Ephesians 3:7-13 (ESV)
Of this gospel, I was made a minister according to the gift of God’s grace, which was given me by the working of his power. To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things, so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. This was according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him. So I ask you not to lose heart over what I am suffering for you, which is your glory.
Paul has been made a minister of this gospel. The word he uses here that is translated minister is the Greek word diakonos, which can also be translated as servant or deacon. Paul views this ministry as him being a servant, one who was given the responsibility to preach the gospel to the Gentiles. Now that God has revealed the mystery that the Gentiles also have access to the gospel, Paul has been assigned the task to preach this to them. He refers to it as “the unsearchable riches of Christ”, which is really what the gospel entails. In Christ we have been given every spiritual blessing – an inheritance for us in heaven – these are riches beyond our ability to comprehend! This task was given to Paul by God’s power. Not only is he to preach to the Gentiles the good news that they also can be saved through Christ, but he is to tell everyone this good news. Now that God has revealed His plan for all peoples, not just the Jews, this then will unite all peoples who come to Christ so that as Christ’s church they reveal the wisdom of God. This is made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places – referring to angels and demons. We know from chapter 1 that Christ has been raised above all these rulers and authorities, but we also know from chapter 2 that for now Satan is still at work in the world. Yet God’s plan for the church reveals His wisdom to these spiritual powers.
Paul then tells his readers because of this ministry he’s been given, not to be discouraged that he is going through suffering. For ultimately this suffering will result in glory.
v. 7 – Paul was made a minister of this gospel by God’s grace and power
vs. 8-10 – Grace was given to Paul to preach to Gentiles and reveal the mystery to everyone so God’s wisdom could be made known through the church
vs. 11-12 – This was eternal purpose in Christ – in whom we have access through faith
v. 13 – Paul’s suffering is for their glory