What is the Meaning of Ephesians 3.1-13

“Glory in Sacrificial Gospel Ministry”

Eph. 3:1-13

INTRODUCTION What is the Meaning of Ephesians 3.1-13

Ephesians chapter 3. And as you are turning there, you’re turning to the climax of the book of Ephesians. As I studied this passage, I became more aware of that as I was studying this, I was treading on sacred ground.

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In fact, I became so moved by these verses that we will deal with this morning, that I would seriously take these verses as “my ministry passage.” Some folks have a life passage or a “life verse”; I have one as well. But I’m seriously considering making these verses my ministry passage.

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That is because what we have in verses 1-13 of Ephesians 3 is Paul glorying in the inestimable privilege of being a minister of the gospel. Paul was uniquely called to gospel ministry in a way in which and a purpose for which no one else in history ever has been.

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But that does not exclude any of us from gospel ministry. Paul will say in Ephesians 4 that pastors are in our midst to train us to do the work of the ministry.

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So I can foresee this passage forming the foundation for my gospel ministry and the your gospel ministry. Yes, your gospel ministry.

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But, what we have in verses 1-13 is Paul digressing. He goes on a “rabbit trail,” it as it were. You can probably see this in your Bible at the end of verse one. At the end of verse one, you may have a dash.

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And then he gets back on track in verse 14 when he begins his second prayer for the Ephesians. Look at verse 1…

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Ephesians 3:1 For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles— if indeed …

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Now, skip down to verse 14 and you’ll see the similarity and how he gets back on track. Ephesians 3:14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father,

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You can see the same phrase “for this reason.”

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So why does Paul interrupt himself and digress here? His purpose in this digression is to encourage the Ephesians even though Paul himself is in prison.

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Notice how he begins again in verse one “I Paul the prisoner of Christ Jesus.”

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And you love Paul. And you love how he ministered to you as of Ephesians believer. And now the one who led you to Christ is in prison. You’re tempted to become discouraged. So Paul says what he does in verses 2 to 12 and then he says in verse 13 now because of all of what I just said in verses 2-12, verse 13 … I ask you not to lose heart at my tribulations on your behalf, for they are for your glory, or for your eternal benefit.”

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So the passage begins with Paul’s suffering in prison and the passage ends with Paul’s tribulations. And whatever he writes in verses 2-12 is meant to encourage God’s people when their beloved leader is suffering.

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Let’s read Ephesians 3:1-13 1 For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles— 2 if indeed you have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace which was given to me for you; 3 that by revelation there was made known to me the mystery, as I wrote before in brief. 4 By referring to this, when you read you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, 5 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; 6 to be specific, that the Gentiles are fellow heirs and 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. 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; 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. 13 Therefore I ask you not to lose heart at my tribulations on your behalf, for they are your glory.

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Paul does not want his people to lose heart at his tribulations. Paul has made sacrifices in his gospel ministry for the sake of the Gentiles.

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And he again in this passage is glorying in the gospel of Christ, that now the Gentiles have been brought near to God’s program of salvation. And we have seen some of that before, but the new glory that Paul is amazed at is the inestimable privilege of being made a minister or a servant of this very gospel. And his sacrifice…. His personal sacrifice for the sake of the gospel comes in clear focus.

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It is in this passage that Paul the man comes into true light. It was only he who was given the authority of God through inspiration of Scripture to say things like these…

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1 Corinthians 11:1 Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ.

Philippians 3:17 Brethren, join in following my example, and observe those who walk according to the pattern you have in us.

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1 Corinthians 4:16 Therefore I exhort you, be imitators of me.

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And what we are to imitate of Paul from this passage is this: “Glory in Sacrificial Gospel Ministry.”

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Introduction (3:1)

Paul mentions in verse one that he is the prisoner of Christ Jesus. Paul is writing his letter from prison in Rome. Paul was put in prison because of his testimony for Jesus Christ. And his imprisonment was for his preaching for the Gentiles.

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Paul was imprisoned in Jerusalem for preaching things that were contrary to the law of Moses and for preaching that Gentiles could receive salvation as Gentiles and not obey the details of the Law of Moses.

