Ephesians 3:1-13 begins with Paul reminding the Ephesian church that he is a prisoner of Christ, which usurps the fact that he is physically in prison. This portion ends (v13) with an encouragement to "not lose heart over what I am suffering for you, which is your glory". Suffering is for a purpose. Paul dispensed God's grace to the Gentiles, which caused the Jews to be hostile to him. This led to imprisonment. Through his preaching, many Gentiles came to Christ, which was their glory!
Verses 2-13 is one long thought that speaks to "how the mystery was made known to me by revelation as I have written briefly." This word revelation means "taking the lid off" and means to remove the cover and expose to open view that which was not visible or known. Verses 4-5 show us that the mystery was revealed through the Holy Spirit. We know that the only way to truly understand the Bible is through the revelation of the Holy Spirit that shows us it's Truth. Natural man cannot comprehend the deep Truths apart from the Spirit.
Verse 6 reveals that the "mystery" is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel. This mystery is not something mysterious, but is a sacred secret hidden in Ages past but now revealed. They mystery is not that Gentiles would be saved, for the Old Testament gave evidence of that, but rather that believing Jews and Gentiles are joined together. This was a scandalous statement because Jews and Gentiles were as opposite as they come. They mystery is that ONLY God could make enemies more than simply cordial or civil, but make them a family in one body. 1+1=1.
We have a Father that wants us to know Him, and He wants to show us His heart. We don't serve a God of hide-and-seek. We all have access to His Truth!
Paul goes on to explain his ministry in verses 7-12 in that he was:
- to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ -
A. We have a father who delights in revealing himself to us
B. We will never know EVERYTHING about our infinite God
bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God, who created
all things so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known
A. manifold - diverse, various, multi-colored
Revelation (and suffering) brings:
To Discuss Today:
- We are constantly being formed or deformed as we go through life. Formation comes from the Truth, but we are deformed by the world. Unity comes only through Jesus Christ. What ideologies, philosophies, or theories could trip you up and deceive you from the Truth?
- The more that is revealed to you leads to humility and worship in the Spirit. If you are walking in the flesh, what does this knowledge lead to? How do you guard against that desire?
- Choose to read the Word this week. Before you begin reading, ask the Holy Spirit to illuminate the Truth that only He can reveal to you. Ask Him to transform you through the understanding of the Word.