(1) Walk Thru The Word: Ephesians 3: 1-16  (ESV)  The Uncircumcised of Heart are Alienated from God

1For this reason I, Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles— 2assuming that you have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace that was given to me for you, 3how the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I have written briefly. 4When you read this, you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ, 5which 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. 6This mystery isa that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.

(2) Walk Thru The Word: Ephesians 3: 7-12  (ESV)  Paul was made a minister of the gospel

7Of this gospel I was made a minister according to the gift of God’s grace, which was given me by the working of his power.  8To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ,  9and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages inb God, who created all things,  10so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. 11This was according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord, 12in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him. 13So I ask you not to lose heart over what I am suffering for you, which is your glory.

Footnotes:

a 6 The words This mystery is are inferred from verse 4

b 9 Or by

c 15 Or from whom all fatherhood; the Greek word patria in verse 15 is closely related to the word for Father in verse 14

(3) Message map Ephesians 2: 11-22

Ephesians lesson #6

“The Church is a mystery that combines Both Jew & Gentile in Christ””

Eph 3: 1-2 Paul is a prisoner of Christ To Serve His Church (Defined in Eph 2: 19-22)

  • Eph 3: 3-5 Paul Received 3By revelation 4insight into the mystery of Christ, 5which was revealed to the apostles Who Confirmed What the prophets Foretold by the Same Spirit.
  • Eph 3: 6-11The Mystery of the Church is 6that Jews &  Gentiles are fellow members with the Same ministry. 
  • Eph 3: 7-9 7Paul is a minister of Christ’s gospel by God’s gift of grace, by the working of his power
  • Eph 3: 10-11 the church’s 3-Fold Purpose
  • Eph 3: 12 As The Church We Enjoy Amazing Access To God!

(4) Eph 3: 1-2  Paul is a prisoner of Christ To Serve The Mystery of His Church  

I, Paul, a prisoner of (one who is bound as a captive to) Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles— 2assuming that you have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace that was given to me for you

Paul wrote Ephesians from Rome, where Acts 28:30 records he stayed 2 years in his own rented house, and received all that came in unto him. During that time Paul was a prisoner of …

  • The Politically Appointed Religious Establishment in Jerusalem (Acts 21:27-40)
  • Felix The Governor (Acts 23: 23-35)
  • Festus, King Agrripa & Bernice (Acts 24: 27 – 26:32)
  • The Roman government (Acts 27-28:30-31)
  • Jesus Christ (Acts 23:11 The following night the Lord stood by him and said, “Take courage, for as you have testified to the facts about me in Jerusalem, so you must testify also in Rome.  Also 2 Tim 4:17 But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. So I was rescued from the lion’s mouth.) 

The only way a Gentile would care is by having heard of and been touched by Paul’s ministry of grace to them.

(5) Eph 3: 3-4  Paul Received 3By revelation 4insight into the mystery of Christ,

Eph 3: 3-4  Paul received 3by revelation (unveiled by god) 4insight (holistic understanding that synthesizes reasoning into practical application; a sanctified “connecting of the dots” that unveils God’s mystery  through Christ,

In the New Testament, a “mystery” was not something strange or mysterious but was truth that was concealed in the Old Testament, but was now revealed in the New Testament.

The mystery = what was foretold in the Old Testament and is incarnated in the New Testament.

Remember the OT rituals were designed to foretell five aspects of the Messiah:

  • He’ll be born of a virgin as God incarnate
  • He will live a sinless life
  • He will die a substitutionary death
  • He will be bodily resurrected,
  • He will be SEATED on the right hand of God, administering our salvation

Mark 12: 18-34, when the Sadducees ask about our resurrection and a Scribe asks what is the greatest commandment, provide examples of Holy Spirit revealed insight that “connects of the dots.”

The Sadducees Ask About the Resurrection

18And Sadducees came to him, who say that there is no resurrection. And they asked him a question, saying, 19“Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies and leaves a wife, but leaves no child, the mane must take the widow and raise up offspring for his brother. 20There were seven brothers; the first took a wife, and when he died left no offspring. 21And the second took her, and died, leaving no offspring. And the third likewise. 22And the seven left no offspring. Last of all the woman also died. 23In the resurrection, when they rise again, whose wife will she be? For the seven had her as wife.”

