Ephesians, Lesson 7.

Lesson 7

Ephesians 3: 1- 13, Mystery of Christ revealed

The word mystery appeared 3 times in this passage.

V 1, for this reason, I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for you Gentiles,

Paul called himself a prisoner of Jesus Christ, even though he was a prisoner of the Roman emperor Caesar Nero. Paul’s master was Jesus Christ. He was in jail for the Gentiles according to the will of Jesus Christ. The Jewish religious leaders were responsible for putting him into prison with trumped-up charges and false accusations.

V 2, if indeed you have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which was given to me for you,

Paul preached the gospel to the Gentiles by the grace of God in the dispensation of grace.

VV3-6, 3 how that by revelation He made known to me the mystery (as I have briefly written already, 4 by which, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ), 5 which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets: 6 that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel,

Greek for mystery is “musterion”, which means the mystery of a secret doctrine. This mystery of Christ was hidden in the Old Testament but now revealed to Paul by the Holy Spirit in the New Testament. Here is the mystery. Jesus Christ demolished the wall of separation between the Jews and the Gentiles, Ephesians 1:9-10. The Gentiles were reconciled with the Jews into a “one new man in Christ” called the Church, sharing the same body, same family, and same promise through the gospel.

Galatians 3:28, “In Christ, there are no Jews nor Gentiles, no slaves nor free, no male nor female, no Greek nor barbarians”.

V 7, of which I became a minister according to the gift of the grace of God given to me by the effective working of His power.

Paul was a minister to the Gentiles by God’s grace and the Holy Spirit’s empowerment. Greek for minister is “diakonos”, from which the word deacon is derived. ‘’Diakonos” means servant. Greek for power is “dunamis”, from which the word dynamite is derived. ‘’Dunamis” means strength or ability.

V 8, To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ,

Paul, the greatest of the apostles, called himself the least of the saints. Paul’s preaching ministry to the Gentiles was by the grace of God. Greek for preach is “kerugma”, which means proclamation. Greek for unsearchable is “aneksereunetos’, which means impossible to fully discover. The riches of Christ are beyond anyone’s capacity to fully discover.

VV 9-10, 9 and to make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ; 10 to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places,

The purpose of God revealing the mystery is to teach the manifold wisdom of God to the principalities and powers, the hierarchy of satan’s demonic spirits. Greek for principalities is ‘’archon”, which means satanic rulers.

VV 11-12, 11 according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord, 12 in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him.

Creating a “one new man in Christ” was God’s eternal purpose accomplished in Jesus Christ. Having been reconciled with God, we can come boldly before Him.

Hebrews 4: 14-16, “Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us, therefore, come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need”.

V 13, Therefore, I ask that you do not lose heart at my tribulations for you, which is your glory.

Therefore, do not be anxious, despair, or fear tribulations. Tribulations will work towards your glory. Greek for glory is “doxa”, which means splendor or excellence.

Romans 12:12, ESV, “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer”.

John 16:33, ESV, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world, you will have tribulation. But take heart, I have overcome the world.”

James 1:2. ESV, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds’’.

Romans 8:18, ESV, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present21 time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us”.

Romans 8:28, ESV, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose’’.