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God’s wisdom and love displayed (3:1-21)
It was because Paul had taken the gospel to the Gentiles that he was imprisoned in the first place (Acts 21:27-36). Yet he feels humbled to think that God should graciously choose him for such a noble work (3:1-2). As a Jew he was once proud of his belief that only Jews were God’s people. Even if some of the ‘far off’ Gentiles believed in God, they were still not God’s covenant people in the sense that Jews were. Now God’s special revelation shows Paul clearly that no longer is this so. Jewish and Gentile believers are united in one body, the church, and as God’s people they share equally in all God’s blessings (3-6).
Paul believes that only by God’s grace could one as unworthy as he be given the work of taking the gospel to the Gentiles. He believes also that only by God’s power will he be fruitful in that work (7-8). God’s plan of uniting all believers in one church in and through Christ displays to people and to angels his great wisdom (9-11). This encourages Christians in their everyday lives, for if God is so wise and powerful, they know that they can enter into his presence at all times without fear or doubt. They therefore should not be discouraged, as some in Ephesus were when they heard that their apostle was in prison (12-13).
The one to whom Paul prays is the Father of all who believe, whether Jews or Gentiles. This one is the true Father. Everything in the universe has its origin in him. Even earthly fathers and their families exist only because there is a heavenly Father and his family (14-15).
Paul asks this heavenly Father that those who are his children might be strengthened inwardly through allowing the Spirit of Christ within them to control them. As they understand more of Christ’s love, they will grow to be more like him in their lives (16-19). They should not think that this goal is too high to reach, for God is able to do far more than they think possible (20-21).
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Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on Ephesians 3". "Brideway Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Fifth Week after Easter