Chapters   1 2 3 4 5 6

Ephesians Chapter 3

  • (Eph 3:1) For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles,

He calls himself a prisoner here because of the dedication and commitment he makes for the spreading of the gospel. He lived for no other purpose than to live for Jesus Christ. Nothing else occupied his thoughts.

I've met lots of ministers in my lifetime but I have so far seen only one person living today who has the same dedication to the ministry as Paul.

  • (Eph 3:2) If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:

In his mind, the gospel of the dispensation or stewardship of grace was given to him for the purpose to giving it out to others.

  • (Eph 3:3) How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words,
  • (Eph 3:4) Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)
  • (Eph 3:5) Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;
  • (Eph 3:6) That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:

The mystery that has been hidden for ages was that the gospel of Jesus Christ was for Gentiles as well as Jews. Beforehand the law of Moses was given only to God's chose people, Israel. There was no hope for Gentile nations unless they happen to accept the God of Israel through faith similar to Rahab in the days of Joshua or Ruth mentioned in the book of Ruth. The gospel of salvation through Jesus Christ at that time was not known clearly except that they looked forward to the coming Messiah.

The wonderful salvation by faith in Jesus Christ was for all the whole earth. Jesus died for the sins of everyone. Only those who accept this are saved though. A free gift can't be given unless it is received by the recipient.

  • (Eph 3:7) Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power.

The power of God was given to Paul to enable him to preach the gospel. This is given to all who are called to preach the gospel. The Holy Ghost is given to all who believe and the gifts of the Spirit is distributed unto the church in order to edify the body of Christ. These can be studied in 1 Corinthians.

  • (Eph 3:8) Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;

Paul thought himself the least, first of all because that is how we all should think of ourselves to avoid being lifted up in pride and secondly because Paul believed that since he once persecuted the church, that made him the least.

  • (Eph 3:9) And 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:

The mystery that the Gentiles can be saved should really make us rejoice. Here is Jesus' words about the Gentile sheep.

  • John 10:16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. 

Jewish and Gentile believers in Jesus Christ should be of the same mind and one accord in perfect unity of spirit.

  • (Eph 3:10) To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,

After Jesus Christ and the giving of the Holy Spirit we can know the manifold wisdom of God. We no longer have to be in the dark and ignorant of spiritual things. Freedom from sin, the new birth, resurrection, gifts of the Spirit are now revealed to us. The plan of God for the salvation of all mankind is revealed to us. We see that this is not limited to one race of people but to all who believe and accept Jesus Christ by faith.

  • (Eph 3:11) According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:

His whole plan for mankind always has been for all to be saved. It is us that hold back, not God. His eternal purpose was for our salvation and for our good.  God never desires evil to overcome anyone.  God does not desire any of us to remain lost and be doomed for hell.  

  • (Eph 3:12) In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.

The Holy Spirit gives us boldness and confidence after we have believed in Jesus Christ to be able to pray and make requests to God without fear.

  • (Eph 3:13) Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you, which is your glory.

Paul admonishes them not to get discouraged when they hear of the tribulations he suffers for the gospel's sake.  He wants them to know that it is his own choice to preach the gospel knowing that if he does, it will cause persecution.   Paul remembers probably that he was once the cause of persecution against the church.

  • 2Ti 3:12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

We can trust that God will not allow any believer to go through more than he or she can bare. 

  • (Eph 3:14) For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
  • (Eph 3:15) Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,
  • (Eph 3:16) That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;

No matter what our circumstances are, we must pray to be strengthened by the Spirit of God within the inner man. We should pray this for one another.

  • (Eph 3:17) That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,

That first Christ dwells in our hearts by faith. Second that we should be rooted and grounded in love.

When we read about certain churches who begin to persecute others who disagreed with them during the ages after the gospel began to spread, we know that those people have fallen away from the first love and are not rooted and grounded in love. Some religions persecute others who are different and actually think they are doing God a service or favor. Those that do such things do not know God and have fallen away from the first love of spreading the gospel and having compassion on the lost. When we lose our compassion for the lost and suffering of our fellow men, we have gotten away from our original calling and have become just a religion. Religion without the compassion of Christ is very dangerous. Let us seek to remain rooted and grounded in love.

  • (Eph 3:18) May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;
  • (Eph 3:19) And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.

This is what we should pray continually:

  1. To be strengthened by God's Spirit in the inner man. 
  2. That Christ may dwell in our hearts by faith.
  3. That we be rooted and grounded in love. 
  4. That we be able to understand along with all believers the depths of the love of Christ which is beyond our own natural knowledge. 
  5. That we might be filled with the fullness of God.

Without seeking these things and growing in the love of God, we become stale Christians and stand in danger of becoming just a religion with no compassion or else returning to a life of sin and unbelief.

Lets us strive that our Christianity isn't just a religion. Jesus should not be a religion but a life that is full and vibrant with God's love and compassion for the lost and dying world around us.

  • (Eph 3:20) Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,

If it were not possible to have these things, God would not have had Paul write these things down for all to read. It is God's will that all be saved and escape hell. After we are saved, it is God's will for all to grow in the love of God and continue in the faith.