The Blessing of Serving Others
Book of Ephesians 3:1-13
To understand this passage, we must realize that we as Christians all have a personal ministry after our salvation. There are none who are excluded!
The Apostle Paul, even though he was bound in irons and limited by his cell, continued in his personal ministry given to him by the Lord. The same ministry given to us all.
Christians are to make an impact in this world!
The Lord Jesus Christ changed this world when He first came and when He returns the changes to this world will be even more dramatic!
We must understand that the “Gospel” will never lose its freshness, it will be relevant in every age!
We must also understand that the “Gospel” can never be exhausted because God’s “Grace” can never be exhausted.
We must understand that the “Gospel” is for every human that breathes God’s air!
We must certainly understand there will be great blessings come to those who serve the “Gospel” to others!
*****Eph 3:1 For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles,
This cause, would be the entire subject of the first two chapters but summed up in the last verse of chapter two.
Eph 2:22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.
The Apostle Paul clearly understood that he was to be the Apostle to the Gentiles, but it did not stop his craving to reach out to his brother Jews. Had Paul devoted his ministry to the Jews, he may have been honored and beloved, but he would have been outside the will of God.
Since Paul took his ministry to the Gentiles he was hated by his countrymen but inside the will of God.
The absolute safest place any of us can be is in the will of God!
This goes to show us, being in the will of God may mean we will hated by our nation.
When we step out of the bounds of our ministry, we are stepping out of the will of God for us!
Paul was a willing prisoner in bonds in a sense because he had taken his ministry to the Gentiles.
As Christians we all exist to serve the Lord Jesus Christ.
It is Jesus Christ who will set the bounds of our ministry!
Paul reached out to the Gentiles, we are to reach out to all people after we have reached out to our family!
Our family is our very first missionary field!
It is God’s purpose to form a brand-new race of people which are called Christian by the world but, are the “Body of Christ”, “Born Again” into the family of God!
The Lord Jesus Christ suffered for His message.
The Apostle Paul suffered because of his message.
As Christians, we will all suffer as we tell the story of Jesus!
1Pe 4:16 Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.
To be a Christian we will have been touched by the “Grace” of God.
*****Eph 3:2 If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:
Eph 3:3 How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words,
Eph 3:4 Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)
Eph 3:5 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;
The Apostle Paul was called of God.
The Apostle Paul existed to serve the Lord Jesus Christ and this by the ”Grace” of God!
Most every minister of the Gospel will suffer to bring the “Gospel” to God’s people.
Act 9:16 For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.
The Apostle Paul suffered greatly because he was a Jew who was called of God to preach the “Gospel” of “Grace” to the Gentiles.
The Apostle Paul existed to be a good steward of the Word of God!
This is the example that all the teachers of the Gospel should try to meet, a good steward of God’s Word.
As the people who sit regularly in the pews, we simply do not always realize the responsibility God lays upon His Pastors!
Even in this, the Lord Jesus Christ was the greatest example for the true Pastor.
Mat 20:28 Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
To be quite honest the Lord says for all of us to pick up our own cross and follow Him.
Mat_16:24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, if any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
In fact, the Lord Jesus is very serious about this!
Mat_10:38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, “is not worthy of me”.
The cross is an instrument of death and Jesus was speaking to His disciples when He spoke these words.
Every disciple of God is to be a steward of God’s “Grace”!
And again, we see this word “mystery”, but we also see how Paul explains it.
A mystery in the New Testament is something that God did not expressly make known in the Old Testament. The information was there in the Old Testament but just like today not many would study the Scriptures to dig out those nuggets of golden information or some, such as the Pharisees and Sadducees would interpret their own beliefs and keep the truth from the people and the Essenes were just too legalistic to express the real truth to others.
We could say that these mysteries in the New Testament where things that God Himself had to reveal to humanity.
If we go through the Scriptures, we see repeatedly where God had to provide examples to prove that His Words are all true!
God still says what He means, and God still means what He says.
As sinners we have by nature a veil over our eyes and we cannot see spiritual matters!
The Lord Jesus Christ spent 3 and 1/2 years opening the eyes of His disciples to the great mysteries of the Old Testament.
Even Paul spent 3 years under the tutelage of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Gal 1:12 For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.
Gal 1:13 For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews’ religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it:
Gal 1:14 And profited in the Jews’ religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers.
Gal 1:15 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace,
Gal 1:16 To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood:
Gal 1:17 Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus.
