THE BOOK OF EPHESIANS
Chapter
3:13
"Paul's Request"

J. Deering, AncientPath.net


TEXT TOPIC
(3:13)
Therefore
THEREFORE as a result of Paul's Ministry
    I ask you (Or, "that I may not lose...")  
        not to lose heart at my tribulations  
           on your behalf,
            for they are (Lit., "which are") your glory.
Paul's Tribulations are for THEIR GLORY

 

COMMENTARY - "Paul's Request," 3:13


E. Paul's Request, 3:13
"Therefore I ask you not to lose heart at my tribulations on your behalf, for they are your glory."

Paul concludes this part of his letter (3:7-12) with one of his famous "Therefore" statements. "Therefore," Paul asks, and we need to look back at the message of 3:7-12 to see the point he will make in this verse. In the earlier verses of Chapter 3 Paul was addressing the revelation of "The Church age." What it was, and why it had come. God's plan had been revealed and it included the temporary setting aside of Israel for the establishment of a Royal Priesthood who would belong to Jesus the Christ forever. This priesthood would be the administers of the program of God for this age - and enjoy a similar relationship, always in His presence, for eternity. It is in other books where Paul expounds upon the close of this age and the transition into the next; the terrible tribulation and remarkable blessings of "The Day of the Lord."

Paul's concern for the Body of Christ is that they (we) might "lose heart" because of Paul's tribulations. Everywhere Paul went the evil one stirred up trouble - both for Paul and the Body of Christ. Paul would spend a good portion of his life in jail or in prison as a result. He was tormented, whipped, beaten, starved - for the cause of the Gospel to the Gentiles. I can almost hear the evil one telling his minions, "First it was with the Jews, now the Gentiles... this is quickly getting out of my control... 'therefore,' go and persecute this man Paul."

Paul was much loved by believers. His worry was that they would stop evangelizing and teaching in an effort to bring an end of persecution to Paul.

But Paul corrects their incorrect attitude. He says, "my tribulations (are) on your behalf, for they are your glory." We poor humans, with our tiny little self-centered brains, always seem to try to correct the plan of God when it does not meet our expectations. Paul wants his readers to recognize, and appreciate, the bigger picture of God's plans. God is glorifying Himself, in Jesus Christ, through the tribulations of Paul - thereby building up the Body of Christ. Paul says that His tribulations are not only necessary - but are the very source of great glory to God and them.

We know well the principle that persecution builds faith. Anyone who has ever ministered to those who are under persecution or deprivation know the blessing of seeing the vitality of their faith. Anyone who has ever been under persecution knows the blessing of an ever growing vitality of faith in their own lives as they live for Christ. Paul's tribulations brought forth vitality of faith in that new Body of Christ. In turn, the suffering of persecution by the early church also brought forth a vitality of faith - and so on, and so forth. Persecution brings forth vital faith. The outworking of the persecution in each generation produces an exponential growth of the faith of the succeeding generation of those who believe. Praise God for those who have gone before - often through great persecution - that has resulted in the growth of our faith - may we be the ones who the next generation sees for the growth and vitality of their faith!

VISUALIZED TEXT - "Paul's Request," 3:13

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

(3:13)
Therefore
    ask you (Or, "that I may not lose...")
        not to lose heart at my tribulations
           on your behalf,
            for they are (Lit., "which are") your glory.


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