Hello everybody, and welcome in to episode 159 of the Bible 2021 podcast. We are reading Ephesians 3 today and our focus is What is the Mystery of Christ? . We are a daily 10 minute podcast, where we will dig in to the truth of the Word of God by reading one Bible chapter a day and discussing it. Welcome to new listeners in Thanks for listening! Our goal is to encourage DAILY Bible reading, so you can jump in at any time and join with us. We want to invite as many people as possible to join us in daily Bible reading, so help spread the word and share the podcast Don’t forget about our web-page, Bible2021.com – contact page, show notes, transcript and more– Click here for our Bible 2021 reading plan\
I grew up going to a wonderful Presbyterian church in Birmingham, Alabama called Briarwood. It was a huge church with an amazing building, and lots of people went there, including lots and lots of really rich people, and everybody dressed pretty nice, and the service was kind of formal, but the pastor was a mighty man of humility and prayer named Frank Barker. He taught us the Word of God on Sunday and he taught us the Word at Vacation Bible school. One thing I remember about Briarwood is that almost every service dismissed with an invocation from our Ephesians 3 passage:
20 Now to him who is able to do above and beyond all that we ask or think according to the power that works in us— 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3:20
This is a good reminder to end every Sunday on: God is able to do above all that we think or ask according to His great power that works in us. What a lovely and powerful truth!
Now, I love a good mystery. I love to read mystery books, I listen to at least a dozen different true crime and mystery podcasts, and I can’t get enough of mystery shows on tv, especially British mysteries. Today’s passage introduces us to a true Bible mystery: the mystery of Christ:
3 For this reason, I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles— 2 assuming you have heard about the administration of God’s grace that he gave me for you. 3 The mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I have briefly written above. 4 By reading this you are able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ Ephesians 3:1-3
Paul talks about this mystery of Christ quite a bit:
Ephesians 6:19, “19 Pray also for me, that the message may be given to me when I open my mouth to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel.”
Colossians 4: 3 At the same time, pray also for us that God may open a door to us for the word, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains, 4 so that I may make it known as I should.
Romans 16: 25 Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the proclamation about Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery kept silent for long ages 26 but now revealed and made known through the prophetic Scriptures, according to the command of the eternal God to advance the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles
So what is this great mystery? Let’s think about that for a moment, and read our passage:
What is this mystery that Paul mentions several times here? First and foremost, we need to say that it is not about a crime that has been committed, or anything like that. In 1st century Greek usage, a mystery was something that had been hidden – unseen. In this case, the mystery is Christ in us, the hope of glory – and the reason that Jesus is a mystery is that for all of human time from the fall of man in the Garden up until the birth of Jesus, we had this massive problem as humans: our sin separated us from God, and kept us out of His Heaven, so there was no hope for humans beyond this life. This is why Solomon, a man of great wisdom, didn’t see as much hope in life (and the afterlife) as we do today – even the great Solomon did not know the mystery of Christ!
14 There is a futility that is done on the earth: there are righteous people who get what the actions of the wicked deserve, and there are wicked people who get what the actions of the righteous deserve. I say that this too is futile. 15 So I commended enjoyment because there is nothing better for a person under the sun than to eat, drink, and enjoy himself, for this will accompany him in his labor during the days of his life that God gives him under the sun. Ecclesiastes 8:14-15 (and also: 5 For the living know that they will die, but the dead don’t know anything. There is no longer a reward for them because the memory of them is forgotten. (Ecclesiastes 9:5)
Eat, drink and be merry in this life, says Solomon, because I trust in God, but I don’t know how in the world He is going to rescue us. Solomon couldn’t see what we can see now: The mystery of Christ is that He came and lived the perfect life we should have lived, died a death that He didn’t deserve (but we did) and rose victorious from the grave to defeat the one enemy that no man could ever hope to defeat: death. Further, that same Jesus offers you His righteousness by faith and His salvation by grace, and His eternal life to all who will wholeheartedly believe and follow Him. THAT, says Paul, is the mystery of Christ – that He comes to us and dwells within us. Christ IN You!
Colossians 1:25 I have become [the church’s] servant, according to God’s commission that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, 26 the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints. 27 God wanted to make known among the Gentiles the glorious wealth of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
Bible Memory verses for the month of June: Daniel 6:23 The king was overjoyed and gave orders to take Daniel out of the den. When Daniel was brought up from the den, he was found to be unharmed, for he trusted in his God.
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