Ephesians: The Ministry of the Mystery

Ephesians  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  42:12
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Ephesians 3: 8-13

I. The Person for Ministry

A. A person of Humility

Paul was genuinely amazed at the grace he had received. Being fully aware of the righteousness of God, Paul became keenly aware of his frailty and propensity to please the flesh. He remembered the man he was prior to salvation and the graciousness of God in coming to Him in salvation. In essence, Paul is utterly amazed at the grace of God being offered to sinful men, of whom he viewed himself as chief of sinners.
That is quite humbling and convicting.
If Paul viewed himself as the least of all saints, being keenly aware of the grace he received, how much more should we stand in amazement at the grace of God in our lives?
Grace was extended to those who are undeserving. All that we are, or ever hope to be, is dependent upon His grace. Our standing with the Father is acceptable because of His grace.

B. A Person of Duty

8b that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ.
Paul had a sense of duty.
Paul says, “is this grace given, that I should...”
Paul is not asking should he
He is stating a fact
Paul is stating the fact that all those that have been saved by the grace of God should state.
“ Because of God’s grace, we have no other choice but to tell others.”
The unsearchable riches that Paul is speaking about is the riches of grace and mercy.
Ephesians 1:7 KJV 1900
In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;
Ephesians 2:4 KJV 1900
But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
Because God saved him on the road to Damassacus by grace through faith, he must tell others about these great riches.
I like how the king james uses the word, unsearchable.
It has the sense of something marked by being impossible to plot, travel, or trace to the end of; therefore incomprehensible.
We could not search for His grace and mercy even if we tried. He had to find us, illuminate us of our need, so that we knew where to look.
Paul was the person of ministry
He had humility and duty
Paul also had....

II. The Passion for Ministry (v.9)

I love to examine the Epistles verse by verse. Bear in mind, this is a prison epistle, and yet one can sense the excitement and dedication of Paul through reading his words.
Having received the unsearchable riches in Christ, he was compelled to share this treasure with the world, that all might see this treasure for what it is and experience the fellowship of the mystery – fellowship with the Father, through the provision of the Son!
(Isn’t that an amazing thought?
We have experienced such grace in Christ! We have the privilege and obligation to share this treasure with the world.)
Paul had a passion for ministry
You can have humility and a sense of duty but if you dont have a passison for it then there is no sense in continuing in the ministry.
Verse nine lets us know that we have something that at one time was not allowed to be made known, but now it has been revealed and it is the greatest thing to ever happen to humanity and we should have a passison for the ministry of it.

III. The Purpose of Ministry

The purpose (hina) of Paul’s ministry was that … the manifold wisdom (sophia) of God might be made known...
In classical Greek the adjective “manifold” (polypoikilos) referred to the beauty of an embroidered pattern or the variety of colors in flowers (cf. poikilēs, “in its various forms,” in 1 Peter 4:10).
The “manifold wisdom of God” does not refer to redemption as such but rather to the new relationship between believing Jews and Gentiles in one body.
The medium by which this wisdom is communicated is the church; the recipients are the angelic hosts “in the heavenly realms” (cf. Eph. 1:3).
These “principlities” refer to both good and evil angels as seen in Eph. 6:12 (cf. 1:21).
As the angelic hosts witness the church, they have no other choice but to admit that having Jews and Gentiles in one body is evidence of The wisdom of God.
This mystery—that both believing Jews and Gentiles are in one body (3:6)—was revealed to the apostles and prophets (v. 5) and was disseminated by Paul (vv. 7–9).
Its purpose was that angelic beings might see God’s awesome wisdom.
This whole plan was in accord with God’s eternal intent which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord (v. 11).
So God had a purpose for doing what he did and we have a purpose in this ministry: to let all the world know that Christ died for the world.

IV. The Provision in Ministry

A. The Assurance in Christ (12a)

– In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.
Paul declared that those in Christ possess boldness in Him.
This does not refer to an arrogant or disrespectful boldness, but complete assurance in Christ.
Being the recipients of His grace, we can approach the Lord with assurance for any and every need in life.
Through Christ our Lord, we have the privilege of approaching the throne of grace with assurance that we will be welcomed and our prayers will be heard.
Hebrews 4:16 KJV 1900
Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
Hebrews 10:19–20 KJV 1900
Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;

B. Access to Christ (12b)

– In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.
This goes hand in hand with boldness, but it also reveals the abundant nature of this provision.
We are not limited in our access to Christ.
The high priest was limited in that he was only allowed within the Holy of Holies once per year on the Day of Atonement.
We have access with confidence by faith in Christ –
we are welcome to bring our requests before Him at any moment for any reason.
Believers have unlimited access to the Lord and can commune with Him as often as we like.
There is no fear of rejection when coming before the Lord. He stands as our Mediator and invites us to come before Him, making our requests known to Him.

C. Adequacy in Christ (13)

– Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you, which is your glory.
It appears some of the believers in Ephesus were distressed over Paul’s continued imprisonment and the difficulties he faced.
Paul urged them not to faint over his tribulations;
there was no need for discouragement or despair.
While it may have appeared that things were out of control, Paul knew the Lord was working all things for His glory and the good of Paul and the church.
This may not have been a desirable position, but the Lord remained sovereign and He would work through this situation for their benefit.
Paul realized the struggles of this life were not to be compared to the glory that would eventually be revealed. Rom.8:18
Romans 8:18 KJV 1900
For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
In light of all we have discussed today, one can appreciate Paul’s perspective.
Life is difficult at best.
Even the strongest of believers face adversity and pain.
However, the one who views these difficulties through the lens of the unsearchable riches of Christ, the struggles pale in comparison.
Regardless of the storms we encounter, we are kept by His power and surrounded by His matchless grace.
In fact, the storms we encounter and endure may be for the benefit of others. We are more than conquerors through Christ our Lord.


We have not even scratched the surface of the unsearchable riches in Christ, but I trust you have been encouraged today.
We have received much in our Lord, and we must remember that to whom much is given, much is required.
May we, as Paul, desire to share this great treasure we have received.
Have you received this abundant gift of grace?
Do you share in the unsearchable riches of Christ?
If not, I urge you to respond the gospel, repent of sin and believe on Christ for salvation.
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