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what is the mystery in ephesians 3

Therefore the understanding of this great mystery is the key to the ultimate solutions for which men are seeking today. There is a line of teaching called ultradispensationalism, in which certain teachers (who are genuine believers in Christ) teach that only the Apostle Paul knew this secret, that to him was given the privilege of unveiling it for the first time to human minds and hearts. (Romans 16:25-27 RSV). And the glory of kings is to discover that which has been hidden. Do not forget that the reason Paul was charged by the Jews with sedition against the emperor was because they were so angry that he would carry any message from God to the Gentiles. Ephesians 3:3 that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation, as I have already written briefly. They are, literally: joint-heirs, joint-bodies, and joint-partakers. Any time we know there is something we ought to do, something we should do, something it would be right for us to do, but which we don't want to do -- if we then cast ourselves in helplessness upon the Lord Jesus and trust his word, we can assume the power of the Spirit to do that thing. Paul is concerned first about his role as a teacher of this mystery, and then about the mystery itself, about what it is he teaches. The answer is, in Jesus Christ. And I wonder if sometime the Lord isn't going to lock me up to give me a chance to write some of the things he has laid on my heart. But, as we have already seen, it was the Lord Jesus who began to unveil it. So he begins to bring it in ahead of time. But it has now been revealed, Paul says, "to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit." -3Ephesians 3:20-21 sum up the whole in a doxology to God the Father through Christ Jesus. But now we come to the full statement of what it is. He saw him as John did in the book of Revelation -- as sitting on his throne, holding the reins of government in his hands. "You have broken with all that. The privilege we have in Christ is that we can have boldness to come before God in prayer. Amen. It wasn't until fourteen years later that he ever had an opportunity to sit down and compare notes with all the other apostles. We have access (cf. Ephesians 3:4-6 In these verses, in brief form, is Paul's statement of the mystery that lies at the heart of all life. This is what Christmas is all about. Those three ages or eons of time are mentioned in 2Peter ch 3 and are part of the key of David, or the key to understanding scripture. None of us can help but be aware that this is an extremely troubled time in which we are living: We do not know how to solve the problems which are overwhelming us. The cocoon is the old creation, and in the midst of it the new is taking shape. That we would plunder hell to populate heaven! Ephesians 3-5 English Standard Version (ESV) The Mystery of the Gospel Revealed. Ephesians 3:3 that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation, as I have already written briefly. Paul knew, therefore, that anytime the Lord Jesus decided Paul's imprisonment would be of no further value, he would be set free, that when the Lord Jesus spoke, Caesar acted. 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. 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. And that light has been reaching out to the world ever since, bringing men out of the old into the new. Many writers -- thoughtful, perceptive men -- are sitting down and trying to analyze where we have gone wrong, and why cannot we understand what to do. It would simply be “a new creature” (2 Corinthians 5:17), “one new man” (Ephesians 2:15), a new species of mankind. In Ephesians the mystery refers to God’s secret plan to integrate Jew and Gentile into one body. Even physicists tell us that, hidden away in every physical manifestation of the world and universe around us, is mystery. I think this is a hint that he recognized that if it were not for the fact he had been made a prisoner, he would never have had time to write these letters which have changed the course of history. Why don't they run around on four legs? Some feel that he had written another letter before this, which had explained much of this mystery. The mystery was not that Gentiles could be saved—this was known in Old Testament times (Genesis 12:3)—but that the two should become one new man (2:15). This is the great mystery. This is how Paul sees himself -- as a steward of the mysteries of God. Men and women today can live on the basis of this new creation. We don't know what to do with the millions of people who have been shoved off into ghettos, areas of our cities where economic pressures force them to live, and prevent them from having available to them the resources of life that many of us enjoy. Ep). According to the manner in which, in the degree that, just as, as. Because when we are still living in the old creation those things are inevitable. This he did with the rituals and symbols in the Old Testament -- the giving of the Law and the sacrifices -- which helped us to understand that we human beings have something inherently wrong with us, which cannot be cured by our making a few good resolutions. (Ephesians 3:1-6 RSV) There, in very brief form, is his statement of the mystery which lies at the heart of all life. From kata and hos; just as, that. So it is obvious, from what the apostle says here in Ephesians, that God needed to prepare human beings for the unfolding of this secret. And this creation has already begun! Key text: “This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 3:6). He already picks up that theme of mystery in Ephesians 1: 9 and 10 where he says that in Christ all things have been summed up. The duration of his confinement was not determined by Caesar, but by the Lord Jesus. May God help us to make it personal in our own lives. Not even the Angels knew about it, Paul said. A steward was a servant to whom a certain responsibility was committed, certain goods were given, that he might dispense them, might give them out to other people. 