Gal 1:18 Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days.
We should understand there will be no new Scriptures other than we have now but, there may still be some important jewel, locked away in the Scriptures that God has not opened our eyes to yet.
It is only the pure in heart who will be able to see the hidden mysteries of God!
The one pure fact that we know for sure today is that God has totally revealed His is plan of salvation, the most important promises in all the Scriptures!
The Scriptures were opened up to some by the Holy Spirit and the Lord Jesus Christ came Himself to make sure there is no misunderstanding of the Scriptures!
*****Eph 3:6 That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:
What are some of the greatest benefits for accepting the Lord Jesus Christ as our personal Savior?
We will be joint=heirs with the things of Christ, who is the Son of God.
We will be accepted as the same “Body of Christ”, the Church, the Bride of Christ.
We will be partakers of the promises of God to His Son!
It is the by the truth of the Gospel which brings us to faith and a heavenly inheritance.
Let’s think on this for a moment: Whatever God does throughout eternity, we will be a part of it and we already know that there will be no sin and no sinners around to mess things up!
Rev 22:14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.
Rev 22:15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.
In the Old Testament we know that the saved Jews are the apple of God’s eyes but guess what? God is no respecter of persons and we the saved Gentiles will share in everything by Jesus Christ and be part of that apple.
We do not have to approach God through Judaism with all its laws but by Jesus Christ we can walk right into the throne room of God like it is our own home and He who sits on the throne is our own Father! We may not realize how great this privilege is, but it is true!
The “Body of Christ” is alive because the Spirit of God dwells in each of us and with one life and one purpose we are God’s force against evil until God takes us home!
Rom 12:5 So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.
All the promises to the Jews are just are just as true for the Gentile.
It will be the Jews who will join with the Gentiles and not the Gentiles who will join with the Jews because God will not deal with the Jews as the nation of Israel until after the “rapture of the Church!
Tit 3:4 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,
Tit 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
Tit 3:6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;
Tit 3:7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
This is the ministry and the message Paul had for the Gentile nations and this message made its way to the United States of America because of the Apostle Paul and those who followed in his footsteps.
*****Eph 3:7 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.
We can only imagine Paul as the glorious “Gospel” was opened to Him and Paul understood the “Grace” of God better than most because he had persecuted God’s Church and had been forgiven.
Each Pastor may differ in the gifts of God’s of “grace”, but the Apostle Paul can be an example to them all.
We should also understand that each of us have been given certain talents to be used in our service to God and no matter what it is, it must also include the “gospel” of Jesus Christ and the proof of our existence by the ‘Grace” of God.
2Co 5:18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
2Co 5:19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
2Co 5:20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.
2Co 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
We are saved only by the “Grace of God” but through “Faith” in the “Gospel” of Jesus Christ!
The same power that raised Christ Jesus from the dead was the same power that had allowed the “Grace” of God to work in Paul’s life and it had worked so wonderfully that Paul preached the “gospel of Jesus Christ with every breath he took.
Paul, like us all, certainly felt unworthy to be used of God.
*****Eph 3:8 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;
Eph 3:9 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:
All his days Paul carried a heavy burden because he had persecuted the church he was now trying to build. The lesson for us is Paul’s humbleness.
If we cannot humble ourselves before the Lord, then we cannot be saved. If we can humble ourselves before the Lord, He will forgive the most terrible of sins. God can save any sinner, anywhere, at any time!
We can walk right in to the throne room of God, but we better be humble when we get there yet even a humble person can be bold!
Paul looked back on the things he had done before he had asked the Lord to come into his heart and when we look back we know there was nothing good about our life of sin, nothing at all.
We should look back on occasion, but we should also know that God has forgotten everything that we have ask Him to forgive!
God took a dirty rotten sinner such as Paul and made him into the greatest missionary this world has ever seen.
And before we feel so high and mighty we were all sinners such as Paul.
1Co 6:11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
Paul was “washed” in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ but by the Holy Spirit.
Paul was “sanctified” in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ but by the Holy Spirit.
Paul was “justified” in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ but by the Holy Spirit.
These are the things it takes to be adopted into the family of God!
Tit 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
It is because of God’s “Mercy” that any of us can receive God’s “Grace”!
And again God’s “Grace” is God’s Riches at Christ Expense!
We know that the calling of the Gentiles into God’s Church was a mystery that the Jews did not see coming.
