1 For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles--2 if indeed you have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace which was given to me for you; 3 that by revelation there was made known to me the mystery, as I wrote before in brief. 4 And by referring to this, when you read you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, 5 which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit; 6 to be specific, that the Gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel, 7 of which I was made a minister, according to the gift of God’s grace which was given to me according to the working of His power. 8 To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ, 9 and to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God, who created all things; 10 in order that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places (Ephesians 3:1-10, NASB and throughout).
1) What does the words ‘for this reason’ in Ephesians 3:1 refer to? Does this make this a cause (chapters 1-2) and effect (chapter 3) relationship? Explain.
2) Who or what does Paul primarily talk about in Ephesians 3:1-10? Does this seem to be typical of Paul’s writing? (Does he do this elsewhere? If so, why?)
3) Where was Paul when he wrote this letter to the Ephesians? How did he get to where he was? When did this happen? (See chart in message or Bible dictionary for assistance).
4) For what reason does Paul give for being a prisoner in Ephesians 3:1? What does Gentiles mean? Check a Bible dictionary if necessary.
5) What is Paul a steward of? Where did he receive this stewardship (Ephesians 3:2)?
6) Paul uses the word ‘revelation’ in Ephesians 3:3. What is a revelation? Explain from Ephesians 3:3 what the apostle says happened in this revelation that he received. (Extra: How many times has Paul used this word ‘mystery’ in this book? Why?)
7) What has not been revealed now but now has been revealed (Ephesians 3:4-6)?
8) Identify the three categories mentioned in verse 6 and explain what each of them mean.
9) How does Paul explain the extra power to carry out this ministry (Ephesians 3:7)? Why is this important?
10) In Ephesians 3:8 Paul continues to focus on himself. Notice ‘to me’ and ‘the very least of all saints.’ Read one of the three testimonies of Paul’s salvation in the Book of Acts (Acts 9, 22, 26) and explain in what sense is he one of the ‘very least of all saints.’ Do you think it is true?
11) What does Paul mean by ‘the unfathomable riches of Christ’ in verse 8? Refer to Ephesians chapters 1-2 as necessary. Does his oft used word ‘grace’ refer to the same thing? Explain.
12) How does Paul summarize his calling in verse 9? Write it out in your own words.
Look in Ephesians 3:10 to find out why God had called Paul to proclaim this message to the Gentiles? Explain verse 10. Who might the rulers and authorities be?
13) The Christian faith is built on revelation, things revealed from God. Besides the Apostle Paul, explain a few incidents where either Jesus or the other apostles had revelations from heaven. Can people still have visions or revelations today? Why or why not? How should we test them (1 Th 5:19-21).
14) Discuss how reliable you think Jesus’ words and the scriptures are. Where might you have doubts or would appreciate further insight into the reliability of the Gospel?
15) Why is it that we often do not think about Christ as being so special? What is wrong with our understanding? Why do we tend to think the world is more exciting with its upcoming movies and technologies?
16) Verse 10 tells us that God uses the church to make known the Lord’s manifold wisdom to those in heaven. Evidently, they are watching us here on earth (Hebrews 12:1). Did you every think about being God’s showpiece? Are you conscious of this each day? Why or why not? How could you better apply this to your life so that you can more carefully show off His glory and wisdom.