As Foulkes said: Foulkes rejected such a simplistic understanding of the mystery, asking, "Can they not be different aspects of the central revelation? NO, but by reason of the perfect faith and obedience of Christ, and in the meaningful sense, actually Christ, as being a part of his spiritual body. He wrote it to people in the town called Ephesus. You can find the best commentary on Ephesians for you using the tools on the right side. Amplified: FOR THIS reason [because I preached that you are thus built up together], I, Paul, [am] the prisoner of Jesus the Christ for the sake and on behalf of you Gentiles— (Amplified Bible - Lockman) This has the meaning of "that is to say," or "namely." [26], A. T. Robertson understood the reference as to "evil powers or fallen angels, exclusively.[27]. The dispensation of the mystery ... Paul's many references in the New Testament to the mystery of God, the mystery of the faith, the mystery of Christ, the great mystery, the mystery of godliness, etc., etc., are among the most interesting passages in the New Testament. "[24] In fact, all through Paul's writings there prevails the impression that the saved in Christ are a part of infinite plans, all creation, even previous intelligent creations (as angels) being destined to share a common purpose with the redeemed when God shall sum up all things "in Christ." [7] James Macknight, Apostolical Epistles with Commentary, Ephesians (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Book House, 1969), p. 286. "How many families? It was friendship for Trophimus, a Gentile, which resulted in the false charges against him in the temple, that first brought him into the power of the Roman government. (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1953), p. 676. Eph 3:1-7. Compare Acts 20:17-24 . Ephesians. Ephesians 2:4-10 How He Works in Us ’After’ Salvation. The paradox "to know . Ἐξ οὗ ) of Whom , viz. There is no occasion, with Hunnius, Marloratus, Chrysostom, and Calvin, to make the reference in the verb to some earlier epistle. Ephesians 1:3-14 begins with the pronouncement of a blessing upon God in response to the abundant ways in which God has blessed us (verse 3). But Vulgate and some very old authorities retain them: Ephesians 3:15 , "From whom," in either case, refers to "the Father" (Patera), as "family" (patria, akin in sound and etymology) plainly refers to Him. Over the main portal of the Central Church of Christ in Houston were engraved these words: This is perpetually God's will. The Church is part of the grand family, or kingdom, which comprehends, besides men, the higher spiritual world, where the archetype, to the realization of which redeemed man is now tending, is already realized. It would have been difficult indeed to have piled together three expressions more eloquent of the absolute equality of privilege and blessing to be shared and shared alike by Jews and Gentiles in Christ. Ephesians 2:14-18 We Are One Body in Christ. Paul here prayed for the Christians to whom he wrote that they might be filled with "all the fullness of God." William Hendriksen devoted a number of pages to a thorough study of this.[9]. It was precisely that Gentile thing which formed so important an element of the Great Mystery that dominated the rest of this parenthesis. The fact of the gospel's promulgation upon earth being, in some manner, for the purpose of "making known" to "principalities and powers in the heavenly places" God's manifold wisdom has not been satisfactorily explained; at least, this student of the Scriptures has not seen any satisfactory explanation of it. Translate, "That the Gentiles are," &c. "and fellow members of the same body, and fellow partakers of the (so the oldest manuscripts read, not 'HIS') promise, in Christ Jesus (added in the oldest manuscripts), through the Gospel." There is no justification whatever for rendering this verse "through our faith in him." Here we have the account which Paul gives the Ephesians concerning himself, as he was appointed by God the apostle of the Gentiles. [32] William Hendriksen, op. II. Article Images Copyright © 2021 Getty Images unless otherwise indicated. ... the Gentiles? Those "in Christ" are also in the church; and those not "in the church" are not "in Christ.". 