Thursday, June 25, 2020

2020.06.25 Hopewell @Home ▫ Ephesians 3:10–13

Questions from the Scripture text: What is being made known (Ephesians 3:10)? By whom? To whom? Where? According to what (Ephesians 3:11)? How was this purpose accomplished? What do we have in Christ (Ephesians 3:12)? Through what? What, therefore, does the apostle ask (Ephesians 3:13)? For whom is he suffering these troubles? So that they may have what?
Ephesians 2:6–7 told us that one of the reasons for seating us in the heavenly places was so that in the ages to come God would display (in us) the exceeding riches of His grace in Christ Jesus.

Now the apostle marvels at his own ministry, which isn’t just announcing among the nations the unsearchable riches of Christ (Ephesians 3:8), but also making the church into a display unto the heavenly beings of the “multicolored” [literally translated] wisdom of God (Ephesians 3:10). Sometimes, we hear people talk about what a “watching world” sees, and we rightly desire to be light. But the darkness hates the light. Believers who worry too much about their image before men would do well to meditate upon how we are also God’s display of His own wisdom before the angels!

Hidden in God from all eternity (Ephesians 3:9a), and the reason for creating all things (verse 9b), the existence of the gospel church displays that the purpose of God in Christ Jesus our Lord has now been accomplished (Ephesians 3:10)!

It can be difficult to persist in serving the Lord under the ordinary ministry of the elders (Ephesians 4:11–16), in the battle of sanctification (Ephesians 4:17–24), and the complexities of relationships in the congregation (Ephesians 4:25–32) and to the world (Ephesians 5:1–14), especially when it gets down into the daily slog in marriage (Ephesians 5:22–33), parenting (Ephesians 6:1–4), and work (Ephesians 6:5–9).

So, the apostle sets before us the cosmic significance of our ordinary sanctification (both here in Ephesians 3:10 and later in Ephesians 6:10–20) to bring us back to Christ Himself, and the now-revealed mystery of God’s grace to us in Him. This—God’s plan from eternity to glorify Himself in Christ by being gracious to us—is what gives us not only boldness in life, but even confidence when we approach God Himself (Ephesians 3:12). It would do us good, in the midst of the daily grind, to reflect often upon the eternal plan that is being carried out in our serving God as beloved children.

This is why the apostle, rather than losing heart at his own trouble, has just rattled off 13 verses of amazement at the grace of God toward him in giving him this ministry. And this is why he doesn’t want them to be distracted by his troubles either. He knows their Christian affection for him, but what he wants them to see in his imprisonment is not  the light and momentary affliction but the eternal weight of glory that it is accomplishing (Ephesians 3:13, cf. Romans 8:18–232 Corinthians 4:15–18).

May the Lord bless our daily worship in our homes and weekly worship in the assembly, such that we may live our lives in this world with eyes and hearts that feast upon this glory of God in Christ that is the purpose of all things!
In what situation do you find it most difficult to remember that God has planned this for His glory in Christ? How will you go about reminding yourself of this from passages like this one?
Suggested songs: ARP98 “O Sing a New Song to the Lord” or TPH425 “How Sweet and Awesome Is the Place”

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