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Advent to Epiphany Blog

Ephesians 3:1-12; God's Marvelous Plan for the Gentiles

Ephesians 3:1-12 (NIV)

God’s Marvelous Plan for the Gentiles

For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles— Surely
you have heard about the administration of God’s grace that was given to me for you, that is,
the mystery made known to me by revelation, as I have already written briefly. In reading
this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not
made known to people in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God’s
holy apostles and prophets. This mystery is 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. I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God’s grace given me through
the working of his power. Although I am less than the least of all the Lord’s people, this grace
was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the boundless riches of Christ, and to make plain to
everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who
created all things. 10 His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God
should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, 11 according to his
eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. 12 In him and through faith in
him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.

What is this administration of God’s grace that Paul speaks of twice? He speaks once in reference to the administration of God’s grace to him and again in reference to God’s administration of His grace through Paul to all non-Jews.

Paul refers to his transformation from a person with a deadly insistence on everything scriptural to an insistence in the person of Jesus. A transformation from a focus on the written Word to The Word became flesh. If we also are to follow and faithfully administrate the grace of God as Paul suggests, how do we become givers of our “insight into the mystery of Christ?”  

I talked with a couple writers of earlier blog entries and one expressed a feeling that her contribution maybe was not good enough and still another was uncertain of his understanding of scripture. The quality of our work matters but the main focus is the quality of our participation in relationship with Christ.  Are you in it with the person of Jesus?  Getting the words right or in the right order become secondary to the heart of the writer who is seeking to communicate his or her relationship with Jesus. Jesus says to the Pharisees, “You search the scriptures because you think they give you eternal life but the scriptures point to me” (John 5:39, NLT).

God’s grace is at work in our world. Leonard Sweet says God will not be without a witness.  The challenge for us is to put on the witness of Christ here and now in our culture.  Let us take to heart Paul’s encouragement to keep our confidence in the person of Jesus and join Paul in faithfully administrating the grace of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Thank you Cheryl for your assistance with editing!

Martin Rude is director of outreach ministries at Southwestern College. 

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