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Introduction

\\INTRODUCTION TO EPHESIANS 3\\

In this chapter the apostle hints at his state and condition as a
prisoner, and at the afflictions he endured for the sake of the
Gospel; and whereas he knew these would be objected to his ministry,
and be discouraging to the saints, he chiefly insists on these two
things; namely, to assert his office of apostleship, and observe the
knowledge of divine mysteries, and gifts of grace bestowed on him,
which he does with all modesty and humility; and also to exhort the
saints to constancy and perseverance, notwithstanding his
tribulations; for which purpose he puts up several petitions for them;
and the whole is concluded with a doxology, or an ascription of glory
to God. In \\#Eph 3:1\\, he declares himself a prisoner of Christ, for
the sake of the Ephesians; and which was no objection to his being an
ambassador of Christ, and an apostle of his, seeing he had a
commission from him to dispense the word of his grace, \\#Eph 3:2\\,
of which, his knowledge in the mystery of Christ, he had by
revelation, was an evident proof, \\#Eph 3:3\\, which might easily be
understood by what he had written in the former part of his epistle,
\\#Eph 3:4\\, and was such as had not been given to the saints in
former times, as it was to him, and others, now, \\#Eph 3:5\\,
particularly the knowledge of the mystery of the calling of the
Gentiles by the Gospel, \\#Eph 3:6\\, of which Gospel to the Gentiles
he was made a minister, through the gift of grace, and the energy of
divine power, \\#Eph 3:7\\, of which high honour he was unworthy,
being, in his own esteem, the meanest of all the people of God; and
the grace and favour was the greater, inasmuch as it was the
unsearchable riches of Christ he was sent to publish, and that among
the Gentiles, \\#Eph 3:8\\, and to give men light into a mysterious
affair, which from eternity had been hid, and kept a secret in the
heart of God, the Creator of all things, \\#Eph 3:9\\, but was now
committed to him with this view, not only to be made known to the
church, but by that to the heavenly principalities and powers, even
that wise scheme of things which displays the manifold wisdom of God,
and was formed according to an eternal purpose in Christ,
\\#Eph 3:10,11\\, through whom a way of access is opened to God, with
boldness, faith, and confidence, as the Gospel declares, \\#Eph 3:12\\.
Wherefore, though he endured much tribulation for the sake of
preaching this Gospel, this should not at all sink their spirits, or
move them away from the hope of it; but they should rather glory that
they had such a faithful preacher and defender of it, \\#Eph 3:13\\.
And as he desired their perseverance, so he prays for it, and for
several things in order to it; the posture in which he prayed was by
bowing the knee; the person to whom he prayed is described by his
relation to Christ, as his Father, of whom, or of Christ, the whole
family of God in heaven and earth are named, \\#Eph 3:14,15\\. The
petitions made by him are for internal strength from the Spirit of
God, that so they might be enabled to persevere, \\#Eph 3:16\\, and
also, that Christ might continue to dwell in their hearts by faith,
which would keep them from falling; and likewise, that they might have
a lively sense, and a full persuasion of their interest in the love of
God; even so as to comprehend with others its breadth, length, depth,
and height, which would engage them to press forward, and to hold on,
and out, and not faint at tribulations, \\#Eph 3:17,18\\, And
particularly he prays; that they might know more of the love of Christ,
which is not fully to be known, and which would constrain them to
follow him, and cleave to him with full purpose of heart; and that they
might have a full supply of all grace to support, influence, and assist
them, \\#Eph 3:19\\, and for his own, and their encouragement, with
respect to having the petitions made, the apostle ascribes glory to God
by Christ, as it should be done in the church throughout all ages of
time, under this consideration, as being able to do for his people
abundantly more than they are able to ask of him, or can think of
asking of him, or receiving from him, \\#Eph 3:20,21\\.