Ephesians– overview of 3:9; The unworthy messenger servant.
Sunday December 8, 2019
The purpose of God is to make men of the type of the God/Man/King, and that God would do so in the age of the church was a mystery.
Eph 3:1 For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles —
Eph 3:2 if indeed you have heard of the stewardship of God's grace which was given to me for you;
Eph 3:3 that by revelation there was made known to me the mystery, as I wrote before in brief.
Eph 3:4 And by referring to this, when you read you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ,
Eph 3:5 which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit;
Eph 3:6 to be specific, that the Gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel,
Eph 3:7 of which I was made a minister, according to the gift of God's grace which was given to me according to the working of His power.
Eph 3:8 To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ,
Eph 3:9 and to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God, who created all things;
We are unworthy, bringing no assets to the table, yet we go fearlessly knowing that the grace of God goes with us.
Paul is very aware of his personal unworthiness, yet he fearlessly serves God, knowing that the grace of God goes with him.
1Co 15:10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me.
“By the grace of God I am what I am,” is usually heard with the idea of personal weakness, but let’s look at it from the point of personal strength. “By the grace of God I am like Christ.” And also, “By the grace of God I go, not using anything of myself before salvation.” Fallen, weak, depraved sinners were changed and empowered by God through the death of Christ to be the humanity He desired and commissioned to go and do His perfect will. It is a display of God’s ultimate greatness and love.
Also faced with the persecution and lack of acceptance he received in some places; Paul fearlessly pushed forward purely from knowing that God Almighty had called him to do it.
Mrs. Martin illustrates the dilemma. Sick in bed with the flu, she received a get-well card from her fourth-grade class. Beneath the rosy printed sentiment written by Hallmark was a note from her class which expressed their sentiment: “Dear Mrs. Martin, your fourth-grade class wishes you a speedy recovery by a vote of 15 to 14.”
Every believer must understand his personal unworthiness. So, how can we understand that and still be secure.
Though unworthy, without anything to offer to God, we must be fully secure. Our security comes from God’s gifts and calling.
The simple meal that came to be known as the Last Supper became one of the most popular events in human history. Peter and John labored most of the day over a hot stove preparing and roasting the Passover lamb. One of them had gone to the local market for bread, wine, herbs, vegies, etc. The other ten, getting ready for the Passover, would have gone to the public baths and cleaned themselves thoroughly, however on the walk over to the house of John-Mark (we assume) their feet would have gotten dusty and dirty. Normally there was a servant boy, perhaps even a son of the house, who would wash the feet of any visitor arriving. Jesus had asked for the room for Himself and His disciples only, and so there was no lad in attendance for foot washing. Jesus had perfectly set up the opportunity for any of the disciples to take up this position as a servant and wash the feet of their brothers. One would think that after serving over three years with the Lord they would have been knocking each other over to be the one who would serve. None of them did. Quite the opposite:
We know that the disciples discussed who among them was the greatest on several occasions (Luk 9:46). They do the same at the Lord’s Passover, which is most evidentiary of their ignorance, for the Lord had told them plainly that He was to be abused and die before the authorities. They obviously didn’t believe it or didn’t want to believe it, nor did they understand the significance of the death of the Son of God. But notice the context of this game of one-up-man-ship.
Luk 22:19 And when He had taken some bread and given thanks, He broke it, and gave it to them, saying, "This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me."
Luk 22:20 And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, "This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood.
It is very significant that they betrayer is there while He gives them the bread and wine.
Jesus offers them the bread (His body torn for them) and the wine (His judgment for all of their sins) to give them a covenant of peace with God while the betrayer sits among them.
Is not God telling the world that the betrayer and the liar are in your midst, beware of them, but also, that His body and blood are yours by faith if you will have them.
Luk 22:21 "But behold, the hand of the one betraying Me is with Me on the table.
Luk 22:22 "For indeed, the Son of Man is going as it has been determined; but woe to that man by whom He is betrayed!"
It is the most incredible thing that Jesus would allow the betrayer to sit among them. He will tell Judas to leave, but not yet. Before Jesus tells them the doctrines of the coming age He tells Judas to go, but before that, He allows Judas to stay for the offering of Himself, His cross.
We cannot understand anything of the doctrines of life if we reject the life given on the Cross.