Bible Study from Calvary Chapel Newberg

with Tom Fuller

Bible study from Calvary Chapel Newberg

Ephesians 3

I. 3:1-9 Paul's Mission

Paul's mission was to bring the good news to the gentiles, and to share the mystery that gentile and Jew are one in Christ.

II. 3:10-11 God's Mission

Whereas before the Jews were God's representatives on earth, now the church has been chosen to make known God's wisdom to principalities and powers (same words as used in Romans and Ephesians 6 to denote demonic beings but could mean good angels too).

The manifold wisdom of God.
Manifold: from diverse and abundant
Wisdom: sophia

III. 3:12 Our Mission

Boldness: (freedom NIV) to speak openly, publicity. We can be bold in proclaiming what God has done.

Access with confidence (confidence NIV) Access is "admission" from "draw near". Confidence is: "trust" from "feel a sensation".

Not only can we come close to God, but we don't have to come shaking in our boots. We can trust and rely on Him, and talk to Him openly about anything.

IV. :13-15 Our Response

Paul says all this to help them not get discouraged by his trial. He wants them to know that God appointed works for Him to do (we talked about this 2 weeks ago from Chapter 2:10 (God prepared good works beforehand).

Paul knew that suffering came along with ministry.
Acts 9:16
16 I will show him how much he must suffer for my name."

God appoints trials for you to go through too.
He doesn't want those around you to become discouraged of following a faith that allows such trials.

As Paul says here: "it is for your glory."
God does good through trials, so it is good for you to have those willing so suffer.

If you see someone around you who is really having a hard time, don't get discouraged or mad at God. Paul's message is take heart, pray for His working in them and you.

2 Cor 1:3-6
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort,
4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.
5 For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.
6 If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer.

V. 3:16-:21 Knowing God - Experiencing God

1. Knowing Christ isn't transitory - you can't put it away in hard times


This is the glory, this is the good God is working in us through the trials of others.

1- God's strength (riches) is inexhaustible.
2- He gives abundant strength to withstand your own trials
3- Even as our body must be strengthened each day, so too our hearts in God's grace.


Dwell: permanently reside
Rooted: to root, become stable
Grounded: to erect or consolidate (to lay a basis for). Architectural term: put a building on a foundation

2. Knowing God, really knowing Him, means knowing difficulty, and the glory that comes from it.


Be able: "to have full strength"
Comprehend: "to take eagerly" "seize"
With: "union"
Saint: "sacred" from "clean"
Breadth: platos from "to lay out" as in plotting a piece of land
Length: length
Depth: extent, Bathos we get 'bathosphere'

No matter how low you get, or high you feel, or far away you are, God is there.

Phil 3:10
10 I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,

3. God's love surpasses our ability to comprehend, but not His ability to give or ours to receive.


know: ginosko to know
knowledge: same root as know (the act of knowing)
filled: cram (a net), level up (a hollow), satisfy, verify, finish
fullness: same root as "filled" - completion


Able: dunamahee - to be able (root of power later in verse)
exceeding: huper above
abundantly above: huperekperisou superabundantly
ask: desire, crave, call out - not the idea of inquiry
Think: think (exercise the mind)
Power: dunamis - force
Works: energeo to be active, efficient (see 1:20 exherted in Christ)

4. It's His work for our benefit, but His glory


For all that He does in us, we should turn it around for His glory.
Revelation 4:10 says:
10 the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne, and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say: 11 "You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being."

For all the power and riches He gives to us, He is the provider and the One who should get the credit. This is important because it is so easy for us to get our egos built up when we see good things happening in our lives and through us.

VI. Summary

" You have a purpose
" Part of that mission is to reveal God's wisdom to the world
" Part of God's wisdom is letting others go through trials that you witness
" Instead of discouragement, trials are an opportunity to get to know God better
" Just when you think you've got it all, there is always more - more power, love, knowledge, depth. Don't ever think you've arrived.


1. Why would Paul say in 3:8 "I am the least of all God's people". And if he's the least, what does that make us?

2. How does the fact that we are "heirs together" with Israel mean we should relate to the nation of Israel as it exists today (no right answer on this one)

3. If Christ's riches are "unsearchable" as in 3:8, why then does Paul say later that he wants us to "grasp" how wide, long, high, and deep the love of Christ is?

4. What makes us discouraged during trials - ours and others? How should we act?

5. What does it mean to be strengthened in the "inner being" rather than our "outer being" (3:16)

6. Many people might take 3:20 as a reason to ask for material wealth, health, property, popularity, etc. Is this the meaning of the verse, or does verse :21 also come into play, and how?

7. Practically, how do we give God glory for things He does in and through us? (:21)

8. What does it mean for God to have glory "in" the church and "in Christ Jesus"?