Friday, September 7, 2007

Ephesians, Chapter 3

Paul begins the third chapter of Ephesians with a powerful statement about being a prisoner for Christ. I have never really thought of it that way until, but it is true. When we fully turn our lives over to Christ we become prisoners and slaves, as Paul has often referred to himself, to a cause that is far beyond us. Having Christ in our hearts is the best form of bondage imaginable, as with His direction we can accomplish so much more. He was a slave for the Gentiles as he mentions in the beginning of the chapter, and it was through this slavery and following God's purpose on his heart that we have the gospel as it is today.

Up until the time of Christ much of the Bible is about the Jews and their walk with God. There are moments of prophesy though showing that God does indeed have a promise in mind for the Gentiles. Through the death of Jesus on the cross and His resurrection three days later there now was hope for all mankind, not just the Jews. Because of that we can all become the children of Abraham that were promised all the way back in the book of Genesis. We, in essence, become heirs to the inheritance of Christ.

"7I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God's grace given me through the working of his power. 8Although I am less than the least of all God's people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, 9and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things." Ephesians 3:7-9

This is a statement about purpose. Can you imagine having a purpose and focus as clear as this in your life? What we see here in the opening half of chapter three and especially exhibited in the above verses is Paul's purpose. Now consider the context of this statement. Paul began the chapter by mentioning that he was a prisoner for Christ. At the time he wrote this letter he was literally a prisoner in Rome, yet he was still serving his purpose faithfully and with joy. How can we carry this over to our own lives? Many of us are not literal prisoners in the since of being behind bars, but even if you're reading this and you are in prison God has a purpose and can use you. If God can take a man who viciously and ruthlessly persecuted His early church and later was in prison and make him the writer of the bulk of the New Testament and be the foundation layer of His gospel then He can do anything.

"16I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God." –Ephesians 3:16-19

I love how empowering and passionate this prayer is from Paul. Here is someone that could be praise among many, many men who ever lived and is responsible for so much not only in the church, but historically, and instead of taking that praise he gave all the glory to Christ and asked that that glory be reflected back onto His people. Paul was all these things mentioned in his prayer. He was strengthened by power through the Spirit. He grasped the depth of the love of Christ. He was filled to the measure with the fullness of God. He wished only that everyone else feel the same thing because he knew what it could accomplish.

Being filled with the Spirit of Christ is like the most powerful drug ever. Once you have a taste of it the only thing you can think of is getting more. It is this way because we are more than flesh and bone, we are spiritual beings whose souls crave to be with Christ and in tune with His heart. It is my prayer today that Paul's prayer here be repeated and that all be filled with the full measure of Christ this day.


  1. How do you currently see yourself as a servant and prisoner for Christ?
  2. Even if we have Christ in our heart, why do we still sometimes stray from His purpose?
  3. What do you see in your life that You can accomplish if you are empowered by the Spirit of Christ?

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