Ephesians 3

Mystery of grace in Christ revealed 1
Mystery to be made known 8
Praise to God for the richness of the mystery 14
.1 ¶ For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles,
.2  If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:
 3  How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words,
 4  Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)
 5  Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;
.6  That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:
.7  Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power.
  1 - Prisoner Because Paul was a literal prisoner the use of the word may be to represent his voluntary service for Christ. Or he may have also meant that his imprisonment was to the glory of Christ who had called His followers to carry their cross lu0923.
  1 - Of Jesus Christ That is, belonging to Him.
  1 - For you Gentiles He had lost the favor of his ethnic class especially for claiming that the Gentiles were heirs to the same promises. See ac2128.
  2 - Dispensation of grace Marvelous gift of God. That this is not a new way to be saved is seen in v5. And here in v2 it was given to Paul. Salvation is not through him ac0412. So what was given to Paul? See 1co0917. and v6&7 here. A "dispensation" in modern thought, is an era of time (See note on this topic). Instead it is the gospel of grace dispensed to the Gentiles which was not previously understood.
  2 - Grace Although we see grace more in the NT (New Testament) it is the same grace that was available in the OT ge0608. The gospel of that grace was also in the OT he0402.
  6 - Gentiles ... fellow heirs All are now one body in Christ.
.8  Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;
 9  And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:
.10  To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,
.11  According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:
 12  In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.
 13  Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you, which is your glory.
  8,9 - Less than the least Also 1co1509, 2co1130, 1ti0112. As we get to know the magnificence of our Loving God, we realize our unworthiness. Yet He has called us with Paul to make all men see what is the fellowship ... With the joy of following Christ in working for souls is the joy of trials in following Him with our cross v13.
  9 - By Jesus Christ These words are omitted by the NIV.
  10 - Principalities and powers in heavenly places The unfallen worlds witness the affairs of this planet. May our lives reflect the Lord they also love. On other "worlds" see he0102.
.14 ¶ For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
 15  Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,
.16  That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;
.17  That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
 18  May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;
.19  And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
  14 - Bow my knees Humility in prayer. See lu2241, ac0760, ro1411, ph0210. Some manuscripts do not have "of our Lord Jesus Christ."
  15 - Family in heaven and earth Heaven includes other worlds (he0102). We may look forward for the homecoming when we join the rest of the sinless children of God.
.20  Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,
 21  Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.
  20 - Him that is able We are compelled to praise God as, through the Holy Spirit, we realize the greatness of our Lord.
  21 - Throughout all ages God's plan for our happiness is to be for the ceasless ages of eternity.
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