Notes on Ephesians 3: Mystery by Kas Mira
MYSTERY. The word was repeated eight times in the book of Ephesians and four times in chapter 3 of the book itself. What is so mysterious about this so-called “mystery”?
MYSTERY of GRACE
2 Surely you have heard about the administration of God’s grace that was given to me for you, 3 that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation, as I have already written briefly.
Mystery is something people find hard to explain or sometimes, understand. Like in this book, this mystery is hidden and should be made known by a revelation. Paul, the writer of the epistle, did his best to make plain these mysteries. First of all, the mystery of the grace God has given Him. Maybe at the start he asked, “Why me?” as he described himself as “the least of all God’s people” (v. 8a) But God chose him anyway for His purposes. Grace given to him to understand the gospel (v. 4). Grace to preach to Gentiles (v. 8b). Grace to stand strong even in prison (v. 1) Grace itself is a mystery, and for Paul, the only way to understand it is to accept it. For one to be able to preach grace, one must receive grace, experience grace and understand grace.
MYSTERY of CHRIST
4 In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, 5 which was not made known to men in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God’s holy apostles and prophets.
From the very beginning of the epistle, Paul consistently mentioned Jesus Christ. In Ephesians 1, Paul described us as we are blessed, adopted, redeemed, forgiven, chosen, conformed, predestined through Christ. Ephesians 2 declares we are dead to sin, made alive, saved, created and brought near to God in Christ. In Ephesians 3, Paul hoped and prayed that we will understand the Mystery of Christ that was not revealed to their ancestors. At their time, salvation is about your standing before God, how you ran and finished the race. The Jews are the only qualified, circumcised, chosen and saved while the Gentiles are the complete opposite. The good news about this mystery of Christ is that it doesn’t matter if you are a Jew or a Gentile but what matters is he ran for you and finished the race for you. The only thing you have to do is to receive that grace and run with Him.
In our time, especially in our country, many have heard, many have known who Jesus Christ is. And yet, for many, it is still a mystery. Let’s just say… “Jesus saved you from your sins!” Classic reaction you’d get is… “Weh? Bakit? Paano?” Jesus can change you… your life! “Weh?” Jesus is alive. “Weh? Di nga?” So why is it still a mystery?
Although many have heard and known Him, only few responds… only few people really munch on it and believe in it with their whole heart. To be able to preach Jesus, one should receive Jesus, experience Jesus and understand Jesus.
MYSTERY for the GENTILES (and for the JEWS)
6 This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus.
Heirs together. Members together. Sharers together. Sounds good right?
The Israelites being heirs together with the outsiders (Eph. 2:11). Members together with the “uncircumcised” (Eph. 2:11).Sharers together with the excluded community (Eph 2:12).
For the Jews, it is absurd. And guess what? For the Gentiles, it was also absurd.
But this is a picture of God’s demonstration UNITY. First he made sure that we can be ONE with Him (Salvation through Christ) so that we can be ONE with His people (Salvation through Christ to His people). To be able to preach Salvation, one should receive Salvation, experience Salvation and understand Salvation.
I believe the root of all these mysteries although it surpasses knowledge, it is not hidden at all . We were given grace, we were given Christ, we were given a purpose all because of this very important revealation… LOVE.
17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
We were all rooted through the administration of God’s grace in our lives. Each one has their personal mystery and comes with a unique testimony. But we were all established in love through Christ. And together with the Lord’s holy people, we will understand this mystery of LOVE. But for one to preach LOVE, one should receive LOVE, experience LOVE, understand LOVE and give most especially LOVE.
This love is our foundation and the foundation of all mysteries.
These mysteries aren’t hidden anymore. It’s in the Bible. It is open for all. These mysteries even if it surpasses human knowledge all we need to do is to open our hearts then we will be filled to the measure of the fullness of God.
For one to be able to preach grace, one must receive grace, experience grace and understand grace.
To be able to preach Jesus, one should receive Jesus, experience Jesus and understand Jesus.
To be able to preach Salvation, one should receive Salvation, experience Salvation and understand Salvation.
But for one to preach LOVE, one should receive LOVE, experience LOVE, understand LOVE and most especially give LOVE.
Let God open your heart.
Let His grace change your life.
Let Christ live in your heart.
Let His purpose for you give life.
This blog post was written by Kas Mira, a registered nurse and one of the leaders of Victory Greenhills, a church in the Philippines located in San Juan, Metro Manila