By referring to this, when you read you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ,Ephesians 3:4(NASB)
Paul has just finished three glorious chapters telling us all about our precious position in Christ and the wonderful privileges that are ours in Him. He tells of our redemption through the blood of the Lord Jesus; our changed relationship to God, the birthright we have in Him and the permanently indwelling Holy Spirit, Who guides us unto all truth.
He tells us of the riches of God's grace towards us; the mystery of His will to those who are in Christ Jesus, what it means to be a new creation in Him and how He has broken down the middle wall of partition - giving all who are in Christ direct access into the throne-room of God.
And having laid out our position and privileges.. before setting out God's instructions on how His adoptive children ought to live, Paul wants to get across the importance of this new administration.. the Church Age in which we live. He wanted to explain that God is doing a new thing in this post-cross age of grace, which - although hidden from past ages and generations, had now been revealed to us - which is Christ in you the hope of glory. And so from the restriction of his prison cell, Paul explains some important truths about this: dispensation of the grace of God.
Having set aside Israel for a time, Paul explains that by direct revelation from God.. he himself had been given information about this new administration of the Lord. It was to be a time when Jewish and Gentile believers were to be one body in Christ - a mystery which had been kept hidden from principalities and power, as well as prophets of old. How different from the administration that had been given to Israel through Moses.
Although Paul had made reference to this dispensation of grace earlier in his epistle, he felt it necessary to explain in greater detail the importance and significance of the Christian administration (i.e. the Church age/ the age of grace / the dispensation of the grace of God / God's dealing with man post-cross).
God's governance of the world up until the cross had been through His chosen people Israel, but following the cross and the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, God revealed that He was about to use a different form of governance. He revealed to Paul that post-cross He would not govern the world through the nation Israel but through the Church - the Body of Christ. During the dispensation of the grace of God.. He would carry out His redemptive plan and purpose for the world through the Church - those who by grace through faith trusted Christ for salvation..
Paul made it clear that he received this information.. about the dispensation of the grace of God directly from the Lord for their learning.. (and for all who would believe on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ). He wanted to clarify his earlier reference to this: that by revelation there was made known to him this mystery - which is Christ in you the hope of glory.
Paul had already written about this earlier in his epistle, but this second reference to the dispensation of the grace of God was to emphasise its significance.. so that the Ephesians, and all who are saved by grace through faith in Christ would understand and gain greater insight into the mystery of Christ. Paul was commissioned to explain the beautiful mystery that God in His wisdom had determined before the world.. but which he had received by direct revelation from God - for US - which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit; to be specific, that the Gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow members of the Body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel, of which Paul was made a minister, according to the gift of God's grace which was given to him according to the working of His wonderful power.
Heavenly Father, thank You for the truths that are laid out in Your Word and thank You for the amazing mystery that You revealed to us through Paul that during this dispensation of the grace of God - all who believe on Christ for salvation are to be part of the Body of Christ - and to be made ministers of reconciliation to a lost and dying world, Help me to be a worthy minister of this beautiful truth, to all Whom You choose to place in my path - this I ask in Jesus name, AMEN.
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