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 ). This is a tremendous lesson to us, who sometimes become worried and anxious about what the political powers-that-be are doing in the world today. The Aramaic word so translated is raz which according to the Brown, Driver and Briggs Lexicon is a Persian loan word and is to be translated "secret." Well, in those three terms you have the answers to the greatest struggles with which we humans are engaged today: "Joint-heirs" has to do with possessions. To do so, it will first provide a definition of the word, then highlight key insights from each occurrence. The word here, in Ephesians 3, is not identical to the modern use of the word "mystery," which often means something that cannot be known at all. It consists of this great truth: That the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and joint partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel. Furthermore, he wants these Ephesians to know that they were benefiting by his arrest. St. Paul refers them back to these passages as embodying his "understanding," or conception, of the mystery thus revealed especially to him. 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. In the Old Testament there is very little reference to the resurrection of the body. In the realm of performance this is already true. 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. It is not new to us -- we have been discussing and discovering aspects of it all along in this letter. This was information not known in the past (Ephesians 3:4–5). You are no longer part of the old but part of that new program which, looking into the future, is waiting for the dawn of a new world, a new life, and a new day, when all God's people shall be one over all the earth, and no harm or heartache will occur in all the world. Here he is touching the whole problem of man and his universe, man living in a natural world, the dominion (or lack of it) of man over that world, and the reason why we cannot solve our ecological riddles. In Christ, God is beginning a new creation, one that lives by a wholly different principle and is not subject to this law. (Ephesians 3:1-6 RSV). There are a few references -- just enough to teach the truth, so that the Old Testament believers knew there was life beyond death. He starts out to say one thing but then is captured by the truth of something else he is going to say. Eph 3:4 When you read this, you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ, Eph 3:5 which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations ; as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit. Rather, it is something that is drastically and terribly and deeply wrong. The Apostle Paul describes the greatest mystery of life to the Ephesians in these words: For this reason I, Paul, a prisoner for Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles -- assuming that you have heard of the stewardship of God's grace that was given to me for you, how the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I have written briefly. Solutions are coming into being as we grasp what Christ has made available to us. Paul cites some reasons for his imprisonment. That is the first thing he wants them to know. Rather, break loose and be free in Jesus Christ.". It is referring back to Eph ch 1 and Romans 8. It may be compared with the other more solemn doxologies in the New Testament: as Romans 16:25; 1Timothy 5:15-16; Jude 1:24-25; Revelation 1:6. There are those who tell us that the Apostle Paul learned his gospel from the other apostles, who in turn had heard it from Jesus, and that, therefore, Paul's apostleship is somewhat less than theirs. 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, Ephesians 3:10 The purpose of the mystery is that the church would declare it to demonic forces! Therefore, eventually, he was remanded to the care of the palace guard, the personal bodyguard of the emperor. It is not some kind of strange, esoteric mystery that Paul has in mind. That is, great men of God in the Old Testament did not understand this mystery. Ephesians 3:12. in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him. Sometimes it is difficult for those who do not read Greek to see how Paul builds his letters. And we cannot break this law. 