Ephesians: In the Heavenly Realms

Growing in Our Commitment

Ephesians 3:1-10

– The Bible Teacher's Commentary –

Paul J. Bucknell

Ephesians 3:1-10, "Growing in Our Commitment," is part 1 of 6 parts of The Bible Teacher's Commentary that provides four reasons we should place more confident in the Gospel message and as a result grow in our commitment to God and His high calling for our lives: The Gospel's Value (3:1), The Gospel's Reliability (3:2-5), The Gospel's Glory (3:6-7) and The Gospel's Calling (3:8-10). Bible Study Questions form the sixth section.

Intro (Ephesians 3:1-10) | Gospel's Value (Ephesians 3:1) | Reliability (Ephesians 3:2-5) | Glory (Ephesians 3:6-7) | Calling (Ephesians 3:8-10) | Questions (Ephesians 3:1-10)

Introduction to Growing in Our Commitment

Ephesians 3:1-10

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).

Introduction: The World of Ulterior Motives

Pretense, deception and ulterior motivesAs a person gets older, he begins to recognize that the reasons people give for what they do are not always so easily observed. People might advertise the effectiveness of some medicine or treatment, but it really is not as good as they state it. People can be a bit deceptive. Sometimes they don’t even realize it. Many people are willing to exaggerate and even make false claims just to get your sales. I tell my wife. If they sell the product that they are advertising, don’t trust them. Confirm the product’s real value from a non-partial source. Nor does it always have to do with money.

Sometimes people want a little more attention and a little more control. Politics and their smooth or smear ads are a perfect example. How could a person gong for an office suddenly change his position on some important issue like abortion? Is it possible that they change positions to get the most votes? I think so. With religion, it unfortunately is very similar. There are those who seek to improperly profit themselves.

Christianity claims to be different here. Yes, we admit right off that there are those sectors of Christianity that are no different than other religions. We would also sadly state that there are those individuals who say they are following Jesus Christ but have made compromises with Jesus’ instructions for their own lives. Judas Iscariot was the leader of this pack. These are versions of the world in religious garb call it Christian or not. Every age will have them. God will judge each person.

We should not, however, conclude that those who really follow Jesus are not different from the world or that Christ and His message is false or man-generated. In the minimum, we should explore the claims of what we call Christianity as something goes beyond the imagination or touch of man. God has revealed His truths to the world and shown His powerful love at work. This has been the message of the Exodus for thousands of years. God makes things different.

Develop a growing trust and commitmentWith Christ’s entrance into the world many a person has experienced radical changes. Christ has died, risen and gone above, but His Holy Spirit has been actively working in people all around the world. This has happened with the Ephesians followers of Christ. “In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation--having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise” (Ephesians 1:13). They had discovered God’s love and are no longer the same (see Ephesians 5:1-8).

The Apostle Paul, however, does not focus on them. He turns our attention to himself here in Ephesians 3. Paul uses his own life to challenge us to increase in our love, devotion and commitment to Christ Jesus. He claims to have been living beyond the snare of the world and with the Spirit of God fueling his life. Fortunately, we have a few places in scripture where we can get a greater glimpse of Paul’s life and purpose. The different perspectives corroborate with each other. Something radically changed Paul’s life from being a persecutor or Christians to a believer in Christ.

Paul, I believe, slows down and introduces his ministry in the middle of the Book of Ephesians in order to help us further grasp an understanding of God’s great grace in Christ. Our trust in the revelation of God’s Word in every way relates to how we live out our commitment to Christ in our daily lives. If we think that this Christian message is only one message out of many, then we will have little true changing trust in God’s Word. Paul breaks from his most astonishing opening to focus on the reliability of his message. He provides God’s people four reasons not only to trust in God’s revelation in Christ called the mystery so that we, like him, will be all out committed to Christ.

A. The Value of the Gospel (Ephesians 3:1)
B. The Reliability of the Gospel (Ephesians 3:2-5)
C. The Glory of the Gospel (Ephesians 3:6-7)
D. The Calling of the Gospel (Ephesians 3:8-10)

As we go through this passage, perhaps we can ask ourselves about our commitment to Christ and His cause. On a scale from 1 to 10, with 10 being very committed, what would you rate yourself? What holds you back from going one notch higher? The apostle calls us to further devotion by further establishing our knowledge and trust in God’s work through Christ.

