In chapter two, Paul describe how there are no longer two groups (“Jews” and “Gentiles”) in Christ. God has united them to be one and to share in His promises through Jesus Christ. Paul continues this thought in Chapter 3. I would love to hear your thoughts! Please feel free to comment or reply to other comments to kick off the conversation.
Paul wrote the book of Ephesians when he was a prisoner of Rome. However, he did not consider himself a prisoner of Rome, but instead he considered himself a prisoner of Christ Jesus (v.1). Paul understood that God had placed him on a very specific, important mission (v. 2). That mission was to extend the love and grace of God to those who had previously been considered “less than” good enough to be loved by God. God equipped Paul with exactly what he needed to know (v. 3) to complete this critical mission.
We obviously have a very different culture than existed during Paul’s life. We may not understand the radical message Paul was preaching: that God’s love and forgiveness and grace was extended to the Gentiles just the same as Jews. Both Jews and Gentiles were equal in God’s eyes (v. 6) to share in riches and inheritance, to become God’s children, to belong to the body of Christ (the “Church”), and to the same promise of blessings.
All because of Jesus.
Paul found it a privilege to serve God (v. 7) and to spread the Good News of God’s love. His words show a deep humility (v. 8) but perhaps his life experience was exactly what caused God’s message to shine through him and resonate with others. Paul was forgiven and empowered by God and specifically chosen to share the message of unity in Christ.
Because of Christ’s faithfulness (v. 12), we can now boldly and confidently come into God’s presence — something that was sacredly guarded and protected for many years, and only available to Jews.
What can we learn from Paul’s example?
Focus — Paul was focused on the task that God assigned to him. He didn’t grumble about it. He even remained focused and faithful in prison! He considered it a privilege to serve God and did not compare himself to other people. Many times we lose our effectiveness to serve God because we are too busy comparing ourselves to others which causes us to lose focus.
Humble — Paul understood that God chose him for a specific purpose, but he didn’t allow that to affect his pride. In fact, Paul considered himself “less than the least” of all of God’s people. Paul’s humility kept his spirit teachable and is a wonderful example to me.
Bold — The message Paul preached was radical in his time! However, Paul was completely up to the challenge! We like to glamorize life in a Roman prison, but honestly, I cringe to think about what Paul probably endured. However, he didn’t change his message. He continued to speak of unity, grace, and freedom in Christ!
What do you think about today’s reading? What verses stood out to you as you read them? I would love to hear your thoughts!