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Wednesday, July 24th, 2024
the Week of Proper 11 / Ordinary 16
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Bible Commentaries
Ephesians 3

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

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Verse 1

THE CHURCH MYSTERY VEILED IN AGES PAST

1) "For this cause I Paul" (touto carin ego Paulos) "By reason of this, I Paul.” This alludes to PauI’s faith in the church, the temple-body of Christ, through which the gospel was to be preached and the worship and’ work of the church carried on, Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15.

2) "The prisoner of Jesus Christ" (ho desmios tou christou iesou) "The chained prisoner of Jesus Christ," in literal chains in a Roman prison, for his fidelity to the gospel of Christ. Paul requested prayers of the Ephesian brethren that he might be empowered to speak boldly the "mystery of the gospel," even while an ambassador of Jesus Christ and the church in bonds or chains, Ephesians 6:19-20.

3) "For you Gentiles" (huper humon ton ethnon) "On behalf of you of the nations, heathen, or races." To them he had been called to preach the gospel of Christ and had faithfully pursued his call. Before king Agrippa Paul related his divine call to bear the gospel to the Gentiles and affirmed his faithfulness in that pursuit, Acts 26:15-20; Acts 9:15-16; Romans 1:15-16; Acts 22:21; Acts 13:46-47; Romans 11:13; Galatians 2:7-8,

Verse 2

1) "If ye have heard" (ei ge ekousate) "If indeed ye heard," a supposition taken for granted that they had heard. This appears to be a gentle appeal expressing hope that this preaching to them had not been forgotten.

2) "Of the dispensation of the grace of God" (ten oikonomian tes charitos toutheou) "The stewardship or house-rule of the grace of God." This refers to the divine arrangement for the dispensing of the gospel through the church, referred to as a stewardship, house-rule or order of work and worship, which Paul was -called to communicate to the Gentiles, 1 Corinthians 9:16-17; 1 Corinthians 11:1-2.

3) "Which is given me to you-ward" (tes dotheises; moi eis humas) "Given to me for you all." Paul’s call to the ministry as an apostle, to make known the grace of God through the church, was not for his own sake, but for the sake of the Gentiles, Romans 11:13; Galatians 2:7-8.

Verse 3

1) "How that by revelation" (hoti kata apokalupsin) "That by way or according to the media of revelation." The mystery disclosed to Paul by revelation was that the gospel should be preached to all men through the church, the one new assembly body called from among the Gentiles, not through Jewish -synagogue worship, Ephesians 3:9-10.

2) "He made known unto me the mystery" (egnoristhe moi to musterion) "Was made known to me the mystery." This refers to the same mystery-body as that of the phrase "kingdom of heaven," in the seven kingdom-of- heaven parables in Matthew 13:1-58. Each referred to the church in action in various eras of God’s plan, Galatians 1:12; Galatians 1:15-16.

3) "As I wrote afore in few words"’ (kathos proegrapsa en oligo) "Just as I previously wrote in a brief form." This perhaps refers not to a previous letter he had written, but to the previous references in this letter in Ephesians 1:9-10, and Ephesians 2:11-22, where the body of Christ -- the church-body – Ephesians 1:21-22, should be an occasion and body agency, purchased by the blood of Christ, through which both Jews and Gentiles might equally worship and serve the Lord without "inner" or "outer" court barriers, Acts 20:28; Ephesians 5:25; Ephesians 3:21; Ephesians 4:4-5.

Verse 4

1) "Whereby, when ye read" (pros ho dunasthe anaginoskontes) "To the. intent that when ye are reading." It is taken for granted or assumed that all will read PauI’s letter for alI and each of them, as the whole Bible, is for each and alI to read, for proof it John 5:39; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; Acts 17:11-12; Acts 20:31-32.

