Ephesians 3

* The apostle sets forth his office, and his qualifications for

it, and his call to it. (1-7) Also the noble purposes answered

by it. (8-12) He prays for the Ephesians. (13-19) And adds a

thanksgiving. (20,21)

1-7 For having preached the doctrine of truth, the apostle was

a prisoner, but a prisoner of Jesus Christ; the object of

special protection and care, while thus suffering for him. All

the gracious offers of the gospel, and the joyful tidings it

contains, come from the rich grace of God; it is the great means

by which the Spirit works grace in the souls of men. The

mystery, is that secret, hidden purpose of salvation through

Christ. This was not so fully and clearly shown in the ages

before Christ, as unto the prophets of the New Testament. This

was the great truth made known to the apostle, that God would

call the Gentiles to salvation by faith in Christ. An effectual

working of Divine power attends the gifts of Divine grace. As

God appointed Paul to the office, so he qualified him for it.
8-12 Those whom God advances to honourable employments, he

makes low in their own eyes; and where God gives grace to be

humble, there he gives all other needful grace. How highly he

speaks of Jesus Christ; the unsearchable riches of Christ!

Though many are not enriched with these riches; yet how great a

favour to have them preached among us, and to have an offer of

them! And if we are not enriched with them it is our own fault.

The first creation, when God made all things out of nothing, and

the new creation, whereby sinners are made new creatures by

converting grace, are of God by Jesus Christ. His riches are as

unsearchable and as sure as ever, yet while angels adore the

wisdom of God in the redemption of his church, the ignorance of

self-wise and carnal men deems the whole to be foolishness.
13-19 The apostle seems to be more anxious lest the believers

should be discouraged and faint upon his tribulations, than for

what he himself had to bear. He asks for spiritual blessings,

which are the best blessings. Strength from the Spirit of God in

the inner man; strength in the soul; the strength of faith, to

serve God, and to do our duty. If the law of Christ is written

in our hearts, and the love of Christ is shed abroad there, then

Christ dwells there. Where his Spirit dwells, there he dwells.

We should desire that good affections may be fixed in us. And

how desirable to have a fixed sense of the love of God in Christ

to our souls! How powerfully the apostle speaks of the love of

Christ! The breadth shows its extent to all nations and ranks;

the length, that it continues from everlasting to everlasting;

the depth, its saving those who are sunk into the depths of sin

and misery; the height, its raising them up to heavenly

happiness and glory. Those who receive grace for grace from

Christ's fulness, may be said to be filled with the fulness of

God. Should not this satisfy man? Must he needs fill himself

with a thousand trifles, fancying thereby to complete his

20,21 It is proper always to end prayers with praises. Let us

expect more, and ask for more, encouraged by what Christ has

already done for our souls, being assured that the conversion of

sinners, and the comfort of believers, will be to his glory, for

ever and ever.

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