Intro: In our passage today, the Apostle Paul is probably writing from house arrest in Rome; about 60AD. Paul was a prisoner in Rome for preaching the gospel, but Jesus was the Lord of his life; therefore, Paul remained faithful to the gospel of Christ no matter how difficult the situation. He was not silent about his faith!
In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul is quick to spread the Good News and the new task God has given him. The Ephesians are being told about God’s grace for them; an Old Covenant mystery that became a New Covenant revelation. Through the work of Christ on the cross, the Jews and the Gentiles are both invited to belong to his Church, as well as receive God’s promise of blessings. Believers are equal in Christ. The important key word to reflect upon in our reading is the word, “belong.” To belong to Christ is to accept the sacrificial offering of his life on the cross to pay the penalty of our sin; we then can be forgiven and enjoy fellowship with God. To believe is to belong; to belong is to be obedient to the Word. This would make believers who belong–whole–One people connected to One God.
Ephesians 3:1-7 (NLT)
1 When I think of all this, I, Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus for the benefit of you Gentiles . . . 2 assuming, by the way, that you know God gave me the special responsibility of extending his grace to you Gentiles. 3 As I briefly wrote earlier, God himself revealed his mysterious plan to me. 4 As you read what I have written, you will understand my insight into this plan regarding Christ. 5 God did not reveal it to previous generations, but now by his Spirit he has revealed it to his holy apostles and prophets.
6 And this is God’s plan: Both Gentiles and Jews who believe the Good News share equally in the riches inherited by God’s children. Both are part of the same body, and both enjoy the promise of blessings because they belong to Christ Jesus [are connected to Christ the Living Word]. 7 By God’s grace and mighty power, I have been given the privilege of serving him by spreading this Good News.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for the saving grace you have extended the world. May all your children who believe and belong stand ready to spread the Good News each day. In Jesus’ name. Amen.