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Ephesians 3 The revelation of the Body of Christ revealed in practical form.

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1 Ephesians 3 The revelation of the Body of Christ revealed in practical form

2 Eph 3:1-4 For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles– if indeed you have heard of the stewardship of God's grace which was given to me for you; that by revelation that by revelation there was made known to me the mystery, as I wrote before in brief. By referring to this, when you read By referring to this, when you read you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, 2:11-22 The combining of the Jews and Gentiles into the building of God People are always the objective; and are always worth the sacrifice—”I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I do my share on behalf of His Body (which is the church) in filling up that which is lacking in Christ’s afflictions” Col 1:24 Price to pay: Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. 12 For the which cause I also suffer these things 2 Tim 1:11-12 Whatever Paul did, he was under Christ’s control. We become accountable for all truth understood to share it, the spiritual gifts, opportunities, skills and fulfill their purpose for the kingdom: 1 Cor 9:17 For if I do this voluntarily, I have a reward; but if against my will, I have a stewardship entrusted to me. musterion, a secret only known when it is revealed; newly revealed truth sunesis, flowing together of known knowledge; trustworthy application 1:9-12; 2:11-12

3 Source of Knowledge 4 By referring to this, when you read you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit; Sunesis, bring together knowledge to grasp its full meaning There were hints in the OT but only understood in NT: God told Abraham, “in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (Gen 12:3) or Isa 49:6, “I will make you a light of the nations so my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth” explained in Acts 13:46-47 Aorist tense: complete in NT period. Not an ongoing action The Divine Agency of revelation: “that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God (2 Pet 1:20-21)

4 The Plan of the Mystery 6and fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel, 7 of which I was made a minister, according to the gift of God's grace which was given to me according to the working of His power OT saw Gentiles blessed (Gen 12:3), Gentiles would bless God (Psa 72), Messiah would come to Gentiles (Isa 11:10; 49:6) and be saved by Messiah (Hos 1:10; Amos 9:11) and receive the Spirit (Joel 2:28-29)--- but making them ONE with Jews! Jews and Gentiles now indistinguishable diakonos, “slave, servant” – one who does what he is told Rom 10:14, “How then shall they call upon Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? 1 Cor 15:10, “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with Me” Not appearance, talent nor intellect that made him a minister, but God: “I have appeared to you to appoint you a minister and a witness” Act 26:16 dunameos “ability to carry out a function” “I labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within Me” Col 1:29

5 Performance of Ministry 8 To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ, 9 and to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God who created all things; Not false humility, but honest appraisal. To the end of his life he was the “foremost sinner” (1 Tim 1:15). In 1 Cor 15:9, he is the “very least” of apostles; He never claimed a second work of grace to attain holiness or perfection. Impossible to trace or imagine; Used of a reservoir so deep it cannot be measured—thus no limit can be placed on it’s resources. euanggelizo, “to announce the good news” ethnos, “nation, people, ethnic group, people group” ploutos “fullness, abundance, completeness”—all we have in Christ. “In Him you have been made complete” (Col 2:10) oikonomia, “administration, responsibility, stewardship” The essence of the gospel sharing: to bring to level of understanding Mt 13:19 When any one hears the word of the kingdom, and understands it not,

6 Purpose of the Mystery 10 so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places. 11 This was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord, 12 in whom we have boldness and confident access through faith in Him. hina, purpose statement polypoikilos, describes an embroidered pattern or a flower arrangement in a variety of colors Wisdom is not the concept of redemption, but the new relationship between believing Jews and Gentiles The local church unity, in spite of cultural and national differences is the cosmic proof that God’s way is always best. Not only is love and unity a message to the world (Jn 13:35), but to the cosmic audience. prothesis, “proposal, setting something out to be viewed by others” The united church on a local practical level with heterogeneous mixture of peoples is God’s Objective for Calvary’s Redemption. poieo, aor. act. “produced, made ready, accomplished” The greatest privilege of the church, of all believers equally: “For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” Heb 4:15-16

7 Power over Discouragement 13 Therefore I ask you not to lose heart at my tribulations on your behalf, for they are your glory. 14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, 16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, ekkakeo, “be spiritless, ready to quit.” (pres neg= “stop doing it”) Satan uses any excuse to get us to believe it is not worth it or God is not there. Galatians 6:9 And let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we shall reap if we do not grow weary. thlipsis, “pressure, opposition” Everyone wants to be part of something popular, but shy away from being rejected Acts 14:22 “…strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying, "Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God." Proud to be part of an eternal glory, not temporal popularity; 2 Corinthians 4:17 For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, God is appealed to as a personal Father, tender, loving and concerned Who is the origin of every family … if only they knew what is available. kata, “proportionate to” Since God’s resources are infinite, so His responses. krataiothenai, “strong to overcome resistance” Not power to be “great” but to be victorious over difficulties in fulfilling our Christian life purpose 2 Corinthians 4:16 Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day.

8 Power to understand His love 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God. katoikeo, “inhabit, be at home” as we submit to His control. He is not a tolerated visitor. Refers to quality of His presence Both verbs perfect tense: past action with continuing result. “Rooted” (as a plant), “grounded” (as a building) In what? In the knowledge of God’s great love for us as seen in His giving us every spiritual blessing. Katalambano, “To grasp and make one’s own” the extent that God will go to convince mankind of His love– look what He did to His son, and to His apostles who gave their lives for the gospel pleroo, “abound, be completely like or full of the source” Breadth= God’s amazing acceptance of different peoples Length= Time from before creation (1:4-5) we were special Height= He blessed us in heavenly places (2:6) already Depth= Even to the most depraved He has reached down to save 4:13 = Filled with fullness of Christ 5:18 = Filled with fullness of Spirit ginosko, “perceive, intimate experience”. Such knowledge is to be our model, how we are to think of others and the world The more one knows, the more amazed at His love for him and likewise the more challenged at how much he should commit to loving the world as well!

9 Benediction 20 Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, 21 to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen. “with all eagerness” In context: to reach far more people to be part of the Church, the Body of Christ God works beyond what we know or can imagine. Once started, the Gospel keeps working in lives beyond anything we could dream. dunamin, 33x, “the inherent power residing in a thing by virtue of its nature”– A power to overcome all adversity and challenge. Phil 3:10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death Where the miracle of love for one another will occur As Christ brought glory to the Father by fulfilling His will by giving Himself for the lives of believers from all the world, so the churches should follow His example

10 Overview of the Letter to the Ephesians Introduction 1:1-2 1:3 Blessings in Christ 2:1 Experience of Salvation 3:1 Growing, Knowledge and Strength Conclusion 6: :1 Christian Conduct 6:10 Christian Armor Our Inheritance in Christ WORK of God Our Life in Christ WALK of Christian

11 REFLECTION


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