The Berean Expositor
Volume 54 - Page 201 of 210
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Practical Truth in Ephesians (8)
"I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith
yea are called" (Eph. 4:1)
The apostle Paul is described in Ephesians 3:1 as "the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you
Gentiles" and in Ephesians 4:1 as "the prisoner of the Lord". So, in C.H. Welch's
structure we have:
Doctrinal Section  F 3:1-13 The prisoner of Jesus Christ
Three-fold unity (vs. 6)
Practical Section
F 4:1-6
The prisoner of the Lord
Seven-fold unity (vs. 3-6)
No doubt most of us have read Ephesians so often that there is a danger that the
import of come of the words may escape us. To read it in another translation might
restore some of its freshness, so we will quote the first part of the Doctrinal section in the
rendering by Moffatt:
"For this reason I Paul, I whom Christ Jesus has made a prisoner for the sake of you Gentiles for
surely you have heard how the grace of God which was vouchasafed me in your interests has
ordered it, how the divine secret was disclosed to me by a revelation
(if you read what I have already written briefly about this, you can understand my insight into that
secret was not disclosed to the sons o men in other generations as it has now been revealed to His
sacred apostles and prophets by the Spirit),
namely, that in Christ Jesus the Gentiles are co-heirs, companions, and co-partners in the Promise.
Such is the gospel which I was called to serve by the endowment of God's grace which was vouch-
safed me, by the energy of His power..."
The words "For this reason" occur in verses 1 and 14, and in verses 2 to 13 we have a
parenthesis, which contains an explanation why he was called "the prisoner of Jesus
Christ (R.V. Christ Jesus) for you Gentiles".
In the Authorised Version verse 2 begins "If ye have heard which may imply some
measure of doubt. Moffatt translates it "Surely you have heard", and other renderings are
"If so be that" or "Seeing that doubtless". Thus, there is no question of doubt but rather
that they are being reminded of something they had already heard.
We may be puzzled by the statement in verse 3 "as I wrote before in a few words",
for we have no record of other writings by Paul to link with this statement. But it is
probable that the "few words" are a reference to what he had written earlier in the Epistle
to the Ephesians. If we look at chapters 1 and 2 we find at least seven phrases which tell
us of God's wonderful grace and blessing, and these are revelations which were not
known in his earlier writings.