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For Further Reflection:
- Read 3:1-6. Paul is bound as God’s emissary to the outsider, delivering theWeaver’s wonderful proclamation of full inclusion to those who were once far off. The mystery revealed in the gospel of Christ is the mystery of true reconciliation and unity; it is a mystery so beautiful that unless an emissary were sent, no one would ever deduce it or believe it. Whom within your church is being called to be an ambassador to the outsider, and how can the church support them and join them in this vital ministry?
- Read 3:7-13. God has endowed Paul – formerly an insider of insiders – with a special gift and calling as his new ambassador of the gospel to the outsider. In God’s sending of the “insider” to the “outsider” with God’s unthinkable message of full inclusion, the messenger himself becomes a shining embodiment of the very message he proclaims, the rays of which reach even those authorities who are in the highest of places. To bare such an embodied message has brought suffering to Paul, because those who are invested in the old, fragmented system are violently resistant. But his embodied suffering only exposes the englorying gospel all the more. What perceived “insider” status could you intentionally lay aside in order to better embody God’s welcoming heart towards the outsider?
- Read 3:14-21. Paul bursts back into his prayer for the Ephesians. His gospel message compels him to plead to God for his newly adopted siblings, that they may grow deeper and deeper into the power, nearness, love, and knowledge of Christ through the Spirit. As God answers this gospel prayer in unimaginable ways within his church, it will expose his glory to the watching world. Over the past year, what growth has God accomplished within your church, and how has that exposed God’s glory? How can we pray for more?