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In the book of Acts chapter 21, Paul is arrested in the temple precincts for speaking the kinds of things that he wrote about at the end of chapter 2 of Ephesians. He preached that we Gentiles could be partakers of God’s program of salvation and be brought near to the covenants of promise and be grafted in with the Jews.

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And later he is taken to Caesarea and he is imprisoned there for two years and tried in court. He appeals to Caesar and then taken to Rome. And while he is at Rome, he writes this letter to the Ephesians.

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The reason why he is imprisoned is because of his testimony for Christ and how he is preaching this gospel that includes Gentiles. The Jews put him in prison.

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TRANS: And now beginning in verse two, he digresses. And he explains in more detail how God has worked in his life up to this point and how Paul has played a special role in God’s revelation of the new covenant church.

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And each of the points this morning concerns one word that Paul uses three times in this passage. And the word is “mystery.” Paul uses this word toward the end of verse three, at the end of verse four, and again in the middle of verse nine.

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I don’t want us to become discouraged by the word! The word “mystery” in Paul’s writings simply refers to a hidden plan of God. And the secret plan of God in this context is what he’s been already talking about since the end of chapter 2 and that is, once again, that believing Gentiles are fellow partakers of God’s promises in salvation. That’s God secret plan that is now brought about in Christ.

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So the mystery has to do with the gospel of Christ, that, through the ending of the jurisdiction of the Law of Moses, now the Gentiles can be fellow citizens with the saints of all time and can be built on the foundation of God’s holy Temple.

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TRANS: So first, in verse two, we have the responsibility of the mystery. The responsibility of the mystery.

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  1. The responsibility of the mystery (v.2)

Paul views his responsibility of the mystery of God’s grace to the Gentiles with great sobriety. It is a sobering thing to be given what Paul’s been given.

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Ephesians 3:2 if indeed [or surely…] you have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace which was given to me for you;

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If indeed … surely you’ve heard of my calling from…are kidding me? Of course we’ve heard, Paul! I wouldn’t be saved if you hadn’t risked your neck. God would not have changed my life, if it had not been for you.

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Paul says that he’s been given a responsibility, a stewardship of God’s grace which was given to me for you, for your benefit.”

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Paul’s responsibility. He is the steward and administrator of God’s grace. He’s saying that’ he’s been given the commission to carry out the proclamation of the gospel to the Gentiles. Paul is the apostle to the Gentiles.

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TRANS: And how was this stewardship, this responsibility, given to Paul? In verses 3 to 5 we have the revelation of the ministry. Verse two was the responsibility of the mystery. Verses 3-5 the revelation of the mystery.

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  1. The revelation of the mystery (vv.3-5)
    1. How it was given to Paul (v.3)

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In verse three, Paul says that the mystery was made known to him, beginning in verse three, “by revelation.” Ephesians 3:3 that by revelation there was made known to me the mystery, as I wrote before in brief.

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Paul received the glorious gospel of Christ that includes Gentiles … that we, too now, can be fellow citizens of the saints… Paul received this gospel by divine revelation. It was unveiled to him.

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It is not especially clear when exactly Paul received this direct revelation from God. It could’ve been on the road to Damascus when Christ saved him and Acts 9. And in Christ’s commissioning of Paul he says that Paul is a chosen instrument of Mine, to bear My name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel;

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It could’ve been right then on the road to Damascus. It could also have been in Arabia. After Paul’s road to Damascus conversion, Paul went away, he says in Galatians 1, to Arabia and no one knows exactly where that was.

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TRANS: But either way, what a privilege to receive God’s direct revelation! Yes, and what responsibility! What would it have been like to receive such revelation from God? And what was revealed? Well, Paul has already told us and …verse 4 … you can understand it.

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  1. You can understand it (v.4)

…verse three Ephesians 3:3-4 3 … by revelation there was made known to me the mystery, as I wrote before in brief. 4 By referring [back] to this [by referring back to what I wrote], when you read you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ,

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So if you read what Paul wrote before into the mystery of Christ and how believing Gentiles are brought into the people of God, Paul says if you read about it, you’ll understand it. Where did Paul write about the mystery? At the end of chapter 2.

