My latest Scripture reading has been the book of Ephesians. Immediately, I was captivated by the Apostle Paul’s (the ancient writer) passion and excitement clearly found from beginning to end of the letter. He starts of his letter with “Praise be to God..” And I feel that he continues this attitude throughout the rest of the letter. When I read through this letter non-stop I feel like Paul is saying, “Praise God because of this ____ and therefore, or as a result, do this!” It’s so exciting and amazing that I can’t put the book down.
What’s even more remarkable is “Paul wrote his letters to the Colossians, to Philemon, and to the Ephesians and Philippians while under this house arrest in Rome. These letters were written around A.D. 60 to 61. Because Paul was under house arrest and imprisoned at the time, his letters have been called his imprisonment or captivity letters.” (Link, Emphasis added myself) I just find it remarkable that one of Paul’s most passionate letters about Power & Riches are written when He is in prison!
I just find it remarkable that one of Paul’s most passionate letters about Power & Riches are written when He is in prison!
During what had to be one of the biggest trials and stressful times of Paul’s life he is writing a letter to the church praising God and encouraging us to be prepared. Whoa! This certainly explains Paul’s constant references in this letter to being a prisoner. Ok so I’ll get on with what else I have found; sorry I just found that to be really cool.
Paul’s Reason for Writing
Ok, so after reading this letter over and over I think, personally, that Paul’s climatic moment and real guiding idea behind his letter is found in chapter III verse 6 – 13:
6 This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.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.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,9 and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages int God who created all things,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.11 This was according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord,12 in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him.13 So I ask you not to lose heart over what I am suffering for you, which is your glory.
See Paul’s main message what that Gentiles (non-Jews like me) are included in “the promise” of Paul’s gospel. The promise of present grace and eternal salvation! Or more plainly: the promise that no matter what struggles we are facing in this life (drugs, debt, loneliness, sin, porn, fornication, depression, things that are enslaving us to misery that leads to our eventual death) we can, through what Jesus Christ has done, be re-born to live a transformed life that result in eternal life with God! AND! Paul wanted to share that we have a cosmic significance in “that through the church (that’s us) the diverse wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in heavenly places.” (personal translation of verse 10) What! Paul shared that God is using you and me to show-off to heaven how really really really really smart He is! Isn’t that Incredible!
God is using you and me to show-off to heaven how really really really really smart He is! Isn’t that Incredible!
When I realised that I was blown away. When I was a kid my parent took me to the beach and along the beaches there are little shops that sell trinkets and all. One one particular trip my parents bought me a little shirt that with bright bold colors made, what I thought at the time, a rather silly and prideful statement. It read “When God made me, He was just showing off!”
I used to think that was just silly, but now I realise that God wants us to realise the truth in that statement! And that is where I will leave off for today. Friends, as you ponder your life and your significance please believe this simple truth: You are so important to God that HE CHOOSE YOU to show-off His wisdom! So I ask you: How should you live your life, now that you know you are God’s masterpiece for others to see?
You are so important to God that HE CHOOSE YOU to show-off His wisdom!.. You are God’s masterpiece for others to see
On my next post I will share how Paul built up to this truth and what he thinks we should do about it. It involves unsearchable riches and power that are ours in order to accomplish this cosmic mission! Next time.