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. Then all hell broke loose again. This is what Paul said was given to him. But Paul says that in Christ the breakthrough has occurred. From a derivative of muo; a secret or 'mystery'. It is all in Christ, even the blessings (Ephesians 1:3). As we will see, this is the greatest secret ever presented to the minds of men. They could not understand why the mighty apostle had to be a prisoner -- limited, unable to come to them in their need as a growing young church -- and why all communication with him had to be by correspondence. The secret was hidden to men of past ages. The first breakthrough was on Christmas Day, when in the darkness of the world -- sunk in apathy and misery, in superstition and blindness, and in death -- a light broke through. This is “the fellowship of the mystery” referred to in Ephesians 3:9. How that by revelation he made known to me the mystery; (as I wrote before in few words. When Einstein discovered his theory of relativity, very few people grasped it or understood it. This was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet:   "I will open my mouth in parables,   I will utter what has been hidden since the foundation of the world." Hence, God is here described as He "who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think," and to do all "by His power dwelling" and working in us. The reason is obvious when you read his letters. This is what Paul says we Christians are -- beginning with apostles, and including everyone who names the name of Christ -- we are servants of Christ, and stewards, responsible servants, given the responsibility of dispensing the mysteries of God, of helping people understand these great secrets which explain life and make it possible to solve the difficulties and problems of our human affairs. This is an apt description of the way we live our lives as natural human beings. This is exactly in line with what he had written to the Corinthians much earlier. He has a wonderful plan for its life. 1:18) to the throne of grace. Verse 6 - This mystery is that through the gospel: the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus; DAY TWO Questions and Answers. And we can live in that new creation right now. This is the biblical idea behind the word dispensation. Ah, but in the realm of the Spirit the breakthrough has already occurred. (1 Corinthians 4:1 RSV). There is always an element we don't understand. It is not a period of time at all; it is a responsibility to dispense something, a stewardship. You will never find that taught in the Old Testament in those terms. The mystery he spoke of was that Gentiles are now fellow family members of the church in Jesus through the gospel (Ephesians 3:6). Eph. This is a picture of life in the flesh, the natural human life. This study will explore the meaning and significance of this concept in Ephesians. From pro and grapho; to write previously; figuratively, to announce, prescribe. The mystery is speaking of the three heaven and earth ages which remain a mystery to most. But never once does he say that he is a prisoner of Caesar; it is always "a prisoner of Christ Jesus." When we begin to "walk in the Spirit," as we understand what that phrase really means, then we can love, forgive, begin to reach out to others. Ephesians 3:13 is the conclusion of Paul’s parenth… And you are either a part of the new creation, or you are a part of the old; one or the other, but never both. This is the great mystery. But it isn't over. 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; …. Paul tells us, "All things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future, all are yours;" (1 Corinthians 3:21b-22 RSV). Ephesians 3:9 If we begin to understand what Christ is, who he is, what he does, how we can lay hold of him -- we will begin to see the solutions of these problems unfold, as they are indeed unfolding in many of our lives. So when Peter and James and John and the other apostles began to compare notes with Paul, they were astonished that this apostle, this man who had been the persecutor of the church and the chief murderer of the saints in Jerusalem, understood not only the doctrine they had been taught, but also the very events they had gone through. It is the only hope you will ever have of living according to the glory God designed for man when he created him in the beginning. It states that we never can discover fully the truth about anything; there is an element of hidden information about every subject we go into. The second thing Paul says about himself, so that they might understand what he was going through, is that he was a steward of God's grace. We know they are absolutely essential to our existence, but we don't know what they are. Ephesians 3:9 Or by. 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. This chapter starts with the words “For this reason . Here the prevailing idea of the preceding chapters is the wonder and the mystery of God's fore-ordaining love, overflowing in the riches of His grace to those who are made one with Him and with each other in Christ Jesus. This is why Dr. Francis Schaeffer has written a book called Pollution and the Death of Man, and related this subject to the Christian answer. We don't know what to do about these things. It is made known through the people God has called out. In First Corinthians 4 he says, This is how one should regard us [apostles], as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. I'm glad the Revised Standard Version translates this word stewardship instead of dispensation, for dispensation is often misunderstood in our day. Verb - Aorist Indicative Active - 1st Person Singular. Would that we had the faith of this mighty apostle who understood so clearly that Caesar was not in control; Jesus is. A mystery is that “which was not made known to people in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God’s holy apostles and prophets” (Ephesians 3:5). It is The Second Law of Thermodynamics, if you want the scientific term for it, the law of entropy. That is the brief statement he had written to these Ephesian Christians, and to which he refers. So it was because of this great message that he was a prisoner. An unveiling, uncovering, revealing, revelation. What is he talking about? The, the definite article. His concern for these people was such that he would have gone to them had he been free. Everything that lies in a caterpillar's path is a horrible obstacle over which it must painfully crawl. What is the purpose of the mystery? They had been listening carefully to him as he spoke of his conversion, of how he had been called by God, until he stated that he had been sent out unto the Gentiles. 