1 For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles—
2 Surely you have heard about the administration of God’s grace that was given to me for you,3 that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation, as I have already written briefly. 4 In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, 5 which was not made known to people in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God’s holy apostles and prophets. 6 This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus.
7 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 the Lord’s people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the boundless 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. 10 His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, 11 according to his eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. 12 In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence. 13 I ask you, therefore, not to be discouraged because of my sufferings for you, which are your glory.
Looking at Eph. 3:1-13, we concluded that our mission is that of “grace bearers”. As you ponder those Biblical truths this week, you might wish to consider these questions:
1. What was Paul’s personal journey to becoming a grace bearer? You may wish to re-read the accounts in Acts 26 and Phil. 3, as well as other accounts of the same events in the scripture. However, instead of focusing on the events, please focus on the change in Paul’s attitude
that was required in order to make this journey possible.
2. Why was Saul of Tarsus persecuting Christians? What was the biggest challenge of Christian Faith to this model pharisee? How was this challenge ultimately resolved? (Hint: read Gal. 3:6-29).
3. As a grace bearer, what are your major challenges today? How does God guide you in resolving them?
4. For you personally, what are some of the things that motivate you in the ministry?