God’s Mystery Made Known
Read Ephesians Chapter 3 several times to understand the context.
Then concentrate on Ephesians 3 : 1-13
- Dispensation (use Thayer’s Bible Dictionary)
- Paul begins Chapter 3 with the words “for this reason” – What “reason” is he referring to?
- What is the “mystery” Paul was speaking of?
- Why was God gracious toward Paul?
- What are the “unsearchable riches of Christ”?
Often when we think about our Bible heroes like Paul, we tend not to relate to them. We have a habit of placing them on a holy, well-deserved pedestal that we deem is unreachable in our own lives. But if we stop to really think about what Paul says in Ephesians 3 we might find we are more like him than we realize.
Paul writes of his acknowledgement that he is the “very least of all the saints” (vs 8), he knows within himself there is nothing of redeeming quality about his past or what he has to offer God.
I imagine Paul had thoughts like these – “I am the last person God could ever use to work through. Do you even know the things I’ve done in my past? I mean, I can barely look at myself in the mirror. Who am I to think God has a plan to use me in such a way? I am the least of any Christian, surely He can find someone that is better than me.”
Yet, he also states because of God’s gift of grace (vs. 7) “the mystery [of God] was made known to me” (vs 3) and it was for the planned purpose of preaching to the Gentiles the mystery – which is “the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus” (vs 6).
Paul recognizes it is only through God’s gift of grace and salvation that allows the Christ within him to work through him. Paul has confidence, not in himself, but in God’s ability to use someone with a shady past, now filled with Christ, in His planned purpose of good work (Eph 2:10) to reach those separated from Him because of sin.
Oh, if we could only grasp this same confidence in our own hearts, to have faith in God’s ability to use us – our shady past and all – to minister to others.
When we change our focus from self to Savior, we change our attitude from “I can’t” to “He can”.
When we believe in His ability to use our past – and present – as a testimony to reach others, we will find the confidence and boldness through Christ to do the good work (Eph 2:10) He purposed in our lives.
- Can you relate to Paul when he says he is the “very least of all the saints”?
- Does seeing how God can use Paul give you encouragement to know He can use you, too?
- Share your Wow moment from Ephesians 3 : 1-13