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  • Mystery

    Today we explore what Paul means by being a minster of the mystery! This is part 6 of 7 posts exploring Ephesians 1-3, laying the foundation for our preaching series this term in Ephesians 4.

    Mystery - primary image

    Mountain Restaurant View by Arne Halvorsen used under CC BY-SA 2.0

    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. 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. 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, (Ephesians 3:7-8)

    The Church is a mystery, but not in the way we might think. Mystery to us means a murky puzzle or riddle; something that only TV detectives can solve. In Paul’s Greek language, mystery simply meant something that had previously been hidden but had now been revealed.

    The revelation that God was making Jews and Gentiles into one new humanity in Jesus, was something that Paul gave his life to tell others about. He understood that a mystery was the same thing as a ministry. When God reveals something to us, He doesn’t want us to keep it to ourselves.

    If you believe that Jesus rose from the dead then God has given you the gift of union with Christ and union with other Christians. You have been given an access-all-areas pass to the Father1. You have been given what had previously been hidden; you have been given the ‘mystery’ and so you have been made a minister.

    Being a minister isn’t about accepting cups of tea from everyone. The word means ‘servant of the king’ or simply, a waiter. You have been given a meal prepared by the world’s best chef, are you just going to hold onto it in the corridor, or take it to those who need it?

    Paul says it’s his privilege to share the unsearchable riches of Christ with others. Unsearchable, here, means infinite. Paul believed that what he had in his hands would do infinite good to those who he gave it to. God promises to do infinite good to those who hear the gospel with faith.

    This term, let’s make an effort to remind each other that people can only be saved ‘in Christ and through the gospel’. ‘Through the gospel’ means we have an important role to play in sharing the news about God’s great plan—of His Church demonstrating and preaching the unifying power of the Cross and the infinite riches that are found in Christ.

    1 Ephesians 3:12

    Prayer Prompt

    You are the God of gracious revelation, please show us more of Your passion for Your Church. Help me to remember that like Paul, I am ‘less than the least’ of people, I don’t deserve Your riches and yet You’ve given them to me. Help me to enjoy this privilege and to share it with others.

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