Bible Commentaries

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

Ephesians 3

Verse 1

For this cause ; in view of all that has been said concerning your introduction through Christ, to the household of faith.

The prisoner of Jesus Christ ; one who is subjected to imprisonment for the cause of Jesus Christ.

For you Gentiles ; he was especially called to preach the gospel to the Gentiles, and admit them to the church without circumcision, on an equal footing with the Jews. For this he had been persecuted, and was not imprisoned. This first verse is the beginning of a sentence which is virtually resumed and continued at verse Ephesians 3:14 , the intermediate verses being an expansion of the idea contained in the words, "for you Gentiles."

Verse 3

The mystery ; namely, that explained in verse Ephesians 3:6 , that the Gentiles, through faith in Christ, were to be partakers of his salvation on equal terms with the Jews, and without the observance of Jewish ceremonies.

As I wrote afore ; as I wrote a little above, chap Ephesians 2:12-21 .

Verse 6

The gospel was designed to make all who embrace it children of God, and members of one family; to give them free access to him as their Father, and lead them to love one another as brethren. So far as it does not produce these effects on those who profess it, they have reason to fear that they have never experienced its power.

Verse 7

His power ; his power in me, qualifying me for the office to which he has called me.

Verse 9

What is the fellowship of the mystery ; the mystery is that, through faith in Christ, Gentiles and Jews were to be united to God and one another in holy fellowship and communion for ever. "The fellowship of the mystery" would be the fellowship of Gentiles with Jews, which the revelation of this mystery discloses. But another and better authenticated reading is, "what is the dispensation of the mystery"; that is, a dispensation which has the revelation of this mystery as its foundation principle.

Hid in God ; hid, as it were, among the secret counsels of God.

Who created all things ; and has therefore the absolute right to order all things according to his own counsel.

Verse 10

Principalities and powers ; the different orders of heavenly beings.

By the church ; by means of God’s dealings with the church. This is one of those passages which represent the angelic orders as studying with deep interest the dealings of God with men in the work of redemption. Compare 1 Peter 1:12 .

Verse 11

The blessings of grace, which, for Christ’s sake, God bestows on those who believe, are the fruits of his eternal purpose, and are given not merely to save them, but to show to the universe the perfections of his character as they could not otherwise be made known.

Verse 13

My tribulations ; on account of preaching the gospel to the Gentiles, for which he was then a prisoner at Rome.

Your glory ; the means of promoting your glory; that is, promotive of your heavenly glory, with all the earnests of it which ye now receive through the Holy Spirit.

Verse 14

For this cause ; see note to verse Ephesians 3:1 .

Verse 15

Of whom ; of God as its author and head.

The whole family ; or, as the original implies, every family; namely, every one of the different orders of holy beings in heaven and earth.

Is named ; bears his name as the common Father of each; so that all orders of holy beings in heaven and earth are thus united into one glorious fellowship. The apostle introduces this as the climax of that great idea which he labors throughout the epistle to unfold-the union of all holy beings in God through Christ.

Verse 16

In the inner man ; by a great increase of love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance, and all the fruits of the Spirit.

Verse 17

Dwell in your hearts ; as the object of supreme affection.

Rooted and grounded ; fixed as trees in a deep, fruitful soil, and firm as a building on a rock.

Verse 18

Comprehend ; understand more and more of the inexhaustible, eternal love of Christ, the fulness of which infinitely transcends all finite comprehension.

Verse 19

With all the fulness of God ; more literally, unto all the fulness of God. So filled with his light, truth, love, holiness, and bliss, as to become in your measure like him, and shine in the glory of his image for ever. Faith in Christ is the means not only of justification, but of sanctification; rendering men stedfast and persevering in duty, enlarging their apprehensions of his love, and causing them to become more and more like him, till they are complete in the perfect image of God.

Verse 21

The glories to which God will finally exalt his people, can be comprehended by none but himself. His saints will be for ever enlarging their comprehensions; and yet, at every future period, their anticipations of what is to come will fill them with profounder adoration and a warmer zeal, and be drawing forth louder and sweeter praises to God and the Lamb for ever.

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Bibliographical Information
Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Ephesians 3". "Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/fam/ephesians-3.html. American Tract Society. 1851.