Ephesians 3:11-13

In Ephesians 3:11-13 Paul continues to explain the mystery of God’s plan. He continues to shine light on God’s eternal purpose in Jesus. Bruce explains “The church thus appears to be God’s pilot scheme for the reconciled universe of the future, the mystery of God’s will to be administered in the fullness of the times when the things in heaven and the things on earth are brought together in Christ.” God’s plan is Jesus. And Paul makes clear that God has already accomplished His plan in and through Him. Jesus gives us a place of boldness in our relationship with God and provides access to Him.

This was according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him.” Jesus also gives us confidence in our relationship with God. Our relationship has nothing to do with national or ethnic identity, only with faith in Him. Gaebelein wrote “The word for boldness has the idea of “freedom of speech.” We have the freedom to express ourselves before God, without fear or shame. “The Greek word ‘parresia’ translated by ‘boldness’ means really ‘free speech’ – that is, the speaking of all. It is the blessed privilege of prayer.”

Though under arrest for the sake of the gospel, Paul asks his readers to not lose heart. Paul didn’t want them to be discouraged for his sake, because Paul was still being used in the service of God’s eternal plan. “So I ask you not to lose heart over what I am suffering for you, which is your glory.” Paul wrote the Letter to the Ephesians from prison, and it is useful to remember why Paul was in prison. Paul was being used, and probably in a greater way than he ever imagined. This Roman imprisonment produced the letters of Ephesians, Colossians, Philippians and Philemon. They all certainly have a place in God’s eternal plan.

Guzik explains Paul’s imprisonment: “He lived his whole life with the passion to bring salvation to his own people, the Jews. On a strategic visit to Jerusalem he had the opportunity to preach to a vast crowd on or near the temple mount, but the opportunity ended in disaster because the Jewish crowd could not stand the idea of the good news of the Messiah being extended to the Gentiles. The ensuing riot put Paul in a legal dilemma, from which he used his right as a Roman citizen and appealed to Caesar. Now Paul was imprisoned in Rome, waiting for his trial before Caesar – there because he knew God wanted Gentiles to share in the good news of the Messiah, and he wasn’t afraid to preach that truth.”

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