24Jesus said to them, “Is this not the reason you are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God? 25For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. 26And as for the dead being raised, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the passage about the bush, how God spoke to him, saying, ‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? 27He is not God of the dead, but of the living. You are quite wrong.”

The Greatest Commandment

28And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?” 29Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” 32And the scribe said to him, “You are right, Teacher. You have truly said that he is one, and there is no other besides him. 33And to love him with all the heart and with all the understanding and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.” 34And when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And after that no one dared to ask him any more questions.

(6)  Eph 3: 4-5  4the mystery of Christ, 5has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit.

6that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.

Eph 3: 4-5  4the revelation (Divine Secret) of Christ, 5which has now been revealed to his holy apostles (those delegated authority as commissioned ambassadors of Christ) and prophets (an interpreter or forth-teller of the divine will) by the Spirit.

Other applications or roles of prophets include…

  • a person gifted at expositing divine truth.
  • one who speaks forth by the inspiration of God;
  • one who foretold of the coming Messiah

1For this reason (Eph. 2: 19-22 19So then you are no longer strangers and aliens,d but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, 21in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. 22In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God bye the Spirit.)

(7) Eph 3: 6  6Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel and with the same Ministry to Spread the gospel!

Eph 3: 6  6that the Gentiles are fellow heirs (have entered into the community/commonwealth of inheritors — though membership previously only was open to members with whom God covenanted — although God always accepted converts),

meaning as fellow heirs we are “the mystical body of Christ, that is composed of all saved believers (OT and NT, Jew and Gentile), It is used only in Eph 3:6. We believers are …

  1. positioned as members of the same body, and (Eph. 2: 6, Col. 3:1)
  2. 2:6 Together with Christ Jesus He also raised us up and seated us in the heavens,
  3. 3:1 Therefore, if you have been raised with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God
  4. Rom 12: 4 For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function,
  5. partakers (sharers in a common portion with others) of the promise — partakers = (jointly sharing in the common portion) of the promise (the divine promises of blessing, especially of the benefits of salvation by Christ)
  6. purveyors of the gospel (the good news of the coming of the Messiah, who gives us a testimony that is to be shared!).

(8) Eph 3: Eph 3: 7-9  7Paul was made a minister of Christ’s gospel by God’s gift of grace, which was given me by the working of his power

Eph 3: 7-9 7Paul was made a minister (servant, inspired by the lord, who  “thoroughly raises up dust by moving in a hurry, to minister”) of Christ’s gospel by God’s gift of grace, which was given me by the working of his power ((the root of the English term “energy” = Energy & power in action). 

8To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches (wealth, abundance, materially or spiritually) of Christ  (unable to fully comprehend, incomprehensible. The counsels of God are to us unsearchable or are unknowable by human faculties of comprehension.  They cannot be searched or explored; and thus are inscrutable to mere human understanding.  They are however somewhat knowable by divine revelation, which starts with the “born again experience of John 3:3. (Rom11:33, Job 5:9, Job 9:10, Job 34:24)

  1. Romans 11:33 Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!
  2. Job 5:9 Who [= God] who does great things and unsearchable, marvelous things without number:
  3. Job 9:10 Who [= God] who does great things beyond searching out, and marvelous things beyond number

Unsearchable = it is what only can be known through revelation.  Thus 1 Cor. 13:12 NLT says, “Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.”

 9and to bring to light (illuminate by God sharing His life, exposing and overcoming darkness) for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages inb God, who created all things,

Unsearchable = it is what only can be known through revelation

God’s riches sustain us.

Which of these sentences effectively paraphrases Eph 3: 7-9

  • God’s grace will not lead you where God’s power cannot keep you.
  • God’s grace will lead you where God’s power will keep you.

