The Weekend Word
“For this reason I, Paul, a prisoner for Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles— assuming that you have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace that was given to me for you, how the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I have written briefly. When you read this, you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit. 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.
Of this gospel I was made a minister according to the gift of God’s grace, which was given me by the working of his power. To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things, so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. This was according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him. So I ask you not to lose heart over what I am suffering for you, which is your glory.”
(Ephesians 3:1–13 ESV)
We now turn our attention to the purpose of Paul’s ministry, which was to reveal a biblical “mystery”.
In the New Testament a mystery is something that was once unknown, but has now been revealed to the people of God.
In this case the revelation is that it was always the plan of God (“according to His eternal purpose”) to fully include the Gentiles in the people of God.
This would be accomplished through the work of Christ who would make us all ‘fellow heirs” of the riches of God, members of the same body, recipients of the same promise.
John Stott puts it this way;
“To sum up, we may say that ‘the mystery of Christ’ is the complete union of Jews and Gentiles with each other through the union of both with Christ. It is this double union, with Christ and with each other, which was the substance of the ‘mystery’.”
“Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed. So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise” (Galatians 3:23–29 ESV)
“For neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation. And as for all who walk by this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God.”
(Galatians 6:15–16 ESV)
Sometimes it seems like Gentiles, especially in this country, have an inferiority complex when it comes to the Jews.
We try to mimic their customs and liturgies and act as if they are more privileged in the family of God.
This is not so.
Be who you are…a blessed child of God sharing in all the riches we saw in the first two chapters.
Belonging to the family is only possible through faith in Christ and if you are in Christ you are a child of Abraham.
Conversely, only those who have faith in Christ are the true children of Abraham.
Be who you are…a blessed and beloved child of the King through faith in Christ.
That is who you are, you know…