Wednesday 20 October 2010

Bible Book:

"The mystery was made known to me by revelation ... that is, the gentiles have become fellow-heirs, members of the same body, and sharers in the promises in Christ Jesus through the gospel." (v.3, 6)

Ephesians 3:2-12 Wednesday 20 October 2010


In his letters to the new Christian communities in Greece andAsia Minor, Paul had to account for the seeming newness of hisconviction that Jews and Gentiles (non-Jews) alike are equalmembers of the Body of Christ. His answer was that he has notinvented a new doctrine - it has been God's plan all along.

It is only now however, through revelation to Paul, that thismystery has been revealed. Until Christ, the mystery was hidden.But now in Christ the mystery is revealed and has been made knownto Paul so that he might exercise his ministry to the Gentiles.Paul is careful not to claim any credit for himself. He is able toachieve this only by saying, first, that it is God's plan, not his;and secondly, that he didn't discover this plan but was simply therecipient of revelation. It is extraordinarily important to Paulthat he is not seen as the inventor of a new doctrine but that heis simply the one called to be the apostle who exercises a ministryto the Gentiles. Paul remains a Jew and is anxious not to alienatefellow Jews.

Paul's aim in today's passage is to show that God has extended theprivileges previously enjoyed only by Jews to all people. This isnot an easy task, as self-evidently privileges which are extendedto everyone cease to be privileges enjoyed by the few. Paul's onlysecure argument is that it is God who has done this now in Christand that God intended all along to follow this course.

Of course, in part, this argument is a justification for Paul's ownministry; but it is much more than that, for it touches on the verycharacter of God who shows no partiality.

To Ponder

In what ways might you feel comforted by thenotion that God shows no partiality?

In what ways might you feel threatened by thenotion that God shows no partiality?

Can you imagine what other mysteries God mighthave yet to unfold for us? What do you think they might be?

Is God calling you to some particular ministry orpiece of work, as an outworking of God's purposes?

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