Let's now look at the first of four reasons in Ephesians 3:1 where we see the value of the Gospel.

For further reflection on deceitful scheming, read about Jacob's style of operating and how it backfired.
Walking in Integrity from Jesus' words in Matthew 5:33-37 - part of The Godly Man series.

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Read more exciting and practical articles on the Book of Ephesians.

Introduction to the Book of Ephesians

Paul's Second Missonary Journey to Ephesus - Map
Chronology Chart of Pauline Letters
Ephesians 1:1-3 Introduction in text.

Ephesians 1

Ephesians 1:1-3 Every Spiritual Blessing

Ephesians 1:1-3 Every Spiritual Blessing
Ephesians 1:1 Only by the Will of God
Ephesians 1:2 Only in Christ Jesus
Ephesians 1:3 Every Spiritual Blessing
Ephesians 1:1-3 Bible Study Questions

Ephesians 1:4-6 Bible Study Questions
Ephesians 1:1-14 Redemption & Sovereignty
Ephesians 1:15-17 Bible Study Questions

Ephesians 2

Ephesians 2:1-3 Our Need, His Grace

Ephesians 2:1-3, an Introduction
Ephesians 2:1 A) Man's Nature
Ephesians 2:2 B) Man's World
Ephesians 2:3 C) Man's Heart
Questions (Ephesians 2:1-3)

Ephesians 2:8-10 Extraordinary Purpose
Ephesians 2:8-10, an Introduction
Ephesians 2:8-9 A) Purpose of Salvation
Ephesians 2:10 B) Purpose of our Lives
Questions (Ephesians 2:8-10)

Ephesians 2:19-22 Bible Study Questions

Ephesians 3

Ephesians 3:1-10 Growing in Our Commitment
Ephesians 3:1-10, Introduction
Ephesians 3:1 The Value of the Gospel
Ephesians 3:2-5 The Reliability of the Gospel
Ephesians 3:6-7 The Glory of the Gospel
Ephesians 3:8-10 The Calling of the Gospel
Questions (Ephesians 3:1-10)

Ephesians 3:14-21 The Fullness of God's Love

Ephesians 3:20-21 God's Unlimited Power
Ephesians 3:20-21 Unlimited Power
Ephesians 3:20 God's Amazing Power
Ephesians 3:21 God's Amazing Glory
Ephesians 3:20-21 Bible Study Questions

Ephesians 4

Ephesians 4:1-3 Preserving the Spirit's Unity

Intro: Problems of Disunity
Ephesians 4:1 Calling to Unity
Ephesians 4:2-3 Our Oneness of the Body
Ephesians 4:3 Preservation of Unity
Ephesians 4:1-3 Bible Study Questions

Ephesians 4:11-16 The Purpose of Training

Ephesians 4:11-13: A) God's Word in the Church
Ephesians 4:11 Gifts in the church
Ephesians 4:12 Purpose of equipping
Ephesians 4:13 The final goal
Ephesians 4:11-13 Bible Study Questions

Ephesians 4:14 B) Responsibility 1. Deceit
Ephesians 4:15a 2. Speaking the truth in love
Ephesians 4:15b 3. Grow up into Christ
Ephesians 4:16 Summary: Function of the Church
Ephesians 4:14-16 Bible Study Questions

Ephesians 4:11-14 Chart: Equipping of the Saints
Ephesians 4:26-27 The Urgency of Resolving Anger
Ephesians 4:31 The Tree of Bitterness

Ephesians 5-6

Ephesians 5:22,24 Wives be Subject to your Husband
Ephesians 5:25 Marital Love
Ephesians 5:31-32 Redemptive Analogy & Marriage
Ephesians 5:31-33 Building a Great Marriage
Ephesians 6:1-3 Obedience to Parents
Ephesians 6:17 Sword of Spirit

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Biblical Foundations for Freedom

Paul J. Bucknell

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