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And Paul is saying that you can understand that just by reading it! And in a moment we are going to go back to earlier portions of Ephesians and glory in the gospel of Christ, this gospel that is available to the Gentiles.

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So it’s there and we’ll see it in a minute.

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TRANS: But Paul’s point in verse five now is to tell who received this revelation.

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  1. To whom the mystery was revealed (v. 5).

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The secret plan of God, the mystery, that God has revealed is that believing Gentiles are a part of God’s people and that they are formed into one body, the church. This all happened through the ending of the authority of the Law of Moses.

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Ephesians 3:5 [this mystery] 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;

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The fact that believing Gentiles are part of God’s people and that Jews are to form together with them into one new body, the church,… this was not made known. Before Christ, Gentiles were to come underneath the authority of the Law of Moses. But now, in Christ the Law of Moses is no longer in power and Jews and Gentiles are to form 1 new body, the church.

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TRANS: Now, he’s going to repeat for us what we’ve been saying the mystery is….verse 6 …

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  1. The content of the mystery (v.6)

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    Ephesians 3:6 [the mystery is…] to be specific, that the Gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel,

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    He used similar wording back in chapter 2 in verse 19 Ephesians 2:19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household,

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    He continues on chapter 2 verse 21 to say that believing Gentiles are fitted together with God’s people and verse 22 built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit. God is forming up living stones to be a part of his holy, spiritual Temple.

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    And Paul’s point is … “…ahem …Wow!” It’s all because of “the gospel.” End of chapter 3 verse 6, we Gentiles are “fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.”

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    And verse 8, Paul is glorying in the fact that he gets to preach this gospel! Ephesians 3:8 To me [me?], the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ,

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    Paul is glorying in the gospel! And so to encourage us in each of our gospel ministries, what I would like to do now is take us through Ephesians 1 and 2 to encourage us to glory in the gospel of Christ.

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    Turn back to Ephesians chapter 1. And Paul is writing the book of Ephesians to believers those who are faithful in Christ Jesus. And he begins by enumerating all the spiritual blessings that we have in the heavenly places in Christ. And first right out of the gate is verse four, election. God chose us in him before the foundation of the world. Then, verse five, He predestined us to adoption as sons. Our destiny as believers was to be transferred from Satan’s family into God’s family.

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    In verse seven that in Christ, we have redemption. We have been purchased out of the slave market of sin, by the costly blood of Jesus Christ.

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    And in verse 11 … We are sampling some of these now, verse 11 that we have obtained an inheritance … Literally that we were made to be God’s inheritance.

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    Verse 13, with the Holy Spirit we have been sealed. Verse 14 the Holy Spirit is given as a pledge of our inheritance. There is our inheritance.

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    Then, in verse 15, Paul begins his prayer so that we understand these truths that he just gave to us. Oh, that we as God’s people would come to understand these doctrines of the gospel. That we believers would come to understand the wealth of the gospel!

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    Specifically verse 18 that we would come to understand what is the hope of his calling and what are the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints and verse 19 that we would understand what is the surpassing greatness of his power toward us who believe.

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    And this power that is directed toward us as believers is the same power that he brought about verse 20 in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his own right hand in the heavenly places.

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    And, for you personally now, chapter two…. As a believer, Ephesians 2:1 before you came to Christ, you were dead in your trespasses and sins. So we have 2 extremes … chapter 1…look at all the riches of the gospel! And now, chapter 2, look at how undeserving you are of it!

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    First, you are undeserving because you were a wretched sinner. You or anybody before they trust in Christ and repent of their sins, you live according to the course of this world, according to Satan, the evil spirit that is working in all of those who are rebelling against God.

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    That was our condition. Chapter 2 verse three we lived like that in the lusts of our flesh indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind and were by nature children of wrath, deserving of wrath.

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    But God, verse four, rich in mercy with great love, even when we were dead in our transgressions, he made us alive together with Christ. It’s all of God’s grace!

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    So as a sinner, God raised you up from your spiritual death. It is by grace that you are saved through faith … through trusting Jesus Christ.

