Ephesians 3: Prisoner and Preacher
What do you think of when you hear the word church? A building on the corner? A stuffy group of religious hypocrites? A vibrant fellowship? Paul's special ministry enables him to enlarge our conception of the church. In this passage he clarifies and exalts its place in God's plan.
Warming Up to God
When have you had a particularly powerful experience in the church? It might have been worship, teaching or fellowship. Reflect on what made it special and thank God for it.
Discovering the Word
- What gifts of God's grace does Paul say he has received (vv. 2-3, 8)?
- Explain the meaning of the mystery revealed to Paul (vv. 2-6).
- How is the mystery connected with the ministry given to him (vv. 7-13)?
- Three times in verses 14-21 Paul mentions "love" and "power." What do we learn about power and love in these verses?
- How does the benediction in verses 20-21 tie together the main themes that have run through the first three chapters of Ephesians?
Applying the Word
- What is your attitude toward the church?
- What about your attitude matches Paul's?
- What about your attitude would you like to change?
Responding in Prayer
Choose at least one item from Paul's prayer and make it a prayer of your own, for yourself and your church.