4 By reading my letters you will understand the mystery of Christ as I do” (Ephesians 3:1-4). The falsehood inherent in the theory of pseudonymous authorship of Ephesians shines in a passage like this, like the nakedness of the king in the fable (of the invisible clothes). is named--derives its origin and its name as sons of God. Ephesians 3, Coffman Commentaries on the Bible, One of over 110 Bible commentaries freely available, this commentary, by the leading authority in the Church of Christ, presents a verse level look at the Bible. That--So that. This list of commentaries is intended to help the reader understand and apply Paul’s message in the book of Ephesians. Chapter 3. That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, that ye may be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inward man. In the Greek text, all of verses 3-14 form a single sentence, with clause after clause describing the ways in which God has blessed us and the implications of these blessings for … which passeth knowledge," implies that when he says "know," he does not mean that we can adequately know; all we know is, that His love exceeds far our knowledge of it, and with even our fresh accessions of knowledge hereafter, will still exceed them. Which in other generations was not made known unto the sons of men, as it hath now been revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit. As the first chapter treated of THE FATHER'S office; and the … He appeals to their and his experience. "All" (compare Colossians 1:28 ). It was a busy port and the centre of much trade. There are also overtones of the pre-existence and Godhead of the Lord Jesus Christ in this declaration. If so be that ye have heard ... From this, it is falsely alleged that this letter could not have been addressed to the Ephesians, since they had most certainly heard of the mystery Paul was about to emphasize. To wit, that the Gentiles are fellow-heirs, and fellow-members of the body, and fellow-partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel. There are many rich, helpful comments on the husband-wife relationship in Ephesians 5:21–33. [18] J. R. Dummelow, Commentary on the Holy Bible (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1937), p. 963. But they did not know it with the same explicit distinctness "As" it has been now known ( Acts 10:19 Acts 10:20 , 11:18-21 ). fellowship--The oldest manuscripts read, "economy," or "dispensation" (compare Colossians 1:25 Colossians 1:26 ; and good to God at this time to dispense (through me and others, His stewards) what heretofore was a mystery." Ephesians 3 Commentary, One of over 110 Bible commentaries freely available, this commentary, by the Pastor of the Fifth Streek Church of Christ, has edified Christians for years. might be known--Translate, "may be known." [10] Francis Foulkes, The Epistles of Paul to the Ephesians (Tyndale) (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. We may observe that he acquaints them with the tribulations and sufferings which he endured in the discharge of that office, v. 1. We'll send you an email with steps on how to reset your password. No wonder this has been called the boldest prayer ever prayed. by faith--Greek, "through faith," which opens the door of the heart to Jesus ( John 3:20 ). If--The Greek does not imply doubt: "Assuming (what I know to be the fact, namely) that ye have heard," &c. "If, as I presume," The indicative in the Greek shows that no doubt is implied: "Seeing that doubtless," &c. He by this phrase delicately reminds them of their having heard from himself, and probably from others subsequently, the fact. Hence, we may see His right to keep the mystery of world-wide salvation in Christ "hidden in Himself," till his own good time for revealing it. This was why Paul so appreciated and honored the office which God gave him, that of the apostleship. Eph 3:1-13. By perceiving his understanding of the mysteries, they, too, will be enabled to understand. "[23] It was concealed not only from the Gentiles, but also concealed from the Jews; and according to 1 Peter 1:12, it was also concealed from the angels in heaven. find with this! Paul seems to treat them as prayer goals. 5, 6 sermon viii.—ephesians i. Bible Gateway Recommends. AS God created "the whole range of things" (so the Greek), physical and spiritual alike, He must have an absolute right to adjust all things as He will. If people do not believe God's word, let them say so; but may they also have the courage to spare us who believe it the kind of result to human intelligence inherent in a proposition like that quoted above. GROTIUS understands depth and height of God's goodness raising us from the lowest depression to the greatest height. See Ephesians 3:13 (printed below) Therefore, I ask you not to be discouraged because of my tribulations on your behalf, for they are your glory. This whole chapter is a prayer, but between the first and second words of it, Paul made a characteristic digression in which he gave further teaching on the mystery of redemption (Ephesians 3:1-13), concluding this part of the letter with what has been called "the boldest prayer ever prayed" (Ephesians 3:14-21). [35] Theodore O. Wedel, The Interpreter's Bible, Vol. The rigors of a Roman prison, though somewhat tempered in Paul's case, were nevertheless extremely galling, the very fact of being chained twenty-four hours a day to a Roman sentry was itself a terrible punishment. The inward man ... Clarke's definition of the "inward man" is as good as any. cit., p. 158. not made known--He