2) "Ye may understand my knowledge" (noessai ten sunesin mou) "Ye may realize or recognize my understanding." This seems to refer to critical comprehension, or the ability to understand, accept, and preach Christ as the Redeemer who came for the redemption of Gentiles and Jews and to establish, purchase, and commission the church as His worship and service assembly-body. This has been and is the predominant theme of the first half of Ephesians.

3) "In the mystery of Christ" (en to musterio tou christou)” In the mystery of Christ.” Christ was the long concealed, but then revealed Redeemer of both Jews and Gentiles, the whole world alike under the law of sin and death, Romans 3:10-11; John 3:15-16; Romans 1:15-16. But He was also the person, who in the purpose of God, was to call the church from among the Gentiles as a people for His name’s sake; its beginning was in Galilee, Matthew 4:13-20; Acts 10:37; Acts 10:45; Acts 15:14. In Matthew 13:1-58 the seven "kingdom of heaven" parables (each and all) allude to the work of the church in the purpose of Christ in present and future ages.

Verse 5

1) "Which in other ages" (ho heterais geneais), "Which in other or past generations." Which mystery of impartial redemption for Jew and Gentile and that provision for both to worship and serve in the same church-body.

2) "Was not made known to the sons of men" (ouk egnoristhe tois huiois ton anthropon) "Was not made known or recognized by the sons of men, or humanity,” as a whole in pre-generations or times, as it came to be in three ways of the New Testament: 1) the coming of Christ, 2) the establishment of His church-body, for Gentiles and Jews, and 3) the Holy Spirit empowering the church, Acts 1:8.

3) "As it is now revealed" (hos nun apekalupthe) "As now it is disclosed or revealed," meaning now and hereafter it is having been disclosed. The church was alluded to in the Old Testament as well as redemption for the Gentiles, but not as clearly as they were to the New Testament saints, Daniel 2:44; Zechariah 13:7; Matthew 26:31.

4) "Unto his holy apostles" (tois hagiois apostolois autou)” To His holy prophets." This perhaps refers to the New Testament prophets. The New Testament prophets, apostles, and church were specifically made to understand that they were to carry the gospel to all nations, Matthew 28:11-20; John 20:21; Luke 24:46-53; Acts 1:11

5) "And prophets by the Spirit" (kai prophetais en pneumati) (kai prophetais en pneumati) "The same Spirit pneuma T that inspired Old Testament prophets also inspired the writers of the New Testament to clarify matters that had been hidden or shadowed vaguely in Old Testament times, 1 Peter 1:21; John 14:16-17; John 16:13-14.

Verse 6

1) "That the Gentiles should be fellow-heirs (einai ta ethne sugkleronoma) "That the Gentiles should be or become joint-heir holders." The Jews, under the Old Testament law, were promised heirship with Christ to the land of promise, but in the New Testament Jesus provided that the church should also have a predominant place with Christ in the rule of the land and the earth, Luke 22:28-30.

2) "And of the same body" (kai sussoma) "And a joint-heir body." In this "one body," the church for Jewish and Gentile worship and service in this age, the twelve apostles of the church were promised to sit on twelve thrones judging Israel and are declared to be twelve pillars in the new Jerusalem foundation, Revelation 21:14; Ephesians 2:20.

3) "And partakers of his promise" (kai summetacha tes epangellias) "And joint sharers of the promise." Paul wrote of this in Romans 8:17-18; Revelation 5:9-10; Revelation 11:15. It is not merely the redeemed, but the redeemed who have been baptized, become members of His church-body of worship and service, who shall 6e kings and priests unto Him and reign on the earth.

4) " In Christ by the gospel" (en christo iesou d ia tou evangeliou) In Christ Jesus through the gospel." The gospel is the media or entrance into salvation and prepares one to enter into His church-body by obedience of baptism and a commitment to follow Christ in service, Matthew 4:18-19; Luke 9:43; John 15:14; Ephesians 3:21.

Verse 7

1) "Whereof I was made a minister" (ou egenethen diakonos) "Of which I became a common-cause (deacon-like) minister," as a servant in physical things, a waiter or attendant Paul also described himself as such a minister, 2 Corinthians 3:6; Colossians 1:23; 2 Thessalonians 3:8-12.

