Weekly Bible Teaching

The Mystery
By Rev. John Cortright on 08/10/2014


Ephesians 3:1 Prisoner of Jesus Christ
Eph 4:1; Col 4:3; Ephesians 6:19-20
Paul was literally a prisoner. Also, he was bound to the gospel of Christ – the mystery of the gospel.

Ephesians 3:2

The “stewardship” of God’s grace – was given to Paul for others.
Stewardship (oikonomia) – other English versions translate this word in this verse as: dispensation, administration, the way entrusted, ministration.

This is the same word in Ephesians 1:10.
With a view to an administration [oikonomia] – other English versions translate this word as dispensation, a plan; to act upon, to put into effect, have it declared.

Greek - oikonomia - the management of a household or of household affairs; specifically, the management, oversight, administration, of other’s property; the office of a manager or overseer, stewardship (Luke 16:1-8 - a manager; management)

1 Corinthians 9:16-19
– Necessity was laid upon him – he was under compulsion. A stewardship of God’s purpose and plan had been entrusted to his care. Though he was free from all men, he was slave to all.

Ephesians 3:3-4

What I wrote afore in brief – Eph 1:9-10; Eph 2:14-18, or possibly the book of Galatians or Corinthians

Ephesians 3:5
– Not made known to sons of men as it is now revealed

Ephesians 3:6
– That the Gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow members of the body and fellow partakers of the promise of Christ Jesus through the gospel. Eph 2:14-18; Gal 3:8-9; 14; 27-29; Rom 9:4-8; 23-32

Ephesians 3:7-9

Paul was made a minister because of God’s grace.

Ephesians 3:9

And to bring to light what is the administration [oikonomia] of the mystery. Some modern English versions translate the word “oikonomia” here as “the plan” (NET, ESV, RSV). This plan was hidden for ages in God who created all things. Rom 16:25-26; Col 1:25-27

Ephesians 3:10
– “Made known to rulers and authorities in the heavenly places” (Eph 1:20-22; 6:12)
1 Corinthians 2:6-8 – Rulers of this age did not understand.
1 Peter 1:9-12 – The prophets were not serving themselves, but you! Angels long to look!

Ephesians 3:11-12
– The eternal purpose or the purpose of the ages – Ephesians 1:8-12

Ephesians 3:2-12
If indeed you have heard of the stewardship of God's grace that was given to me for you,that by revelation the divine secret was made known to me, as I wrote before briefly. When reading this, you will be able to understand my insight into this secret of Christ. Now this secret was not disclosed to people in former generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit,namely, that through the gospel the Gentiles are fellow heirs, fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus.I became a servant of this gospel according to the gift of God's grace that was given to me by the exercise of his power.To me– less than the least of all the saints– this grace was given, to proclaim to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ and to enlighten everyone about God's secret plan– a secret that has been hidden for ages in God who has created all things. The purpose of this enlightenment is that through the church the multifaceted wisdom of God should now be disclosed to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly realms. This was according to the eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and confident access to God because of Christ's faithfulness.

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