God’s grace comes on us as we work, as we release the activity, as we release the call to ministry. This applied to Paul, and it applies to all of us. God’s power working in us, working through us, that is the grace.
The Grace Of God Is Active
In Eph 3, Paul talks about the revelation he received about the mystery of Christ, and how he was made a minister of that. This was the gift of the grace of God.
Eph 3:7 Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power.
“Effectual” is “energeia” in the Greek, it is something which is active. So, the gift of grace doesn’t come as a thing that then sits in me, but it comes as I minister, it is an active thing. The grace of God is active. As I submit to the call of God, the power of God begins to work in me. It is that working of the power of God in me, in my act of ministry, which is the grace.
Eph 3:8 Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;
As God calls Paul to this ministry, He also restores him. He had persecuted the Church, but God restores him. He restores him by calling him to work very actively in the opposite spirit, to go out and preach the Gospel of the Kingdom to the Gentiles. And that is the grace of God, it is always there through the effectual working of His power.
The Grace Of God Is Working Inside And Outside
We can understand all the other verses in that way. Eph 3:9 talks about the fellowship of the mystery. The Body of Christ edifies itself by its members ministering to each other, and God’s grace flows into the Body. In Eph 3:10, principalities and powers see us actively ministering, receiving the grace of God. This is something that angels don’t have, it is a mystery to them.
Eph 3:20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us
Asking or thinking is preparation for ministry, God doing exceeding abundantly is working out of the ministry. In that was the answer to my question about ministry. He said: “start working, start doing something with what I have given you already.”
Peggy: He is conforming us to His image, and ministry is the outflowing of His nature.
Eph 3:17-19 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, (18) May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; (19) And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
This is God’s transforming grace, transforming our lives. Our foremost calling is to be conformed to His image.
Kai: In these Epistles, the Holy Spirit is knitting together the outer and the inner life. Paul begins with very deep spiritual things, but then invariably it goes out into practical things. The two are intimately connected. We cannot minister without the nature of Christ, and we cannot acquire the nature of Christ without working in ministry by the grace of God.