In Ephesians 3:1-13 Paul, under inspiration, gives a great deal of information about himself. And God has specifically designed us to be impacted by the example of others.
Here are notable reflections in the life of the Apostle Paul from Ephesians 3 that can be good examples for us:
1. He saw his whole life in view of Christ, even his imprisonment.
2. He knew that he was in the ministry because God had called him, and not because he called himself.
3. He had a very humble view of himself in light of his past sins and what God had saved him from.
4. He was aware of the grace that God had given him, and he recognized that God’s grace always resulted in power.
Ephesians 3. Now, we’re going to read this again. We’ll read through it pretty quickly, and then we’re going to go back, and we’re going to look at some things. What I want you to notice – I’ll tell you right off. The title of my message is: “The Self-Reflections of an Inspired Man of God.” This section of Ephesians is special. Now, I know that there’s other portions of Paul’s writings where you get glimpses into his life; his person. This is autobiographical – these first 13 verses of chapter 3. We get a lot of information about Paul, from Paul under inspiration. So let’s read this. “For this reason I, Paul, a prisoner for Christ Jesus…” And we remember last week, the reason – because the Gentiles are fellow heirs; because the Gentiles are in the family of God; because they’re included. “For this reason I, Paul, a prisoner for Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles, assuming that you have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace that was given to me for you…” So, you see that. Paul’s a prisoner. Paul is a steward. “…how the mystery was made known to me by revelation.” He’s the recipient of relevation. “…as I have written briefly.” When you read this, you can perceive my insight. Again, autobiographical. He’s looking at himself. What’s true of himself. He has revelation. He has insight into the mystery of Christ. “…which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed…” to him. He’s one of the holy apostles “…and prophets by the Spirit. This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs.” There’s the mystery. “…members of the same body, partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the Gospel. Of this Gospel…” again, self-reflecting here. “…Of this Gospel, I was made a minister, according to the gift of God’s grace which was given me by the working of His power. To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things.” And then if we jump to v. 13, “So I…” again, Paul, speaking specifically to them. “I ask you not to lose heart over what I am suffering.” He’s a sufferer. He’s in prison. “…Which is your glory.” Brethren, example is powerful. All you have to do is think about Scripture itself. We could think of Hebrews 11. I’ve heard John Piper say that based on Hebrews 11, He is convinced that he ought to be doing the biographical sketches that he does every single year at his pastor’s conference. Because holding up such men – I find that to be true. I find that to be true in my own life that when I read about men, what I’m hit with is their example. I’m hit by their life and it’s powerful. Imitation and example. God has…