(9) Eph 3: 10-11  10The Mystery is that both Gentiles & Jews are brought together in Christ Jesus our Lord, As Christians

There are 3 groups of humankind in God’s economy or commonwealth

  1. jewish-unbelievers who were given the law, and with which they were supposed to mix with faith Rom/Heb. 4:2 For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.
  2. gentile-unbelievers initially to whom Paul was assigned to minister.
  • Isaiah 11:10 In that day the root of Jesse, who shall stand as a signal for the peoples—of him shall the nations inquire, and his resting place shall be glorious.
  • Zech 2:11, 11And many nations shall join themselves to the LORD in that day, and shall be my people. And I will dwell in your midst, and you shall know that the LORD of hosts has sent me to you.
  • Mal 1:11 11For from the rising of the sun to its setting my name will be great among the nations, … For my name will be great among the nations, says the LORD of hosts.
  • The Gentiles are found in Luke 14:23 “And the master said to the servant, ‘Go out to the highways and hedges and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled.
  • The Gentiles also are found in Matthew 22:9-10 9Go therefore to the main highways, and as many as you find there, invite to the wedding feast. 10So the servants went out into the streets / highways, and gathered together as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests.
  • christian-believers who come from the ranks of all mankind, both Jew and Gentile

The Mystery is the Combined mystical Body of Christ consists of both Jewish & Gentile believers/saints.(Isaiah 11:10 & 63: The gentiles… Zech 2:11)

Eph 3: 10-11 10so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. 11This was according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord, 12in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him. 13So I ask you not to lose heart over what I am suffering for you, which is your glory.

(10) Eph 3: 10-11  10the church’s 3-Fold Purpose…

Eph 3: 10-11 10so that through the church (the whole body of Christian believers) who are the display model for

  • the manifold (many, ultra diverse manifestations & expressions (facets) of God; much-variegated; marked with a great variety of expressions and colors) wisdom of God;
  • revealing God’s plan to the rulers (magistrates who initiate __evil, etc..__________) and authorities (a spiritual power, delegated to operate in a designated jurisdiction) in the heavenly places. (Jude 9, Dan 10:13 & 20, Rev 12:7)
  • Jude 9 But when the archangel Michael, contending with the devil, was disputing about the body of Moses, he did not presume to pronounce a blasphemous judgment, but said, “The Lord rebuke you.”
  • Daniel 10: 12-13 …12“Do not be afraid, Daniel,” he said, “for from the first day that you purposed to understand and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them. 13However, the prince of the kingdom of Persia opposed me for twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left there with the kings of Persia.
  • 12: 7-11 7Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels fought back, 8but he was defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. 9And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. 10And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothersb has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. 11And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.
  • God’s 11eternal purpose (predetermined purpose) that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord,
  • Angelic beings both those fallen, and those loyal to God, are not omniscient; they can learn and grow in wisdom by observing what God does through His church.
  • 1 Cor. 2:8 8None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

1 Peter 1:10-21  10Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, 11inquiring what person or timea the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. 12It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look.  Put another way, Because of Christ’s Finished Work on the Cross, we demonstrate trust in God by body approaching the throne of grace. Heb. 4:14-16 14Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the… Click To Tweet

13Therefore, preparing your minds for action,b and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 14As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, 15but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” 17And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially 8knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, 19but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. 20He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you 21who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.

Daniel 10:  7And I, Daniel, alone saw the vision, for the men who were with me did not see the vision, but a great trembling fell upon them, and they fled to hide themselves. 8So I was left alone and saw this great vision, and no strength was left in me. My radiant appearance was fearfully changed,b and I retained no strength. 9Then I heard the sound of his words, and as I heard the sound of his words, I fell on my face in deep sleep with my face to the ground.

10And behold, a hand touched me and set me trembling on my hands and knees. 11And he said to me, “O Daniel, man greatly loved, understand the words that I speak to you, and stand upright, for now I have been sent to you.” And when he had spoken this word to me, I stood up trembling. 12Then he said to me, “Fear not, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand and humbled yourself before your God, your words have been heard, and I have come because of your words. 13The prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days, but Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I was left there with the kings of Persia, 14and came to make you understand what is to happen to your people in the latter days. For the vision is for days yet to come.”

15When he had spoken to me according to these words, I turned my face toward the ground and was mute. 16And behold, one in the likeness of the children of man touched my lips. Then I opened my mouth and spoke. I said to him who stood before me, “O my lord, by reason of the vision pains have come upon me, and I retain no strength. 17How can my lord’s servant talk with my lord? For now no strength remains in me, and no breath is left in me.”

