1. From the following verses, how does Paul describe himself?
2. Who revealed the mystery to Paul, the Apostles and Prophets and the Gentiles?
God revealed it to Paul
Verse 3: that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation, as I have already written briefly.
The Holy Spirit revealed it to the Apostles and prophets
Verse 5: which was not made known to men in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God's holy apostles and prophets.
Paul revealed it to the Gentiles –
Verses 8-9: Although I am less than the least of all God's people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, 9 and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things.
3. What are the three aspects of the mystery as seen in verse 6?
Verse 6 - This mystery is that through the gospel:
1. This chapter starts with the words “For this reason . . .” To what is Paul referring?
The truths about the unity of Gentiles and Jews that was just discussed in Chap 2 verses 11-22
Matthew Henry offers the following commentary on Ephesians
3:1-13: The words may be thus understood: - "For this cause, - since you
are no more strangers and foreigners (as Eph 2:19), but are united to
Christ, and admitted into communion with his church, - I Paul, who am
the prisoner of Jesus Christ, pray that you may be enabled to act as
becomes persons thus favoured by God, and made partakers of such
privileges."(from Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole
Bible: New Modern Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1991 by
Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)
2. Paul’s words “For this reason…” is followed by a parenthetical phase which starts with the word “surely”. Where does the phrase stop?
It stops with the end of verse 13
3. What is the theme or purpose of the parenthetical phrase?
To reaffirm Paul’s authority according to the MacArthur Study Bible
According to the Barnes Notes Commentary - To reassure the Ephesians that the imprisonment that Paul was suffering was not a reason for them to pity him but that it was an appointment from God and for their glory (in other words - don’t worry about me be happy).
1. Verse 5 states the mystery was hidden and not made known to men in other generations. What was a big hint given to Abraham about the mystery? Cite the verse.
Genesis 12:1-3: 1 The LORD had said to Abram, "Leave your country, your people and your father's household and go to the land I will show you. 2 "I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you."
2. Who might be the rulers and authorities in heavenly realms from verse 10?
3. Why does it seem interesting or unusual that Paul describes himself as a prisoner of Christ Jesus?
He was probably a prisoner of the Roman empire at the time he wrote the epistle to the Ephesians
The prisoner of Jesus Christ. Of course Paul was a prisoner of Christ in the sense that he had been captured by Christ, but that is not the primary thought here. He was a prisoner in Rome at the time he wrote, and it was for Christ's sake that he was a prisoner. (from The Wycliffe Bible Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1962 by Moody Press)
1. Why do you think God kept his plan for the Gentiles hidden?
I Corinthians 2:1-8 provides the answer:
2:1 When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. 2 For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 3 I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. 4 My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power, 5 so that your faith might not rest on men's wisdom, but on God's power.
6 We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. 7 No, we speak of God's secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. 8 None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
2. Why would Paul’s suffering “for you” (verse 13) be for the glory of the Ephesian believers?
-Therefore he was suffering for them and the Gentiles would be glorified with Christ when they believed
3. What does this chapter tell you about Paul’s attitude about his responsibility for the gospel of the mystery?
ONE MAN'S OPINION:
Paul was humble - consider how great a mission he had and yet how humble a man he was
Verses 7-9: I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God's grace given me through the working of his power. 8 Although I am less than the least of all God's people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, 9 and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things.
Verses 13-15: 13 I ask you, therefore, not to be discouraged because of my sufferings for you, which are your glory. 14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name.
1. What do we learn about Jesus Christ from the following verses:
2. What reason is Paul referring to in verse 14?
To ask that they not lose heart (See verse 13)
3. What 3 things does Paul pray for in verses 14-19?
1. What do the following postures have in common? What did Paul mean to convey by using one of these postures to describe his prayer?
They are all postures of humility or submission Paul meant to convey a posture of humility
2. Verses 20 and 21 are some of the most memorable verses in the Bible because they describe God’s abilities while praising him. How do we fit into the equation?
God’s power is at work within us and is able to do more than we can ask or imagine – Our job is faith first in God and then manifesting God’s power in our lives for His glory and honor.