2) "According to the gift of the grace of God" (kata ten dorean tes charitos tou theou) "According to the (purpose of) the gift of God." Paul considered that his apostolic office was a gift of God’s purpose in grace, Ephesians 3:2; Ephesians 3:8; Romans 11:13.

3) "Given unto me by the effectual working" (tes dotheises moi kata ten energeian) "Doled out or freely given to me according to the inner (power) working." God’s work of grace within Paul’s soul and God’s inner call to him for the apostleship to the Gentiles are here acknowledged as the initial cause and motivating force of his ministry, Romans 1:13-16; 1 Timothy 1:11-16; 2 Timothy 1:9-11.

4) "Of his power" (tes dunameos autou) "Of the dynamic power of Him." Paul here referred to that source of God’s omnipotence that had worked in him to transform and empower him in his Gentile ministry.

Verse 8

1) "Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints" (emoi to elachistotero panton hagion) "To me, the lesser of all saints." The grace of God in redeeming Paul from a murderer and calling and using him in the special apostolic service evoked in him a response of lifelong gratitude and humility, 1 Corinthians 15:9; 2 Corinthians 12:11; His persecution of Christians was in ignorance of the gravity of his sin, 1 Timothy 1:13.

2) "is this grace given" (edothe he charis aute) "Was this grace given." In His salvation and calling, 1 Timothy 1:14-15; 2 Corinthians 12:9.

3) "That I should preach among the Gentiles" (tois ethnesin evangelisathai) "To preach to the nations, heathen, or races," Romans 11:13.

4) "The unsearchable riches of Christ" (to aneksichniaston ploutos to christou) "The riches of Christ, unsearchable," past finding out, both in from what and to what he was saved and called, Romans 11:33; Colossians 2:3; Ephesians 1:9. The value of Christ’s redemption and call is described as:

a) The riches of His grace, Ephesians 1:7.

b) The exceeding riches of His grace, Ephesians 2:7

c) The unsearchable riches of His grace, Ephesians 3:8 So that the redeemed may sing:

"Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, That saved a wretch like me, I once was lost, but now am found Was blind but now I see.

T’was grace that taught my heart to fear, And grace my fears relieved, How precious did that grace appear The hour I first believed.

Through may dangers, toils, and snares, I have already come, Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far, And grace will lead me home.

Men vve’ve been there ten thousand years, Bright shining as the sun. we’ve no less days to sing God’s praise Than when we first begun.

Verse 9

1) "And to make all men see" (kai photisai) "And to bring light," illumine (all), all races or nations. Paul’s call was not only to preach Jesus Christ as Redeemer for the whole world as John 3:16; Romans 1:15-16 states, but also to make them understand that the church-body or assembly was God’s workshop for the redeemed of all races in this age, Acts 20:28; Ephesians 1:21-22; Ephesians 2:14-15.

2) "What is the fellowship of the mystery" (tis he oikonomia tou musteriou) "What is the house-rule or stewardship of the mystery," or what the former "mystery house-rule of stewardship" is, Mark 13:34-35. It is the house of God, the church, the pillar and ground of the truth, 1 Timothy 3:15; Ephesians 2:19-22.

3) "Which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God" (tou apokekrummenou apo ton aimomon en to theo) "That is the stewardship institution having been hidden from the (beginning) of the ages," Colossians 1:26-27. The church, the one "assembly-body" of Christ for Jew and Gentile worship and service in this age without any middle wall of partition, though concealed from the masses of men from creation, was not an after-thought of God; Daniel 2:44-45, Zechariah 13:7 allude to it as the "flock," Matthew 26:31, and the "kingdom," Matthew 13:1-58.

4) "Who created all things by Jesus Christ" "(The One, Jesus Christ) all things having created," by the instrumentality of Jesus Christ, John 1:1-3; 1 Corinthians 8:6; Hebrews 1:2.

