Grace is certainly the free gift of God, but He calls us to the hard work of reading and understanding it.
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Ephesians 3 Summary
Chapter three really depends on the image that was developed at the end of chapter two: the fellow citizens and members of the household of God... who are being built together into a dwelling place for God the Spirit (2:19-22).
This is what's happening when you read and dig into God's Word (v4). More and more you begin to understand the gospel as you grow in the unsearchable riches of Christ (v8).
In other words, reading the Bible is far different than reading ordinary books or articles. It's through the words of scripture you read (v4) and hear preached (v10) that you are given insight into the mysteries of Christ, things which haven't been made known to everyone!
But reading God's Word can be hard and frustrating, especially chapters like this one. Paul's sentences are massive and complex, and tough to follow along with.
Certainly tools like our outlined format and audio versions can help, but keep pushing yourself to do the hard work that it takes to understand what's been written.
Once again, Paul follows his familiar pattern of finishing a hard to understand passage with a beautiful doxology in v20-21:
Now to him
who is able to do far more abundantly
than all that we
ask or think,
according to the power at work within us,
to him be glory
in the church
and in Christ Jesus
throughout all generations,
forever and ever.
If you try to muddle through the heavy theology in Paul's letters relying only on your own strength and ability, you won't get far and will soon give up in frustration.
But you don't read/hear these Words in isolation. Know that the Holy Spirit is actively working through your efforts to grow in your knowledge of God.
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Our Father is able to do far more abundantly all that we ask or think (v21)
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray that God will give you what it takes to do the hard work of faithfully reading & understanding His Word.
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: