This is what gives Paul his authority. God knows that we all want to be kings, that we are made to reign. 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. The word “calling,” is used to make known dispensational truth. 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. This is exactly in line with what he had written to the Corinthians much earlier. And God understands this. There are a few references -- just enough to teach the truth, so that the Old Testament believers knew there was life beyond death. This is where we get our understanding of the authority of this great apostle. We can learn how to handle our environment, even, on the basis of this new creation yet today. 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. RayStedman.org/permissions. 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. "You have broken with all that. 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. 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. 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. 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. It is The Second Law of Thermodynamics, if you want the scientific term for it, the law of entropy. is being mysteriously worked out in time. Our Lord, then, began to unfold this mystery, to tell us things that were hidden from the very foundation of the world. There is no way we can break through this law. This is why the ecological problems of today are unsolvable. I refer you to Matthew 13, where you have it recorded that our Lord spoke these amazing words. We are unable to stem the tide of broken marriages, and so our divorce rate is higher than that of any other nation in the world. What is the purpose of the mystery? Ephesians 3:6 The words This mystery is are inferred from verse 4. This is true in every area of our lives. This is the struggle of humanity which is answered by our becoming "joint-members of one body." "A people who sat in darkness saw a great light," (Isaiah 9:2 RSV). 2:11–22, Paul reminded his Gentile readers that they had previously been outside of God’s unfolding plan of redemption—at least in an ethnic and practical sense. 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. 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. One of these days, Springtime is going to come to the world, and when it comes, what God as already been preparing will then become manifest. Why don't they run around on four legs? Romans 16:25 Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, Ephesians 1:9-11 Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: …, Ephesians 2:11-22 Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; …. Personal / Possessive Pronoun - Dative 1st Person Singular. 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. All of this, again, like everything we have in Christ, is (at the end of verse 12) ours through faith alone in Christ alone. And he recognizes that they were written on behalf of the Gentiles. Furthermore, he wants these Ephesians to know that they were benefiting by his arrest. Everything that lies in a caterpillar's path is a horrible obstacle over which it must painfully crawl. Instead, God’s will or plan was a mystery in the sense that it was once not revealed or known, but is now revealed. It is not a period of time at all; it is a responsibility to dispense something, a stewardship. Ephesians 3:9 From kata and hos; just as, that. But inside that cocoon, God is working a metamorphosis; a transformation is taking place. This is a great parable that God teaches us in nature. God has set his Son at the heart of all things. 3:3). It is all in Christ, even the blessings (Ephesians 1:3). The duration of his confinement was not determined by Caesar, but by the Lord Jesus. An unveiling, uncovering, revealing, revelation. The remarkable thing about it is that you can experience it right now. He saw him as John did in the book of Revelation -- as sitting on his throne, holding the reins of government in his hands. Here Paul does something that he does frequently (and only the Apostle Paul does this) -- he coins words. The first paragraph in Chapter 3 is, in many ways, the key to this great letter of Paul to the Ephesian Christians. Ephesians 3:9 Or by. 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. 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! But if we see it as a stewardship we will understand it. 2]. 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. There is the mystery: The first thing he says about it is that it has been hidden in the past. Nobody has yet ever found out what goes on inside a cocoon that transforms a caterpillar into a butterfly. 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. Ephesians 3:9 And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: Romans 11:25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. They mobbed him and would have lynched him on the spot had it not been for the intervention of the Roman guard. It would simply be “a new creature” (2 Corinthians 5:17), “one new man” (Ephesians 2:15), a new species of mankind. Eph. You see, the thing which was not taught in the Old Testament was the resurrection of Jesus, and the effects of it in our lives right now. Hence, in English, the idea would be more clearly expressed by "I have written above." This is the mystery, as Paul describes it to us, and as God wants us to understand it. 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. This is God's lesson regarding what he is doing now. And one of these days that cocoon will open, in the Springtime of the world, and a new being will step out -- a being which is being created at this time right within the cocoon. This secret was given EXCLUSIVELY to the Apostle Paul BY REVELATION” (Eph. 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. If you and I had been in Rome with Paul as he wrote this letter, and could have stood in the room of the hired house where he was living, chained day and night to a Roman soldier, and watched as he dictated to his amanuensis, his secretary, watched him as he paced the floor, perhaps, with the soldier having to walk along with him, stopping now and then to make corrections, we would have understood something of Paul's concern for the recipients of this letter. Paul himself, and all the other apostles, would deny this. We don't know what to do about these things. Ephesians 3:15 Or from whom all fatherhood; the Greek word patria in verse 15 is closely related to the word for Father in verse 14. (Ephesians 3:4-6 RSV). In the realm of performance this is already true. Neuter of hostis as conjunction; demonstrative, that; causative, because. Why can't we get along with one another? That is the first thing he wants them to know. No, the word "mystery" in Ephesians 3 means – something that was hidden, but has now been revealed. And here he makes up three words which you find nowhere else in the Greek New Testament. I don't know if anyone has told "The Four Spiritual Laws" to a caterpillar, but it would be interesting to do so, because the first point would be, "God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life." Solutions are coming into being as we grasp what Christ has made available to us. Scholars are not exactly sure what he meant by that. 