By Stan Brown
Ephesians 3:7 of which I was made a minister, according to the gift of God’s grace which was given to me according to the working of His power.
Paul was placed by God into the ministry of making known to the Gentiles the mystery that united them together with the Jews in the body of Christ. The words of which point back to the mystery that has just been defined in verse six. The word minister is the same word translated deacon elsewhere in the New Testament. It’s synonym, often translated bond servant carries the idea of subjection while the word minister or deacon emphasizes service. As we look at this verse, we will consider the application to our lives. I am no Paul and never will be, yet each of us has been called to serve others in the cause of Christ. We might realize that each of our ministries has to do with the same thing as did Paul’s. We are all called to being a part of letting the world know about the opportunity to become one with us in Christ. We are not all given the gift of evangelism but the gift of each of us speaks to the world. This means using the ministry that God has uniquely given to each one of us. We must not be jealous of the ministry of another but rather revel in doing the service to which God has individually called each of us.
Paul says that the service entrusted to him was a result of the gift provided by the grace of God in his life. We usually think of the gift of God’s grace as being the reception of eternal life and well it is as we accept the gift of God’s grace through faith (for by grace are you saved through faith). But the gift of God’s grace does not stop there. Paul is overwhelmed with the gift of God’s grace in his life. The word he uses for gift always refers to that which God graciously gives. (Although related it is not the same word used in 2:8.) Paul recognizes that this gift is part of God’s awe-inspiring grace in his life. Neither, does God’s grace end with the reception of eternal life through faith in our lives. God calls us to be part of His team and enables us to be part of His mission to the world. We likewise, are overwhelmed with that personal gift of grace that God gives to us. His grace never ceases working in our lives.
Then Paul speaks of the enablement for the service to which he was called as he writes according to the working of His power. It might also be translated according to the energizing of His power. Paul uses two words in this phrase that relate to power. For those of you who remember your science, it might be thought of as potential and kinetic energy. The word translated power speaks of God’s infinity capacity to accomplish whatever He chooses. There is no limit on His power other than His own holy character. The word translated working speaks of the activity of that power. Paul writes of God’s infinite power, powering out in his life the activity associated with the gracious gift God had given him. God’s grace never ceases its activity in our lives. God’s infinite power is also associated with the gracious gift(s) that God has given us. In His never-ceasing grace he empowers us to be part of His message to the world.