The Mystery of Christ Eph. 3:1-12

 Ephesians 3:1-12 The Mystery of Christ CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO

Paul wrote Ephesians while in he was in Rome as a prisoner.  So in v. 1, when he says a prisoner…for you Gentiles, he is serious.  If he would have compromised the gospel and preached circumcision, he would have escaped imprisonment, Acts 28:25-28.  That word “Gentile” did him in.  Here he tells them about a “mystery” that God revealed to him.  The mystery is in v. 6.  Gentiles are fellow heirs and in the same body with Jesus, in the same body we saw yesterday, Rom 8:15-17; Gal 3:29.  Now let’s look at this mystery (v. 6) OBTAINED BY THE GOSPEL, by faith in Jesus.

  1. Revealed directly to Paul by God (v. 3)
    1. II Cor 12:1-4
    2. Gal 1:12
  2. Given to the Ephesians by a dispensation of God’s grace (v. 2)
    1. To minister, v. 7
    2. Grace given to Paul, v. 8
  3. Written down so we could understand it (v. 4)
  4. Hidden from the men in prior ages (v. 5a)
    1. Hidden in God from creation, v. 9
  5. Revealed to the apostle and prophets by the Spirit (v. 5b)
    1. I Cor 2:10-11
    2. Deut 29:29, secret before
    3. Called “unsearchable riches of Christ” v. 8
  6. Once obtained by the church, it was known to all, even principalities and powers in heavenly places (v. 10)
    1. Comp I Pet 1:10-12, angels look into
    2. Acts 1:7
    3. Matt 24:36
    4. Rev 10:4
  7. This was all according to his purpose (v. 11)
    1. Not a reaction to Jews’ rejection or anything else
    2. He knew what he would do before he made the world
    3. I Pet 1:20

Conclusion:  In spite of the fact that this kind of preaching got him locked up in jail:

  1. Paul was bold in teaching, preaching, and writing about this
  2. Paul was confident about his and their access to God directly as a result of faith in Jesus Christ (used to be separated by veil and under yoke of law through a priest)