By Stan Brown
Ephesians 3:2 if indeed you have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace which was given to me for you;
Before Paul continues with the prayer he began in the previous verse, he interrupts himself with a long conditional sentence. The protasis of the sentence begins here (If, indeed, you have heard of the dispensation of God’s grace) with the resulting apodosis occurring in verse thirteen (I ask you not to lose heart at my tribulations on your behalf). In between he reminds them of the truths of the Gospel that he has shared with them previously during his ministry with them. This one long sentence might be paraphrased as “I know that you remember what I have told in the past about the mystery relating to God’s grace but I remind you of it anyway. These great truths should cause you to not become discouraged about the fact I am in prison.” I might add that these truths should also cause them to not become discouraged at their own trials. Likewise, because of this stewardship of God’s grace we must not become discouraged in the face of trials in our lives and the lives of those we love.
The words if indeed you have heard (translated surely you have heard about in the NIV) are placed here for emphasis as Paul reminds the Ephesians of the truths he has taught them that are to make a significant difference in the way they face trials and tribulation in their own lives and in the lives of others. The mystery that he will discuss in the following verses is the stewardship (administration NIV) of God’s grace. It is grace that unites all believers into one holy temple in which God dwells. God has given Paul the responsibility of getting his message of grace out to the Gentiles. Grace will be made known to the Gentiles in a way that they never before knew; indeed, in a way that the Jews had never before known. The grace of God is replete in the Old Testament. I do not have time to even begin to consider the riches of God’s grace in the Old Testament. Yet, we have been privileged to see the grace of God in a way that it was not previously seen. It is this grace provided through the death of the Son that has made us the dwelling place of God as we receive Him through faith. It is this message of grace (which was given to me for you) that is available to all no matter their origin or background. It is this message of grace received through faith that matters. It could be said that it is all that matters. There is no part of our lives that it does not touch. We have heard of this grace. Let it make every difference in our lives as the Holy Spirit dwells within us.
It is because of the magnificent grace of God that is right now being displayed in us and to us that must never become discouraged as all the resources of Satan sometimes seem to be focused directly on us and the ones we love. God's grace remains His grace in the midst of chaos. “THE PEOPLE WHO WERE SITTING IN DARKNESS SAW A GREAT LIGHT, AND THOSE WHO WERE SITTING IN THE LAND AND SHADOW OF DEATH, UPON THEM A LIGHT DAWNED (Matt. 4:16).” In the midst of our darkest hour as well as every other hour, the light of the grace of God shines out in our lives. Hallelujah!!