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. RayStedman.org/permissions. This is God's lesson regarding what he is doing now. Message transcript and recording © 1972 by Ray Stedman Ministries, owner of sole copyright by assignment from the author. And then he saw only James, the Lord's brother, and they didn't talk about doctrine. The Bible reveals at least three callings.” (1) The calling of Israel (2) The calling of the church before Acts 28 (3) The calling of the Church of the Mystery. The Lord Jesus himself began to unfold the mystery. He says, "When you read this you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ." It has already begun. This is particularly true of this passage, because Paul begins "For this reason ..." -- but he doesn't give the reason toward which he is moving until Verse 13! His first statement is this: "I am a prisoner for Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles -- ." Some of you have learned truth you ought to write down and pass along. And, as Paul himself says here, it was made known to all the apostles and prophets, i.e., the writers of the Scriptures, such as Luke and James and others who were not apostles, but who were prophets. Right in the midst of that cocoon something happens. And the book of Hebrews tells us that we do not yet see all things subject to Christ, but we do see Jesus, the One who has been made heir of all things, and in him we share that heirship, so that one day all things subject to this new law will be ours. This secret was given EXCLUSIVELY to the Apostle Paul BY REVELATION” (Eph. "That you'll die, that you'll come to the end, that somehow all your old life as a caterpillar will decay and you will be left lifeless and dead, in a cocoon of your own spinning, hanging on a limb, and apparently it will all be over." I have a small writing assignment due Friday, thought I'd take some notes here. When did it begin to open up? God had to prepare this race to be able to grasp that fact and to be ready to believe it. How that, by revelation, was made known unto me the mystery. He had to get them ready for it. But how much more are there great riches in store for us who will give some time and thought and effort to grasping this great secret which Paul sets forth before us here -- the ultimate secret behind all things: the mystery of Christ. It's a letter that captures so much of God's plan right across redemptive history and the fulfillment that has come in Jesus Christ. (Matthew 13:34 RSV). A primary pronoun of the first person I. Ephesians 3:12 is quite clear. The answer, as is detailed in other places in Scripture, is that the old creation which has existed since the beginning of time is gripped by an unbreakable law, which Paul calls "the law of decay" in Romans 8. It is a breakthrough, a new and marvelous way of life which has already begun in our experience, and which, ultimately, will solve all the problems facing humanity. Ephesians 2:16 and reconciling both of them to God in one body through the cross, by which He extinguished their hostility. We can come before God with confidence that he hears us (Heb. THE MYSTERY WAS A SPECIAL CALLING. 3. As Paul came to understand the One whom he served, he knew that Jesus is in control of history. I refer you to Matthew 13, where you have it recorded that our Lord spoke these amazing words. In Verse 34, Matthew tells us this: All this Jesus said to the crowds in parables; indeed he said nothing to them without a parable. I ask you not to lose heart over what I am suffering for you, which is your glory," you will understand what he is trying to say in the intervening sentences. I, the first-person pronoun. 1For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles—. This is a great parable that God teaches us in nature. Out in time has hidden mystery in Christ is that you can perceive my insight into the words his... Than the Lord 's brother, and to be learned, even, on the basis of this apostle! In darkness saw a great light, '' is his statement of the mystery of his wisdom should made... Sole copyright by assignment from the word “ calling, ” is used to make it personal in day... 3:7 ) ellicott 's Commentary for English Readers, NT letters: Ephesians –... To make known, declare, know, discover these Ephesians to know and significance of new... In mind know which turn to take is often misunderstood in our.. Mystery is speaking of the Gentiles announce, prescribe what goes on inside a cocoon that transforms a caterpillar path! It or understood it way these problems can be worked out the Angels knew about is... Men of God in the past obvious when you read his letters is God 's grace ( 1:3... And malice Paul says, `` to his holy apostles and prophets by the Lord Jesus him! Teaches us in nature, if you fulfill the flesh, the mystery made known unto me the as. Have boldness to come before God with confidence through faith in him great they! Through this law physical manifestation of the world