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    But not just as a sinner, but secondly you are undeserving of the riches of the gospel because, chapter 2 verse 11, you’re a Gentile. You were separated from a God’s program of salvation. This section is what Paul is referring to that he wrote about before in brief.

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    Verse 12, this is a commandment that we remember our condition as Gentiles that we were, verse 12, separate from Christ. Before Christ came, our condition as Gentiles was that we were excluded from the Commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise having no hope and without God in the world.

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    But in Christ, we have been brought near to God’s program of salvation. We have been brought near by the blood of Jesus Christ. And through his cross, in Christ himself, now we have access to God the Father.

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    And so we are no longer as Gentiles, strangers and aliens we are fellow citizens with the saints verse 19 says.

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    And it is for this reason that Paul in chapter 3 is a prisoner for his testimony for Christ. Paul has received this revelation from God, this glorious gospel! He received it by revelation from God.

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    That we Gentiles, chapter 3 verse 6 are fellow heirs, and fellow members, fellow partakers of the promise in Jesus Christ …. Through the gospel!

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    TRANS: And it is of this gospel, verse seven now, that Paul has become a minister. Paul is amazed at the gospel and now in verses 7-12 he is amazed that he has been called to be a minister of this gospel.

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    Verses 7-12, the ministry of the mystery. The ministry of the mystery.

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  2. The ministry of the mystery (vv. 7-12)

Ephesians 3:7 of which [gospel] 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.

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Paul is saying that his ministry is itself a gracious gift of God. He was made a minister according to the gift of God’s grace according to the gracious gift of God. It was given to him. The ministry of preaching the gospel to the Gentiles was given to him from God.

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And he says also in verse seven that it is according to the working of God’s power. Paul carries out this ministry, not in his own strength, but according to the working of God’s power. The ministry was God’s gift to him and God gives the power to accomplish it.

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APP: The application to the one standing behind this pulpit is that to be given the task of a minister of the gospel is God’s gracious gift and is not to be taken lightly, but to be carried out by the ability that God supplies.

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And he is thinking, verse eight … me? Me? Why me?

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He doesn’t feel deserving of any of this, and rightly so! Ephesians 3:8 To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given

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Paul, the apostle doesn’t feel deserving of such a privilege to preach this gospel. He viewed the gospel of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles in his hands as an inestimable privilege. He views himself as the very least of all the saints because of the persecution that he meted out to God’s people before he came to Christ.

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And Paul views himself as the very least of all the saints, what about me and what about you?

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So Paul’s amazed that he’s been given this gracious gift from God to be a minister of the gospel that he carries out underneath the working of God’s power.

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And the ministry of the gospel is, in the verse eight, Ephesians 3:8 to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ,

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And those riches of Christ are, as we’ve seen them: election, predestination, adoption redemption, reconciliation … These are the unfathomable riches of Christ.

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And Paul understood the riches of Christ to the extent that it so moved him in his gospel service for Christ.

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And the job of the minister is to preach the gospel and verse nine … Another way of looking at it, is that we enlighten all with this new administration of God that includes Gentiles in one body, the church.

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Ephesians 3:9 and to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God who created all things;

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Paul views the job of gospel ministry as one to preach the gospel. The gospel is the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God who created all things.

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So Paul was commissioned by God, Paul was given the gracious gift to go and say, “Look, in Christ, we’re in a new plan of God now. God started a new plan that wasn’t revealed before: the church! Jew and Gentile together in the church.” This is the good news to the Gentiles!

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We non-Jews, if we trust in Christ alone, we have been brought near and into the saints of all time in one body in the church. And this was not revealed in the Old Testament. There was no Old Testament church of God. There is a distinction between God’s working in Israel and God’s working in the church.

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TRANS: And any minister of the gospel is thinking … Why would God give His special grace to His ministers to preach the wealth of Christ in the gospel and to enlighten all concerning God’s new plan that’s is the church? V. 10 …

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God’s purpose in giving his gracious gift of ministry to preach the gospel and to bring to light what has been hidden in God who created all things is so that verse 10 Ephesians 3:10 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.

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As ministers preach the gospel and as God’s people conform their lives to the gospel the manifold wisdom of God is been made known through the church to rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. When this phrase “rulers and authorities in heavenly places” … when that phrase occurs elsewhere in the book of Ephesians, this is referring to demonic forces.

