Therefore the understanding of this great mystery is the key to the ultimate solutions for which men are seeking today. The first paragraph in Chapter 3 is, in many ways, the key to this great letter of Paul to the Ephesian Christians. 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. 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). EPHESIANS 3:1-13 THE MYSTERY OF THE GOSPEL REVEALED THROUGH PAUL As you start this study, ask the Holy Spirit to help you understand what God has said through Paul. But now we come to the full statement of what it is. And we can live in that new creation right now. Ephesians 3:6 The words This mystery is are inferred from verse 4. It has already begun. He saw that Caesar was not the one who had the final say about him; Jesus did. 11 This fits God’s purpose for … 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. "A people who sat in darkness saw a great light," (Isaiah 9:2 RSV). But we know that one of these days, when the sun begins to shine, all these dead-looking cocoons will begin to break open, and there will emerge a beautiful creature, designed no longer for life on the lower level, crawling along over every obstacle, but able to rise above them, able to spread its wings and fly as an expression of beauty and joy throughout the world and nature. The mystery is speaking of the three heaven and earth ages which remain a mystery to most. RayStedman.org/permissions. (Romans 16:25-27 RSV). In Ephesians Paul speaks of mystery from many viewpoints, including the revelation of the mystery (3:3), the mystery of Christ (v. 4), the economy of the mystery (v. 9), the great mys-tery (5:32), and the mystery of the gospel (6:19), but he begins with a discussion of the mystery of His will (1:9). 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. 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 this context, this simply means, something that was hidden, but has now been revealed. 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. He tells us very plainly in his letter to the Galatians that when he was converted on that Damascus road, "I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it, but it came through a revelation of Jesus Christ," (Galatians 1:12 RSV). Amen. There is something about human beings which causes us to be fascinated by something hidden, secret, by cryptic truth which needs to be discovered and revealed. But now we come to the full statement of what it is. When you do, you will understand the practical import of this fantastic mystery which is at the heart of all life, and which God will begin to unfold to us more and more as we go on, until it simply 'blows our minds' with the wonder of what is waiting for us. Ephesians 2:16 and reconciling both of them to God in one body through the cross, by which He extinguished their hostility. 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. This is the biblical idea behind the word dispensation. 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. And then he saw only James, the Lord's brother, and they didn't talk about doctrine. There is always an element we don't understand. That is the brief statement he had written to these Ephesian Christians, and to which he refers. 1:18) to the throne of grace. "You have broken with all that. But personally I think it is a reference to what he has written previously in this letter. 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. And this creation has already begun! If you fulfill the flesh, there is no way by which you can keep from living in disharmony with people around you. The "mysteries" are the sacred secrets that God knows about life, which men desperately need to know. This chapter starts with the words “For this reason . And he recognizes that they were written on behalf of the Gentiles. 1. Message transcript and recording © 1972 by Ray Stedman Ministries, owner of sole copyright by assignment from the author. (Ephesians 3:4-6 RSV). But inside that cocoon, God is working a metamorphosis; a transformation is taking place. We don't know how to break loose from this syndrome. 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. Thus they had to acknowledge that he was an apostle on equal terms with them. 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. 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. 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