Verse 10

1) "To the intent that now" (hina nun) "in order that now and hereafter." There is here reflected a continuity of the revelation, unveiling, or disclosure of God’s eternal purpose of receiving glory through Christ Jesus and His church-body of worship and service hereafter.

2) "Unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places" (tais archais kai tais eksousias en tois epouraniois) "To the rulers and authorities in the heavenly things;" Where a) Jesus makes intercession and petitions for the redeemed, b) where there is rejoicing over sinners that repent, and c) where there is joy in the presence of the Lord forevermore; Hebrews 7:25; 1 John 2:1-2; Luke 15:7; Psalms 16:11.

3) "Might be known" (gnaristhe) "Might be made Known," disclosed or witnessed. The church is God’s heavenly agency on earth, whose labors go not unnoticed in glory, where the Bridegroom intercedes.

4) "By the church" (dia tes ekklesias) "Through the called out body or assembly," the church-body. The church, institutionally, never refers to the sum or total of all believers, but to that agency-body, one kind of body, that He left to do His work on earth until He returns, 1 Corinthians 12:27; Ephesians 1:21-22; 1 Corinthians 4:4-5.

5) "The manifold wisdom of God" (he polupoikilos sophia tou theou) "The manifold diverse or many-faceted wisdom of God" in providing for redemption for Jews and Gentiles, all of them were under sin, Romans 1:10-11, and in supplanting the restricted Jewish middle wall of partition type of worship and service with the "church body" kind, called from among the Gentiles, Acts 15:14; Ephesians 3:21; Romans 16:25-26.

Verse 11

1) "According to the eternal purpose" (kata prothesin ton aionon) "According to or based on (the) purpose of the ages." Neither the provision for redemption of all men nor the establishment of the church was an afterthought of God, or correction of any weakness in His design to receive glory through the redeemed or the church.

2) "Which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord" (hen epoiesin en to christou to kurio hemon) Which he made or formed in Christ Jesus our Lord." Both salvation for believers from all races and the purchase of the church were in the eternal purpose of God and revealed or unveiled in their own time, Hebrews 1:2; Romans 16:25-26, 1 Peter 1:20; Ephesians 5:25.

Verse 12

1) "In whom we have boldness" (en ho echomen ten parresian-)"In whom we have, hold, or possess boldness." Based on experimental salvation, and the presence and influence of the church, and the promises of His Word, every redeemed soul should serve God and approach Him in prayer with boldness, Hebrews 4:14-16.

2) "And access with confidence", (kai prosagogen en

pepoithesei ) And access or entrance in confidence;"

with faith and assurance, Romans 5:2.

3) "By the faith of him" (dia tes pisteos autou) "Through the system of faith or doctrines of Him." The system of Christian truth, revealed through the church, offers true boldness to all men to worship and serve the Lord, without excuse, Hebrews 10:19; 1 John 4:17-18; Romans 3:22; Galatians 2:16.

Verse 13

1) "Wherefore I desire that ye faint not" (dio aitoumai me egkakein) "Wherefore I ask (you) not to faint," fall by the wayside, become discouraged, or lose heart; Paul appeals to the brethren to recognize that his bonds were in the purpose of God, Galatians 6:9.

2) "At my tribulations for you" (en tais thlipsesin mou huper humon) "In my afflictions (endured) on behalf of you," as the apostle to the Gentiles and the church at Ephesus especially, where he had spent three years in diligent service, Acts 20:17-21; Acts 20:31; Hebrews 12:3.

3) "Which is your glory" (hetis estin doksa humon) "Which afflictions (are) your glory," Acts 20:32-38; at the writing of these words Paul served God and the Ephesians by writing to them this letter from the Roman prison, his last imprisonment, Ephesians 3:1; Ephesians 6:20.

