V. 1- Have you noticed what’s different about this chapter? It begins in the usual way with Paul stating his position in Christ. What is not the same thing is, this starts out as a prayer for the believers,  but gets interrupted after the opening verse. This verse is hyphenated, indicating there was more to the thought. It implies, “But wait a minute, let me say this first.” It occurred to him that he needed to tell the people the mysteries of Christ, and his own position in Him. Paul tells us he is a prisoner of Christ Jesus. But what type of prisoner? He is a spiritual, willing prisoner. He can no more break out of the prison of his love and service for Jesus than Barabbas could break out of the physical prison he was in. Paul was not ashamed of his chains, because they were links to God.

Paul actually was in prison when he wrote this letter, so his bonds were not only spiritual, but also physical. He was being punished for speaking the truths of God. Circumcision was no longer necessary, washing the outside of the cup was no longer important, picking grain with others and eating it on the Sabbath was no longer an offense worthy of death, and that the rituals of the Jews were not what would save them, but Jesus alone. Paul was held against his will for doing the things he had been told to do by the Spirit. But, again, he was not ashamed of those bonds either. He knew that he wore them for people like the Ephesians whom he addressed this letter to. The suffering Paul endured was on behalf of the people. He wanted them to grow in Christ as he had. He wanted them to understand that nothing the devil could bring against them was as important as staying faithful to Jesus. He was their example of giving thanks in all situations and trials.

Let's read I Peter 4: 12-19. No matter what we have to undergo, if it’s for Jesus, it’s a price worth paying. He made it clear in his statement that he was in jail for their sakes. They now needed to continue to spread the gospel so others would hear it, and Paul will not have suffered these wrongs in vain.

The next twelve verses are one continuous sentence.

V. 2- What is the dispensation Paul is talking about? It’s the stewardship God gave him over the Gentiles. We can see this calling in Acts 9:15,16 where Jesus tells Ananias to go to Paul and restore his vision after the Damascus Road encounter. (Please read read Acts 9:1-19 to see how Paul was changed.) Ananias was afraid because of the authority Paul had to arrest, and even kill the Gentile believers. Let’s read Acts 9:10-16. So Paul was given the authority to preach God’s Word to the Gentiles. It was his job to teach them about Jesus, and His salvation. He took it very seriously. So seriously, he thought being in chains for them a fair price.

So the dispensation, or calling, Paul had been given was to preach the grace of God for salvation to the gentiles. No wonder there was so much opposition. The Jews hated the Gentiles to begin with, and Paul’s reputation for persecuting the Jews would have been well known. They felt they had lost their staunchest supporter in the rebellion against Jesus and His church. They were angry at Paul for giving in to such a thing as the salvation from above.

V.3- It was by revelation, or an inward revealing, that Jesus disclosed the mysteries of the gospel. What are the mysteries? Let’s name a few;
1: The Trinity
2: That Christ was completely God who became completely man
3: Salvation for anyone who accepted Christ as Savior
4: The resurrection of the dead
5: The changed lives of those who came to know Jesus
6: Justification by His righteousness
7: Atonement and pardon by His blood sacrifice
8: The ability to receive and work in the power of the Holy Spirit.

That’s my short list. Want to add anything?

V.4- The parenthetical phrase that starts in V.3 and ends in V.4 shows that Paul is recapping what he already told the Ephesians in the first two chapters of this letter. He wanted them to know the importance of what he had written, and by Who’s authority. He was letting them know that he had not said these things on his own authority, but by the selection, dispensation and calling from God. He wanted them to understand that the mysteries were given him by revelation, and that it was given to him to share. He wanted them to know who he was, what his position was, and that his knowledge was vast, and able to help them in all ways.

V.5- These mysteries from the Bible were not made common knowledge to the people of the Old Testament. Some, like Abraham, David, Moses and Isaiah, knew because it was given to them. But it was never preached in all the land as it was in Jesus time. I don’t think they could have understood because revelation comes by the Spirit of God, and He had not yet been sent. Yes, He was upon Moses and David and Abraham, but not within, a living force. Many prophets of old knew about Jesus, and prophesied about His coming, but the mystery lay hidden behind the veil. But once Jesus had been born and took up His ministry with the apostles, once He died and the veil was rent from top to bottom, the Spirit was free to come down into all the hearts that were saved. What was partially revealed is now completely revealed.  Praise the Lord!

