Summary: We are called to make God's glorious riches known to others, even at significant personal cost.
• SLIDE #1
• How loves a good mystery? For those who like to read, a good mystery is hard to put down, for moviegoers, it is exciting to what a mystery movie because you are always trying to guess, WHO DONE IT!
• There are several murder mystery and crime dramas that folks tune in so they can find out if the guy in prison is really guilty or is an innocent man cheated by the corrupt system.
• My youngest daughter Rachal and I stay glued to the ID Channel as we try to guess what happened.
• The police department should hire us a part-time C.S.I.’s ?
• Today as we continue with our series Masterpiece in Progress, we are going to talk about a mystery that God finally revealed in full to mankind through Jesus Christ!
• This mystery had been alluded to throughout the Old Testament.
• The Prophets of the Old Testament received bits and pieces of the mystery and longed to see it all.
• SLIDE #2
• 1 Peter 1:10 (CSB) — 10 Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who prophesied about the grace that would come to you, searched and carefully investigated.
• The long-standing mystery, the one of which the Prophets of old do desperately wanted to see, God has opened the door.
• The revelation of the mystery from God has some ramifications for us today.
• Since Jesus came on the scene, we have a more unobstructed view of God's plan than ever before.
• With that blessing comes great responsibility for us. Each one of us has a calling from God, a duty to perform on His behalf.
• We need to understand that God reveals the mystery of his grace through the Church.
• In the passage, we will examine, Paul explains that the turning point of history is God’s plan of redemption made evident by Jesus Christ.
• The mystery was built up for generations, revealed in pieces through the Law and the Prophets, and now the culmination is this, that God would send his own Son to live, die, and rise again to save humanity.
• Let’s begin by turning to Ephesians 3:1-6
• SLIDE #3
• Ephesians 3:1–6 (CSB) — 1 For this reason, I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles—2 you have heard, haven’t you, about the administration of God’s grace that he gave to me for you? 3 The mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I have briefly written above. 4 By reading this you are able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ. 5 This was not made known to people in other generations as it is now revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit: 6 The Gentiles are coheirs, members of the same body, and partners in the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.
• SLIDE #4
I. A mystery revealed.
• Paul takes us back to chapter two with his, FOR THIS REASON. The reason is God’s grace to the Gentiles that opened the door to having the division between Jew and Gentile torn down!
• As Paul expounds on the mystery revealed he is moving the readers from the make-up of the body of Christ (the Church) to praying that the readers will fully apprehend the blessed privileges that they have been made partakers.
• At this time Paul is in a Roman prison, it is from this time of imprisonment that the Holy Spirit inspired him to write what we call the Prison Epistles, Philippians, Ephesians, Colossians, and Philemon.
• For the cause of Christ, Paul says he is a prisoner of Christ. He does not blame the Roman government, and when he calls himself a prisoner of Christ, he is not lamenting the fact he is imprisoned.
• He is in prison as a direct result of his activity for Christ as an Apostle of the Gentiles.
• To Paul, the revelation and communication of the mystery were well worth the price he is paying for proclaiming the gospel to the Gentile world.
• What sacrifices are we willing to make for the cause of Christ? For Paul, no sacrifice was too high.
• In verse 2, he is not questioning if the readers have heard, but rather, it is an assumption that they had already heard about what he will share with them.
• Because of God's grace, Paul had a job to do. Grace, in this context, is related to Paul’s commission to preach the Gospel to the Gentiles.
• Then in verse three, Paul explains that the commission and message he possesses was made known to him by revelation.
• 3 The mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I have briefly written above.