A Mystery Revealed
Today we find ourselves in Ephesians 3:1-13…
• What we see in this passage can be boiled down to two things – A lesson to remember and an example to follow…
First, A Lesson to Remember – The Mystery of God Revealed through the Unity of Believers (Ephesians 3:2-6)
• The Greek word “mysterion” (from which we get the English word mystery) appears 21 times in Paul’s letters, 6 of them in Ephesians and 4 times in these 13 verses.
• It’s a word that means “known only to the initiated.”
• It’s not an unknowable truth but one that is knowable only when revealed by one with insight or understanding.
• What is this mystery?
o Ephesians 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.”
o Paul continue to build on the argument he started in the second half of chapter 2 – Christ has come to unify Jews and Gentiles through the gospel.
o Jesus has broken down the walls that have divided people and is set on making one new people out of previously divided people.
• Paul uses three pictures to describe unity within the church…
o Fellow heirs
o Members of the same body
o Partakers of the promise
• Together these three pictures should form an unbreakable bond as they remind us that we are equal with each other and they should draw us together.
Second, An Example to Follow – The Grace of God Extended Through the Sharing of the Gospel (Ephesians 3:7-12)
• Paul identifies himself in verse 1 as “a prisoner of Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles.”
• Paul had a special call on his life…
o The least of all the saints (Greatest of all sinners)…
o His story (Acts 9)…
o His ministry to the gentiles.
• His life provides an example to follow…
o Grace not only connects us to God, it also enlists and empowers us to serve God.
o Ephesians 2:8-10 – “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
> Think, sequence not paradox…
> What we are saved from…
> What we are saved to…
• Those that receive grace are to extend it to others – To help us with this we are offered two things (verse 12)…
Conclusion – See the fireworks
- Who are some people in your life that you are close to even those you are quite different from each other? What’s special about this type of relationship?
- Why was Paul’s message of unity so shocking to the first century world? What’s still shocking about it today?
- What do each of the three pictures used to describe unity – fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise – mean to you? Which one is most powerful or meaningful to you?
- How does Paul’s story make you think about your own story? How might God use your story to help share the gospel?
- What does it look like to have “boldness” in your faith? How are you impacted by having “access” to God?
- What are you currently doing that helps you listen to and respond to God’s voice? What could you do that would help you do this more?