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Scripture Reading: Ephesians 3:1-7
The Church: To God be the Glory
1. The church: Fullness of Christ (Eph. 1); Alive with Christ (new condition and new relation, Eph. 2).
2. In Eph. 3 the offering of a second prayer is preceded by a parenthetical explanation of how God had given Paul the work of preaching the gospel to the Gentiles.
3. Eph. 3:21: This chapter focuses on giving glory to God (honor, splendor) as it sums up the first half of the letter (“glory” of God 7x’s in Eph. 1-3). Giving glory to God is the fundamental purpose and goal of the church. Why God should be glorified in the church.
I. THE CHURCH GLORIFIES GOD FOR THE REVELATION OF GOD’S MYSTERY, Eph. 3:1-9.
A. The Mystery of Christ has been:
1. Revealed, 3:1-3.
a. Paul imprisoned for preaching salvation of Gentiles (Acts 22:21-22).
b. Dispensation: “Stewardship” to preach gospel to Gentiles, 3:2 (Acts 26:16-18; Gal. 2:7-8).
c. Revelation of the mystery to Paul, 3:2; Gal.1:11-12; 1 Cor. 2:10-12; Jno. 16:13. (Same to all apostles, 3:5)
2. Written, 3:3.
a. Preceding discussion of salvation of Gentiles (2:11-18).
b. Writing was authoritative, 1 Cor. 14:37; 2 Ths. 2:15.
3. Understandable, 3:4.
a. “When you read”: How we understand the truth, Rom. 10:17; Jno. 17:17; 8:32. (With teaching, Acts 8:30-31; 2 Tim. 2:2)
b. Assurance of understanding, Col. 2:2. Without church leaders, “Holy Tradition”, creeds, etc. telling us what the truth really is.
4. Defined, 3:6.
a. Once hidden but now fully revealed, 3:5, 9; Col. 1:26-27.
b. Gentiles are full participants in blessings of the Christ, 3:6 (2:11-13).
c. One body (church) in which all men have every spiritual blessing (1:3, 23; 2:14-16).
5. Preached, 3:7-9.
a. Riches of Christ, 3:8; Col. 1:27-29.
b. God be glorified – All may be saved!
II. THE CHURCH GLORIFIES GOD FOR HIS WISDOM, Eph. 3:10-13.
A. The Church Reveals the Nature of God’s Wisdom, 3:10.
1. Manifold: “Much varied,” many-colored.
2. cf. 2:11-22: God took disorder and chaos between the Jews and Gentiles – In the church (body) He produced unity and peace – Redemption.
B. Importance of the Church, 3:10-11.
1. Used to show God’s wisdom.
2. Part of eternal purpose, 3:11.
3. Cannot separate Christ from the church.
C. We have Boldness in Christ, 3:12-13.
1. Gentiles needed to be assured – Access through faith (2:8, 18).
2. God be glorified – We can go to God!
III. THE CHURCH GLORIFIES GOD FOR HIS BLESSINGS, 3:14-19.
A. Spiritual Enrichment, Eph. 3:14-19.
1. Strengthened with power through the Spirit, 3:16.
a. Be led by the Spirit and the inner man is spiritually strong, Gal. 5:16, 22-24.
b. God’s power at work in you.
2. Christ may dwell in your hearts, 3:17-18.
a. By faith, Jno. 14:23.
b. Effect: Rooted and grounded in love, 3:17.
c. Be strengthened (able) to comprehend (to appropriate, seize, lay hold of) the power of God, 3:18 (16).
d. To know God’s power (its B, L, H, D); to “make it our own” (1:18-19).
e. cf. Eph. 3:8: Unsearchable (by human ability) – we can know.
3. Know the love of Christ, 3:19.
-Experience it (infinite, grand) – Transformed by it (1 Jno. 4:7-21).
4. Filled with all fullness of God, 3:19.
a. Made full in Christ, Col. 2:10.
b. All spiritual blessings are in Him…His church, Eph. 1:3, 23.
1. The church’s purpose is to glorify God, 3:21.
2. We are sustained by His power (3:20), assured by the revelation of the mystery (3:19) and made bold through faith in Christ (3:11-12).
By: Joe R. Price
Posted: February 9, 2013