does not say, "has not been revealed." "[29] Since wisdom has no literal color, it is clear that Paul was speaking figuratively in this passage. See Paul's practice ( Acts 20:36 ); and that of the Lord Himself on earth ( Luke 22:41 ). Not merely two but a dozen complex and interlocking elements of the Great Mystery were revealed by the apostle Paul; and as for the quibbles about one element being stressed here, another there, such problems are as laughable as that of the six blind men describing the elephant. Such a view, however, is due to overlooking the true meaning of the word "if" as used here and in many other New Testament passages. Such variety of opinions suggests that the true interpretation might lie in a different direction altogether. 14. Biblical Commentary Ephesians 3:1-12. for you--in your behalf. Next commentary: And adds a thanksgiving. 2 You heard about the stewardship of God’s grace given to me for you, 3 and how by revelation the mystery was made known to me. of Jesus Christ--Greek, "Christ Jesus." [23] William Hendriksen, op. 15. the whole family--ALFORD, MIDDLETON, and others translate, "every family": alluding to the several families in heaven and in earth supposed to exist [THEOPHYLACT, Æcumenius, in SUICER, 2.633], the apostle thus being supposed to imply that God, in His relation of Father to us His adopted children, is the great prototype of the paternal relation wherever found. Again reference is made to the comment on this under Galatians 5:23. Ephesians 3, William Barclay's Daily Study Bible, One of over 110 Bible commentaries freely available, this commentary, as set of 17 volumes on the New Testament, the result of Barclay's dedicated work Hence angels are termed our "brethren" ( Revelation 19:10 ), and "sons of God" by creation, as we are by adoption ( Job 38:7 ). Eph 3:1-13. (2) It shows that their conception of morality is compatible with such fraud. Proud member The Trinity, the union of two natures in Christ, the whole doctrine of salvation by grace, the union of Christ and the believer are all mysteries which the natural man does not know, understand, nor love. the Father of Jesus Christ. How noble was that soul which lived in such a climate of personal loyalty and devotion to the Lord! Ephesians 3:7-13 Mystery of God’s Grace. For this cause — That you may be so built up together, and made the temple of God, and his habitation through the Spirit; I bow my knees, &c., see Eph 3:14, with which the words are evidently closely connected, (as they are also with the close of the preceding chapters) the subsequent paragraph to the end of Eph 3:13 manifestly coming in by way of parenthesis. In a very real sense, every Gentile on earth is indebted to Paul for the salvation which we have received in Christ. 20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, Verses 20 to 21 are an attribution of praise, a doxology. A. Hort who believed that it means, "in a semi-technical sense, the reading of the Holy Scriptures. The call of the Church is no haphazard remedy, or afterthought, but part of the eternal scheme, which, amidst manifold varieties of dispensation, is one in its end. Great as the power of God in human life assuredly is, it works in those who are "in Christ," being particularly their endowment. "[11] Of course, that is exactly what they are. I bow my knees ... Paul had begun to finish this prayer back in Ephesians 3:1, but he interrupted it for the magnificent digression regarding the great mystery in Christ; now he repeated the words, "For this cause," and completed the marvelous prayer. He wrote: All of the Ephesians whom Paul had converted had been made partakers of the Gift Ordinary of the Holy Spirit, granted to them as an earnest of their redemption at the time they were baptized into Christ (see Acts 2:38,39; Ephesians 1:13). The most obvious and ridiculous error supposed to support the so-called Markan theory is that of making Jesus' quotation from Daniel a parenthesis injected by Matthew or Mark, with the accompanying conclusion that one or another of the sacred evangelists copied the other! They had been “dead in transgressions and sins,” (2:1), but God in his mercy “made (them) alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with him, and made us to sit with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (2:5-6). What a beautiful and selfless thought is this! EXEGETICAL STUDY OF EPHESIANS 3:14-21 by Mykola Leliovskyi Submitted to Dr. Myron C. Kauk in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of MASTER OF THEOLOGY European Bible Training Center Berlin, Germany January 27, 2017 1 Structure of the pericope Consisting of 126 words this prayer is the fifth of eight long sentences in this epistle (cf. By revelation ... Paul always emphasized that the wonderful truth he brought to people was from God, not of himself, that it was given to him by Christ, disclaiming any credit whatever as