Ephesians 3 again holds many blessings. The first section, which the NIV versions titles “God’s marvellous plan for the Gentiles”, is again a great encouragement. The main reason of this: I am a beneficiary of this plan. I am a Gentile. (I do in fact have some Jewish ancestry, but not enough to count.) Without this plan and without it being revealed to Paul, I would not have known the grace of Jesus. It’s wild to think that my parents, who told me the gospel, were told by someone else, who in turn, heard the gospel. Someone told them, and someone told them, and someone told them. If you go far back enough, it would have been the first missionaries around Europe that told them the gospel, and then eventually to the first Christians and perhaps even Paul. Isn’t it mad that nearly a thousand years ago Paul could have initiated the chain of people that would eventually reach me?
It’s perhaps why I think missionary work is so important, because we all can all thank a missionary at some point for spreading the gospel. I just wonder how my contribution in this chain will continue.
When I think of that, it becomes so much more personal when I read the following verses:
I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God’s grace given me through the working of his power. Although I am less than the least of all the Lord’s people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the boundless riches of Christ.Ephesians 3: 7-8a
So tonight I am grateful for all the people who were servants of this gospel before me.
Then Paul prays a prayer and asks for various things for the recipients of the letter:
- strengthened with power through the Spirit
- Christ may dwell in their hearts
- to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ
- to know this love that surpasses all knowledge
- to be filled with the fullness of God.
What amazing things to pray for! I definitely pray for them for myself!
Then this chapter ends with some very famous verses. These verses are such an encouragement, reminding us of the sheer, incomprehensible goodness of God and that his power is in us. He is definitely deserving of the glory.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurable more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and Christ Jesus throughout all generations for ever and ever! Amen.