Verse 14

1) "For this cause" (toutou charin) "By reason of this (affliction)," which came upon Paul because he preached free grace to believing Jews and Gentiles, through the "cross-body" reconciliation death of Christ, and His purchasing the church as the new worship-body for Jews and Gentiles described in Ephesians 2:1-22.

2) "I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ" (kampto ta gonata mou pros ton patera) "I bend my knees unto (toward) the Father." This expresses Paul’s devout trust in and petition to God the Father in behalf of the Ephesian brethren and their faithfulness, singularly and as a church, to the Lord Jesus Christ, Philippians 1:9-11; Matthew 6:9. That God was the Father of Jesus Christ was Paul’s affirmation of our Lord’s virgin birth and deity, Ephesians 1:3; Galatians 4:4-5.

Verse 15

1) "Of whom the whole family" (eks ou pasa patria) "Out of whom all the family, “ children of God, Jews and Gentiles in the flesh. The term "family of God" may be used to refer to all the saved of every age. The term "family of God" never refers to the church of Jesus Christ The reason is that the church is an earthly organization of heavenly origin and authority. Its work of winning the lost, baptizing the saved, and teaching them is limited to this earth. No person is born into the church, but they are born into the family of God.

2) "In heaven and earth is named" (en ouranois kai epi ges onomazetai) "The children of God who are in heaven and the children of God who are on earth are named or called," children of God. One becomes a child of God by faith, the new birth, the spiritual birth when he believes 1 John 5:1; Galatians 3:26; Ephesians 2:8-10; Just as one becomes a child or member of the natural, human family when he is born.

The family of God has existed from the time the first human being was saved, in Old Testament times. But the church, as a worship and service body or assembly, was established by Jesus Christ in person while on this earth. He referred to it as "my church," Matthew 16:18; "little flock," Luke 12:32; and "the kingdom of heaven," Matthew 13:1-58; as an organism of covenanted, baptized believers who pledged to do His work after He had gone to glory, Matthew 11:11; Matthew 25:1-30; Matthew 26:31-32; Matthew 28:6-7; Matthew 28:10; Matthew 28:16-20. That all the saved make up an invisible spiritual body called "the church" is without Bible sanction. The church and family of God are never synonymous in the Scriptures. All men are children of God, in His human family only in the sense that He created alI men, Malachi 2:10.

Verse 16

1) "That he would grant you" (hina do humin) "In order that he may give to you," or dole out freely. It is the longing of the aged saint and always a mark of Christian maturity to yearn for God’s blessings upon the worker, Galatians 6:1; Philippians 1:1-5.

2) "According to the riches of his glory" (kata to ploutos tes dokses autou) "According to or based upon the riches (plutocracy) of his glory," Ephesians 1:7; Ephesians 2:4; Philippians 4:19. This refers to the inexhaustible riches of Him most glorious in whom all holiness of being and actions exist, Matthew 5:48; Hebrews 12:14; 1 Peter 1:15-16.

3) "To be strengthened with might" (dunamei krataiothenai) “By dynamic power to become mighty." In matters of patience, longsuffering, Christian joy, etc. Paul prayed that the Ephesian brethren might become spiritually empowered and sustained, Colossians 1:11; as also in Ephesians 6:10.

4) "By his Spirit in the inner man" (dia tou pneumatos autou eis ton eso anthropon) "Through his Spirit with revelation to the inward man." When the spiritual nature of the inner man radiates, activates, controls, or keeps the outer man under subjection, great good and glory is returned to the Lord, Ephesians 4:3-4; Ephesians 4:30; Galatians 5:16; Galatians 5:22-25.

Verse 17

1) "That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith" (katoikesai to christon dia tes pisteos en tais kardiais humon) "That Christ may dwell in your hearts through the faith, or body of Christian truth." Through one’s loving obedience to the commands of our Lord, Jesus promised that both He and the Father would abide in the obedient, John 14:23. Christ in the church is the object of the glory of God toward the Gentiles, Colossians 1:27; Philippians 3:9.

