God’s Marvelous Plan for the Gentiles

Sun, May 29, 2016

Teacher: Yale Wall Series: Ephesians Scripture: Ephesians 3:1-13

May 29, 2016

 

Ephesians

Chapter 3, Part 1
God’s Marvelous Plan for the Gentiles

Ephesians 3:1-6
For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles — 2 Surely you have heard about the administration of God’s grace that was given to me for you, 3 that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation, as I have already written briefly. 4 In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, 5 which was not made known to people in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God’s holy apostles and prophets. 6 This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus.

 

For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles

He calls himself a prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of the Gentiles, which makes it clear that Christ is the one with ownership over him. He also says, he is in prison for the sake of the Gentiles.  In chapter 2 he lays out that Gentiles are just as important as Jews - if he didn't subscribe to that, he wouldn't be in prison, and he would definitely not have a good attitude about it

 

2 Surely you have heard about the administration of God’s grace that was given to me for you, 3 that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation, as I have already written briefly.

If Paul failed with his task, the gentiles wouldn’t hear the Gospel and today’s church wouldn’t exist. Paul’s calling in life was to bring the Gospel to the gentiles and to “administer the grace of God” to people that had never heard.

 

4 In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, 5 which was not made known to people in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God’s holy apostles and prophets.

When Paul describes something as a mystery, he’s not talking about something that is unknown… He talking about something that is known, but ONLY because God revealed it to us. In this case, its grace - without Jesus paying the ultimate price, we wouldn't really understand what grace is.

 

6 This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus.

The Jews were the only ones who would have eternal life with God, and now that eternal life is for everyone. We’re heirs together with Isreal: one body, sharers together in the fortune that is the grace of God. We are now “heirs” to salvation. Because of our changed identity through Jesus Christ, we belong to a family that we have no earthly right to belong to.

 

Ephesians 3:7-13
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. 10 His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, 11 according to his eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. 12 In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence. 13 I ask you, therefore, not to be discouraged because of my sufferings for you, which are your glory.

 

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. 

That doesn’t mean that he has a low self esteem and he thinks he is worthless. What it means is that he had no amazing talent or gift that made him worthy of his position in the church. But, he was chosen,not based on his ability, but based on God’s grace. In and of ourselves, we are worthless. In God, we are worth everything

Romans 8:37 says, 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

 

10 His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, 11 according to his eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord.

He’s calling on the church to step up and proclaim Christ so that even the evil powers understand the power of the Gospel. We as the church are not just called to live out the Gospel, we are called to boldly proclaim the gospel - even blatantly in the face of evil.

 

12 In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence. 13 I ask you, therefore, not to be discouraged because of my sufferings for you, which are your glory.

In him and through faith in him, we can approach him now.  It's incredible that even though we are so weak, and he is so strong, he cares about our small issues.

 

Communication Card

- I will take steps to live up to the calling that God has given me.
- I will boldly proclaim the Gospel when I’m being attacked.
- I will read through Ephesians once this week.

 

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