1 For this cause - That ye may be so "built together," I am a
prisoner for you gentiles - For your advantage, and for asserting your
right to these blessings. This it was which so enraged the Jews against
2 The dispensation of the grace of God given me in your behalf
- That is, the commission to dispense the gracious gospel; to you gentiles
in particular. This they had heard from his own mouth.
3 The mystery - Of salvation by Christ alone, and that both to
Jews and gentiles. As I wrote before - Namely, Eph 1:9,10; the very words
of which passage he here repeats.
5 Which in other - In former, ages was not so clearly or fully
made known to the sons of men - To any man, no, not to Ezekiel, so often
styled, "son of man;" nor to any of the ancient prophets. Those here spoken
of are New Testament prophets.
6 That the gentiles are joint - heirs - Of God. And of the same
body - Under Christ the head. And joint - partakers of his promise - The
communion of the Holy Ghost.
7 According to the gift of the grace of God - That is, the apostle
- ship which he hath graciously given me, and which he hath qualified me
for. By the effectual working of his power - In me and by me.
8 Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace
given - Here are the noblest strains of eloquence to paint the exceeding
low opinion the apostle had of himself, and the fulness of unfathomable
blessings which are treasured up in Christ.
9 What is the fellowship of the mystery - What those mysterious
blessings are whereof all believers jointly partake. Which was, in a great
measure, hidden from eternity by God, who, to make way for the free exercise
of his love, created all things - This is the foundation of all his dispensations.
10 That the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the
church - By what is done in the church, which is the theatre of the divine
12 By whom we have free access - Such as those petitioners have,
who are introduced to the royal presence by some distinguished favourite.
And boldness - Unrestrained liberty of speech, such as children use in
addressing an indulgent father, when, without fear of offending, they disclose
all their wants, and make known all their requests.