Chapter 3

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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. 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.

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.

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.

Commentary for Ephesians 3

The apostle sets forth his office, and his qualifications for it, and his call to it. (1-7) Also the noble purposes answered by it. (8-12) He prays for the Ephesians. (13-19) And adds a thanksgiving. (20,21)1-7 For having preached the doctrine of truth, the apostle was a prisoner, but a prisoner of Jesus Christ; the object of special protection and care, while thus suffering for him. All the gracious offers of the gospel, and the joyful tidings it contains, come from the rich grace of God; it is the great means by which the Spirit works grace in the souls of men. The mystery, is that secret, hidden purpose of salvation through Christ. This was not so fully and clearly shown in the ages before Christ, as unto the prophets of the New Testament. This was the great truth made known to the apostle, that God would call the Gentiles to salvation by faith in Christ. An effectual working of Divine power attends the gifts of Divine grace. As God appointed Paul to the office, so he qualified him for it.

8-12 Those whom God advances to honourable employments, he makes low in their own eyes; and where God gives grace to be humble, there he gives all other needful grace. How highly he speaks of Jesus Christ; the unsearchable riches of Christ! Though many are not enriched with these riches; yet how great a favour to have them preached among us, and to have an offer of them! And if we are not enriched with them it is our own fault. The first creation, when God made all things out of nothing, and the new creation, whereby sinners are made new creatures by converting grace, are of God by Jesus Christ. His riches are as unsearchable and as sure as ever, yet while angels adore the wisdom of God in the redemption of his church, the ignorance of self-wise and carnal men deems the whole to be foolishness.

13-19 The apostle seems to be more anxious lest the believers should be discouraged and faint upon his tribulations, than for what he himself had to bear. He asks for spiritual blessings, which are the best blessings. Strength from the Spirit of God in the inner man; strength in the soul; the strength of faith, to serve God, and to do our duty. If the law of Christ is written in our hearts, and the love of Christ is shed abroad there, then Christ dwells there. Where his Spirit dwells, there he dwells. We should desire that good affections may be fixed in us. And how desirable to have a fixed sense of the love of God in Christ to our souls! How powerfully the apostle speaks of the love of Christ! The breadth shows its extent to all nations and ranks; the length, that it continues from everlasting to everlasting; the depth, its saving those who are sunk into the depths of sin and misery; the height, its raising them up to heavenly happiness and glory. Those who receive grace for grace from Christ's fulness, may be said to be filled with the fulness of God. Should not this satisfy man? Must he needs fill himself with a thousand trifles, fancying thereby to complete his happiness?

20,21 It is proper always to end prayers with praises. Let us expect more, and ask for more, encouraged by what Christ has already done for our souls, being assured that the conversion of sinners, and the comfort of believers, will be to his glory, for ever and ever.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

Discussion for Ephesians 3

  • LINDA HARRIS on Ephesians 3
    My nurse dropped me and I was crippled for life who am I
  • Bob Hilt - in Reply on Ephesians 3
    Hey Linda - 2 Samuel 4:4 And Jonathan, Saul's son, had a son that was lame of his feet. He was five years old when the tidings came of Saul and Jonathan out of Jezreel, and his nurse took him up, and fled: and it came to pass, as she made haste to flee, that he fell, and became lame. And his name was Mephibosheth.
  • Marlene on Ephesians 3
    Who was the mother of Mary the mother of Jesus
  • Mishael - in Reply on Ephesians 3
    Her name was Anna
  • James brooks on Ephesians 3
    There is nothing in the New Testament commanding a follower of Christ to tithe;period. Stop lying on GOD and telling people that tithing and giving an offering is the same thing.If you feed people things that the Bible does not say.that,s antichrist speaking.'God says H e loves a cheerful giver,not a cheerful tither. Revelation 22:18&19,2 Tim.4:1-3.All scripture is given by inspiration of GOD;not man.when I think about tithing i think about Exodus 35and36 when the people were told to stop bringing.GOD,s people will give without being told.GOD Bless.
  • Chris - in Reply on Ephesians 3
    You're quite correct James; tithing was an OT practice & of course, offerings are generally regarded as gifts aside from tithes. "That every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver" (2 Cor 9:7). So we are advised to give out of the willingness & cheerfulness of our hearts, so whether our gifts are big or small, it is God that will multiply & use it for His Purposes. However, tithing is a good way to guide believers, particularly new ones, as to responsible giving. After all, 10% is not much, & for those struggling to even give this, then they can give what they can cheerfully, or even see the Lord "pour them out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it" (Mal 3:10). I knew a young man, who gave 30% of his salary & then put aside some for the provision to missionaries. May have been a big sacrifice, but he never had a shortfall. He is Faithful.
  • Rod - in Reply on Ephesians 3
    Hi Chris: tithing is under the Jewish Law, we Gentiles were never part of the Jewish law or the convenant God made to the Jews, so to teach new belivers to tithe as part of giving is confusion, and confusion is not of God ( Ist Cor 14:33 ) your intentions might mean well, however 2nd Tim 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, RIGHTLY DIVIDING the word of truth. Pauls revelation was given to him by Christ himself, we are told Today we are under grace not the law. Gal 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.
  • James brooks - in Reply on Ephesians 3
    This is for chris:I didn,t comment on tithing being anywhere in Ephesians.That,s number one.number two what I said is scripture.You don,t have to add anything else to it.GOD Bless you and keep the faith.Faith is from GOD.And like I said;by faith of Abraham,Law given through Moses and by grace we have been saved through faith.The promise was given to Abraham before the Law was given through Moses .GOD would never go back on His promise to the Father of many nations through His SEED, JESUS CHRIST.SEED not seeds.By the Law no one will be saved:Scripture alone;Christ alone;Grace alone;Faith alone;Glory of GOD alone.GOD Bess.
  • Chris - in Reply on Ephesians 3
    James: No.1. I didn't comment on Ephesians 3 either. You might have mistakenly assumed that from the strange, usually incorrect, subject that follows our names around. Maybe, the post had its roots in Ephesians at the beginning.

    And No.2. I couldn't grasp your point & relevance to Tithing. I did say that Tithing was an OT requirement not found in the NT. However, since it was given & sanctioned by the LORD, it must be a worthy model/rule of thumb for us to follow, IF WE DESIRE TO. The Lord be with your spirit, too.
  • Travis - in Reply on Ephesians 3

    Tithing was more strict under Jewish ceremonial law but it started before the law with Abram and Melchizedek. Tithing is very much for today, Chris is right. However, its dependent on our trust in God. Besides the promise of Malachi 3:10, we read in gospels how even though Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for leaving out judgment and mercy, he commended them for the tithe. But that is a secondary issue and not to take precedent above the former. Besides in Hebrews 7:8 the Bible says "And here men that die receive tithes; but there he receiveth them, of whom it is witnessed that he liveth"

    In other words Jesus still receives our tithes in Heaven as a pattern of how it worked under the law. Giving of our tithe or our firstfruits of our increase shows God our faith in Him that he will provide for us, plus giving of our tithes also shows that we are faithful in the "least of things", bible says money is the least of things and that if we can trust Him in that arena he can entrust us more


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Paul teaches that in Christ, through faith, we can approach God with what?
  • Confidence
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