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Ephesians overview – Life with purpose (3:11), part 2.

EPHESIANS-1-200204
length: 64:25 - taught on Feb, 4 2020
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Class Outline:

Tuesday February 4,2020

 

The mystery is the life of Christ in the new humanity (sons, priests, ambassadors) empowered by truth and the HS; and guided by election and predestination.

 

EPH 3:1-3

For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles —  if indeed you have heard of the stewardship of God's grace which was given to me for you; that by revelation there was made known to me the mystery, as I wrote before in brief.

 

EPH 3:1-3

Paul was made the steward of the mystery of Christ and the new humanity.

 

EPH 3:4-7

And by referring to this, when you read you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, 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; 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, 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.

 

EPH 3:4-7

Not known until the church, Jew and Gentile would become recipients of the New Covenant. Paul was given the power to minister this miracle.

 

EPH 3:8-10

To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ, and to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God, who created all things; in order that the manifold [many varied] wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places.

 

EPH 3:8-10

Paul was sent to the Gentiles to reveal the mystery along with the many varied wisdom of God.

 

EPH 3:11-12

This was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and confident access through faith in Him [prayer].

 

EPH 3:11-12

The purpose fulfilled in the church, the new humanity under the New Covenant to both Jew and Gentile, is the purpose of creation itself.

 

The fact that Christ fulfilled the purpose for us, bringing us back to God as our Father in perfect reconciliation, we have bold and confident access through faith in Christ. We come to the throne of grace boldly.

 

Paul’s commission was to make a public demonstration of the mystery of Christ. The mystery, hidden for long ages in past prophecy and revelation, would now be brought to the light. The mystery is the life of Christ in the new humanity.

 

It would be a great tragedy if God had brought about the fulfillment of His New Covenant promise and no one knew of it. Therefore, on top of doing the work of sacrifice and substitutionary atonement, God has to find a way to get mankind to understand the truth of it so that man may participate in it.

 

God used teachers and the Holy Spirit to overcome the problem of our ignorance.

 

GAL 1:15-16

But when He who had set me apart, even from my mother's womb, and called me through His grace, was pleased to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the Gentiles,

 

1CO 2:6-10

Yet we do speak wisdom among those who are mature; a wisdom, however, not of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are passing away; 7 but we speak God's wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom, which God predestined before the ages to our glory; 8 the wisdom which none of the rulers of this age has understood; for if they had understood it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory; 9 but just as it is written,

 

"Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard,

And which have not entered the heart of man,

All that God has prepared for those who love Him."

 

10 For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God.

 

God’s entire purpose for creation is carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord, and every believer, no matter what their station in life, has received the fulfillment of that purpose.

 

It is difficult, in fact impossible, to estimate the grandness of God’s gift of Christ Jesus our Lord.

 

Before all ages, God’s undisclosed purpose had existed in His own mind, but now, in this age, it has been accomplished. Men belonged to Christ and one another and Christ belonged to them. It was not a mere membership in some club, but new men were being made every day and each one was fully united into the fellowship of the body, a perfect fellowship, a heaven on earth if they would look to see and have their eyes enlightened.

 

And this, not only brought to light and known by us, but also by the rulers, and the authorities in the heavenly places. There is war in the angelic realm as there is in the human and earthly plain.

 

But the church is something like God’s pilot scheme for the reconciliation of the whole universe.

 

We are seated with Christ in the heavens. We are citizens of heaven. We have homes in heaven. We are fellow heirs, fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise. We love like God does. We have the Holy Spirit within flowing living waters without. We are the purposed humanity. God is showing the future heaven through the lives of individuals who live in a world that is very far from heavenly.

 

To do anything other than heavenly things, which are holy things, are alien to our now divine nature. Accept it with thanksgiving and joy. When Jesus was born into the world, He, as the Son of God, had you in mind.

 

Just like within the boundaries of Israel the land and the people were to look like the kingdom of God under the Law, so within the “boundaries” of the local church the people are to look like the kingdom of God under the living King - the human Christ seated at the right hand of God. 

 

When we understand this, that we are here to reveal the true humanity, the true kingdom (the body of Christ), the true end of all history in our own lives and our lives together, we come to be absorbed by its importance and overjoyed at its gift.

 

The church possesses the reconciliation of all men within it. The new humanity is a new brotherhood/priesthood, 1PE 2:9.

 

The angels look and see that here, in the midst of Jew and Gentile, male and female, rich and poor, strong and weak, sophisticated and barbarian; God made peace and unity among them. The angels long for what we have- the perfect peace that follows final victory, yet they will only be spectators of it. And they do long, for Peter writes that they long (epithumeo = lust for with passion) to look into the things of the purposes of Christ.

 

Christ said that there was nothing hidden that would not be revealed.

 

EPH 3:8 To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ,

 

EPH 3:9 and to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God, who created all things;

 

EPH 3:10 in order that the manifold [many varied] wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places.

 

“manifold” - polupoikilos = much varied. Made known through the church is the intricate beauty of the purpose of God for mankind.

 

The phrase is taken from the intricate beauty of an embroidered pattern. We find Peter using it also.

 

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