7 “Of this gospel I was made a minister according to the gift of God’s grace, which was given me by the working of his power. 8 To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ,” (Ephesians 3:7–8 (ESV)
The Apostle Paul continues his extended parenthesis, prior to his prayer on behalf of the Ephesians, in today’s text. When he uses the phrase of this gospel, he is referring the readers back to the preceding verse (Ephesians 3:6) which says, “This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.”
The Gospel is the true, biblical message that the God of the Bible exists and He is the One, True God. Secondly, that sin exists in every human being, not only by behavior but also by nature. Thirdly, that salvation, or deliverance, by God from sin’s penalty, power and eventual presence exists. Fourthly, that deliverance from sin is accomplished only by the person and work of Jesus Christ also exists (John 1:1-18).
Paul said that it was solely of this gospel that by God’s grace, or unmerited favor, that the apostle was made a minister. The word minister (διάκονος; diakonos) means one who serves. It is from this word that we derive our English word deacon ((Philip. 1:1; Rom. 16:1; Eph. 6:21; 1 Tim. 3:8, 12). However, one does not have to hold the church office of deacon in order to serve the Lord and the church.
The responsibility of being a servant, or minister of the gospel, was from God alone. God gave this ministry to Paul solely by the working of His divine power. The responsibility was not something Pau earned or for which he bargained. It was a sovereign gift from God.
Dr. John MacArthur writes, “No man can make himself a minister (lit., “servant”) of God, because the calling, message, work, and empowering of genuine ministry to and for God are his prerogative alone to give. See Acts 26:16; 1 Cor. 15:10; Col. 1:23, 25, 29.”
Have a blessed day in the Lord. May we all be the servants God has called us to be, wherever that service exists.
Soli deo Gloria!