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In Ephesians 6 we’re commanded to take up the whole armor of God because of these rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. The success of the gospel occurs within a context of cosmic, spiritual warfare!

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And God’s manifold wisdom is on display. The very display of the glory of God in his multifaceted wisdom is what is at stake!

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And the church today is the carrier of the truth of the gospel. We are its household and we are its pillar as we display it to the world.

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Through the church is being displayed God’s multifaceted wisdom and it’s on display to the human and angelic world.

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And this is all part of God’s eternal plan verse 11.

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Ephesians 3:11-12 11 This [the display of God’s wisdom to angelic creatures is] 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.

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The fact that God is displaying his manifold wisdom to angelic creatures in the heavenly places is being accomplished in God’s eternal plan in Jesus Christ. This is all part of his plan for the ages which he has now carried out in Jesus Christ. In him we have access to God the Father through faith in him.

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And so the purpose of the ages has come to light in Jesus Christ! And Paul is saying that he has the inestimable privilege of being a minister of it!

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  1. The glory of the ministry (v.13)

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    And so finally in verse 13, because of the glory of the gospel … the glory of the unfathomable wealth of Christ and the privilege of being a minister of it … because of the glory of the gospel, when Paul discusses his suffering again now, he’s asking you to glory in that, too! Ephesians 3:13 Therefore I ask you not to lose heart at my tribulations on your behalf, for they are your glory.

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    The glories of the gospel and the glory of being a minister of the gospel and to see people conform their lives to the claims of the King …. Paul has made tremendous sacrifices to be a part of God’s cosmic universal eternal plan for the ages in Jesus Christ as He works out His glorious grace through the church!

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    Paul sees the value! And just the fact that he has to relate this to the Ephesians tells us that there is a disconnect between Paul’s value and the Ephesian’s value. The Ephesians, he knows, do not understand… The Ephesians do not understand, though they are saved, they don’t comprehend exactly what they are part of. And that’s why he begins again in verse 14 to pray for them.

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    Application

    Paul has valued the gospel. He values it to the point that he has made serious sacrifice in his life. He is in prison because of this gospel. He is suffering tribulations because of this gospel that he preaches.

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    And Paul is asking that we, far from being discouraged, that we glory in sacrificial gospel ministry.

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    Paul was radical and zealous in his proclamation of the gospel and gave his life and sacrificed it all.

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    We have to understand that Paul is willing to go to this extent because he has Holy Spirit empowered understanding of the gospel that he preaches. He understands that God is building a Temple. God has illumined Paul concerning the unfathomable riches of Christ.

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    Paul understands that God has so worked in order to bring about His eternal purposes in Christ. Paul is amazed that he gets to be a minister of it and so he radically pursues God’s calling on his life.

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    APP: And I need this passage. I need to sense the great responsibility of being a minister of the gospel. I need to sense the preciousness of the revelation that we have in Jesus Christ. I need to glory in the truths of my election, reconciliation, and redemption.

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    And to glory in the fact that I have been made a minister of the gospel by God’s gracious gift. And to say with Paul that I am the very least of all the saints, I need to understand that!

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    Paul view as very precious the opportunity of preaching to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Jesus Christ. Also that God’s multifaceted, like a diamond, wisdom might be on display to the pronouncement of condemnation of those wicked heavenly rulers. This is great!

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    APP: And I fear as a pastor that I mishandle the gospel in some way. And I fear that our church, in turn, would not come to grow in our value of the gospel.

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    My job is to encourage you to value the gospel and to see it on display in the life of this church.

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    Too often, in churches, the church is thought to be gospel centered by merely preaching how to get to heaven messages. By preaching how to get to heaven messages and leaving the gospel at that, any church is headed toward its end.

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    We’ve all been in churches when at one time they preached how to get to heaven messages. And now that church you may be thinking of … what happened?

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    We must proclaim the depth of the gospel, the multi-faceted riches of the gospel, the wealth that is there and the church must require that the gospel be seen in the lives of its members. We must live it out!

