|For this reason I, Paul, a prisoner for Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles—||Because of this, Paul, in prison for you|
|2 assuming that you have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace that was given to me for you,||You have heard of my work, through God’s grace, for you|
|3 how the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I have written briefly.||As I wrote, the mystery was revealed through revelation.|
|4 When you read this, you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ,||By my writing you can see my insight|
|5 which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit.||Not known in the OT, but made known to the Apostles and Prophets now.|
|6 This mystery is[a] that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.||It is this, Gentiles are fellow heirs with Jews, and Christ died for all.|
|7 Of this gospel I was made a minister according to the gift of God’s grace, which was given me by the working of his power.||God made me the spokesman for this revelation.|
|8 To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ,||Even though I am the least of the saints, I preach Christ to Gentiles|
|9 and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in[b] God who created all things,||I get to reveal God’s hidden plan to everyone.|
|10 so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.||God is displaying his wisdom through the unified Church.|
|11 This was according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord,||It was His forever plan through Christ|
|12 in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him.||Christ gives us access with the confidence of faith, to the Father|
|13 So I ask you not to lose heart over what I am suffering for you, which is your glory.||What I am suffering is a great thing|
|14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family[c] in heaven and on earth is named,||I worship God who intimately knows all beings in heaven and on earth.|
|16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being,||That He would strengthen you spirit with His power, by His grace.|
|17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love,||So Christ will dwell in your heart, through faith, and you would be rooted in love.|
|18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth,||That you would fully know the measure|
|19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.||Of the love of Christ, and be filled with the fullness of the Father|
|Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us,||The glory is to the one who can do stuff we cannot even imagine|
|21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.||He deserves the glory forever.|
Q1. Why was Paul in prison?
A1. For preaching Christ, and for preaching the union of Jews and Gentiles. (Acts 21:27-36)
Q2. Why was this so controversial, to preach the union of Jews and Gentiles?
Q3. Was this something new, the blessing of Gentiles through a Jewish blessing?
A3. No, this was God’s plan for Israel all along (Gen. 12:3, Gen. 28:14, Psalm 72)
Q4. How do we apply Paul’s message to our circumstances?
Q5. Was Paul claiming that he alone had been given the revelation that the Gentiles were being allowed into the promise?
VERSE 10 – The Manifold Wisdom of God – Kristy has great insight into the concept of manifold.
The eternal purpose of creation was for the existence of the Unified Church, which is the bride of Christ. Why does life exist- to reveal the church; why are we saved, to reveal the church; why is Satan allowed to exist, to reveal the church, etc…
VERSE 11 – The eternal purpose.
Q6. What was the eternal purpose of all things?
Verse 12 – Boldness
Q7. When I say boldness, what image comes to mind? What emotion does that word carry?
Q8. When Paul says that we can boldly approach God’s throne, how do we demonstrate that in our prayer lives?
Notice that Paul states that our boldness and confidence do not come from within us, but are byproducts of our faith in Christ. We inherently have nothing to offer God, and no standing before Him that would allow us to be bold and confident in His presence. If we look at examples of prophets who have been in the presence of God, they were all humbled when confronted with a righteous and holy God. (Isaiah 6:5, Ezekiel 1:28-2:2, Gen. 17:3)
VERSE 14 – FOR THIS REASON
Paul points to the above paragraph as his reason for bowing (humbly) before God, because of the revelation of His manifold wisdom. Paul states that every family in heaven and on earth is named through God. God is sovereign, God is the author and the finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2)
Q9. What is your response to the revelation of God through Christ? Do you bow the knee, or do you continue to resist His rule over your life? Will you commit your heart to submission to Christ’s rule and reign?
VERSE 20 – TO HIM WHO IS ABLE
Q10. What can God not do? What do you hold on to because you want to lord over that aspect of your life? What do you think He is not willing to do for you?