Paul’s Stewardship of Grace (Ephesians 3:1-3)
Scripture: Ephesians 3:1-3
In this sermon we explain how Paul's imprisonment was directly related to his message of the gospel of grace which involved the Jewish and Gentile believers being "one new man" in Christ. We cite Acts 26:19-23 where Paul testifies before Agrippa and explains how the tumult in Jerusalem led to Paul testifying about Christ and the gospel. The issue was that the church would not be a Jewish church headquartered in Jerusalem and keeping the Law of Moses but "one new man" (Ephesians 2:15). Had Paul compromised the gospel he would not have become a prisoner.
The term "stewardship" comes from a Greek word that means "household manager." Paul's management of the grace of God concerned the foundation of the church which is being built upon as God saves Jews and Gentiles. There is a long description of Paul's ministry between verse 2 and 13 where Paul tells the Ephesians why they should not be discouraged over his status in prison.
We explain how the term "mystery" as Paul uses it is totally different than the mystery religions of Ephesus. The mystery of Christ is objective and defined objectively. The cults had secrets that were mysterious and only available to those who went through the cultic processes. The gospel is publicly revealed truth. We apply that idea to our contemporary culture that despises boundaries and clear meaning.
Sermon handout and slides can be found under the Downloads tab.