The resurrection of the dead was a mystery that the Jews could not explain.
The relationship of the Lord Jesus and His Church is still a mystery to the Jews.
The mystery of the seven stars and the seven candlesticks were a mystery.
The mystery of the woman clothed in scarlet was a mystery.
The Anti-Christian power at work in the day of Paul and continues today, was a mystery.
**The mystery of blessings that come from a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, the greatest mystery of all and the free exercise of His love, He showed to all humanity when He gave His life, so all His creation could be saved.
1Ti 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.
Isa 44:24 Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself;
Isa 44:25 That frustrateth the tokens of the liars, and maketh diviners mad; that turneth wise men backward, and maketh their knowledge foolish;
The Lord Jesus Christ was certainly the cause of Creation because all things were made by Him.
God wants a people who have chosen, who have elected, who have been “Born Again” just so they can spend eternity with their Creator who is also their Savior and Redeemer!
And because the Church has been formed and Christ Jesus has finished the work of salvation, all of Heaven is aware of God’s plan and the Church now knows the plan for the New Heaven!
*****Eph 3:10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,
Eph 3:11 According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:
Surely as Heaven looks down upon this earth and sees God’s mercy shown to His creation, it is a sight to behold.
We should understand that there must be principalities and powers in Heaven that we just do not understand the workings of.
We know that the Lord is also Lord of the angelic host and those that remain in Heaven have chosen to follow the Lord rather than follow Satan.
The angels did not understand the Church until the Lord formed the Church, but the angels have seen God’s Church grow. This is something that the angelic hosts cannot do. They have a set number even though it is a large number.
There is not one angel that can be filled with the Spirit of Jesus, the Holy Spirit!
1Pe 1:9 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.
1Pe 1:10 Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you:
1Pe 1:11 Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.
1Pe 1:12 Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to consider.
We can even see that the Jews never understood the Church, nor the “Grace” of God, but they had witnessed it many times.
We can see that the angels do not understand the filling of the Holy Spirit and the Saint of God who wears the seal of God, but they are also used as ministers of the “Gospel” but without the power of the Holy Spirit!
Rev_14:6 And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,
What we see is that God’s plan of salvation toward those who choose to be the “Body of Christ” is open for all God’s creation to witness.
What does God say?
Rom 1:20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
God’s purpose for all those who choose to accept the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and Redeemer is eternal!
Isa 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
Isa 9:7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.
God chose the work of redemption because in redemption it is the work of “perfection” and we are saved by the Lord of perfection.
The boldness of the Church comes by our perfect Lord Jesus!
*****Eph 3:12 In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.
These gifts of God are free to the believer.
The truth is as believers, we can talk to our Father in Heaven without fear of offending Him!
We have access to the most powerful being to have ever existed and He will continue to exist throughout eternity!
We have the liberty to snuggle up to our Father in Heaven without rebuke.
Jas_4:8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you……
We can approach our God being confident that He will respond to us!
1Jn 5:14 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:
1Jn 5:15 And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.
When we come in the name of Jesus Christ we will find nothing but success!
God is a God of truth and when we come to Him in truth we have access to all the wonders of God!
Heb 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
By Jesus Christ we have access to eternal life!
1Co 15:20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.
1Co 15:21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.
1Co 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
Knowing all these things, we must also realize just as Jesus Christ suffered in this world, we will also suffer in this world!
*****Eph 3:13 Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you, which is your glory.
Wherefore means in view of these facts, the previous Scriptures:
The welcome of all Gentiles of “faith” into the Church.
The Church is the “Body of Christ”
This has been the purpose of God from the beginning and throughout all the ages.
Heaven has been made aware of the plan of God.
All the Saints of God have free access into the throne room of God.
We will suffer tribulations for doing the work God has given us to do until He takes us home!
These sufferings, not indicating defeat or failure but glory because the world has seen those of faith to be like Jesus Christ and suffer as He suffered.
Luk_24:26 Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?
1Pe_5:10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.
Throughout the Book of Acts and the Epistles of Paul, we have seen the many places where he suffered for preaching the “Gospel” of Jesus Christ.
None of us will ever suffer as Paul suffered for then he would no longer be an example, but we can say that Paul suffered so that we here today will one day be glorified!
Paul was willing to suffer for the Church to survive!
As we who may suffer some in tribulations we should all keep our mind on the glory that lies ahead for the child of God!
To faint at the work that God has given us to do means we are cowards!