Ephesians 3:2 is a Bible verse from the New Testament, where Paul is declaring his mission to dispense grace to the Gentiles (non-Jews).
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, was a great preacher and teacher. Before He believed in Christ as Saviour, he persecuted the church and even supported and encouraged those who killed Christians.
His conversion from non-believer to believer was dramatic and miraculous (Acts 9). Paul was chosen by the Lord to bear His name to the Gentiles (Acts 9:15).
To understand what Paul is saying in Ephesians 3:2, let’s look at the word “grace”. The Hebrew meanings are: graciousness (as gratifying), of manner or act (abstract or concrete; literal, figurative or spiritual; especially the divine influence upon the heart, and its reflection in the life; including gratitude): - acceptable, benefit, favour, gift, grace (-ious), joy liberality, pleasure, thank, thankworthy.
Webster’s dictionary defines grace as: the love and favor of God toward human beings.
Quite simply, grace is the free gift of forgiveness of our sin debt. Jesus Christ paid the penalty for our sins with His life. If we accept this free gift and believe in Christ, we are forgiven and reconciled back to God’s fellowship.
Before Christ, there was a lengthy and complex set of laws and ceremonial sacrifices required for one to be considered clean from sin and acceptable before God.
With the shed blood of Jesus Christ, God established the New Testament of grace. The Old Testament of ordinances and rules was made obsolete, and the animal sacrifices were no longer necessary.
In Ephesians 3:2, Paul is saying that God gave him the ministry of the “dispensation of the grace of God.” The word “dispensation” in Hebrew means: administration (of a household or estate); specifically a (religious) “economy”: stewardship.
In sharp contrast to Paul's previous beliefs and way of life, God charged Paul with the responsibility to show people the way of Christ—freedom in grace. He was to administer, or steward God’s grace toward the Gentiles, those who were non-Jews. He was to teach and lead in the grace of God.
Even today, there are some who still practice religious rites or ordinances, as they were called in Bible days, to “cleanse” themselves from sin.
When we partake in these activities to wipe away our sins, or to be “acceptable” in the sight of God, we are actually rejecting the free gift of grace in Jesus Christ.
Be very careful to examine your motive of what you do in the name of “religion” or “service for God”. Ask yourself if you are doing it out of love and a thankful heart, or from guilt and obligation?
Doing work out of guilt and obligation denotes an element of fear, and therefore a deficiency of faith in Christ. On the cross, Jesus said, “It is finished,” speaking of the fulfillment of the law.
To fully accept the grace of God, we must believe that the sacrifice of Jesus Christ was enough to cover our sins—past, present and future. Nothing we could do—even if it was perfect—would ever come close to the shed blood of the Son of God.
Isaiah 64:6 says, “For all of us have become like one who is unclean, And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment…”
Don’t wear yourself out trying to be “good enough” or do “good enough.” Jesus Christ finished it, and He was enough.
Hold out your hand to Christ, believing, and accept His grace. Study the Bible verse of Ephesians 3:2 and the Book of Galatians for more on grace. Be free in Christ!
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