God bless you all as you continue to study His Word.




Last week we saw that although the mysteries of Christ were prophesied of in the Old Testament, it was not preached nor understood by the OT personages the way it is today. We know that David, Moses, Abraham and the like had the Spirit of God upon them, but they were not filled with the living Spirit as we are today. So- although the OT characters were aware a Messiah was to come, and where He would come from, they did not have the power of the Spirit within them to confirm that. Even though Mothers in the OT always prayed their daughter would be the blessed vessel that would carry the Messiah, they really didn’t know the reality of Jesus when He came. Revelation comes by the Spirit living within, and they did not have Him.

V.6- Let’s go look at some complementary Scriptures for this verse. Gal. 3:28,29; Col. 3:11; I Co. 12:13,14. We are fellow heirs of the same body. Which Body? The church.  What is an heir? It is sunkleronomos (soong-klay-ron-om-oss) Strong’s # 4789. It is from sun, “with,” klero, “a lot,” and nemomai, “to possess.” It means to be in a joint participant in, or co-heirs with someone else of something. What will we be co-heirs of? The eternal blessings that come from saving grace. Because of our justification by the righteousness of Jesus, we are going to reap the same rewards Jesus did. He suffered, died, and went to heaven. Our suffering is not on the same level as His, but we will suffer, die and go to heaven too. Whatever Jesus has, we will have because by His stripes we were healed, made righteous, and redeemed to an eternity of grace. We have hope! Hope is a verb. It’s something we do as well as believe in. Just as faith is an active belief in our God for all things, hope is the active belief that we will have them, both now and in eternity.

We are now one in the body, the same body, whether Jew or Greek. We have the same Messiah, whether Jew or Greek, and we reap the same rewards from the same God, whether Jew or Greek.

What are the promises Paul speaks of here? We are in covenant with the one true, living God; we have the gifts of grace through Christ; we are filled with the power of the Holy Ghost. All these things are promised to us when we become saved, and when we begin to walk in the Light. Some verses that reassure us are: John 8:12;12:35; Eph. 5:8; I John 1:7. We were born, reborn, filled and now are walking.

V.7- We’ve already seen several times that Paul was called to preach the Gospel to the Gentiles. But let’s look at Romans 15:14-19 to get his story about this. He is a minister, called by God, not man, to the work of the ministry, and qualified with grace by Jesus. So- Paul was appointed, anointed, and sent out as a shepherd for the flock of the church.

I think one thing Paul wants us all to be sure of is, he is not teaching and preaching according to his wisdom achieved in school, but by the grace of God. For a minister to be effective with the Scriptures, he/she has to receive revelation by the Spirit, not by book knowledge. We all receive this type of revelation, but some are not as diligent in pursuing this knowledge. A minister appointed, elected, and called to the work has no choice but to study. We all need to study. Remember the words of II Timothy 2:15? “Study to show thyself approved.” Studying is not an options, it is a directive for all Christians. Ministers and teachers will have to answer more harshly for what they fail to do, so it is important for them to study faithfully so the Holy Ghost can work revelation in him/her. Man is not fit to teach the Word except by revelation from the Spirit.

When a minister studies diligently, and becomes filled to overflowing with the Spirit, people are saved. It is the glory of God unto salvation. When a minister is filled, the power of the Spirit works through him. It is only by the power of the Spirit that man can preach or teach the Word unto salvation. Remember the seven sons of Sceva in Acts 19? Let’s read Acts 19:13-16. They had no Spirit power within themselves to do the works of the ministry, so were defeated by the enemy. This is a good lesson for us. If someone tries to prophesy over you, discern the Spirit within him or her before accepting the word.  And always make sure to get confirmation from the Word of God, the Spirit of God, and at least one other person before you act on what you have been told.

Are we all appointed priests? Yes. Are we all told to teach about the Lord in all the world? Yes. Are we all anointed to be ministers of the Word? No. If we were, Paul would not apply so much ink to paper reassuring us that he was called by God and anointed to preach.

