Ephesians 3 is the third chapter of the Epistle to the Ephesians in the New Testament of the Christian Bible. Traditionally, it is believed to be written by Apostle Paul while he was in prison in Rome (around AD 62), but more recently, it is suggested to be written between AD 80 and 100 by another writer using Paul's name and style. This chapter is a part of long prayer of Paul (from Ephesians 1:3 to 3:21), with the particular section about Paul's stewardship of the great divine mystery, the petition for Christ to dwell in the believers' heart, and a doxology.
A fragment showing Ephesians 4:16-29 on recto side of Papyrus 49 from the third century.
|Book||Epistle to the Ephesians|
|Christian Bible part||New Testament|
|Order in the Christian part||10|
Some early manuscripts containing this chapter are:
Paul's Stewardship of the Great Mystery (3:1–13)Edit
The section starts with Paul's self-identification as "the prisoner of Christ" to reflect his current prisoner status, which he willingly suffers "for the sake of the Gentiles" (verse 1), that is, for his converts' benefit. Then, the main focus is the divine mystery that Paul is commissioned to unveil. It is the mystery of Christ as God's grace for all.
- 3how that by revelation He made known to me the mystery (as I have briefly written already, 4by which, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ),
- and to make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ;
Resuming Prayer (3:14–21)Edit
The object of the long prayer is God alone, "experienced and approached as Father" (verse 14), to whom Paul petitions for the strengthening of the believers' condition. Paul's prayer is for Christ to dwell in the hearts of believers as the sign of 'genuine' conversion of faith. The prayer is closed by a benediction, ascribing glory to God.
- that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man,
- "According to the riches of his glory": that is, according to the abundant completeness of grace in Christ Jesus.
- "To be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man": is Paul's petition to the Father of Christ, that he would enable the believers to be strong during the tribulations, give the needed fresh supplies of power to perform duties of grace, to resist Satan and its temptations, to oppose corruptions, and to bear the cross, holding on and out to the end. This is a gift of God's free grace; a "grant" in form of "his Spirit", who strengthens them by guiding them to the fullness of grace in Christ, by placing the love of God in their hearts, applying the promises of the Gospel to them, and making the Gospel itself useful to give them strength.
- "The inner man": or soul of man, as the subject of the blessing, which is "the seat of grace". This last phrase is joined to the beginning of the next verse in the Arabic, Syriac, and Ethiopian versions, "in the inner man Christ may dwell".
- Bruce, F. F. (1988). The Canon of Scripture. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press. pp. 142, 158–60. ISBN 978-0830812585.
- Attridge, Harold W.; Meeks, Wayne A., eds. (2006). The HarperCollins Study Bible (Revised ed.). New York: HarperCollins. pp. 1982–83. ISBN 978-0061228407.
- Dunn 2007, pp. 1171–1174.
- Dunn 2007, p. 1171.
- Dunn 2007, pp. 1171–1172.
- Dunn 2007, p. 1172.
- Ephesians 3:3-4 NKJV
- Ephesians 3:9 NKJV
- Dunn 2007, pp. 1172–1173.
- Dunn 2007, p. 1173.
- Ephesians 3:16 NKJV
- John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible, - Ephesians 3:16