Daily Devotional Ephesians 3:1–13
I was nervous when I first told my mother I wanted to attend school to learn how to become a pastor. We were not a church-going family. But instead of being disappointed by the news, she was thrilled. “Oh, Johnny!” she beamed. “You would make a darling minister.”
I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God’s grace given me through the working of his power.
Darling is not the word Paul uses in Ephesians 3. In verse 7 he refers to himself as a “servant.” Although the Greek term Paul uses is one that is sometimes translated as “minister,” Paul seems to be using its more common sense, meaning someone who works or serves. Specifically, Paul sees himself as a servant of the gospel.
In verse 2, Paul describes his ministry as an “administration of God’s grace.” The Greek word translated “administration” was often used to speak of a household manager or steward. Paul exercised a stewardship of grace by preaching the gospel. By making Christ known, he became an agent of grace to those who received his message. Paul was also a recipient of divine revelation. Specifically, this revelation was the news 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” (v. 6). This was new information (v. 9). It had been hinted at in God’s promise that all the nations would be blessed through Abraham (Gen. 18:18).
The new thing described in these verses is the church, through which, Paul also says, “the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms” (v. 10). What is the nature of this wisdom? It is that in Christ and through faith in Christ, “we may approach God with freedom and confidence” (v. 12).
>> This confidence is the reason Paul does not want his readers to be discouraged about his imprisonment. He is more than willing to suffer so they would know the freedom and assurance that comes through the gospel.
Pray with Us
Father, the suffering we witness is sobering, forcing us to realize that You allow bad things to happen, even to Your people. Help us trust You with both good and bad and not to soften this reality to others in order to win them to You.