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Ephesians, Chapter Three, Lesson Two

SPIRITUAL SERVICE            Page 3

V. 8 ** Do you think that Paul had a pretty high view of himself? After all, he was an apostle, God's man for the job. Did he think he was hot stuff?

No - just the opposite. Let's look at a chronological progression of Paul's self image.
54 A.D. - 1Corinthians 15:9 "least of the apostles"
60 A.D. - Ephesians 3:8 "least of all saints"
65 A.D. - 1Timothy 1:15 "foremost of all sinners"

** What caused this progression?

The longer Paul walked with God, the more he could see the difference between God's perfect righteousness and his own wretched sin. cf. Romans 7:24

** Does this attitude, which the world would call a poor self-esteem, limit an individual's Spiritual Service?

No - it is essential, it is the qualifier!

Moses - Exodus 4:1, 10
Gideon - Judges 6:15-16
Isaiah - Isaiah 6:5-8

This is true humility before a Holy God, not just self pity that says, "I'm no good".

** What privilege was given to "the least of all saints"?

"to preach...the unfathomable riches of Christ"

** What does Paul mean by "unfathomable"?

It cannot be traced out - it is incomprehensible! It is lacking in nothing!
cf. 2Peter 1:3 "everything pertaining to life and godliness".

V. 9 ** What second element does Paul add to the description of his "Spiritual Service"?

"to bring to light the administration of the mystery"

** Do you remember from last week the meaning of the word translated here as "administration"?

It was "oikonomia" or stewardship, meaning the management of a household, business, or other concern on behalf of someone else. Here Paul is referring to his job of teaching us our part in the stewardship of the mystery. That is, how we as Jew and Gentile believers are made into one new man in the church age and how we are to use our gifts in "Spiritual Service" toward one another.

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