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    Hebrews 6:1 Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ [can you believe he says that?], let us press on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God,

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    We must move on from ‘how to get to heaven’ sermons. We glory, yes, we glory in God’s work in our lives to save us, of course. But we can’t leave the impression that the gospel is merely all about how to go to heaven. It includes that, for sure but Romans 1-11 is the gospel. Ephesians 1-3 is the gospel. You can’t preach any of those passages without preaching some aspect of the gospel.

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    And so what Paul is going to do in the rest of the book of Ephesians is just this what I’m saying. He understands the value of the gospel; he is overwhelmed with the fact that he has been made a minister of it. He is floored by the fact that God has revealed this gospel to him.

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    And now, after praying at the end of chapter 3, he is going to lovingly press us in Christ …he’s going to press the gospel home … he’s going to apply the gospel that we live our lives centered on it.

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    Ephesians 4:1 Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk [to live] in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called,

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    A Christian’s life is one in which he is constantly attempting to understand to a greater degree the unfathomable riches of Christ. Christian life is growing in our understanding of what God has done for us in Jesus Christ. We must understand the gospel!

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    Paul is going to talk to us in chapters 4 to 6 about our relationship with one another in this church. The job that each of us is called of God to do. He’s going to tell us how we’re supposed to live and how we are to be different from this evil age.

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    He’s going to give us the plan for growing to be more like Jesus Christ and how to get over sin. It’s going to press us on our relationships within our family.

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    But you will have no power to change apart from praying what Paul does in the next part of chapter 3 and you will have no power to change apart from praying for understanding of the gospel.

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    What God would have in each of us is a life that is not gospel mis-prioritized. How would you know if your life is lined up, centered on the gospel? By a proper executing of Ephesians 4-6.

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    What does a gospel centered man look like? What about a gospel centered husband or father, what does he look like? What does a gospel centered wife or mother look like? What does a gospel centered worker look like? A child?

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    You would know if you really are all about the gospel if you live like Paul instructs in chapters 4-6.

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    What does it look like to be centered on the gospel in this church? To say with your mouth that the gospel is full of the riches of Christ and at the same time to be failing to live the way you know you should be living, is hypocritical.

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    If you’re all about the gospel, what is going to matter most? You job or your business is thriving, but your family is shriveling. You sacrifice for your own pleasure and success, while the cause of Christ in your life is failing.

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    And don’t just think that this is just for full time ministers of this gospel. Paul says we are all ministers of the gospel.

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    Ephesians 4:12 teaches this. Christ gave gifted men in verse 11 to equip the saints for the work of service. The idea is that the pastor is here to equip the saints but that they do the work of the ministry. You are a minister of the gospel. I pastor, but you’re the ministers!

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    One of the most damning things of the modern church is the distinction between clergy and laymen. Rip that out of your head!

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    You are a minister of the gospel. You are called by Jesus Christ to do the work of service to do the work of the ministry to build up the body of Christ.

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    If we understood … “unfathomable riches of Christ” … what sacrifice would we not be willing to make to experience to a greater degree the wealth of Christ and that others might as well? If you read a history of the revivals of the church, you’d be surprised at the length of their meetings, the sacrifices they made to attend, and what they gave up in order to fellowship around and to proclaim and to live the gospel.

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    And folks as we get into chapters 4-6, know this, that it is going to take sacrifice for you to line your life up with the gospel.

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    The value you place on the gospel is evident and will become more evident. You already expend enormous energy, time, and resources to care for whatever is your prize!

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    Does your life show that you have found your pearl of great price … in the gospel of Christ?

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    What kind of hardship are you willing to endure for the sake of the gospel? For Paul it was prison, for you …. What sacrifice do you need to make to line your life up with the gospel?

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    Whatever it is make the sacrifice, and glory in it! “Glory in Sacrificial Gospel Ministry.”

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CONCLUSION What is the Meaning of Ephesians 3.1-13

698: Go ye into all the world.

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I am giving Tuesday’s over now to a study of the Great Commission and how to lead us as a church into fulfilling God’s call on our assembly. If our lives are not lined up with the riches of the gospel, we will fail. Based on our lives, can we in all sincerity bring the unfathomable riches of Christ to this community?

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