Summary: The Good News may have been a mystery but it is not to be a secret
The Mystery Made Known
Ephesians 3: 1-13
Have you ever read a book or watched a movie or TV show in which the end of the story leaves you in a complete mystery? Isn’t it frustrating to be left hanging on the edge of your seat wondering who the murderer was or what was to be the fate of some individual.
(mag. glass) We like a mystery as long as it unfolds. Hollywood producers and directors know that our curiosity will keep us interested because
We have a desire to find out the unknown.
As you stand in the grocery line the gossip papers are always willing to tell us the supposed trues to the mysteries of the lives of the rich and famous.
Many TV shows will end with, “…to be continued,” hoping we will continue to tune in to their show.
Today we are going to examine a heavenly mystery that came to earth. From Eph. Chapter 3, Paul will tell his readers of a great mystery which was hidden from many generations but was revealed to the world by God through the apostles and prophets.
Eph 3:1-3 For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles-- 2 if indeed you have heard of the stewardship of God's grace which was given to me for you; 3 that by revelation there was made known to me the mystery, as I wrote before in brief.
This secret may not mean much to you but at the time this was radically new. And the principles of this mystery has practical application to our every day lives. The secret is that God has called a new people, besides Israel to be God’s people. You need not be born into a certain ethic group or blood line to be considered part of God’s people. The only blood line required is being covered by the blood of Jesus.
Eph 3:4- 6 By referring to this, when you read you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, 5 which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit; 6 to be specific, that the Gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel,
Paul grew up in a very divided world. The Jews despised all non-Jews. The Greeks considered everyone who did not speak their language as barbarians. The Romans thought their civilization supreme as conquered many countries to force their better ideas on those who were inferior.
Paul is expressing these ideas from prison because these ideas were so radically new that is caused a riot that landed Paul in prison. In verse one as we read already, he called himself, “, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles..” Paul did not argue about his imprisonment. Whatever circumstances Paul finds himself in, he took full advantage. He could have griped, gone into self-pity and depression but instead he uses his confinement as a time to write and encourage the churches.
How do we cope when we are confined by unpleasant circumstances? Can God use us? Or are we too crippled by depression, jealousy, and negative thinking to be used by God or useful to others. If so we need to change our outlook and claim the words in Phil. 4: 12 &13 which says, “Phl 4:12 I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need.
13 I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.
Paul was putting his life on the line to preach, teach and reveal this mystery. If God is willing to accept all who will come to Christ, who are we to reject any? We are to consider all who accept Christ as people accepted by God so they in turn should be accepted by us. This is regardless of their background, past sins, color, culture or condition.
It was knowing that the new message of God concerningthe fact that “Jesus “was for more than just the Jewish nation that Paul become an Apostle to the Gentiles. God had given him the honor of sharing this great mystery to the nations.
The blessings we receive in Christ are beyond description- infinite. Eph 3:7 of which I was made a minister, according to the gift of God's grace which was given to me according to the working of His power. 8 To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ,