Ephesians 3:1-13 Grace To Speak About Jesus

by | Jun 2, 2023 | Ephesians, New Testament

I. Negatives To Overcome

A. Prison V. 1

1. Paul wrote this letter from a jail cell in Rome.
2. He had been imprisoned by Rome at the urging of the Jewish leader of Israel.
3. Paul had been given the responsibility of preaching Christ to the Gentiles.
4. This brought the hatred of the Jews upon him, and he suffered much for it.
5. Imprisonment could affect him negatively in at least two ways:

a. Possible feelings of inadequacy or self-disqualification, failure.
b. A silencing of Paul due to his fear of further suffering.

6. Instead, Paul continued preaching both in person and in his writings.
7. How was he able to do this? Through having a right perspective.
8. Prisoner of Christ Jesus– Not a prisoner of Rome, or because of the Jews, etc.
9. Paul had been Christian for about 26-28 years at this point.
10. Paul was told early on that he would have to suffer for Christ. (Acts 9:13-16)
11. He often referred to himself as a “bondslave of Jesus Christ”, a willing slave.

a. Bondslave- “One whose life is swallowed up in the will of another.”
b. If you discover Jesus to be worth giving your life over to, then whatever happens is understood to be for His glory and the benefit of the Believer.
c. Paul had decided long before prison that he would follow Jesus.
d. Prison wasn’t a first-time challenge of Paul’s faith, it was just another challenge.

12. God had given Paul grace to speak the Gospel even with this great challenge.

B. Bad Personal History V. 8a

1. 1 Timothy 1:12-14.
2. Acts 26:9-11.
3. Satan is called “The Accuser Of The Brethren.” Many times, he will remind us of our past, and the many wrong things we have done.
4. Understanding God’s grace is essential to share Christ effectively and freely.
5. Ephesians 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God…
6. Grace- unmerited favor, divine friendship, strengthening from God.

C. Others Who Thought Themselves Unqualified

1. Moses-Exodus 4:10-13
2. Jeremiah- Jeremiah 1:4-10a
3. Timothy 1 Timothy 4:12-14

II. Positives

A. Grace Given Vs. 2, 7, 8a

1. V. 2- Dispensation of grace-to manage, administer, oversee, dispense.

a. God carefully “dispensed” His giving of grace to Paul for Paul’s ministry.
b. By God’s design and administration, certain grace was given to Paul.

2. V. 7- Gift of grace– God gifted Paul with the ability to walk in his particular calling.

a. “…by the effective working of His power.” One word in Greek- energeia.
b. If a person calls you to a task, they can only give you so much ability.
c. In the New Testament, this always speaks of supernatural empowering.

3. V. 8- This grace– The grace that Paul for his ministry and the consequences of it.

B. Revelation Given V. 3

1. Paul taught thru revelation by the risen Jesus Christ. See Galatians 1:11-24
2. Unless that were true, & grace given to say it, one might think a person insane.
3. Bold thing for Paul to say. Grace was needed to say this without fear or pride.

C. Knowledge Given V. 4

1. knowledge- mental comprehension.
2. Essentially, Paul is saying, “I understand things that you don’t. Let me explain”.

D. Boldness About Having Received Knowledge V. 5

1. Paul claimed knowledge that in other ages had not been known. That was true.
2. The unfolding mystery of “the church”. Romans 10:19-21
3. John 10:4, 16 “And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep
follow him, for they know his voice…”And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also
I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd.
4. Hinted at in Old Testament and by Jesus but revealed fully after Jesus’ death and resurrection.

E. Conviction About Responsibility Vs. 8-12

1. V. 8– Paul understood grace was given for the carrying out of a task-Preaching
2. V. 9– Grace given to Paul so he could “make all see”.

a. phōtizō- to give light, to shine, to illuminate, to make clear, to instruct.

3. V. 10- Grace that Paul could help the Church see manifold wisdom of God.

a. Manifold- many colored, multi-faceted, multi sided wisdom of God.
b. That the Church might understand the wisdom of God re. the Church.
c. That the Church might manifest the wisdom of God re. the Church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places.
d. Consider the Church: 2000 years old, many languages, cultures, peoples.
e. Paul helped the Church see, so the Church could help angels/demons see.
f. See 1 Peter 1:10-12. What a responsibility and calling Paul had.
g. No wonder he needed so much grace. And he accomplished the task.

4. V. 11, 12– Paul understood this was not a passing phase, but an eternal purpose.

a. which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord– The work of the cross.
b. Resulting in boldness, confident access to Jesus thru faith, for all Believers.

F. Being Convinced Of The Cause And The Cost V. 13

1. Grace given to Paul to be willing to endure tribulations for the sake of others.