“Halleluia, I belong!” is the cry of the person who discovers that in coming to faith in Christ, they now belong to God’s people. His people whom He has called to Himself through the ages. Paul in this chapter wrote about the mystery of the gospel that God had revealed to humankind through Paul and other apostles and prophets. It is “good news” about belonging, for those who feel or have felt they didn’t really belong anywhere. What an incredible joy it is to discover that one belongs to the eternal purpose of God for His world as Paul previously reminded us in Ephesians 1:4, “even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him.” Wow! Chosen in Him! Chosen to belong to Him before the world was even made!
THE PASSAGE FROM EPHESIANS 3. [3:1-6]
Eph 3:1 “For this reason I, Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles—2 assuming that you have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace that was given to me for you, 3 how the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I have written briefly. 4 When you read this, you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ, 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. 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.”
A SUGGESTED PRAYER BASED ON EPHESIANS 3:1-6
“Lord, We thank You for the truths You have revealed to us in Ephesians chapter 3. We thank You that You have revealed to us, that as believers, we are fellow heirs with all Your faithful people throughout all generations. We thank You that we belong to the one body of Christ throughout the world and throughout human history. We thank You that we are partakers of all the promises that You have given to those who trust in Jesus.
Empower us by Your Holy Spirit to show our gratitude for Your grace to us by living in the way You want us to live, now and forever. AMEN!
NOTES ON THE PASSAGE FROM EPHESIANS 3:1-6
- What is a mystery in the New Testament? The Greek word is [mystērion, μυστήριον] which means an open secret for those who have eyes to see. But it had to be revealed by God. It was not humanly possible to be discerned apart from Him.
- How was it revealed? It is truth made known by God’s revelation through chosen people being the apostles [including Paul himself] and prophets.
- What was the mystery? Paul here lists three aspects of the mystery about believers, about those who belong! They are:-
“Fellow heirs.” The phrase is also mentioned in Rom 8:17 where we are seen to be fellow heirs with Christ Himself as well as with other believers from Jewish or Gentile backgrounds, “and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.” What is His, is ours in Him! Wow! As Paul reminded the believers in Corinth, “For all things are yours, 22 whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours, 23 and you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.” 1 Cor 3:21-23.
“Members of the same body.” The “body” of course, is the body of Christ. It is composed of all who put their trust in Christ throughout the ages. How exciting to meet up with believers from various parts of the world and to discover that we all belong to the one body of people throughout the world for whom Christ is central. We belong to Him, and to one another in Him!
“Partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.” This Greek word for “partakers” [symmetochos, συμμέτοχος] is only used twice in the New Testament. The other occurrence is in Ephesians 5:7 where believers are warned not to be partakers of, nor to share in false teaching. Here however the emphasis is on the privilege of believers as being sharers of the blessings flowing from the promises of God which found their fulfilment in Jesus. As Paul wrote, “For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory.” 2Cor 1:20.
What a privilege to belong to Him! What treasures we have in Him!
Blog No.301 posted on www.jimholbeck.blog on Thursday 8th November 2018