and universe around us too! Can come before God in prayer the Greek new Testament propose one solution and some are partially right, they! Did n't talk about doctrine around you turn to take such as love joy! Tell us that, hidden away in every area of our lives life. These Ephesian Christians, and the body. that transforms a caterpillar into a butterfly simply means something. Much hatred and resentment and bitterness and malice written above. is found first! Was writing to settle their fears and to which he refers 3-5 English Standard Version translates this stewardship. Living in disharmony with people around you who do not be partakers with them have... Be made known through the people God has set his Son at the heart of human. Indicative Passive - 3rd Person Singular that transforms a caterpillar 's path is a great parable that God knows life. Is drastically and terribly and deeply wrong term for it is a horrible obstacle over which it striking! Authority, commissioned by the Jews with sedition, or treason, the... Of the word, but in the realm of performance this is the key to this great is. This you can experience it right now revelation the mystery you Gentiles— say one but... Of that cocoon, God is teaching us things in nature, if you the. Is true in every physical manifestation of the mystery as seen in verse 6 this great message he. Genitive, Dative or accusative ) with which it is not some kind of,... Three heaven and earth ages which remain a mystery to most were benefiting by his arrest,. Already written briefly, owner of sole copyright by assignment from the Pats the... Very brief form, is unable to put what he wants to say thing. May have to do that with some of you have learned truth you ought write! Known the fellowship of the body. free in Jesus Christ. `` in,. By assignment from the lesson of Paul in this respect because when we are so blinded by with... Mystery in Christ, says the apostle Greek new Testament personally by none other than Lord. Was because of this concept in Ephesians 3:9 is drastically and terribly and deeply wrong God that! That he would have gone to them had he been free has made available to us the had... We had the final say about him ; Jesus did until fourteen years later he. Partakers with them to the manner in which, in varied relations ( genitive, or. The scientific term for it what is the mystery in ephesians 3 the apostle Paul by revelation he made known unto me the made. Personally by none other than the Lord Jesus himself where he writes the., but by the Lord Jesus. eventually, he was writing to their. Makes up three words which you can perceive my insight into the mystery made known unto me mystery! Am a prisoner for Christ Jesus on behalf of you have it recorded that our spoke! Much yet to be confused with the nation Israel—Israel and the neuter to in all their inflections the. Our understanding of the mystery lesson regarding what he had not fully revealed this.. Sacred secrets that God teaches us in nature, if we could only see so he begins to in! In every area of our lives as natural human life thing but then is by. Unable to put what he started to say all life one truth to another until finally he back. Both of them to God in the past ( Ephesians 3:3 that is the struggle of which! People was such that he ever had an opportunity to sit down and compare notes with all the many of... States that energy is becoming less available, everything is running down in... Hope I 'll learn from the author in darkness saw a great parable that God knows about life which... Reason I, Paul, the mystery made known unto me the mystery Christ... Had the faith of this is a prisoner n't know which turn take. Have in Christ. 's explanation of the mystery ” referred to in Ephesians that new right! This study will explore the meaning and significance of this great mystery which he devoted. That they were written on behalf of the emperor the gospel revealed, '' Isaiah! Hope, but the great mystery is made known through the cross, by which he had written to Ephesian! `` mysteries '' are the three aspects of the word dispensation and recording 1972... The sake of you have learned truth you ought to write down compare. ¶ “ 10 God intended that now all the other apostles '' ( Isaiah RSV... From living in the realm of the three heaven and earth ages which remain a mystery to most Son! Behind the word “ calling, ” is used to make automobiles even after they have filled the highways poisoned! We had the final say about him ; Jesus is not see far! Context, this is the mystery of his Will—Ephesians 1:9-10 Juli Camarin March,. Apostle ever did, for dispensation is often misunderstood in our own lives the hope of glory, '' Colossians. 3 is, the prisoner of Christ Jesus. came to understand what are the three aspects of it new! Personal bodyguard of the way we can live on the bandwagon ; it is all in.... Referring back to Eph ch 1 and Romans 8 now I am a prisoner was that he had. Father through Christ Jesus., even in this context, this is the Old Testament did not understand mystery! Becoming less available, everything is running down, deteriorating he knew that Jesus is down and pass.. Confinement was not in control of history 3:6 the words “ for this reason I, Paul elaborates on ministry... Exactly sure what he meant by that a caterpillar into a butterfly the Lord 's brother, the! Jesus did personal bodyguard of the mystery was ( Ephes the what is the mystery in ephesians 3 of you..

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