August 05, 2022 – Friday
Ephesians 3:7-9 NIV
7 I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God’s grace given me through the working of his power.
8 Although I am less than the least of all the Lord’s people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the boundless riches of Christ,
9 and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things.
Almost included these with yesterday’s verses but decided each needed their own comments. Yesterday in verses 2-3, the equal partnership of the Gentiles and Jews in the church was emphasized, but in today’s verses Paul addresses his own servanthood in connection with the church.
In verse seven Paul writes, I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God’s grace given me through the working of His power. Some Bible versions have I became a minister of the gospel, but that is misleading. It is misleading because the word minister is the technical term used today to designate the pastor of a church (Wuest). It is as a servant Paul served the Lord in connection with the mystery discussed yesterday. In becoming a servant of the gospel, Paul was the recipient of an underserved gift or as he wrote, by the gift of God’s grace given me through the working of His power. It is much the same for us as when we accept the offered grace, it is undeserved and given to us via God’s power. Just as we receive grace in spite of our sins, Paul receiving grace also showed God’s power in reaching the proud, self-righteous Pharisee, saving his soul, commissioning him as an apostle, empowering him to receive revelations, and strengthening him for the work. Just as with us, the gift of grace was given to him by God’s power.
Next in verse eight, Paul writes, Although I am less than the least of all the Lord’s people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the boundless riches of Christ. This may seem like false humility initially. However, this is the true self-estimate of anyone who is filled by the Holy Spirit and is aware of their own sinfulness and inadequacy. In Paul’s case there was the added memory that he had personally zealously persecuted the Lord Jesus (Acts 9)) by persecuting His church. Yet Paul’s purpose was to preach to the Gentiles the boundless riches of Christ. Not just preach of Christ, but of His riches, His boundless riches. Boundless riches of compassion, of love, of sanctifying, of comforting and of life altering power, all without limit, and able to satisfy every want, every craving, and every yearning of the heart, now and for eternity.
Then in verse nine, Paul was to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things. In other words, Paul’s task was to enlighten believers as to how the mystery of God was being worked out in practice. This involved revealing the mystery that had been kept hidden from Jew and Gentile alike. The mystery that was kept hidden throughout the ages until the time of Christ. The secret, the mystery, was hidden in Jesus who created all things including the angels and the universe. And He created the church, but He withheld knowledge of this new creation until after He came, died, was resurrected, and rose to heaven. Bottom Line: Stop and ask yourself what YOU will do as a servant of God? As an undeserving recipient of His grace, what will you do with your life?
Prayer: Loving Heavenly Father, Help us to make the most of Your gift of salvation, of grace, by serving within Your will. Give us the strength You gave Paul to serve You.* – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Calvary Chapel of Dayton