CITIZENS part 5 – The Impact Of Citizenship (Eph 3:1-13) – James Lusk
Ephesians Study Material- Eph. 3:1-13
Paul wrote the letter of Ephesians as a general letter to a large region of churches during his first Roman imprisonment. The letter to the Ephesians and the letter to the church in Colosse were most likely written around the same time and delivered at roughly the same time. The letter to the Ephesians is a passionate and beautiful letter, riddled with hymns and exhortations, rich in theology and eschatology setting it apart from all other Pauline Epistles. The letter emphasizes the nature of the church and the relationship of Christ as the head of the church. In Chapter 2, Paul brought the church to a revelation of praise for the ways in which Christ has saved that naturally spilled into a oneness of all who believe. Chapter 3 continues along the some vein, distinguishing the uniqueness of the whole Church (both Jews and Gentiles) in the world.
Text: Eph. 3:1-13
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, 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.
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 inGod 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. 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.
In this slight digression from the original prayer that Paul began in the earlier portion of the letter, he brings the readers attention to the uniqueness of who they are. Particularly, their unique call to impart a unique mystery, and to reveal a unique people, the Church which has always been His purpose.
Suggested Discussion Questions
- In what way is the Church central to the Old Testament?
- What does this say about God’s intentions all along?