Last night, I continued our study of the book of Ephesians. We are at Ephesians 3:1-13, which is a rather difficult text. My original tension was to divine the text into two parts. There are, indeed, two themes in the text: (1) the ministry of Paul and (2) the mystery of the gospel. But it seems to me that these two themes are interwoven throughout the entire passage. So I was really struggling with how to divide it. I finally decided not to. And my congregation patiently endured my exposition of all thirteen verses. It’s a great, difficult, challenging text. And I know I only stratched the surface of it. But it was a rich study for me. And I trust the congregation was helped.
By the way, I am really enjoying getting back to preaching on Tuesday nights. I am slowing getting the hang of going from Sunday’s message to Tuesday’s message. And I am really being blessed by studying Ephesians. I pray that the Lord’s will continue to bless our times together on Tuesday nights.
Here is the skeleton from last night’s message. I know the outline is long and extensive. I hope the message was not as laborious as this outline seems to be!
TITLE: Lessons from a Self-Conscious Preacher
TEXT: Ephesians 3:1-13
THEME: Understanding the ministry of the mystery of the gospel
POINT: Faithful ministers are careful about how the Lord sees them, how others seem them, and how they see themselves.
I. Paul was a prisoner for Christ Jesus (3:1, 13)
A. Notice how Paul viewed his situation (v. 1)
B. Notice how Paul wanted the church to view his situation (v. 13)
II. Paul was a steward of God’s grace (3:2-6)
A. The source of the mystery (vv. 2-3)
1. Grace (v. 2)
2. Revelation (v. 3)
B. The secrecy of the mystery (vv. 4-5)
1. It was concealed in the Old Testament
2. It is revealed in the New Testament
C. The statement of the mystery (v. 6)
1. We are fellow together in Christ.
2. We are members together in Christ.
3. We are partakers together in Christ.
III. Paul was a minister of the gospel (3:7-13)
A. The means of gospel ministry (v. 7)
B. The attitude of gospel ministry (v. 8a)
C. The focus of gospel ministry (vv. 8b-9)
1. We are to point people to Christ (v. 8b)
2. We are to point people to the church (v. 9)
D. The goal of gospel ministry (vv. 10-11)
1. The church is the place where the wisdom of God is displayed (v.10).
2. The church is the place where the purpose of God is accomplished (v. 11)
E. The benefit of gospel ministry (v. 12)