God’s Renewing Word of Unity in Christ Jesus
Ephesians 3:1-13: The apostle Paul explains that Gentiles are now included in God’s plan of salvation and share in the promise that God made through Christ Jesus. He refers to “God’s secret plan” (verse 9) when describing his outreach to the Gentiles.
Paul’s Work for the Gentiles
1For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles, pray to God. 2Surely you have heard that God in his grace has given me this work to do for your good. 3God 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.) 5In past times human beings were not told this secret, but God has revealed it now by the Spirit to his holy apostles and prophets. 6The 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.
7I was made a servant of the gospel by God’s special gift, which he gave me through the working of his power. 8I 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, 9and 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, 10in 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. 11God did this according to his eternal purpose, which he achieved through Christ Jesus our Lord. 12In union with Christ and through our faith in him we have the boldness to go into God’s presence with all confidence. 13I beg you, then, not to be discouraged because I am suffering for you; it is all for your benefit.
Today’s Key Verse: Ephesians 3:12
In union with Christ and through our faith in him we have the boldness to go into God’s presence with all confidence.
In verse 7, Paul claims to be a “servant of the gospel by God’s special gift.” To what does this special gift refer? Paul refers to God’s “secret plan” or “secret” (verses 3, 5, 6, 9). How does he explain this secret? What is his overall message to the Gentiles?
Thank you, Lord God, that your blessings are for all people and for inviting me to share in the promises that you have made through Christ Jesus. Amen.
Ephesians 3:14-21: The apostle Paul prays again for the Ephesians.