SLASB Ephesians Sampler - Flipbook - Page 9
I have been given the privilege of serving him by
spreading this Good News.
8Though I am the least deserving of all God’s
people, he graciously gave me the privilege of
telling the Gentiles about the endless treasures
available to them in Christ. 9I was chosen to
explain to everyone* this mysterious plan that
God, the Creator of all things, had kept secret
from the beginning.
10 God’s purpose in all this was to use the
church to display his wisdom in its rich variety
to all the unseen rulers and authorities in the
heavenly places. 11This was his eternal plan,
which he carried out through Christ J esus our
12Because of Christ and our faith in him,* we
can now come boldly and confidently into God’s
presence. 13So please don’t lose heart because
of my trials here. I am suffering for you, so you
should feel honored.
Paul’s Prayer for Spiritual Growth
When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and
pray to the Father,* 15the Creator of everything
in heaven and on earth.* 16I pray that from his
glorious, unlimited resources he will empower
you with inner strength through his Spirit.
17Then Christ will make his home in your hearts
as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down
into God’s love and keep you strong. 18And may
you have the power to understand, as all God’s
people should, how wide, how long, how high,
and how deep his love is. 19May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to
understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that
comes from God.
20Now all glory to God, who is able, through
his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or
think. 21Glory to him in the church and in Christ
3:9 Some manuscripts do not include to everyone. 3:12 Or Because of
Christ’s faithfulness. 3:14 Some manuscripts read the Father of our
Lord Jesus Christ. 3:15 Or from whom every family in heaven and on
earth takes its name.
3:12 Invited In We have the awesome privilege of being
able to approach God with freedom and confidence. Most
of us would be nervous in the presence of a powerful human
ruler, much less in the presence of God! But thanks to Christ,
we can enter directly into God’s presence by faith and
through prayer (also see 2:18; Hebrews 4:16). We know that
he will welcome us with open arms because we are his children through our union with Christ. Don’t be afraid of God.
Talk with him about everything. He wants to hear from you.
3:17‑19 Too Great to Understand God’s love reaches
every dimension of our experience. His love is vast and immeasurable. In Christ we lack nothing, have nothing to lose,
and have nothing to fear. We have all the fullness of God
available to us. (For more of Paul’s reflections on God’s immeasurable and inexhaustible love, see Romans 8:38‑39.
For the difference between God’s love and human love, see
What is grace?
Why is it important?
• Grace is undeserved favor that God shows us
simply because he is so loving and kind. Grace
is the expression of God’s goodness in all creation
and especially in people’s lives. Graciousness is a
key part of God’s character, and his actions toward
us are always full of unfailing love, compassion,
mercy, and grace (Psalms 6:4; 23:6; 25:6; 86:15).
• Grace is a gift. We don’t somehow naturally
deserve God’s kindness, and we can’t earn it
through anything we do. Yet God has chosen to
save us and has made us his own so that he can give
us every good thing (James 1:17; 2 Peter 1:3-4).
• God’s grace is on display in the Bible from the beginning. He showed all creation grace by making it
good (Genesis 1–2), and he continues to show grace
by sustaining creation and giving life to everything
that’s alive (Acts 17:24-25; Colossians 1:17).
• God graciously saved Noah and his family from the
Flood and gave humanity a fresh start after people
had messed things up terribly (Genesis 6–8).
• God looked favorably on Abraham and Sarah when
he chose them and their descendants to be his
people (Genesis 12:1-3). He was already at work fixing the world, and he let humans be part of his plan!
• God showed grace to the Israelites when he rescued them from slavery in Egypt and led them to
the Promised Land (see Exodus through Joshua,
especially Exodus 2:23-25; 12:42; Joshua 1:1-5).
He revealed himself as “the God of compassion and
mercy” and said, “I am slow to anger and filled with
unfailing love and faithfulness” (see Exodus 34:6-7).
• The prophets of Israel were sent by God to warn
the people to turn away from their sin. They told
them that destruction would come if they didn’t
listen, and they also made it clear that God was
being gracious by giving the people the chance
to change their ways. Jonah acknowledged this
plainly (Jonah 4:1-4)—and he was frustrated because God was so compassionate!
• Jesus showed the ultimate expression of
God’s grace and favor when he sacrificed
himself to save the world from sin. We didn’t
deserve this at all—in fact, because we don’t love
God as we should, we deserve only his judgment
and anger. Instead, God shows us an abundance of
his love (Ephesians 2:1-10). This is his grace.
• We can see God’s grace in our day-to-day lives
too. We can recognize it in big things, like being
forgiven by a friend or getting a new opportunity
when all the other options disappear. Grace can
also show up in little ways, like noticing the beauty
of the world while going on a walk or finding a surprise piece of candy in your pocket. If we take time
to notice, we’ll see that God is infinitely creative in
the ways he shows his kindness and favor to us.