Summary: To establish that the mystery of Christ revealed by God unto the apostle Paul; was, that the Gentiles should be fellow-heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ by the gospel.
1. The Mystery Received by Revelation (Uncovering)
2. The Mystery Recorded by Recollection (Inspiration)
3. The Mystery Read for Realization (Understanding)
1. In our lesson today we are going to be discussing a theme: “the mystery of Christ.” First, the word “mystery” means to “keep hid until it is time to be made known.” Further, the word “revelation” means to uncover, to reveal or to be made known. God has kept hid His mystery until the time in which he desired to reveal it by the Holy Spirit. Finally, the mystery was designed to be “understood” but, that was only possible through “reading” the words written by the apostle.
2. First, we will consider how the mystery was uncovered to the world. Paul writes: “How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery.” He affirms that God made known unto him “the mystery of Christ” through direct revelation. God uncovered the mystery unto the Apostles and Prophets by the Spirit. This mystery was kept hid “from the foundation of the world; but, was manifested in due times by the Spirit.”
3. Second, we will discuss how this “mystery is recorded by recollection (inspiration).” The apostle writes: “As I wrote afore in few words.” He instructed the Ephesians that the mystery as it was uncovered to him by revelation; he wrote it down in just a few words. These words were written by inspiration or by the direction and guidance of God. It must be therefore understood, that these words from God: “were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope,” Romans 15:4.
4. Lastly, we will investigate how the mystery can be read for realization (understanding). Paul continues in our text to write: “Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ.” Paul lets the Ephesians know that through their reading of the mystery as he wrote it, they too shall have the same understanding of the “mystery of Christ.” I should stress that they would not have their own or another “understanding”; but, the same “understanding” that the apostle was granted through the “revelation of God.” With this introduction, let’s consider our first point, “The mystery received by revelation (uncovering).”
BODY OF LESSON
I THE MYSTERY RECEIVED BY REVELATION (UNCOVERING)
A. For this cause. This refers to the glorious work of the cross in "making peace and bringing the Gentiles nigh and into the household of God," described in Chapter 2.
1. I, Paul. The verb of which "I, Paul," is the subject, is not given until verse 14, is penned for our reading. The intervening verses are merely parenthetical leading us to his subject later in Chapter 3.
2. In verse 14, Paul repeats the first clause of verse 1; “For this cause”; and then gives the verb and subject: “I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,” Ephesians 3:14-15. It is possible now that Paul started his prayer here; and continued it unto verse 21 of this Chapter. And what a splendid prayer this was for the Ephesians. Each petition elicits his blessing for the Gentiles and requires no explanation regarding his requests. Notice: