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Ephesians 3. The Great Mystery. Slight Diversion. Saint Patrick English young man Captured by Irish pirates at age 15 Escaped but found himself called to the Mission field Went back at age 25 Stayed until his death in 461 at age 76. Slight Diversion. Saint Patrick

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Ephesians 3


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ephesians 3

Ephesians 3

The Great Mystery

slight diversion
Slight Diversion
  • Saint Patrick
    • English young man
    • Captured by Irish pirates at age 15
    • Escaped but found himself called to the Mission field
    • Went back at age 25
    • Stayed until his death in 461 at age 76.
slight diversion1
Slight Diversion
  • Saint Patrick
    • Spent his life in Mission field
    • Merged Irish culture with Christianity- Celtic Cross. The Sun and the Cross
    • Used bonfires to celebrate Easter.
    • Example of Paul’s command, that by all means we might save some.
ephesians 3 1 8
Ephesians 3:1-8
  • Ephesians chapter 3 continues the thought that Paul has laid out in Galatians 3.
    • Verses 1 through 7 act as one long parenthetical reference.
    • Find the end of the thought that Paul starts with verse 1 of Chapter 3.
    • The rest of the material from verses 2 through 7 focuses on this great mystery of the Gospel.
    • The mystery is simple—gentiles can become Christians.
ephesians 3 1 81
Ephesians 3:1-8
  • The build up from verses 2 through 6 is important. The thought process is critical.
    • Paul points out that the message came to him by revelation. Contrast this with the Law in Galatians.
    • Paul points out that the ministry was unknown in older times.
    • It was revealed to the disciples and then to others.
    • What is this mystery: verse 6.
ephesians 3 8
Ephesians 3:8
  • This, by the way, is the rest of Paul’s sentence from verse one.
    • Paul is less then the least of the saints.
    • Paul has been given great grace.
    • That grace is to preach the unsearchable riches of Christ.
    • That grace is to preach among the Gentiles.
    • Only Nixon could go to China.
galatians and ephesians
Galatians and Ephesians
  • Notice the continuity of thought from one book to the next.
    • Our salvation is centered in Christ alone.
    • The Gospel comes to us from God himself, not through mediators.
    • That salvation is offered to Gentiles and Jews.
    • Our salvation makes us one body.
    • Philippians 3:20 tells us our citizenship is in heaven.
    • Colossians 3:1 finally answers Paul’s question about the Law. It all ties together.
ephesians 3 8 13
Ephesians 3:8-13
  • Keep in mind that this whole chapter is kind of an aside for the book. If it sounds like it doesn’t fit in the flow of thought, it really doesn’t.
  • Paul is continuing the thought from Verse 1– that he has been given the message of this dispensation. A dispensation of Grace.
  • But he glories that he is the least likely person to get this grace.
ephesians 3 8 131
Ephesians 3:8-13
  • Now, this passage has been challenged as not authentically Pauline in nature. It does have more of a Gnostic feel than anything else Paul writes.
  • But, consulting my cousin and Bible historian, Ronald Nash, we discover that Paul is writing to destroy Gnostic ideals. Let’s dig into this section.
ephesians 3 8 132
Ephesians 3:8-13
  • Paul begins by noting that he has been given the Mystery to reveal.
  • He points out that the Mystery was hidden in God, who made all things. That is his first challenge to Gnosticism.
  • The Mystery is ready to be made known (Gnostics believed that mysteries could be made known only to the special people)
    • Known to the church
    • Known to powers and principalities—in this case gnostic language not the usual Biblical reference.
ephesians 3 8 133
Ephesians 3:8-13
  • Paul then completes a thought that he has made in Galatians, Colossians and Philippians– that this plan has been eternally determined by God himself.
  • Because of this foundation of Grace, we can have confidence. Through what? Verse 12.
  • Look at Colossians 1:23 and Colossians 2:9.
ephesians 3 8 134
Ephesians 3:8-13
  • Paul now turns to the point of this long diversion:
    • That we might be strengthened in our faith
    • That We might be the dwelling place of Christ
    • That we might be rooted and grounded in love.
  • Because we are rooted and grounded, we
ephesians 3 14 21
Ephesians 3:14-21
  • Because we are rooted and grounded in Love
    • We can comprehend the Mystery
    • We comprehend the width, depth, height
    • Of the Love of Christ, which passes all understanding.
  • We gain the knowledge of the Love of Christ so we can be filled with all the fullness of God. Like a ship filled to capacity with all good things.
ephesians 3 14 211
Ephesians 3:14-21
  • Now, because
    • God has established this mystery in the foundation of the world
    • God has chosen to reveal that mystery to the Church and “principalities”
    • God has chosen Paul to be His instrument of that revelation
    • God had an eternal Purpose fulfilled in Christ
  • Because of All of that---
ephesians 3 14 212
Ephesians 3:14-21
  • We glory in a God who can do
    • Exceedingly (hyper-doing)
    • Abundantly (superior-doing)
    • Above all that we ask (petition)
    • Or think (Ponder, wonder, stew)
  • According to what kind of Power?
  • To this God be all glory in the church forever.