V. 8- The commission was given to Paul, but he knew in his heart he was not worthy. Let’s read I Cor. 15:9. As a persecutor of Christians, he considered himself unworthy of the title apostle. He thought of himself as the least of these, apostles. That he spoke like this is a great demonstration of humility. He’s right up there in humility with Abraham, David, Moses, and others. He thought of himself in a lowly way, but thought highly of others. John the Baptist was also a great example of humility. “...whose sandals I am not worthy to untie,” he said of Jesus. John the Baptist had the most important ministry of telling the world to prepare for the coming of the Messiah, yet he considered himself unworthy of the task. When people start thinking they have arrived. They think they are the best they can be, they begin to fall into pride, and pride brings the fall. Why did Paul consider himself so lowly? Because he got a full dose of the grace and love of God. The other apostles left home and family for Jesus, and they were honored for it. But none gave up as much as Paul. When we think back on some of the things we’ve done in our lifetimes, we feel shame. We feel unworthy of the name Christian. If we feel that badly about the things we did, how much worse Paul must have felt for trying to destroy the move of God on earth.

One way to tell a good preacher is to look at his life. Has he suffered?  I don't mean suffering as in being beaten or tortured, although those things do happen.  I mean that often when someone accepts the call into ministry, they lose their connection family and friends who now consider them Jesus freaks. They may have to give up well-liked jobs, or move far from home. There are many ways ministers suffer for the cause of Christ.  Is temptation a constant companion? Does he have much fruit on the branches of his vine? A good pastor is humble, and always willing to put others first before his own needs. What is the gift of grace Paul is talking about here? The hope of glory. Look at Col. 1:24-27; 2:1-3.

May the Lord bless you and keep you safe and well.




I’m going to recap a bit for those who were not here last week. In Ephesians 3:6-8 we saw that, although Paul was sent to preach to the Jews and Gentiles alike (Acts 9:15), his main commission was to the Gentiles. He was sent forth by appointment to preach and teach the revealed mysteries that are Jesus Christ, His salvation, and all the blessings received by Christians.

We talked about what gift of the Spirit Paul especially developed, which is humility. He knew he was not worthy to be an apostle after all the persecution he wrought on the Christians, but because he was hand-picked by Jesus Himself on the road to Damascus, he worked very hard at it. He became one of the most effective of the 13 apostles. (Judas hanged himself, and Matthias was chosen by lot to replace him {Matthew 1:26}).

Paul was in jail when he wrote the Christians in Ephesus. He was awaiting trial for the trumped up charges against him. His reasons for writing this letter was three-fold:

1- to form a body to express Christ’s fullness on earth (Eph. 1:15-23).
2- to accomplish this by uniting one people under God, both Jew and Gentile where God lives (2:11-3:7).
3- to equip, empower, and mature this people to extend Christ’s victory over evil (3:10-20; 6:12-20).

V.9- I’m going to read the definition of fellowship that is here in my Bible. Fellowship, koinonia, (koy-nohn-ee-ah); Strong’s #2842. Sharing unity, close, association, partnership, participation, a society, a communion, a fellowship, contributory help, the brotherhood. Koininia is a unity brought about by the Holy Spirit. In koinonia the individual shares in  common an intimate bond of fellowship with the rest of the Christian society. The fellowship we participate in is the communion of the Christian with his God, and Jesus and the Holy Ghost.

The mystery is the Gospel. Who is the Gospel? Jesus. Gill says, “The Mystery is the Gospel, the fellowship of it is the communication of grace by it, a participation of the truths and doctrines of it. Communication with the Father, Son, and Spirit, which the Gospel leads into, and that equal concern and interest which both Jews and Gentiles have in the privileges of it.” Who was given the duty to reveal that the Jews and Gentiles could be in one body? The apostles and the prophets.

