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Ephesians, Chapter Three, Lesson One

V. 2 (Cont'd.)

** Was the stewardship of God's grace given to Paul for his own benefit?

No, it was given to Paul "for you". The Gentiles, right down to us today, were the benefactors of Paul's faithful stewardship of the gospel of Christ.

We have already seen two marvelous examples from the heart of Paul. First, his selflessness in being willing to pray for the very ones that were the cause of his being imprisoned and second, the fact that he would use his salvation/stewardship for the benefit of others. Let's move on to the third powerful example from Paul's "Spiritual Stewardship", that being his desire to help others understand the mystery of Christ.

V. 3 ** What was Paul's source of information? Did he have to exchange views with other theologians or spend time studying commentators of his day?

No - Paul received his information "by revelation"! He was blessed to receive it directly from God Himself. cf. Galatians 1:11-12

** What was the content of this revelation?

It was "the mystery", which he will go on to specifically describe to us in verse six.

** We'll look at that in a moment, but for now, is this the first time he has mentioned this mystery to the Ephesians?

No - Twice before in this letter Paul has referred to it "in brief".
cf. Ephesians 1:9-10 and Ephesians 2:11-16

The phrase "as I wrote before in brief" could be translated, "as I briefly indicated above" or "as I already briefly wrote you" (Amplified N.T.).

Paul will refer to this mystery three more times in this epistle as it is at the heart of everything he has to say about salvation through faith in Christ (Ephesians 3:4, 3:9, 6:19).

V. 4 ** Take a moment and review again verse four, what is Paul's main concern in this verse?

He wants his reader to understand his insight into the mystery of Christ. Remember this is a circular letter to many churches in Asia-minor and to us!

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