belonging to himself. (Ephesians 3:8-10 RSV) There are wonderful intimations here -- that God has had some secret plans at work through the centuries which he has never unfolded to anybody. Ephesians 3:17-19 “so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. No pretense of being able to explain such things is affected by this writer. length . The office is the prominent thought in the latter arrangement; the person, in the former. In the light of these facts which cannot be denied, how naturally, Paul should have included the clause, "when ye read.". Ephesians 2:1-3 How we Were ’Before’ Salvation. [26] William Hendriksen, op. Christian boldness is revealed as being at least partially the responsibility of the Christian himself to maintain it, encourage it in others, and to manifest it openly in all places and circumstances. Salem Media Group. Psalms 1-75: Holman Old Testament Commentary … Commentary on the Bible, ... Ephesians Chapter 3. MacKnight: They are the different orders of the angels in heaven. height--namely, the full dimensions of the spiritual temple, answering to "the fulness of God" ( Ephesians 3:19 ), to which the Church, according to its capacity, ought to correspond (compare Ephesians 4:10 Ephesians 4:13 ) as to "the fulness of Christ." The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Ephesians Commentary by A. R. FAUSSET CHAPTER 3 Eph 3:1-21. The reason for injecting this word about the creation would appear to be "to indicate the relation of the matter in hand to the mightiest works of God. "In the church" and "in Christ Jesus" designate the same theater of operations. The volume on 6:10–20 is quite instructive on being a good soldier and warring a good warfare. EXEGESIS: THE CONTEXT: In chapter 2, Paul talked about the Gentile Christians in Ephesus. Some radical and irresponsible critics of the New Testament affirm that these words were forged to this epistle by some later author who passed it off as having been written by Paul; but no believer in Christ could possibly have been guilty of such fraud and deception. Where the Spirit is there Christ is ( John 14:16 John 14:18 ). For this reason, I, … Let us expect more, and ask for more, encouraged by what Christ has already done for our souls, being assured that the conversion of sinners, and the comfort of believers, will be to his glory, for ever and ever. I wrote before in few words ... Like many of Paul's statements, this is capable of a number of meanings, and no one can be certain exactly what he intended. Of all the things mentioned as the possible object of these words, people are unable to know the infinite dimensions of them; but Christ in our hearts can help us to understand how infinitely above people are the things of God. Biblical Commentary Ephesians 3:1-12. It is hard to make a judgment regarding the greater immorality, whether it pertains to the alleged deceiver the critics would make the author of Ephesians, or to the critics themselves who are morally capable of alleging such nonsense as the justification of such a sin. The Trinity is thus alluded to, as often elsewhere in this Epistle ( Ephesians 2:19 Ephesians 2:20 Ephesians 2:22 ). Ephesians » ... (Eph 3:20) Previous commentary: Also the noble purposes answered by it. I have already written to you briefly about this. To the intent that now unto the principalities and the powers in the heavenly places might be made known through the church the manifold wisdom of God. 3. he made known--The oldest manuscripts read, "That by revelation was the mystery (namely, of the admission of the Gentiles, Ephesians 3:6 , 1:9 ) made known unto me ( Galatians 1:12 )." Beare thought it was "truth. As Barclay truly said, "Had there been no Paul, it is quite conceivable that there would have been no world-wide Christianity, and that we would not be Christians today. Ephesians 3:20-21. "You being rooted and grounded in love" (compare Ephesians 3:19 ), is in the Greek connected with this clause, not with the clause, "that ye may be able to comprehend." Study Notes on Ephesians Page #6 Introductory Thoughts about Commentaries Only the Scriptures provide an infallible, authoritatively inspired revelation of God’s will for man (2 Timothy 3:16,17). Ephesians 4:3 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓] Ephesians 4:3, NIV: "Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace." Compare 1 Peter 4:10 , "stewards of the manifold grace of God." 3 sermon v.—ephesians i. Ephesians 3:1 For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles (NASB: Lockman). This passage of Ephesians 3:14-21 refers totwo important stages in reaching such heights of love. 1. of Jesus Christ--Greek, "Christ Jesus." Bruce has a perceptive comment thus: [15] F. F. Bruce, The Epistles to the Ephesians (Old Tappan, New Jersey: Fleming H. Revell Company, 1961), p. 61. II. See under Galatians 2:16, in this volume. [30] William Hendriksen, op. It is not fair to leave this without calling attention to a possible meaning of this proposed by F. J. As Martin pointed out: Thus, it was actually true that all of Paul's persecutions, first to last, were part and parcel of his mission to the Gentiles. Marvelous as the Christian revelation surely is, there is no ground for people assuming conceitedly that they "know all about it.". This is Paul's word for the privilege of approaching God in prayer, of coming boldly to the throne of grace, of possessing the right to petition the Father in one's own person through identity with the Lord Jesus Christ and needing no go-between, mediator, priest or any other person whomsoever as any kind of dispenser of spiritual privilege, or even as an aid in such things. It is the brotherhood of man "in Christ" that brings peace and amity. ALFORD quotes as an instance, Romans 8:38 , &c. "THE access" (Greek) implies the formal introduction into the presence of a monarch. [33] John Wesley, One Volume New Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Book House, 1972), in loco. Ephesians 3:1 For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, Ephesians 3:2 If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward: Ephesians 3:3 How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, Ephesians 3:4 Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) He digresses at "For this cause," and does not complete the sentence which he had intended, until Ephesians 3:14 , where he resumes the words, "For this cause," namely, because I know this your call of God as Gentiles ( Ephesians 2:11-22 ), to be "fellow heirs" with the Jews ( Ephesians 3:6 ), "I bow my knees to" the Father of our common Saviour ( Ephesians 3:14 Ephesians 3:15 ) to confirm you in the faith by His Spirit. As Hendriksen said, the trouble with the "every family" rendition is that there is hardly any way to know what may be meant by it. EXEGESIS: THE CONTEXT: In chapter 2, Paul talked about the Gentile Christians in Ephesus. Christians are priests unto God in Christ Jesus who is the "one mediator"; and no other mediators are needed. Posture affects the mind, and is not therefore unimportant. The prayer in this verse is to the effect that the Spirit of God within them would be a source of power, more firmly establishing them in the faith. 4, 5, sermon vi.—ephesians i. cit., p. 167. created all things by Jesus Christ--God's creation of the world and all things therein is the foundation of the rest of the "economy," which is freely dispensed according to the universal power of God [BENGEL]. It is important to keep this in mind in the study of the next verse. This whole chapter is a prayer, but between the first and second words of it, Paul made a characteristic digression in which he gave further teaching on the mystery of redemption (Ephesians 3:1-13), concluding this part of the letter with what has been called "the boldest prayer ever prayed" (Ephesians 3:14-21). “For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles — “ At the time the words of this verse were written, Paul was, from a human perspective, a prisoner of the Roman Empire. Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God which was given me according to the working of his power. 6. (12) This verse returns to the idea of Ephesians 2:18, as though St. Paul, after the wide sweep of thought far beyond the earth in Ephesians 3:10-11, desired, as usual, to bring his readers back to the practical and personal aspects of their Christianity. Taylor, Wesley, MacKnight and many others, along with the KJV, testify to the correct translation as "faith of him," despite the fact that some who admit the true rendition still manage to deny the meaning of it! Ephesians 1:15-23 Prayer For Knowledge And Power. Translate, "that is able above all things (what is above all things) to do exceeding abundantly above what we ask or (even) think": thought takes a wider range than prayers. In whom we have boldness and access in confidence through our faith in him. Exceeding abundantly ... As Bruce said, "This is another one of Paul's "super-superlatives," coined to express God's capacity to transcend all that we ask or think. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1963), p. 93. Biblical Commentary (Bible study) Ephesians 1:3-14 EXEGESIS: BACKGROUND: While this book begins, “Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus through the will of God, to the saints who are at Ephesus, and the faithful in Christ Jesus” (1:1), scholars today are divided regarding both the authorship and the intended recipients. Being "in Christ," is the same as being "in the church" - this is another truth that is emphasized in this doxology. . May be strong to apprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth. [9] William Hendriksen, New Testament Commentary, Ephesians (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Book House, 1967), p. 151ff.