When I was 10 years old, I desperately wanted to be a great basketball player. I would play with my friends and peers everyday at recess and as often as I could after school. Then one day a high school basketball player came to our school offering an instructional session on basketball. I jumped at the chance. Why? Because he obviously was a better player than me, knew much more about the game than I, and was very successful in the sport. After all, he was on the local high school varsity team and no one was chosen for that unless they were really good. (as seen from the perspective of a 10 year old).
We all know that learning from someone who has ‘been there and done that’ is very valuable. This is true in our spiritual journey in discipleship as well. And there is no one better at it than Paul. In the list of Christ followers down through the ages, Paul was one of the first and still is among the top five. In the language of the basketball world, he not only made the high school varsity team, he would be picked up in the NBA and would become a superstar. He would be the first to tell you his shortcomings as a disciple even though he was hugely successful. By watching how he does things, we can learn a great deal from him.
This week we will be looking at one of the few texts in the New Testament, Ephesians 3:1-13, where Paul opens the door to his personal life. He shares about how he views and deals with difficult circumstances, how he sees his responsibility in God’s mission for him, and his view of his role toward others. This is great stuff for us to emulate.
- Views self as a prisoner of Christ (3:1)
- A prisoner of Christ is guided by the mission, Philippians 1:12-14
- A prisoner of Christ surrenders to God’s control, Matthew 26:39; Romans 12:1
- A prisoner of Christ is willing to suffer for the cause, Acts 9:15-16; John 15:18-20; 1 Peter 2:20
- Views self as a manager of God’s mystery, Ephesians 1:9-10; Colossians 1:26-27; Acts 10:9ff; Matthew 28:18-20; Galatians 1:6-9
- Views self as a servant for Christ