2) "That ye, being rooted and grounded in love" (en agape errizomenoi kai tethemeliomenoi) "(And that ye) in love having been rooted and grounded," securely founded or deeply settled. The idea is that Paul desired the Ephesian brethren to be not moved by impulsive, sentimental, or temperamental passions, but moved by convictions having origin in Divine, sustaining, sacrificial love. Unless one has vital love, a gift from God, accompanying the new birth, he can never comprehend the love of Christ, 1 John 4:7-10; 1 John 5:1-3.

Verse 18

1) "May be able to comprehend with all saints" (hina eksischusete katalabesthai sun pasin tois hagiois) "in order that ye may be eminently able to understand in close association or colleague with all the saints," referring to the "church-body saints," Ephesians 1:18. To grasp the love of Christ in close affinity or colleague with all saints was Paul’s prayer for the church at Ephesus.

2) "What is the breadth" (tis to platos) "What is or exists as the breadth." Four dimensions (all dimensions) of the love of Christ are embraced in Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians, the lost world, and the "church body," an institution for which He died, John 3:16; Romans 10:11-13; Acts 20:28; Ephesians 5:25.

3) "And length" (kai mekos) "And what is or exists as the length." These four dimensions instead of having four separate meanings appear to be used as geometric terms to express the surpassing grandeur and magnitude of Christ’s love for the whole world, expressed in His life, His works, His death, His resurrection, His intercession, and His return.

4) "And depth" (kai bathos) "And what is or exists as the depth.” To effect salvation, fulfill the divine program of Mosaic law -worship, remove the partition wall of worship between Jew and Gentile, reveal the hidden mystery of the purpose of God from eternity by establishing, purchasing, and empowering the church-body, Jesus came! What love!!!

5) "And height’ (kai hupsos) "And what is or exists as the height;” And to behold, intercede for, that “one body," temple program of church worship, He ascended into heaven and commissioned and called Paul to be the apostle to the Gentiles to make known the hidden, afore curtained mystery of the love of God through Christ, that through the church should be manifest the manifold wisdom and love of God, Ephesians 3:9-10.

Verse 19

1) "And to know the love of Christ" (gnomai agapen tou christou) " And actively or (lively) to know the love of Christ" To know means to recognize, so as to respond to or emulate the love of Christ.

2) "Which passeth knowledge" (te ten huperballousan tes gnoseos) "Which (kind) is excelling knowledge," or measurable recognition. This is a love that excels comparison with or cannot be measured, as levels of human knowledge are measured or evaluated. God loved and gave, Romans 5:8; John 3:16; Jesus loved and gave, John 15:13; Ephesians 5:25. We should love and give. See? John 14:15; 2 Corinthians 5:14.

3) "That ye might be filled" (hina plerothete) "in order that you all may be filled (with) or controlled (by)." The love of God motivated God to give His Son Jesus to lay down His life for the lost and for the church, and calls His children, (especially church saints) to be filled with it, controlled and motivated by the love of Christ through the indwelling Spirit, Ephesians 5:17-18.

4) "With all the fulness of God" (eis pan to pleroma tou theou) "With relationship to all the fulness of God," in the saints or church-body assembly. It appears that the fulness or greatest degree of God’s love is and may be manifest in the fellowship of the church only in this age, Ephesians 3:9-10; Ephesians 3:21. While God may be glorified outside the church-body by unbaptized children of God, or one who has never been baptized like Jesus was, his greatest, fullest degree of glory may be given in, not out of the church-body or assembly which Jesus too loved and for which He too gave His life, commissioned, and empowered Ephesians 5:25; Matthew 28:18-20; Luke 24:49; John 20:21; Acts 2:1-4.

Verse 20

1) "Now unto him that is able" (to de dunameo) "Now one being able” the omnipotent God, the all powerful One. This is a closing doxology of praise to God for His eternal purpose in redemption as wrought in Jesus Christ, taught through His church to praise and worship to Jew and Gentile.

2) "To do exceeding abundantly above all" (huper panta poisai huperekperissou) "To do beyond all things, superabundantly," or in excess of, Judges 1:24-25. It is declared that nothing is "too hard" for God, that "thou canst do everything," that "with God all things are possible," and "nothing is impossible with God." Genesis 18:14, Jeremiah 32:17; Matthew 19:16; Mark 10:27; Luke 18:27.

3) "That we ask or think" (on aitournetha he nooumen) "Of which we ask (petition) or think." It is understood that faith places the omnipotent power of God in activation in the lives of the saints so that it is declared "all things are possible to him that believeth," and "nothing shall be impossible unto you," Matthew 9:23; Matthew 17:20. Think and ask and ask and think in faith, according to His will for the saints of God and it shall be doled out, 1 John 5:14; John 14:13-14.

4) "According to the power that worketh in us" (kata ten dunamin ten energoumenen en hemin) “According to the power operating in us," individually and bodily, as the church assembly. This power is the gift of faith, energized by the Holy Spirit, as we His saints volitionally or voluntarily give ourselves in prayer, praise, witnessing, and service to the will of the all powerful God through His church, Ephesians 2:10; Matthew 5:13-15; Acts 1:8; Galatians 5:25. This closing doxology of the first half of Ephesians may be compared with that of Romans 16:25-27.

Verse 21

1) "Unto him be glory in the church" (auto he doksa en te ekklesia) "To him (God) be the glory in the church." Let glory be to the omnipotent God of love, holiness, power, and wisdom. The glory is ascribed to the trinitarian God. That glory is to be given "in the church," the worship, praise, and service body or assembly, which God purposed from eternity and which Christ established, purchased, and died for, Matthew 16:18; Matthew 28:18-20; John 20:21; Acts 20:28; Ephesians 1:21-22; Ephesians 2:19-22; Ephesians 3:9-10; Ephesians 5:25; Ephesians 5:27.

2) "By Christ Jesus" (kai en christo iesou) "Even in (or by) Christ Jesus." Even by the instrumentality of Jesus Christ, who loved the church, taught the church, bought the church, and promised to return to the church, Mark 13:34-35; Acts 1:10-11; Matthew 13:1-58; Matthew 25:1-46; Revelation 19:5-9; Revelation 21:9-14; Revelation 22:16-17.

3) "Throughout all ages, world without end" (eis pasas tas geneas tou aionos ton aionon, Amen-) "Unto all the generations of the age of the ages (Amen). So may it ever be," or exist Jesus established His church in person by called out baptized disciples in Galilee, who began accompanying Him, at His call, for purposes of worship, study, witnessing, and service. He called them 11 the light of the world and the salt of the earth" in His inaugural address to them in the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 4:13-19; Matthew 5:1 to Matthew 7:29. He called them "My church," Matthew 16:18-19; "little flock" Luke 12:32; and gave them assurance that "the gates (ramparts) of hell would not prevail against them" as an institution, and pledged to be with them alway, Matthew 28:18-20. The church will still be praising Him in eternity, Revelation 21:9-14.

"THE FAITHFUL FEW"

In every church, in every clime,

When there’s some work to do,

It’s very likely to be done

By just the "Faithful Few."

Many folks will help to sing,

And some are glad to talk,

But when it comes to doing things,

A lot of them will balk--

“I can’t do this, I can’t do that,

Excuse me, please, this time-

I’d be so glad to help you out,

But it’s not in my line. "

So when the leader looks about

For some who’ll help to "do,"

He nearly always has to go

And ask the Faithful Few.

He knows full well they’re busy, too,

And always hard at work,

Yet he is sure they’ll not refuse,

Nor any duty shirk.

They never stop to make excuse

But always try to do

The very, very best they can

To smooth the way for you.

God bless, I pray, the Faithful Few,

And may their tribe increase!

They must be very precious to

The blessed Prince of Peace.

--Chester F. Shuler

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Ephesians 3". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/ephesians-3.html. 1985.
 
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