A Purposeful Prisoner: Paul’s Life in Christ, Part 1

June 23, 2019 Speaker: Cameron Barham Series: Paul's Letter to the Ephesians: Life in Christ, Life in the World

Scripture: Ephesians 3:1–3:6

Key Truth: God sovereignly places us in various circumstances to grant us unique opportunities to share the Gospel and be in awe of the mystery of redemption in Christ.  


Introduction:

What are the ways in which your circumstances affect how you live and what you share with others?

 

God’s Sovereign Placement for the Purpose of Sharing the Gospel:

Ephesians 3:1-3

“Paul’s strategy is to situate his present circumstances squarely within the biblical tradition of God’s power being demonstrated in human weakness. He does this by emphasizing the paradox of his life and ministry—at the same time that he occupies this terribly shameful and utterly weak situation as a prisoner, he fulfills a cosmically crucial commission as the administrator of the grace of God. In so doing, Paul wonderfully performs the same paradox as God’s victory in Christ. Jesus Christ conquered the powers and authorities through his shameful and humiliating death on a Roman cross. Because of God’s upside-down logic, performances of God’s triumph will inevitably involve displays of God’s power through human weakness, loss, shame, and humiliation.”

Timothy G. Gombis, The Drama of Ephesians: Participating in the Triumph of God

 

What most affects how and when you share the Gospel of Christ with others?

 

The Historical Reality of the Mystery of Redemption in Christ:

Ephesians 3:4-6

“…we may say that ‘the mystery of Christ’ is the complete union of Jews and Gentiles with each other through the union of both with Christ. It is this double union, with Christ and with each other, which was the substance of the ‘mystery’.”

John R.W. Stott, The Message of Ephesians: God’s New Society

 

When was the last time that you experienced awe at the mystery of redemption in Christ?

Are you making the most of the opportunity to witness again the mystery of redemption in
Christ each week in corporate worship?

 

Application: 

Ephesians 3:1-6 teaches us that:

-God sovereignly places us in various circumstances to grant us unique opportunities to  share the Gospel

-and be in awe of the mystery of redemption in Christ 

 

Benediction:

Ephesians 3:20-21