Ephesians 3 Analysis

Verse 1

·         Paul in prison, for the sake of Gentiles

·         Why? – Again, recall the audience of this book (Ephesians – Gentiles)

Part 1 – Paul’s identity as a preacher to Gentiles

Verse 2

·         Gentiles hear that Paul obtained gifts from God

·         What is the gift? To be the bridge of the gospel – so that Gentiles can hear the good news

Verse 3

·         Paul wrote the mystery of the gospel to the Gentiles

·         For those who know the Bible (particularly the New Testament), from Romans till Philemon were all letters written by Paul, each with a unique theme written to all believers and followers

Verse 4 – Verse 5

·         Paul knows the mysteries of Christ – something that none knew about from before

·         For those who read it – we can see Paul’s wisdom, and that this wisdom is not from this world

·         Again, not known to people from before, but now, it is “revealed” by the Spirit to apostles and prophets

·         Who are the apostles and prophets?

·         Apostles – recall chapter 1, the “saints of Ephesus” – does that indicate all who believe?

Verse 6

·         What is the mystery exactly?

·         The mystery: “through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus”

·         Recall the idea of one family – we are all God’s children

·         From Ephesians 2, “we are no longer foreigners and aliens” – we are heirs of God’s promise

·         Note: this time Paul explicitly said that we are all HEIRS

Verse 7

·         Paul obtained the gospel, not because he was good, but because of God’s grace

·         Again, the reoccurrence of God’s grace – theme

·         The “gift” is according to HIS grace and HIS will


Verse 8 – Verse 9

·         Interesting statement: “I am less than the least of all God’s people” – why would Paul describe himself like so?

·         Emphasis on God’s almighty power

·         Recall: Paul was a persecutor of Christians at the start – see Acts

·         So he was an enemy of God – yet God revealed Himself to Paul and through grace, Paul became a believer and became a servant of God

·         Analogy: one day a world-famous professor from Harvard was talking to your parents and discovered you…he immediately took interest in you and want you to speak on his behalf to all the people in your school – to give a lecture

·         The prof gave you all his notes, and taught you all that he knew

·         How would that make you feel? Would you feel honoured? – Now imagine how Paul feels, to have the creator of the universe tell Paul to speak on His behalf to the people on earth about the mystery of God

·         Perhaps that is why Paul is so excited

Verse 10 – Verse 11

·         A very interesting verse, Paul notes that God, through the church, let not only the authority on earth know his power (which can be implied), but also all the power and authority in the heavens

·         So what are the authorities of heaven? – Angels

·         This was the predestined plan that God had for us, which was made possible through Christ our Lord

The “principalities and powers in heavenly places” are the various orders of angels in heaven. The angels see what God accomplished in the church and see through the church the manifold wisdom of God. The point is not that the church preaches the manifold wisdom of God when it preaches the gospel, although this is a true statement; rather, the church manifests the wisdom of God in the same manner as a beautiful painting manifests the skills of a painter, a bridge displays the skills of an architect, and a beautiful song displays the skills of its lyrist and musicians. When the angels see what God has accomplished in the church, they see the manifold wisdom of God that was concealed throughout the ages during which his divine plan was coming to fruition. Henry Alford quoted Stier as saying that to the angels, the church is “the fact of the great spiritual body, constituted in Christ, which they contemplate, and which is to them the theatron tes doxas tou Theou” (theater of the glory of God, mw) (The Greek Testament: Ephesians III:106). H.A.W. Meyer said, “To the angels, in accordance with their ministering interest in the work of redemption (Matt. xviii.10; Luke xv.7, 10; 1 Cor. xi.10; Heb. i.14; 1 Pet. i.12), the church of the redeemed is therefore, as it were, the mirror, by means of which the wisdom of God exhibits itself to them” (Meyer’s Commentary on the New Testament: Ephesians 416).

Source: http://www.bible.ca/ef/expository-ephesians-3-10-11.htm

Note, Paul now note only states that the church (all us believers) are to be the light of the world, but also show to the angels in heaven of the greatness of God

Angels will see:

·         How God saves men

·         What God can do with sin defiled men – nothing is impossible with God

·         Jews (God’s chosen) and Gentiles reconciled into one body – one church, one Christ


Picture this, a bunch of world’s top class musicians are sitting in the audience row watching the performance of a group of amateur musicians who barely had any musician training

Yet the conductor, the greatest musician in the world is leading the symphony

The professional musicians all watch with awe and amazement as they realized that it is because of the great skill and abilities of the conductor that the amateurs can play so well, all they need to do is TRUST in the conductor

Verse 12 – 13

·         No fear trusting in the Lord, because He gives you security and peace

·         Just like the amateurs trusting in the conductor and listening to his guidance, they were able to successfully play the musical piece

·         Indicates that the people of Ephesus were worried and discouraged because Paul was imprisoned, but Paul told them to rest assured, there is no need to worry, because all is in God’s hands

Part 3 – A Prayer to Christians

Verse 14 – 15

·         Note how Paul prays, kneel in prayer – acknowledges the fact that God the Father is the origin of life (his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name)

·         Again, after the revelation from verse 11-13 – excitement

Verse 16 – Strength and Faith

·         Let God strength our hearts when we are weak – Ephesus saints are probably weak in spirit then, Paul prays for them

Verse 17 – Love

·         Through faith in God, let love fill our hearts and be deeply rooted

Verse 18 – 19 – Assurance of Christ’s Love

·         How WIDE, LONG, HIGH, and DEEP the love of Christ is – how deep is the ocean? There is a limit…but not the love of Christ

·         And know that this love surpasses the understanding of men, and cannot be comprehended by men’s limited knowledge and wisdom

·         Do not try to reason with God’s love, let His love flow into you, and then you will see and feel His love

Verse 20 – 21 – God’s Almighty Power

·         Assurance – God can accomplish anything, pray and take heart. Have faith and trust in God

·         Recall: Proverbs 3:5-6

·         Do you have doubt in your heart? Do you have things that are troubling you? Do you have pains and difficulties that you cannot overcome?

·         Bring those things before God, let Him be your guide. If you truly acknowledge Him as the great creator of the world, then let Him guide you in your path.

·         May God’s name be praised and glorified

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