In case you were wondering, the case of the nasties has been closed – although I have a remaining cough and what feels like a broken rib. This is all so minor though – I’m so happy to be back to my normal self.
I was also ready to get back into study. At church we just started a series on the church – which I have to admit sounds pretty boring. However, since human beings make up the church – I think we are going to be covering material that will bring change individually, which I’m always open to 🙂
The first stop is Ephesians 3:1-12, where Paul describes how he received a revelation on the “mystery” of Christ. The great news is that we aren’t still guessing what the mystery is, he plainly says “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”.
I’m amazed at what Paul is saying in this entire passage, and motivated by who Paul is and how he upholds the nature and spirit of what a Christian should look like.
Here are 3 character attributes of Paul and 3 points he makes in this passage that challenge me.
1. He considers himself a “recipient” of a new revelation. This implies he is humble enough to realize that the revelation itself didn’t make him a great and awesome person. It meant that he gave glory to God.
2. He considers himself a “steward” of God’s grace. Since he has received God’s grace (changing him from a hater of Jesus to a lover of Jesus), he is completely motivated by the grace given to him that he must share it with others.
3. He mentions himself as a “prisoner of Christ”. He wrote this letter while he was in jail. How often do I think that Christian life is meant to be easy? How often do I choose the path of least resistance? Paul doesn’t identify with that kind of Christianity at all.
And here are the three points that should change me:
1. The ingathering of all men (Jew and Gentile) was the eternal purpose of God.
2. The grace of God can match any situation in life.
3. We have free approach to God. We have this access to the presence of God through Jesus.
One commentary said, “The Christian faith rejoices in the wonder of the accessibility of God without ever forgetting his holiness and his glory.”
This is my prayer – that I would be able to look at the nature of God, rejoice in it, and be compelled to share this wonderful revelation and truth with those in my life.