18Again one having the appearance of a man touched me and strengthened me. 19And he said, “O man greatly loved, fear not, peace be with you; be strong and of good courage.” And as he spoke to me, I was strengthened and said, “Let my lord speak, for you have strengthened me.” 20Then he said, “Do you know why I have come to you? But now I will return to fight against the prince of Persia; and when I go out, behold, the prince of Greece will come. 21But I will tell you what is inscribed in the book of truth: there is none who contends by my side against these except Michael, your prince.

Note: Michael appears to be 1 the ‘prince,’ or patron-angel, of Israel, Daniel 10:13,21; Daniel 12:1 (compare Jude 9; Revelation 12:7; LevyNHWB iii.100).

(11)  Eph 3: 12 As the church we Boldly Pursue Our Our Relationship with God through Christ!

Eph 3: 12 12in whom we have boldness (openness to speak fearlessly, with assurance == cheerfully, courageously with unreserved confidence) and access (admittance to approach God, with intimate face-to-face interaction)

with confidence (from being fully persuaded) through our faith in him = (trusting in and relying upon Christ’s Finished work on the Cross (John 19;30) which which satisfied God’s wrath against sin, so now He responds to us as a loving, caring, disciplining, righteous Father!

Put another way, Because of Christ’s Finished Work on the Cross, we demonstrate trust in God by body approaching the throne of grace.  Heb. 4:14-16  14Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Pulpit Commentary John 19:30

Verse 30. – (d) “It is finished!” – the great victory of completed sacrifice. When he had received the vinegar, he said (τετέλεσται), It is finished! and he bowed his head and delivered up his spirit. The other evangelists record yet another word of Divine and sublime submission, “Father, into thy hands,” etc. John simply adds the climax, and leaves the Divine, inscrutable, mysterious fact in its awful grandeur. The world’s debt was paid. The types and symbolism of the old covenant had been adequately fulfilled. The mighty work, undertaken by him who would realize the expectations of the oldest prophets and the unconscious prophecies of heathendom, was done. Every iota and tittle of the Law had been magnified. The reality of which the temple and the sabbath were shadows, the priesthood and the offerings innumerable were figures, had all been realized. Τετέλεσται! Consummatum est! From the ground of human nature, from the heart of the Man in whom all the wants, perils, sins, mysteries of the human race were gathered up, has gone the adequate admission of the righteous judgment of God against that nature in its present condition. Death itself becomes, not his shame, but his veritable glory. The sin of humanity is branded with an eternal curse, more deep than any previous manifestation of the Divine justice could have produced; and yet it loses its sting. God reconciles the world to himself by the death of his Son, by this curse thus falling upon his Only Begotten. The earthly judges are condemned by their Victim. The great and last enemy is itself wounded unto death. The Seed of the woman bruises the serpent’s head when that Seed receives the bruise in its own heel. The Paschal Lamb is slain. The Lamb of God takes away the sin of the world. The prince of this world is east out. The reader must turn to the synoptic narrative for the other portents of the Crucifixion – the earthquake, the supernatural darkness, the rending of the temple veil, and the testimony of the Roman centurion. The silence of the Fourth Gospel concerning these events, on the supposition of its late orion, or on the hypothesis of the glorifying myth, or upon the suggestion that this evangelist was a theologizing mystic of the second century, who was merely fashioning the narrative to establish the doctrinal thesis of the Divine incarnation of the Logos, becomes entirely unintelligible. But the hypothesis that this eye-witness was supplementing other well-known narratives with particulars which came forcibly under his own observation, and made a deep impression upon his own mind, is suggested by every line. Dr. Westcott places “the seven words from the cross” in the following order: –

 (12) Walk Thru The Word: Ephesians 3: 7-13  (ESV) 

Paul was made a minister of the gospel

Heb. 4:14-16  14Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

(13) Let’s Pray that God ReAwakens, ReInvigorates & ReEstablish Us in Our Calls In Christ!

Let’s Pray:

Thank You, LORD For Thank You, LORD

For sending Christ to Be

The Chief Building Block of Our

Salvation and Relationship with You!