Reading the Word
Ephesians 3:1–13 (ESV)
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.
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. 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, 9 and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God, who created all things, 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. 11 This was according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord, 12 in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him. 13 So I ask you not to lose heart over what I am suffering for you, which is your glory.
Understanding and Applying the Word
Throughout the Old Testament, there are promises of a future day when God would work his salvation for his people. There was the promise of a Savior who would come and a Messiah who would sit on the throne of David. However, no one really knew how these things would be fulfilled. They simply trusted God’s word.
Paul tells us that Jesus is the fulfillment of those promises. He is the mystery now revealed. We should not think of “mystery” as a riddle to be solved, but as something that was not yet revealed. In Jesus, God’s plan of saving his people comes into full view. The Son of God came into the world as a King, but a King who would die for his people to save them and give them eternal life. Paul tells us that God’s eternal purposes are now “realized in Christ Jesus our Lord” (v. 11). And we are now called to place our faith in Jesus as the fulfillment of those plans. Praise God for his perfect plan!
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