Ephesians 3 Bible Commentary

The Geneva Study Bible

(Read all of Ephesians 3)
3:1 For 1 this cause I Paul, a the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles,

(1) He maintains his apostleship against the offence of the cross, upon which he also makes an argument to confirm himself, affirming that he was not only appointed an apostle by the mercy of God, but was also appointed particularly to the Gentiles. And this was to call them everywhere to salvation, because God had so determined this from the beginning, although he deferred a great while the manifestation of his counsel.
(a) These words, "the prisoner of Jesus Christ", are taken passively, that is to say, "I, Paul, am cast into prison for maintaining the glory of Christ."

3:5 Which in b other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;

(b) He does not mean that no one knew of the calling of the Gentiles before, but because very few knew of it. And those that did know it, such as the prophets, had it revealed to them very obscurely, and by means of symbols.

3:10 2 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly [places] might be known by the church the c manifold wisdom of God,

(2) The unsuspected calling of the Gentiles was as it were a mirror to the heavenly angels, in which they might behold the marvellous wisdom of God.
(c) God always had only one way to save men by: but it had various shapes and forms.

3:11 According to the d eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:

(d) Which was before all things.

3:14 3 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

(3) He teaches by his own example that the efficacy of the doctrine depends upon the grace of God, and therefore we ought to join prayers with the preaching and hearing of the word. And these are needful not only to those who are youngsters in religion, but even to the oldest also, that as they grow up more and more by faith in Christ, and are confirmed with all spiritual gifts, they may be grounded and rooted in the knowledge of that immeasurable love, with which God the Father has loved us in Christ. And this is because the whole family, of which a part is already received into heaven, and part is yet here on earth, depends upon that adoption of the heavenly Father, in his only Son.

3:15 Of whom the whole e family in heaven and earth is named,

(e) That entire people, who had but one household Father, and that is the Church which is adopted in Christ.

3:16 That he would grant you, according to the f riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the g inner man;

(f) According to the greatness of his mercy.
(g) See (Romans 7:22).

3:17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in h love,

(h) With which God loves us, which is the root of our election.

3:18 May be able to comprehend with all saints i what [is] the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;

(i) How perfect that work of Christ is in every part.

3:19 And to know the k love of Christ, which l passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the m fulness of God.

(k) Which God has shown us in Christ.
(l) Which surpasses all the capacity of man's intellect, to comprehend it fully in his mind: for otherwise whoever has the Spirit of God perceives as much (according to the measure that God has given him) as is necessary for salvation.
(m) So that we have abundantly in us whatever things are required to make us perfect with God.

3:20 4 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,

(4) He breaks forth into a thanksgiving, by which the Ephesians also may be strengthened and encouraged to hope for anything from God.