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III. World Mission of the Church

Chapter 3

Commission to Preach God’s Plan.[a] Because of this,(A) I, Paul, a prisoner of Christ[b] [Jesus] for you Gentiles—

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  1. 3:1–13 Paul reflects on his mission to the Gentiles. He alludes to his call and appointment to the apostolic office (Eph 3:2–3) and how his insight through revelation, as well as that of the other apostles and charismatic prophets in the church (Eph 3:4–5), has deepened understanding of God’s plan of salvation in Christ. Paul is the special herald (Eph 3:7) of a new promise to the Gentiles (Eph 3:6): that the divine plan includes them in the spiritual benefits promised to Israel. Not only is this unique apostolic role his; Paul also has been given the task of explaining to all the divine plan of salvation (Eph 3:8–9), once hidden. Through the church, God’s plan to save through Christ is becoming manifest to angelic beings (Eph 3:10; cf. Eph 1:21), in accord with God’s purpose (Eph 3:11). The fulfillment of the plan in Christ gives the whole church more confidence through faith in God (Eph 3:12). The readers of this letter are also thereby encouraged to greater confidence despite Paul’s imprisonment (Eph 3:13).
  2. 3:1 A prisoner of Christ: see Introduction. Paul abruptly departs from his train of thought at the end of Eph 3:1, leaving an incomplete sentence.

10 to live in a manner worthy of the Lord, so as to be fully pleasing, in every good work bearing fruit and growing in the knowledge of God,

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