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." 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. He may have to do that with some of us, too. Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers, NT Letters: Ephesians 3:3 How that by revelation the mystery was (Ephes. We don't know how to feed the world. From pro and grapho; to write previously; figuratively, to announce, prescribe. Don't go on any longer subject to all the heartache and misery and malice and hatred and resentment and oppression which comes from the old creation. . For permission to use this content, please review They died in hope, but that hope was not very well defined. You will never find that taught in the Old Testament in those terms. The reason is obvious when you read his letters. Ephesians 3:12. in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him. The Lord Jesus himself began to unfold the mystery. Let’s first notice what Paul says about this mystery. 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! Men and women today can live on the basis of this new creation. When they come to Christ, Jews and Gentiles together are joint heirs, joint members of one body, and joint partakers of the promise. So it was because of this great message that he was a prisoner. When Paul spoke to the Jewish mob in his own defense, after he was arrested in the temple courts, the thing which triggered their renewed ire was the word Gentile in his message. Ephesians 3, Verses 10-13 ¶“ 10 God intended that now all the many sides of his wisdom should be made known. Ephesians 2:16 and reconciling both of them to God in one body through the cross, by which He extinguished their hostility. 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). 3 For this reason I, Paul, a prisoner of 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. Would that we had the faith of this mighty apostle who understood so clearly that Caesar was not in control; Jesus is. "It was made known to me by revelation." 11 This fits God’s purpose for … His concern for these people was such that he would have gone to them had he been free. To make known, declare, know, discover. DAY 1 Read Ephesians 3:1-13 three times. He was Caesar's prisoner. We continue to make automobiles even after they have filled the highways and poisoned the air. But, as we have already seen, it was the Lord Jesus who began to unveil it. Each has its distinctive character. If God has made known His precious, glorious secret, which He purposed for us in Christ before the foundation of the world, why should any child of God be ignorant concerning the mystery of God’s will? Now I am called by God to make known the fellowship of this mystery. 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. Even physicists tell us that, hidden away in every physical manifestation of the world and universe around us, is mystery. A primary particle; down, in varied relations (genitive, dative or accusative) with which it is joined). We don't know how to balance this. Amen. A striking example of this is found in First Corinthians 11, where he writes about the Lord's supper. 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. God had to prepare this race to be able to grasp that fact and to be ready to believe it. We don't know how to break loose from this syndrome. This is the way the apostle's mind worked. Here was a man who spoke with direct authority, commissioned by the Lord Jesus himself. It is not some kind of strange, esoteric mystery that Paul has in mind. "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." 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; …. When did it begin to open up? 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. This is “the fellowship of the mystery” referred to in Ephesians 3:9. The mystery he spoke of was that Gentiles are now fellow family members of the church in Jesus through the gospel (Ephesians 3:6). -3Ephesians 3:20-21 sum up the whole in a doxology to God the Father through Christ Jesus. Every now and then we run across someone who says, usually in defense of Women's Liberation, that Paul was a crusty old bachelor whom no one can really trust, and that we must understand that he was conditioned by the culture of his time, and that therefore one must pick and choose among his writings. So he invents new ones. His first statement is this: "I am a prisoner for Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles -- ." From a derivative of muo; a secret or 'mystery'. As Paul came to understand the One whom he served, he knew that Jesus is in control of history. The reference is one of those parenthetical remarks, which, to those remembering how St. Paul's Epistles were dictated, almost irresistibly suggest insertion on the reading over of the Epistle. 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. As we will see, this is the greatest secret ever presented to the minds of men. But the reason they cannot grasp the answer is that they have never dealt with the heart of the problem, the great secret to all things. He saw that Caesar was not the one who had the final say about him; Jesus did. Read verse in New International Version As I wrote afore in few words.--The reference is to the brief notice in Ephesians 1:10-14, and to the further explanation in Ephesians 2:11-22. He starts out to say one thing but then is captured by the truth of something else he is going to say. "Stop going on in the old way. This is what Christmas is all about. This is what Paul said was given to him. 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. 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. 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. How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery. 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. There, in very brief form, is his statement of the mystery which lies at the heart of all life. Rather, break loose and be free in Jesus Christ.". 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. But this is what the apostles were teaching -- that God has already broken through the old creation, and, right in the midst of the old, he is creating a new. And the glory of kings is to discover that which has been hidden. 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. Some feel that he had written another letter before this, which had explained much of this mystery. Ephesians 3:12 is quite clear. I'm glad the Revised Standard Version translates this word stewardship instead of dispensation, for dispensation is often misunderstood in our day. Men of past ages Israel—Israel and the glory of kings is to discover that which been! Teaching us things in nature all in Christ, even the blessings ( Ephesians 3:3 that is and! The Second law of Thermodynamics, if we see it as a steward of the mystery ” referred in... Including the feminine he, and they did n't talk about doctrine in remembrance of me '. Is an apt description of the Spirit the breakthrough has occurred figuratively, to know then... Transcript and recording © 1972 by Ray Stedman Ministries, owner of sole copyright by from. 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