Ephesians 3:1-21

Ephesians 3:1-21

Ephesians 3:1-21, September 1, 2019

Review – Mystery Revealed – Paul’s Prayer

OPEN WITH A PRAYER  Lord I pray that out of Your glorious riches You will strengthen everyone here with power through Your Spirit in their inner beings, so that Christ will dwell in their hearts through faith. And I pray that each of you, being rooted and established in love, will have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and you will know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you will be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Amen.

REVIEW    2:12  Five things listed in v12 we the uncircumcised were denied. We were 1) separate [initially] from Christ, 2) excluded from citizenship in Israel, 3) foreigners to the covenants of the promise and 4/5) without hope and without God in the world.

2:13  BUT NOW!!! We, who were the ones who were once far away, are no longer far away !!

2:19-20 Consequently  We are 1) no longer foreigners and strangers of the covenants of the promise. We are now 2) fellow citizens [not of Israel, but of God’s Kingdom] with God’s people and members of His household. We are 3) unified through the prophets, the Apostles, and especially Jesus Christ as the chief cornerstone of our unity. Because of Jesus we are 4/5) no longer without hope and without God in this world. 

3:1 & 13 Even though a prisoner of Rome, Paul calls himself a prisoner of Christ for us.  

Paul knows God uses the sufferings of His missionaries to spread His word, for our glory.

3:2-3 What did Paul write earlier? Refer back to 1:8-10

With all wisdom and understanding, He made known to us the mystery of His will according to His good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.

3:4-5  What was unknown, but hinted at in Psalm 117  

3:6 The mystery revealed. Remember last week I spoke of as the pillars of this “dividing wall” on the temple mount was excavated in 1871. It read in the Greek: “No man of another nation is to enter within this fence and enclosure round the temple. And whoever is caught will have himself to blame that his death ensues.” This was their racism, their pride, it was not of God and it was this dividing wall Jesus broke down when He joined together Jew and Gentile creating one new single humanity reconciled to God through the cross while destroying the hostility and enmity between us. Paul made this explicit in Galatians 3:29:

3:7-11 Paul is made a preacher of two messages – v8 the boundless riches of Christ NIV or the unsearchable riches of Christ KJV and v9 to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things  NIV or to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ KJV.

WHY? From v10-11 God uses the saints to reveal His wisdom to the angelic beings, both faithful and fallen angels. This reminds us that we are called for something far greater than our own individual salvation and sanctification. We are called to be the means by which God teaches the universe a lesson, a wonderful beautiful lesson.

3:12Not only accepted (brought near) We have access to the Father, something the Jews did not have except through their priests.

Again 3:1 & 13 Even though a prisoner of Rome, Paul calls himself a prisoner of Christ for us.  

Paul knows God uses the sufferings of His missionaries to spread His word, for our glory.

3:14-21 Paul shows us God accomplishes His will through Paul’s and our prayers. Through the indwelling of Christ in our hearts. rooted and established in love – for one another.“Two expressions are used: ‘rooted,’ like a living tree which lays hold upon the soil, twists itself round the rocks, and cannot be upturned: ‘established,’ like a building which has been settled, as a whole, and will never show any cracks or flaws in the future through failures in the foundation.” (Spurgeon)

The last two verses v20-21 of this chapter not only are part of the prayer that precedes them, but also are an explanation of every glorious privilege and blessing spoken of in the first three chapters.

OUR FUTURE “And as He spoke, He no longer looked to them like a lion; but the things that began to happen after that were so great and beautiful that I cannot write them. And for us this the end of all the stories, and we can most truly say that they all lived happily ever after. But for them it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on for ever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.”  C.S. Lewis, The Last Battle