August 8 2015
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[ DATE : 2015-08-05 ]
   The Mystery of the Church   Ephesians 3:1-13
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For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles--
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Surely you have heard about the administration of God's grace that was given to me for you,
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that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation, as I have already written briefly.
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In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ,
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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.
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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.
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I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God's grace given me through the working of his power.
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Although I am less than the least of all God's people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ,
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and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things.
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His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms,
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according to his eternal purpose which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord.
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In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.
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I ask you, therefore, not to be discouraged because of my sufferings for you, which are your glory.
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®. NIV ®. COPYRIGHT ⓒ 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
The Mystery Now Revealed (3:1–6)
Though Paul is literally in chains for the Gospel, he does not consider Rome his captor; He sees himself as a slave for the Gospel and a prisoner for Christ. Paul experiences joy because he understands that he has been commissioned to share a revelation that will transform the world forever. The Gospel is not just for the people of Israel; it is a light to all the nations of the world. This is an unfamiliar concept to the Jewish people, so it is difficult for them to wrap their heads around it. What the Israelites have failed to do in witnessing about God’s glory to the nations, God is about to renew through the church.

How are you carrying forward the purpose and mission of the church by witnessing to the people around you? Do you acknowledge that the Gospel is intended for all nations?

The Mystery Once Concealed (3:7–13)
The word “mystery” is often misunderstood in this context. It does not refer to something that is difficult to understand or designed to be a riddle; rather, it refers to almost the opposite. It is something that was concealed in the past but is now being revealed. God’s desire is that we understand in a deeper and fuller way His great heart for the lost and the people of all nations, and in doing so, understand the ultimate purpose of the church. This mystery was veiled before the incarnation and ministry of Christ, but now God has put it on full display and wants it to be known all throughout the world.

Do you conceal the glory of the Gospel by the way you live and share your faith, or are you as excited as Paul was when you consider the power and wisdom that the Gospel proclaims?
Lord, help me to be a powerful witness of Your love and grace and to see this world with Your eyes. You came to seek and save the lost. Help me to share your heart for the lost and extend the Good News with boldness and faith. In Jesus’ name. Amen.