The New Halakah (walk, law) Accomplished through a New Body (Ephesians 3:1-13).
Reason for New Body – When man fell through Adam and Eve’s sin there occurred a 3 fold separation: Separated from God, Separated from one another, Separated from ourselves.
In Genesis 3:15 God’s solution would be Messiah. Paul’s Calling (Ephesians 3:1). A prisoner of Messiah for the sake of Gentiles. He was speaking literally; he was a prisoner in Rome when he penned these words. He was willing to bear any suffering to share God’s love.
Paul’s calling (Ephesians 3:2) – Paul did not want readers to feel sorry for his imprisonment. Paul was thankful for his calling. Paul was given the duty to oversee and administer the grace of God to the nations. He saw his life as not his own but rather a servant to others (a bondslave).
The Mystery Ephesians 3:3-5 – Paul was entrusted with a wonderful Mystery. The Mystery required a special revelation from God to be revealed. It was a truth that had to be revealed by God for man to know it. Ephesians 3:5 “in other ages it was not made known to the sons of men.”
The Mystery of God – Ephesians 3:9 “the mystery, which from the beginning of the world has been hid in God.” It is a truth that was not known before the apostles and prophets of the New Covenant. This mystery was not a creation of man but of God.
3 Fold Aspect of Mystery.
1. Gentiles are fellow heirs with the Jewish people. Before Yeshua, a person had to approach God through the Jewish people. Salvation and atonement was of The Jews. Now through Yeshua all can come to God without going through the Jewish people.
2. Gentiles, have been made one with the Jewish people. God is creating a new body made up of people from all nations and races through Israel’s Messiah. The body of Messiah consists of all believers in Messiah. The Body is a living organism. How is this possible? By the Spirit of God.
3. Gentiles, receive the same promise given to the Jewish people, The promise of Messiah and all the promises of God. With one exception: God had promised the sons of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob the promised land, Israel.
The Mystery Revealed – Ephesians 3:6 – Gentiles have become fellow heirs with the Jewish people. Members of the same Body. Equal partakers of the Promise – What is the Promise? The Promise is both the Messiah given to the Jewish people and His Spirit.
The Key of the Mystery – The key word in each of these three points together. We are not heirs alone. We do not receive the Holy Spirit in isolation from one another. Rather, the great mystery of God is that together, all Believers make up the Body of Messiah (the church).
The work of the Mystery – We are called to be united as a local body of believers. We are to be open to what God is doing in other areas of His kingdom. Augustine famously said, “In Essentials, Unity. In non-essentials, Diversity. In all things, love.” The affect of the Mystery – This Mystery profoundly affected Paul. It was Paul’s motivation.
In Epheisans 3:7-12 Paul Explains His Work. Ephesians 3:8 – To preach to the Jew first and to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Messiah. Through these letters, Colossians and Romans Paul taught what God was doing through this new work called the “Church”. It is through the Church that the Wisdom of God is conveyed to the world.
God’s Wisdom is brought through the church – Ephesians 3:10 “so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church” 1 Timothy 3:15 “I write so that you will know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth.”
The function of the Church – The church conveys God’s wisdom by both by what it “teaches” and by what it “is”. It’s very existence displays the wisdom of God (Jew and Gentile together as one). The wisdom of God is seen in the message it teaches concerning the Good News of Messiah.
The recipients of the wisdom – The Principalities in Heavenly places Ephesians 3:10 and 1 Peter 1:12. It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look.
The Culmination of this – Ephesians 3:12 – In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence. We no longer have to go to Jerusalem to the Temple. We have access to the real Temple in heaven. Messiah in us gives us access Before our Father, the God of Israel.
Conclusion – Knowing that his work as an apostle, and the work of the church, was all part of God’s “eternal purpose”. Paul had great boldness and confidence of continued access to God – Ephesians 3:1-13. Therefore, Paul did not want his imprisonment to be a source of concern to us his readers. He saw his trials as glory for the Gentiles Ephesians 3:13.
He saw his imprisonment as an opportunity rather than a crises or problem in his life. It helped to “make known the mystery of the Gospel”. What it should mean to us? We, too, should have “boldness and confidence” We too have access through faith in Him We too are part of God’s “eternal purpose” What we do here has eternal significance and are part of the chronicles of God’s work in History.