Ephesians 3:1-21 以弗所书3:1-21
Paul continues the doctrinal section, found in chapters 1-3.
Verses 1-13 Here are some of the basic truths relating to the Church, the body of Christ. Those who place their faith in Christ are members of this body. Each member (us) should have a vital interest in what it means to belong to Christ’s body (His church-not a building).
God’s Marvelous Plan for the Gentiles 神对外邦人的美好计划
1) For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles—
Go back to the Introduction to read how and why Paul became an apostle to the Gentiles. When Paul wrote this letter, where was he in Rome？
2) Surely you have heard about the administration of God’s grace that was given to me for you,
Look at Galatians 1:12, 12)I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ. How did Paul learn about Jesus?
参考加拉太书1:12因 为 我 不 是 从 人 领 受 的 ， 也 不 是 人 教 导 我 的 ， 乃 是 从 耶 稣 基 督 启 示 来 的 。保罗是怎样认识耶稣的？
3) that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation, as I have already written briefly.
What are some of the mysteries we can only learn from the Bible?
4) In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ,
How will the Ephesians understand the mystery of Christ?
5) which was not made known to people in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God’s holy apostles and prophets.
What was not made known to earlier Jews in regards to Gentiles?
6) This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus.
What three things do we now know about the Gentiles?
7) I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God’s grace given me through the working of his power. 8) Although I am less than the least of all the Lord’s people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the boundless riches of Christ,
7 我作了这福音的执事，是照神的恩赐。这恩赐是照他运行的大能赐给我的。8 我本来比众圣徒中最小的还小。然而他还赐我这恩典，叫我把基督那测不透的丰富，传给外邦人。
How did Paul feel about his role as a minister to the Gentiles?
9) and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things.
To whom was Paul going to reveal this mystery?
10) His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms,
What was God’s intent in revealing this mystery?
11) according to his eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord.
What is the “eternal purpose”? Why do you think Paul keeps repeating the message that the Jews and Gentiles are both heirs to heaven?
12) In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.
What makes it possible for us to approach God?
13) I ask you, therefore, not to be discouraged because of my sufferings for you, which are your glory.
How would Paul’s sufferings serve the glory of the Ephesians and give them no cause for discouragement?
Which is correct: God has told us all we want to know – or - God has told us all we need to know.
In verses 14-21, Paul breaks out in prayer and praise.
A Prayer for the Ephesians 为以弗所人祷告
14) For this reason I kneel before the Father,
The normal posture for prayer in the early church was standing. Why would Paul kneel?
15) from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name.
From whom does every family derive its name?
16) I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being,
What is God not lacking?
17) so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18) may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,
17 使基督因你们的信，住在你们心里，叫你们的爱心，有根有基，18 能以和众圣徒一同明白基督的爱，是何等长阔高深，
What can we grasp through faith?
19) and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
How can Christ’s love surpass knowledge?
20) Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,
How is God like an unfailing fountain?
21) to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
Who is the church?
Read chapter 3 again. How would you sum up the purpose of your own life?
Doctrine - In Scripture, doctrine refers to a set of ideas or beliefs that are taught or believed to be true as found in the Bible.
Mystery – A truth only known by God revealing it.
Inner being – The renewed nature in the Christian that battles the sinful nature