Let’s read John 1:1-5. When we are born, we are born behind the veil. We are in darkness. The Light came into the world, but the Jews didn’t understand it, and neither did the Gentiles at first. Our spiritual ears are deaf, and our spiritual eyes are blind. We don’t know the difference between right and wrong as far as the Bible is concerned. We don’t know there is a Master we should serve until God Himself, or someone else, maybe a preacher, reveals it to us. This is the mystery that was revealed to Ephesus, and the other towns in the Lycus Valley. It is the truth of Jesus. When we have the first truth revealed, that is, Jesus is the Son of God, and the Christ, and we accept Him, the veil is torn from top to bottom. But not quickly as on the day Jesus was crucified, but inch by inch as we can handle the truth. The deeper we go with God, the more He reveals. All the mysteries of the Bible are hidden in God’s heart. Jesus was not a new creation as each of us was when we were born. He was from times past. He was from eternity with God, and will always be in eternity. That’s what eternity is, never beginning, never ending time.

V.10- The principalities and powers spoken of here are the good, heavenly angels. Let’s read I Peter 1:12, and I Timothy 3:16.  Angels wanted to “look into” salvation. They can’t be saved themselves, but rejoice with us when we are. What is being made known to them? The grace of God. The Gospel that is the revelation of Jesus. The ability for Jew and Gentile to live and worship together under one Master, Jesus. It is making known the glory of God, and His redemption, His mercy and His holiness. It is revealing to satan that we can live as one people, and we can receive the justification of God. Our sins forgiven, we are made new and whole. satan hates that. Want something to think of? You know the Bible says, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord?”(Romans 12:19). Well, we are God’s vengeance against satan. satan rebelled against God, thinking he could become equal with Him, and God always repays evil for evil. satan brought evil in the Garden, and all of us who are saved in Jesus are the chastisement of satan. He suffers deeply every time one of us confesses Jesus.

V.11- According to the eternal purpose of God. What is that purpose? That all will be saved. God mad a plan of salvation before the earth was formed, before Adam was born, and before the temptation came that made salvation necessary. Jesus did not come to die for the lost four-legged sheep, but for the human, two-legged variety who was made to worship Him. I don’t believe in predestination as it means God set the whole thing up, and we have no choice. He predetermined that we should be saved, but not that we would be saved. That would be interfering with free will, and God cannot do that. He promised to allow us to choose. “I set before you life and death, choose life” (Deut. 30:19)! Predestination takes that right away from us. But, when He made His plan of salvation, He knew it would involve sending Jesus, and Jesus knew it too. there was no surprise like Isaac must have felt.

V.12- So- God accomplished His plan in Jesus. Jesus is the One in whom we can have boldness. It is by His blood that we have gained access before the throne of God. We don’t need a high priest now. We have Jesus as our access, and we can come before God and make our requests known to Him, without fear! We have confidence! We know we can speak frankly, freely before God, and we will not be turned away. He wants to listen to prayers.

V.13- Paul wanted the Christians to remain strong, not losing the confidence they have in Jesus. They saw what Paul was going through, and could possibly have said the very words we say today, “Why does a loving God allow this to happen?” The asking Paul is doing is prayer. Read Philippians 1:3-6. He is confident and wants them not to be less confident. Paul is telling them they can endure just as he has. If God calls them to ministry, and they are beaten and placed in chains, they will have the same power from on high to deal with it. Read II Corinthians 1:6. He suffered for their salvation which became their glory, and now he wants them to know they can do the same for others, if they do not faint.

We too need to learn to be strong in the face of the little persecution we face. How fortunate we are to have the blessed freedom to speak the name of Jesus and not get jailed, stoned, or killed for it. This is something we definitely should rejoice and be glad about. We need to shake off the apathy that keeps us down, and put on the breastplate of righteousness that God has given us, and tell the world about Him.

God be with you all through this week, and grant you peace and liberty in serving Him.




V.14- Who are we bowing our knees to? The Son of God (II Corinthians 1:3; Ephesians 1:3). For what cause, or reason, are we bowing our knees? For all the reasons listed before this sentence. Because Christ is our Redeemer, Christ is the Grace of God unto salvation, Christ shed His blood for the remission of our sins, Christ is our Peace, Christ is our Cornerstone, And Christ is the Mystery that has been revealed to us along with its purpose. We are to bow our knees in appreciation for these marvelous gifts from God. We must thank Him that we no longer live under the killing Law, but under God’s grace and mercy that gives life.

