Exploring Ephesians | All In | Ephesians 3.1 | Movementministriesblog.com

by | Jul 12, 2023

“This is the reason that I, Paul, am a prisoner for (or “of”) Christ Jesus for the sake of you gentiles,” Ephesians 3.1 (NRSV).

This is the reason….everything Paul wrote up until this point! The hope of the gospel, the promise of the Holy Spirit, the unity of that Spirit, the inclusion of God’s people into his holy covenant. This is the reason, Paul writes, and thus he just explained it. But for this reason (all that I mentioned) he is in chains and is a prison of/for Christ “for the sake of you gentiles.”

This is a loaded sentence. Paul, who is a prisoner, is doing these things for the Gentiles. He is to be the light to the Gentiles. He who was the most staunch Jew, a Pharisee, from the tribe of Benjamin, highly educated and following the Law — is giving it all up to minister to Gentiles. What a change in heart the former Saul, now Paul has for the Lord.

Before Jesus met Paul on the Damascus Road, he was zealous for the things of God without knowing God. Now that Paul knows God, he is willing to set aside all things so that he might know Christ (Philippians 3.10). Paul set aside his comfort, status, position, personal safety, posh retirement and respect so that the gentiles might know Jesus. Talk about a sacrifice.

This is why today I am stopping on this one verse in which Paul explains what he is doing and why he is doing it. If it weren’t for Paul, many of us might not know Christ. If it weren’t for him writing this letter, guided and filled by the Holy Spirit, we might not be in fellowship with Christ and experience salvation in his name.

Now that we know what Paul has done for the sake of the gospel and the gentiles, the question bares asking — What are we doing? How are we ministering for the gospel? How are we supporting our local churches, pastors, evangelists and missionaries. If the only thing that truly matters is knowing Christ and his resurrection, why are we not as steadfast as we might be?

Now we all have different vocational callings but the same Lord. But as Paul writes in Colossians 3.17, “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Let this be our mantra — to do all for the Lord.

Will you join me in this endeavor?

“O Lord God, thank you for loving me. Thank you for the moments in life that help us encounter you. Like Paul’s Damascus Road experience, or my conversion story at Young Life Camp in Colorado. Thank you for the spiritual moments in which we meet you and connect with your Spirit. Help us be your hands and feet and to be willing to sacrifice all for your cause. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen