Ephesians 3:1-21 God’s Mystery Revealed

The Mystery of the Gospel Revealed

Paul’s Stewardship of God’s grace

Comment: Chapter 3 of Ephesians that we are about to study can really be titled “God’s Mystery Revealed”. Paul takes us through how God revealed the mystery, how he was used by God, the reason for the revelation and then ends the chapter with a prayer.
1 For this reason I, Paul, a prisoner for Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles—
2 assuming that you have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace that was given to me for you,
Word Study: “For this reason” at the beginning of verse 1, can either refer to what Paul has discussed since chapter 2:11-22 or even what Paul discussed since the beginning of the chapter.
Now, since the mystery that Paul discusses, is the mystery regarding gentiles, it makes more sense for “For this reason”, to refer to all that Paul discussed since chapter 2:11-22, because the beginning of the passage refers to gentiles as well. The word “Assuming” means “I take it that”. “Stewardship” means “administration or dispensation”. To dispense means to distribute or supply.

Comment: Paul indicates to the Ephesians that he is a prisoner meaning that he was in prison when writing this letter. He tells them that he is in jail because of his work for Jesus Christ. The work he is referring to, is the work that he was doing among the gentiles. Paul then told them that, he takes it that they have heard of the responsibility that was given him to manage and dispense God’s grace among them as gentiles or non jews. It is this work that got him in prison.   

Mystery of God revealed

3 how the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I have written briefly.
4 When you read this, you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ,
5 which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit.
6 This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.
Comment: Paul says the mystery that he referred to, and he did refer to it in Ephesians 1:9-10, this mystery was made known to him by revelation. He continued to say that when the Ephesians reads this letter, they will understand his knowledge into the mystery of Christ or the mystery regarding Christ. This same mystery was not revealed to others in generations before, but now, has been revealed to Christ’s holy apostles and prophets through the Holy Spirit. Then Paul revealed the mystery to the Ephesians and the mystery is that gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Jesus Christ, through the gospel. The mystery is revealed by the Holy Spirit through the Gospel.

The Revelation the mystery was for God’s Glory

7 Of this gospel I was made a minister according to the gift of God’s grace, which was given me by the working of his power.
8 To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ,
9 and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things,
10 so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.
Comment: Paul told the Ephesians that by God’s power, he was given a gift of being a minister, pastor, preacher of the gospel. This is the same gospel through which the mystery is dispensed among the gentiles by the Holy Spirit through Paul. Paul, probably referring to his previous life as Saul, indicates here that he is the least of all the saints, and he says that although this is the case, God still gave him the gift according to His grace. The gift is to preach to the gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages by God who created all things. Paul says the reason he was given this gift was so that through the church, the manifold of or many sides of or diverse wisdom of God might now be known to the rulers and authorities in heavenly places, by this referring to the angelic beings. This will then in turn bring glory to God.
11 This was according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord,
12 in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him.
13 So I ask you not to lose heart over what I am suffering for you, which is your glory.
Comment: Paul says this revelation of the mystery was according to God’s eternal purpose, which was achieved in Jesus Christ our Lord. Now, because of our faith in Jesus, we can come boldly and confidently into God’s presence. Paul then asked the Ephesians not to give up seeing that he is suffering in prison for them, instead, they should feel glorified that he was willing to even go to prison for them.  

Prayer for Spiritual Strength

14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father,
15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named,
16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being,
17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love,
18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth,
19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us,
21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
Comment: Paul ends the chapter with a prayer that the Ephesians may be strengthened in their inner being with the power through the Spirit so that:
  • Through their faith, Christ might dwell in their hearts
  • That they be rooted and grounded in love
  • That they may have strength to comprehend with the saints, what is the length, breadth, height and depth
  • That they may know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge
  • That they may be filled with all the fulness of God 

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Posted in Ephesians, Ephesians 3, Gentiles.

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