group

Paul's Work
for the
Gentiles


Ephesians 3:1-12

Good News Translation (GNT)


1 For this reason I, Paul,
  the prisoner of Christ Jesus
  for the sake of you Gentiles,
  pray to God.
2 Surely you have heard
  that God in his grace
  has given me this work
  to do for your good.
3 God revealed his secret plan
  and made it known to me.
  (I have written briefly
  about this,
4 and if you will read
  what I have written,
  you can learn about my
  understanding of the
  secret of Christ.)
5 In past times human beings
  were not told this secret,
  but God has revealed it now
  by the Spirit to his holy
  apostles and prophets.
6 The secret is that
  by means of the gospel
  the Gentiles have a part with the
  Jews in God's blessings;
  they are members of the
  same body and share in
  the promise that God made
  through Christ Jesus.
7 I was made a servant of
  the gospel by God's special gift,
  which he gave me through
  the working of his power.
8 I am less than the least
  of all God's people;
  yet God gave me this
  privilege of taking
  to the Gentiles the
  Good News about the
  infinite riches of Christ,
9 and of making all people
  see how God's secret plan
  is to be put into effect.
  God, who is the Creator
  of all things,
  kept his secret hidden
  through all the past ages,
10 in order that at
   the present time,
   by means of the church,
   the angelic rulers and powers
   in the heavenly world
   might learn of his wisdom
   in all its different forms.
11 God did this according
   to his eternal purpose,
   which he achieved through
   Christ Jesus our Lord.
12 In union with Christ
   and through our faith in him
   we have the boldness
   to go into God's presence
   with all confidence.



Taken from
'The Applied New Testament
 Commentary' (Kingsway)


Paul
the Preacher
to the Gentiles


Ephesians 3:1-12


Paul is writing this letter,
while imprisoned
in a Roman jail,
because of his
preaching to Gentiles.

He had made Jesus
the ruler and Lord
of his life at all times
and in all places.

Paul had received
a special administration
of God's grace
to do this work.

Paul talks about the mystery
that had been revealed
to him, namely, that God will,
one day, unite all things
through Jesus.

The Ephesians would
surely know that Paul
did indeed have insight
into what this mystery
was all about, namely,
that Jesus is the head
over everything,
and that in Him
Jews and Gentiles are now
united in one body,
the church.

This mystery was not
revealed to the people
who lived before the
time of Jesus.

Only when He came to earth
was it fully revealed to
God's holy apostles and
( New Testament) prophets,
by the Holy Spirit.

Paul states again that
Gentile believers have
become heirs, members
and sharers together
with the Jews.

Jewish and Gentile believers
have become one in the Christ;
they are equal in God's sight.

The Jews considered
the Gentiles "low caste" and
themselves "high caste".
But now, in Christ,
there are no castes;
all have become one.

Now believers have become
God's special people
and share together in the
promise of salvation
through faith in Jesus.

All of us who believe in
Jesus and obey Him have,
like Paul,
have been made servants
of the Gospel through
the grace and power of God.

We need to ask ourselves:


"Whose servant am I?
 Who do I spend most
 of my time serving?
 How much do I love
 Jesus and His Gospel?"


Paul does not exalt himself.
If Paul were among us today,
he would surely say:
"I am less than
the least of you."

The special work,
that God gave Paul to do,
was to preach to the
Gentiles the unsearchable
riches of Jesus.

When we are talking with
our friends and neighbours,
do we ever tell them about
the unsearchable
riches of Jesus?

Have we ourselves
received these riches?
Or are we like the guest
invited to a great banquet
who sits down at the table
but does not eat?

The men of the world seek
after riches that spoil;
but we have found riches
that will last forever.
Should we not tell others?

Each church possesses the
unsearchable riches of Christ.
We have enough spiritual
wealth and power to share
with everyone;
our supply is infinite!

But the greatest thing
we have to share is
Jesus Himself.

Paul was appointed by God
to make plain, to everyone,
the administration
of this mystery.

Before the time of Jesus,
this mystery had been
kept hidden,
but now at last
it was revealed.

That involved creating
a new spiritual people,
the church,
of which all men on earth
can be members,
through faith in Jesus.

God's intention was to show
His wisdom to the rulers and
authorities in the
heavenly realms.

Through the church,
He will show His wisdom
to both angels and
evil spirits.

God's wisdom can be seen
not only by men,
but even by Satan himself.

The church,
which is the body of Christ,
has overcome
the authority of Satan.

God's eternal purpose
is that all people -
both Jew and Gentile -
might enter with boldness
into His presence and
become members of
His family, the church.

Second only to the Christ's
death and resurrection,
the establishing of the church
has been (and continues to be)
the most significant
development in the
history of mankind.

And in the Bible,
we read about the greatest
"peace treaty" of all,
the peace treaty between
God and man,
which was mediated
by Christ Jesus.



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