Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Objective Justification, Jews/Gentiles

The Mystery? Y’all Come


Eph. 3:1-12

† In Jesus Name †

Grace and peace and mercy, in this new year, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ!

Left in the Dark?

As Kay gets hopefully closer and closer to the point where William will be born, I find myself thinking about what his life will be like. I wonder, half in fear, of how much he will be like me. Will he be a bookworm, or a computer geek? Will he have a higher than normal level of curiosity, a desire to understand why things work, or why certain chemicals say they cannot be mixed with other chemicals.

Will he ask lots of questions, and attempt to solve every mystery, thinking that if one is not solved, if he doesn’t have ALL the answers, he is somehow not quite smart enough? Will I have enough internet access to answer all his questions!

Will he accept Kay and I telling him, “you have to wait until your older, to understand that?” That answer only usually sent me running to our ancient encyclopedias, determined to prove that despite being 7, I could understand how nuclear fusion worked, how to drive a manual stick shift, and how God managed to hear, know and answer what everyone was praying at the same time!

There is something quite exhilarating, about discovering the answers to the mysteries of life. To realizing some great truth, to have one of those precious ahaaaaa moments. Helping William discover all the incredible complexities of life, I definitely look forward to, with great joy and anticipation.

One of those mysteries, that I long to share with him, is the mystery that Paul shares again, with the church in Ephesus in today’s epistle reading.

The great mystery of Christ, that was hidden for centuries. The great mystery of Christ, that Paul says, it was a blessing he was

To dispense

I believe that one of the most natural things for humans to do, is to share that which is important to them. To help others have the “ahaa!” moment, to see their face lighten up with the joy of understanding. Even the person who is best at keeping secrets, would have trouble not sharing that which changes their life, whether it be some drastic change, or some incredible insight. It actually can hurt, or at least drive us crazy, not to share that event, or piece of news, or insight, that so dramatically affects us. An example. It took about 12 days, for Kay to get the results of her pregnancy test. Those 12 days, were, exceedingly rough on us, as we could not share what the home test confirmed. This was even made more excruciating, as several people had conversations with me, where they asked about Kay and I having kids! I can still picture the joy in people’s faces, when Kay and I let you all know!

When something special like that is revealed, when a mystery is solved, it has to be revealed. They have to be shared, for us to share in the joy. But imagine an insight that dwarfs that, that effects all of us, and results in more joy, that we could ever understand, never mind explain.

Paul talks of being given stewardship of God’s grace – to him was given the authority to be a dispenser of God’s grace. Picture the army quartermaster, distributing the mail and paychecks to men who just finished boot camp. Or the dad, sharing with his son or daughter the secrets of fishing, and seeing the child catch their first fish, you know the blugill or sunfish that was this big! Or the young pastor, placing in the hands or mouths of his first parishioners, the body of Christ.

It was a blessing to Paul, even as it is to every pastor I know, to share with people the incredible mystery of Christ…the mystery revealed,

To share in,

The Wise Men

The nations

Look at parallelism

The great mystery of Christ, is found thoughout our readings. In the epistle reading, it is found in verse 6,

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

In our Old Testament, we see it so clearly prophesied, in verse 2

2 For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the Lord will arise upon you, and his glory will be seen upon you. 3 And nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising. 4 Lift up your eyes all around, and see; they all gather together, they come to you;

We also see the beginning of it in the coming of the wisemen, from the east. For these men, not Jews, but men of nations far off, come to worship, the new born King, which they did with great joy.

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