Let me ask you this. Is bowing the knees something vital to our prayer life? Is it the posture we need to take when we pray to be heard? No, it’s not. The bowing of the knees is a suggestion of what we must do with our hearts. Bow the knees of your heart to the Lord. You can do that anywhere, in any position. I prefer to walk around when I pray. Other stand, others sit, and some lay down. But what you do with your physical body does not affect your prayers! The only thing that does is the position of your heart in Jesus. The depth of your faith in believing God will and has answered your prayers. Don’t get bogged down in the religiosity of others who say you must kneel. If you kneel down to show humility to the Father, and not for legal reasons, He likes that, but nowhere does He demand it. We pray in Jesus’ name because Jesus made access to the throne of God possible for all of us.

Remember me telling you that we are God’s inheritance? That when He comes back, Jesus will claim that inheritance for God, and deliver it to Him? How did we become that inheritance? What must happen for someone to inherit something that belongs to someone else? The person who owns the thing must die. Jesus came, bore our iniquities, suffered the curse for us, and by His stripes we were healed. When Jesus died, we were His, and He left us to His Father in His will. That’s something thing we need to be praying thankfully about.

V.15- Family is a word for God. God is family. He is the Father of all creation, and of Jesus Christ. He is the head of household, providing for all the needs of His children. He is the Father of angels, and every human who ever lived. Many are now separated from the Love that is God by the choice they made, but He is still their creator, and Father. He is their Father by creation, He is our Father by adoption.

V.16- That He would “grant” you. What is granting? It is giving.  How is God giving to us? According to the riches of His glory. Give me some examples of God’s riches. Now let’s read Ephesians 1:7 and Philippians 4:19.

All of these riches are aimed toward one thing. To build us up. Paul in on his knees praying that we will receive strength to do whatever we are called to. When we accept the calling of God on our lives, we open ourselves up for attack from the evil devil. He will make us face trials and tribulations abounding so that we will turn away from the faith, and not be effective for God. So many people do just that. They give in to the fleshly desire for comfort, and refuse to go ahead with anything that might cause them hardship. One of the reasons we need strength is so that we can submit to God, and resist the devil so he will flee from us (James 4:7). It is God’s Spirit that strengthens us by leading us into the fullness of grace and the strength of Jesus by pouring out the love of God over us. The Gospel is what we use for our strength. We are to “Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave and be strong (I Corinthians 16:13). It encourages us, and carries us in times of difficulty. We use the Gospel to lead us from strength to strength, and from glory to glory. (Philippians 4:13 is a strength giving verse.) Where does that strength live? Inside of us, in our hearts, in our souls. Read Proverbs 27:19. Why did Paul pray for this?

V.17- In this part of his prayer, Paul asks that we Christians will have Christ dwelling in us richly. That we would become part of the family of God the Father. God is Father; Jesus is in God; We are in Jesus, therefore, we are in God. With God all things are possible. We can be, do and become anything we want. It’s while Jesus dwells in us, filling our hearts with strength, and with love, that we become useful to His kingdom. Once we  allow Christ to fill us, and the Holy Ghost to indwell us, we develop the strength to face adversity, and to keep our faith in all things. It is then that He can grow our faith, and root us and ground us in love (II Corinthians 4:16). We need to be in prayer for each other about this too.

V.18- Comprehend means more than just understanding something. It has now become a part of who you are! So what are we comprehending? Let’s read Ephesians 1:15-19. How all-encompassing God’s love is for us. When we realize that God is in the heights, depths and widths of this world, we can believe that we have power to overcome the principalities and darkness that come against us (Romans 8:38,39). We have the strength to get through the toughest trials, and we walk in the way all the time, and we pray seeking God, we know Him for all that He is.

V.19- All this knowledge means that we now know the essence of the Being of Christ. We know the truth of His power in our lives. We can now participate fully in all the blessings of healing, prosperity, wisdom, knowledge, and the fruit of the Spirit. We become one with the Lord, and the fullness of God is in us. How long does that take? As long as it takes! No two people ever learn, or trust, or believe at the same pace. But God never gives up on us. As long as we have the faith to stand, He will lead us and mold us into the vessel that will glorify Him most.

V V.20,21- We must remember to bring all the honor and glory to God. He is the only One worthy of praise. He will give us more than we even know we need. He is generous, and pours out His blessings on His creation. But what we get is given according to how much of Jesus and the Spirit we have working in us. His glory is for all generations.