We’re continuing through Paul’s letter to the Ephesian church. The apostle is now talking about his ministry to those under his care.
Surely you have heard about the administration of God’s grace that was given to me for you, that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation, as I have already written briefly.
Ephesians 3:2-3 NIV
Paul uses a very interesting phrase here that I don’t think we fully understand. He calls it the administration of God’s grace. This is an important concept.
The word, administration, specifically speaks of the management of a household. In a wealthy household, there was a manager who had oversight, making sure that everyone had what they needed. They distributed the food, clothing, wages, etc.
As an apostle, Paul was given the responsibility of distributing God’s grace to those under his care. As church leaders, we have that same responsibility. Jesus referred to this in Luke 12:42.
Power and authority always flow downward from God. That’s why I always need to make sure I’m submitted according to God’s plan. Then, I can receive all that the Lord has for me.
Paul says that there’s a mystery involved in this. He goes on to explain it.
This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus. I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God’s grace given me through the working of his power.
Ephesians 3:6-7 NIV
The Gospel of Jesus Christ has far-reaching effects. Paul tells us about the power of this Good News. As it started to do its work in establishing him, the grace of God began to have an effect. It called out to him – and he listened. In the same way, it’s clear that the Good News calls us to that same place of servanthood.
This means that we’re to become servants of the Good News and not servants of the law. This is the servanthood that we’re called to. Sons of God are servants of the Good News. We must live to serve the Good News.
What do I mean by this? We must serve the Good News just like a waiter serves your food. Think about it. In a rat-infested dive of a restaurant, they throw your food at you.
In a restaurant where they have “cuisine,” however, they’re not really serving you, but the food. Why do they have white tablecloths on the tables? Why the silver utensils, crystal goblets, and fine China? Do you think that the waiters wear tuxedos for you? Absolutely not!! All that finery is because they believe that THE FOOD is worthy.
Now think about church. It’s not a place of reverence anymore. Most congregations don’t even dress up these days. Spiritually speaking, people are coming out to eat less and less at these “restaurants of the Word.” This causes me to think that maybe the food isn’t as good as it once was. It just might be that we’re not serving the Gospel like we used to.
As a local pastor, I’m the executive chef of my spiritual restaurant. That makes me as much to blame as anyone for the quality of the spiritual food at my church. Then there’s the leadership team – they are the souse-chefs and maître de. Our church members are the waiters and waitresses.
Then there’s the fact that at a “high class” restaurant there are no prices on the menus. If you go there, you expect to pay whatever the meal costs. As the saying goes, “If you need to ask what the price is, then eat somewhere else.” Could it be that many American churches today are “spiritual dives?”
The truth is that we need a deeper understanding of the God’s grace. I need to understand my role as a servant. We need to learn to administer God’s grace and serve the Gospel as they did in the early church.
Question: What can we do to better serve the Good News of Jesus Christ?
© 2023 Nick Zaccardi