Thursday, February 22, 2018

Mystery occurs 6 times in Ephesians. Although all these are not the administration of the mystery, they are very closely related. They fit well in the ABC, ABC structure form.

A. The Mystery of His Will (1:9). This was something God had purposed in Himself. It was that in the fulness of seasons (or times) all things should be gathered together in Christ. All things here of course refers to the things that remain when all things that offend have been destroyed or removed in some way. It refers to things in heaven and on the earth. Now at first glance we might conclude that this would refer to people of the heavenly calling and those of the earthly calling. But since principalities and powers are mentioned so often and in close connection with the church, we must include them. The goal then for the ages is a perfect unity with Christ at the Head of all.

B. The Mystery (3:3). Believers of all nations, all 71 of them which includes Israel, have an equal allotment in an inheritance, joint members of a body or church, and partakers in a promise of eternal life in Christ, made before the ages began (See also 2 Tim 1:1 & Titus 1:2). This has nothing to do with any promise made to Abraham. It is all in Christ, even the blessings (Eph 1:3).

C. The Mystery of Christ (3:4). This secret was first mentioned in Gen 3:15 and was gradually unfolded in all the Scriptures till in the administration of the mystery Christ is fully revealed as Head of the church. Up to this time the fullest revelation was that He was King of kings and Lord of lords (Rev 19:16). But now He is Head of a church that has its home, its citizenship, in the highest heavens, far above all principality and power. With this will come His headship over all things in due time. Note the phrase my knowledge.

A. The Dispensation of the Mystery (3:9). Like A above, this is something God purposed in connection with an eternal purpose. But it was hid in God till revealed to Paul. It cannot be found in Moses and the prophets. It cannot be found in the stars. And note the connection with powers above. The church witnesses to powers in the heavenlies as Israel was to witness to nations on the earth. Paul's proclaiming the secret was to principalities and powers as well as to all men. They had not known it.

B. The Great Mystery (5:32). We noted in B above that there was a joint relationship, threefold in nature, of the members to each other. But here is a relationship between the Head and the Body, like that of husband and wife. There were bodies in the apostolic administration, but never anything like this.

C. The Mystery of the Gospel (6:19). This was made known. Compare with Paul's knowledge in C above. Here is a full revelation of the mystery of Christ. And note that it is in connection with bonds (See also 3:1 & 4:1). The good news for today is connected with prison, with bonds. If the apostle could speak boldly when in such a condition, just what is your and my responsibility today?

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Acts 9:3
And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven:
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