Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Tim. 2:15

King James AV1611


Ephesians was taught by Dr. James Modlish

Chapter Three
(Lesson Three - 3:1-21)



The first three chapters up to and including (verse 13 of chapter 3), tells us what we are in Christ. We are shown our tremendous potential in the eternal and ultimate plan and purpose of God. (Chapter 3:14-21), is the pivotal point of the book. These few verses tell us how to take the potential and make it work practically in our lives.

Paul begins to pray in (verse 1) but pauses and does not continue until (verse 13). The intervening verses form a long parenthesis explaining Paul's special personal ministry to the Body of Christ.



I. Paul explains his personal ministry (3:1 12)

II. Paul prays that the Ephesians can take their potential and make it reality (3:13-21)


I. Paul Explains His Personal Ministry (3:1-12)

Paul explains that God had given him a special revelation. (Gal. 1:2-12) He terms this revelation "the mystery of Christ". (See Col. 1:26,27; 4:3; Rom. 16:25).

Paul's ministry was to the Gentiles; Paul's message was grace; Paul's special task was to share the truth of the Body of Christ, the mystery of the Church. (Eph. 5:32) (See Rom. 16:25,26; Col. 4: 3,4; Eph. 6:19). Here in (3:6) he states the mystery as clearly as possible: that the Gentiles and Jews are now one Body in Christ. The mystery was not made known before; but now God has revealed it to His apostles and prophets by the Spirit.

A. Description of the Mystery (3:1-5)

A Biblical mystery is a truth:

[1]. Always in God's plan.
[2]. Not revealed in the Old Testament (3:5)
[3]. Unable to be known by human reasoning alone.
[4]. Made known by divine revelation. (3:3)

B. Definition of the Mystery

[1]. Core - Jews and Gentiles - One Body That the Gentiles would be fellow heirs with the Jews in the church (3:6).

[2]. Minister - Paul the Apostle (3:7,8)

[3]. Commission - Preach the Gospel to all men. (3:9-12)


II. Paul Prays for the Ephesians - (3:13-21)

A. That through Christ's riches, they would be strengthened in the inner man.

B. That Christ may dwell in our hearts by faith. The idea is friendship, companionship.
C. "rooted and grounded" (Col. 1:23, 2:7)
D. Comprehend the universe (Rom. 8: 35-39; Prov. 25:3)
E. "Know the love of Christ (Phil. 3:10)
F. "filled with all the fulness of God".
G. What a tremendous unlimited potential we have according to the "power that worketh in us.

Verse 8 - "the unsearchable riches of Christ." (1 Peter 1:10-12

Verse 16 - Riches: (See Rom. 2:4; 9:23; 11:33; Eph. 1:7,18; 2:7; Col. 1:27; 2:2; Phil. 4:19; Heb. 11:26)

Verse 19 - "filled with all the fulness of God" (Gal. 5:22,23; Col. 3:16; Eph. 5:18). The attributes that characterize God.


[1]. He is the Seal of their security. (1:13)
[2]. He is the door of access. (2:18)
[3]. He is the provider of strength. (3:16)
[4]. He is the groundwork of their unity. (4:3)
[5]. He is the keeper of their redemption. (4:30)

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