It seems there is a great contradiction at work here. And the one thing they did not know at all was that the life beyond death, resurrection life, could be made available to us while we are still living. Married to Sarah and father to five sons and one daughter, I shepherd Faith Baptist Church in Queens, New York City. Some propose one solution and some another; some are partially right, and some are almost totally wrong. 11 This fits God’s purpose for … (Ephesians 3:1-6 RSV). Here he begins to describe in full detail the great mystery which he had devoted his life to propagating around the world. The mystery is that God had joined the Jewish and Gentile believers into one body. This is the mystery, as Paul describes it to us, and as God wants us to understand it. The gospel, however, is altogether different. Other generations did not perceive the way in which the purposes of God intersected in the person and work of the Son of God.  By Paul’s time, it meant “a secret.” Mounce says it was “a matter to the knowledge of which initiation is necessary; a secret which would remain such but for revelation.” The word differs from the modern word mystery, which refers to a known but difficult problem that people try solve. Paul feels the weighty mysteriousness of the gospel because he too was once utterly blind and ignorant to the mystery of the gospel. The quantum theory, upon which much of modern physics is based, and which has unleashed the whole realm of nuclear fission, has at its heart, say the physicists, a principle of indeterminism, a hidden principle. On the one hand Jesus preaches in parables lest the people perceive, see and repent, and yet… there is an ‘and yet’, …To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God…. Then he is carried along from one truth to another until finally he gets back to what he started to say in the beginning. Paul was writing to a culture familiar with mystery cults and religions in which the governing principles, philosophies and knowledge were a closely guarded secret reserved for the initiates only. For this reason I, Paul, a prisoner for Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles— 2 assuming that you have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace that was given to me for you, 3 how the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I have written briefly. There are a few references -- just enough to teach the truth, so that the Old Testament believers knew there was life beyond death. Firwood Church,300 Middleton Road,Westwood,Oldham, OL9 6JH Subject to permissions policy, all rights reserved. We see that there are two elements to this opening of the mystery of the gospel. A striking example of this is found in First Corinthians 11, where he writes about the Lord's supper.  Apart from Paul, the same word, mysterion, is used on just seven other occasions throughout the rest of the New Testament and only in relation to the gospel on three of these occasions.. Some feel that he had written another letter before this, which had explained much of this mystery. Ephesians 3:6 The words This mystery is are inferred from verse 4. Ephesians 3:3 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓] Ephesians 3:3, NIV: "that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation, as I have already written briefly." This secret was first mentioned in Genesis 3:15 and was gradually unfolded in all the Scriptures till in the dispensation of the mystery Christ is fully revealed as Head of the church. Furthermore, he wants these Ephesians to know that they were benefiting by his arrest. This insight into God’s eternal redemptive plan had never been disclosed before. But it isn't over. "It was made known to me by revelation." While in Paul’s other epistles the mystery focuses on This is the biblical idea behind the word dispensation. The gospel is the open-secret, everyone is invited in, and yet the gospel remains mysterious because Christ is mysterious. Together, they were one new man. Here Paul does something that he does frequently (and only the Apostle Paul does this) -- he coins words. 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, 9 and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things, 10 so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. Paul refers to the mystery of Christ in Ephesians 3:4–5 that “has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets.” The first thing to note is that this was never a mystery to God, since He knows all things ( 1 John 3:20 ). Sometimes it is difficult for those who do not read Greek to see how Paul builds his letters. The secret was hidden to men of past ages. The apostle was concerned that the Christians to whom he was writing at this time in his life, the Ephesians, Philippians, and others, would understand why he was going through the struggles he was. When you read this you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; that is, how the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel. You may live your life as a member of the new creation -- in the midst of the old, but not part of it any more -- "no longer strangers, no longer foreigners," says the apostle. This mystery is made known to the rulers and authorities in the highest realms. This is what Christmas is all about. We don't know how to balance this. But Paul says this is not true. This tension runs through much of Paul’s thinking about the advance of the gospel, we ‘proclaim the mystery of the gospel’ (Ephesians 6:19). We don't know how to feed the world. I refer you to Matthew 13, where you have it recorded that our Lord spoke these amazing words. And here he makes up three words which you find nowhere else in the Greek New Testament. Thus they had to acknowledge that he was an apostle on equal terms with them. In conclusion, it will summarize the concept of “mystery” within Ephesians, offering implications and applications for believers in churches today. 8977-8979. When Einstein discovered his theory of relativity, very few people grasped it or understood it. It wasn't until fourteen years later that he ever had an opportunity to sit down and compare notes with all the other apostles. One day there will be a reversal of the law of decay, and all things will begin to pick up energy again and be renewed, revitalized, in tremendously increasing degree. We receive the gospel that we might become ambassadors of the gospel. This has nothing to do with any promise made to Abraham. W. Ephesians, Kindle ed. Ephesians 3:4 In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, Ephesians 3:6 This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are fellow heirs, fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus. All of this remained hidden. For Paul, the mystery is exposed in a very specific way. Ephesians 3:9 Or by. You will never find that taught in the Old Testament in those terms. He puts words together. They mobbed him and would have lynched him on the spot had it not been for the intervention of the Roman guard. Eph. Would that we had the faith of this mighty apostle who understood so clearly that Caesar was not in control; Jesus is. This is the way the apostle's mind worked. It is why the Scriptures say, "It is the glory of God to conceal a thing; but the glory of kings is to search it out," (Proverbs 25:2 RSV). And the power of the Spirit will always come flowing through right at that point, to enable us to do what otherwise we could never do. And there is much yet to be learned, even in this realm. This was hidden from them.  Apart from Paul making this connection, we would never have considered it. Our whole modern era was brought about by the discovery of a secret which was hidden in nature until the time when Einstein stumbled upon a few hints of it. Ephesians 1:17 That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: Acts 22:17,21 And it came to pass, that, when I was come again to Jerusalem, even while I prayed in the temple, I was in a trance; ….
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