The Bigger Mystery Revealed

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Ephesians Devotions – part 8

Ephesians 3:1-12

Paul has been building truth upon truth through chapters 1 and 2. He wanted his readers to know that each piece builds on the last, He wanted us to have a firm foundation for our lives and our hope.

In Ephesians 1:8-9, Paul introduced the idea of “The Mystery.” He talked about God making known the mystery of His will in Christ Jesus. In the rest of chapter 1, Paul talks about Jesus’ death, resurrection, and ascension to heaven. That’s part of the mystery, but not the whole of it. In chapter 2, he seems to get sidetracked talking to the Gentiles about being lost and everyone, Jew or Gentile, being sinners. It wasn’t a sidetrack!  it is very important to understanding the mystery. He concludes that chapter by talking about the unity Christ brought to Jews and Gentiles.

From before creation God knew there would be sin that would divide His creation from Him. He made a master plan that He didn’t reveal even to the angels. We know that plan was for Jesus, who was God in human flesh, to live a sinless life on earth. Then because He was sinless, those who wanted dominion over creation would kill Him. What those forces didn’t know was that because he was sinless, his death could be the means to redeem people back to God.

From creation, God wanted to have people who would love and honor Him. Soon after creation, people were tempted to try to know as much as God and rule themselves. Sin took hold of mankind’s heart. Out of all of humanity, God chose the Jewish nation. He gave them the Law so they would know what they needed to do to please Him. That included animal sacrifices to cover their sin. However, being human, they could not keep the Law.

During this time, all the other nations on earth tried to find God. They made gods for themselves and worshipped idols. They tried many ways to please ‘god,’ but nothing worked. The Jews called them, uncircumcised by which they meant unacceptable to God.

There was no greater division between men than the division between Jews and Gentiles. The Jews had been given God’s Law that they were supposed to follow to please God. The Gentiles, on the other hand, made gods to worship or worshipped the creation, but they had no way to know God.

Now this was the mystery that could only be revealed fully after Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. The mystery was that God had a way to bring the Jews and Gentiles together as God’s holy people, His family, and His true temple (place of worship). His purpose and plan made a way for all people everywhere to be His people, and to be able to love and honor Him.

“God’s intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to his eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. In Him and through faith in Him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.” Ephesians 3:10-12

This is the summary of the teaching in Ephesians 3. The next post will show what this should mean to us.

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