes us to the knowledge that you can only understand the whole of the grace of God as you add together every channel of its delivery. Just as you can only begin to understand who powerful your home air conditioning system is by understanding its effects in the sum of your rooms.

Who is measurers of God's grace to man? Angels, creatures, demons, and Satan himself. The Unfathomable Riches of Christ - made known to the heavens through US. How manifold is the grace of God - when you see it work through the sum of each and every individual believer. How rich and awesome is that knowledge.

Ephesians 3:11-12
This was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and confident access through faith in Him.

God reveals to us through Paul that ALL OF THIS WAS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ETERNAL PURPOSE OF GOD THROUGH CHRIST JESUS OUR LORD.

We believers could look upon ourselves and see the greatness of God's grace, but we would be missing the most important feature of that Grace, for it is IN-HIM, the living and dying Christ, that the eternal purposes of God are made complete. He is what the kingdoms and powers of this world and of the heavens see. He is the object of their inquiry, not us. Those which are holy will praise His wonderful Name because of His unfathomable grace. Those who are unholy will curse His name, but know of His unfathomable grace and their hate will consume them. Their punishment will be eternal, wise and just.

On our side of this story, what Christ has done - has made it possible (because we have been made righteous - the very righteousness of God) for us to literally walk into the presence of Almighty God with both boldness and confidence in our access to Him, through our simple faith in God's precious, one of a kind, Son. That is the outcome of God's unfathomable grace towards us. This should lead us into absolute humility - we could do nothing, yet He did it all - for us - that He might get the glory forever.
 

VISUALIZED TEXT - "Paul's Ministry," 3:7-12

THE VISUALIZED TEXT (NASB) 1  (conjunctions & prepositions underlined, words not in original text in italics)  (alternate text in purple)

(3:7)
              of which I was made a minister,
                    according to the gift of God's grace
                    which was given to me
                    according to the working of His power.
(3:8)
                      To me,
                        the very least of all saints, (Lit., "holy ones")
                    this grace was given,
                        to preach to the Gentiles
                            the unfathomable riches of Christ,
(3:9)
                        And bring to light
                            what is the administration of the mystery
                                which for ages has been hidden in God,
                                    who created all things;
(3:10)
                        in order that
                            the manifold wisdom of God
                                might now be made known
                                  through the church
                                  to the rulers and
                                    the authorities
                                      in the heavenly places.
(3:11)
This was in accordance with the eternal purpose (Lit., "purpose of the ages")
    which He carried out (Lit., "formed")
        in Christ Jesus our Lord,
(3:12)
           in whom we have
                boldness and
                confident access (Lit., "access in confidence")
                  through faith
                      in Him. (Lit., "of Him")

 


1 "Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE,
Copyright The Lockman Foundation 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968
1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1988.
Used by permission."


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