300. An Outline Of Ephesians Chapter 3. The “Mystery” of the Gospel

Everybody loves a mystery.  Especially are they excited when they work out the answer to a mystery! The Bible talks about a mystery. It was a hidden mystery. It was an unexpected mystery. But it became an open secret [for those with eyes to see].

What was the mystery and what application does it have for us in our everyday lives today?  The mystery has been revealed and Yes, it does have a lot of application for millions of people in today’s world. Surprising news! Incredible news! But true!

Paul used the word for “mystery” [mustērion, μυστήριον ] on 20 occasions out of the 27 occurrences in the New Testament. He described this mystery in his letter to the Ephesians. He begins in chapter 1 by saying that the mystery has been revealed according to the riches of His grace,  “which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight 9 making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.” Eph 1:8-10. The mystery is that God wants to bring unity, cosmic unity, to His universe through Christ.

It is very helpful to see how he used the word in this chapter 3 of Ephesians. In fact, the chapter could be built around the following outline, based on the word “mystery.” [I hope to examine the whole chapter in greater detail in future articles.]

1].        GOD’S MYSTERY ABOUT UNITY IN CHRIST WAS MADE KNOWN BY REVELATION TO THE APOSTLES AND PROPHETS

Eph 3:1  For this reason I, Paul, a prisoner for Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles—

Eph 3:2  assuming that you have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace that was given to me for you,

Eph 3:3  how the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I have written briefly.

Eph 3:4  When you read this, you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ,

  • Eph 3:5  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.

2].        WHAT GOD’S MYSTERY IS ALL ABOUT! UNITY IN CHRIST!

Eph 3:6  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.

3].        PAUL’S PART IN REVEALING THE PLAN OF THE MYSTERY BY THE GRACE OF GOD

Eph 3:7  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.
  • Eph 3:8 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,
    • Eph 3:9 and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things,

4].        THE CHURCH’S PART IN REVEALING THE MYSTERY OF UNITY IN CHRIST!

Eph 3:10  so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.

  • Eph 3:11  This was according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord,
  • Eph 3:12  in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him.
  • Eph 3:13  So I ask you not to lose heart over what I am suffering for you, which is your glory.

5].        BELIEVING PRAYER FOR BEING FILLED WITH THE FULLNESS OF GOD IS BASED ON THE TRUTH OF THIS MYSTERY OF UNITY IN CHRIST!

Eph 3:14  For this reason I bow my knees before the Father,

Eph 3:15  from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named,

Eph 3:16  that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you

  • to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being,
  • Eph 3:17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—
  • that you, being rooted and grounded in love,
  • Eph 3:18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints
    • what is the breadth and length and height and depth,
    • Eph 3:19  and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge,
    • that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

6].        A DOXOLOGY TO THE GOD WHO REVEALED THE MYSTERY OF UNITY IN CHRIST!

Eph 3:20  Now to him who is able to do

  • far more abundantly
  • than all that we ask
  • or think,
  • according to the power at work within us,
  • Eph 3:21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

Blog No 300 posted on www.jimholbeck.blog on Tuesday 11th November 2018

About Jim Holbeck

Once an Industrial Chemist working for the Queensland Government but later an Anglican minister in Brisbane, Armidale and Sydney. Last position for eighteen years before retirement in 2006 was as the Leader of the Healing Ministry at St Andrew's Cathedral Sydney.
This entry was posted in BIBLE PASSAGE OUTLINES, Bible verses. Comments, Creation, Forgiveness, OUTLINE OF EPHESIANS, Prayer, Praying our way through Paul's letter to the Ephesians and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to 300. An Outline Of Ephesians Chapter 3. The “Mystery” of the Gospel

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