Ephesians 3.1-6

Many people object to the Bible for many reasons.

They don’t like the violence recorded in the Old Testament: but pay money to watch movies or play games where violence is central and celebrated.

They question the accuracy of a book ‘written all those years ago’: but venerate Shakespeare as a literary genius despite no original and extant manuscripts surviving attributing even one major play to him ¹.

They cite differences in detail or vocabulary among accounts of the same event: but read multiple news reports of current affairs whilst accepting that ‘different news channels highlight different aspects of the event, obviously…’

Whatever the reason, many object to the Bible and feel that is nothing more than a collection of made up stories with a vaguely similar topic where a man seeks to make his own point and further his own agenda.

In Ephesians 3.1-7 Paul reassures his readers (and us) that this is not the case:

For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles if indeed you have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace that was given to me for you, that by revelation the mystery was made known to me, as I wrote before briefly.”

(vv.1-3NET)

Paul begins by saying that despite being in chains in Rome he is actually a prisoner of Christ Jesus…for the sake of you Gentiles. He goes on to reassure them that this he is not incarcerated for something of his own making;

We read of the stewardship of God’s grace that was given to Paul for Gentile believers.

We read of how he received by revelation the mystery of God.

Paul knows that he is sharing truth with them that is totally new and that has only ever been hinted at before (vv.4-5). Rather than keep this mystery to himself he says it is

“…that through the gospel the Gentiles are fellow heirs, fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus.”

(Ephesians 3.6, NET)

Many believe that the Bible, and the God it reveals, is insular and selective in the people it accepts. Here in Ephesians 3.1-6 Paul makes very clear that God loves all and wants all to be saved. This would be, it is fair to say, the last thing that a devout, well educated, pious, and zealous Jew like Paul would make up (Philippians 3.2-7, for example).

Many object to the Bible for many reasons, but to say that its human authors choose and curate a narrative that furthers their own purposes and makes themselves look good certainly does not ring true in Ephesians 3.1-6. God loves all, values all, wants all to be saved, and chose the least likely of people to communicate this wonderful truth.


¹ – For more, read here.

Published by James Travis

Pastor of Saar Fellowship in the Kingdom of Bahrain. Married to Robyn and Dad to our two boys.

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