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”God’s Apostle to the Gentiles”

(Ephesians 3: 1-13)

Introduction: To the Gentile, who was for so many years excluded from
the community of the saints, with so firm a wall to separate them,
inclusion into God’s household and His holy temple must have been a
tremendous shock. And because they are now included in God’s holy
temple, he begins to pray that they might be strengthened with His
power and understand His love. But as he begins, he digresses to
reemphasize the divine intention of God on their behalf. Paul again
reaffirms what he had previously said, laying stress on his divine
calling and revelation to authenticate his message. And what I want
you to see this evening is that,

God again affirms to you in His Word His fundamental plan to


include you in His covenant people in Christ.

I. God Has Sent You A Divinely Chosen Spokesman.

A. Paul Was Sovereignly Called by God [v. 7 ) .


1. God saved Paul by His sovereign power.
a. Not the outward display.
b. But the inward change of regeneration.

2. It was a gift of grace.


a. Paul didn’t earn it.
b. He was on his way to kill more Christians.
c. It was grace given to an undeserving sinner.
d. This gift was that he would be an apostle.

3. He was given the high call of servant hood.


a. He became a minister, a Gtalcovo~#.
b. His service: the ministry of the gospel.

And Was Given Divine Revelation [v. 3)

1. It is the mode of God’s communication.


a. It means an unveiling.
b. What is unveiled to him is the mystery.
c. It is what he wrote about briefly [chpt. 2 ) .

2. It is a mark of His apostleship.


a. Only the apostles and prophets receive it.
b. God further attested His messengers by miracles.

To Be a Minister to the Gentiles [vv. 1-2, 8-9, 13).

1. Paul received this stewardship (2).


a. Particularly to bring the gospel to the Gentiles.
b. <Acts 26:16-18>.

2. To preach to them the unfathomable riches of Christ (8).

a. They were a people in darkness, without God, no hope.


b. In Christ now they have a glorious future.
2

c. We are a grace hardened people.


(il Do you see in Christ incomprehensible riches?
(iil Do you realize the importance of His work?
(iiil If you could see and experience hell,
you might better understand.
(ivl In Him there are unfathomable riches.

d. To Paul, this grace was given.


e. He did not consider himself worthy.
(il Before he persecuted that name.
(iil Now he is privileged to preach it

3. Also to bring to light the gospel administration (91.


a. To bring to light the mystery to all men.
b. To illumine them as a candle does.
(il The church is a candlestick in Revelation.
(iil Its purpose is to give light to the world.
(iiil The gospel is a light which many will not bear.

4. Because He shined the light, Paul suffered (1, 13).


a. Paul was a prisoner at Rome.
b. He considered himself a prisoner of Christ.
c. His life was not his own, but Christ’s.
(il By preaching to Gentiles he landed in jail
(iil He didn’t live for his advantage.
(iiil But to spend and be spent for others.
(ivl Is your calling otherwise?
(vl It is the same! Shine the gospel!

d. He tells them ”Don’t lose heart”; it’s for a glorious


purpose: the gospel [v. 131.

5. So God has sent you a divinely inspired spokesman,

11. To Reveal to You God’s Mystery: Union with Christ

A. The Mystery Is Now Clearly Revealed [vv. 4-61.

1. It was not known before as it is now.


a. The saints of old knew something.
b. They understood Gentiles would be saved.
c. But not as non-Jews under a new religion elevated to a
new creation.

2. Now His plan has come to light.


a. In this Dispensation, God clearly reveals His plan.
b. It has been given by revelation to His messengers.
c. By the inspiration of the Spirit.

3. Namely, that Gentiles are included in the plan of God.


a. By union with Christ <Col. 1:27>.
b. Through the preaching of the Gospel.
c. They are fellow-heirs, fellow-members of the body,
and sharers in the promise of eternal life.

d. Of which you now partake through the Gospel.


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(ilFellow-heirs: Benefits of the covenant of


grace, knowledge of the truth, justification,
adoption, sanctification, the Spirit, life
everlasting.
(iil A part of Christ’s body, sharers in His life.
(iiil Partakers in the Abrahamic promise.
B. That God Might Now Display His Wisdom Through the Church to the
Angelic Rulers (v. 10-12).

1. It was part of His plan from all the ages [v. 10).
a. God desired to display His wisdom to angels.
b. It was part of His eternal decree [v. lla).
c. He did so and is doing so through you, the Church.
d. ”If, then, it is through the church God designs
specially to manifest to the highest order of
intelligence his infinite power, grace, and wisdom,
[sic] the church, in her consummation, must be the most
glorious of his works” [Hodge 121).

2. He accomplished it through Christ [v. llb).


a. In the fullness of time God sent forth His Son.
b. Christ fulfilled perfect righteousness.
c. And is now the exalted Lord of all creation.

3. You now have bold and confident access through Christ’s


mediation (v. 12).
a. You are reconciled and introduced into God’s presence.
b. What is more, you now enter boldly and confidently.
c. With the confidence of a child.
d. That access is yours through faith in Christ.

Conclusion:

1. Paul was divinely called to minister the Gospel to the Gentiles.


2. From His ministry we learn of the incomprehensible riches of
Christ to wretched, undeserving sinners such as we.
3. Not only does Christ give you introduction into God’s presence,
but the boldness and confidence of a child to enter.
4. Paul, being saved by God’s grace, gave himself that you might
hear this glorious Gospel out of his love for Christ.
5. Will you, God’s elect and chosen, love Christ enough to give
yourself to Him for His purposes as well?
6. This is your proper response, this is your Christian duty.
7. Let us pray.