Master Index Current Directory Index Go to SkepticTank Go to Human Rights activist Keith Henson Go to Scientology cult

Skeptic Tank!

KNOWLEDGE OF MYSTERY AND LOVE EPH 3:1-21 I. GOD REVEALS THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE MYSTERY A. TO PRISONER PAUL (vs1-3) 1.His imprisonment confirmed his apostleship a.He was in prison for preaching the gospel b.He was in prison for the sake of the Ephesian Gentiles [Operation Rescue] 2.He gives a quick defense of his ministry a.He might not have had to mention these things while he was in Ephesus b.But now, while in prison, there might be scoffers 3.He received a revelation (God-given) a.Gospel is the mystery b.Gospel is all new to the Gentiles B. TO PAUL'S READERS IN EPHESUS (vs4-5) 1.Calling the Ephesians is part of the mystery 2.The mystery had remained hidden until Christ came 3.The mystery is now revealed by the Holy Spirit C. TO PAUL'S READERS EVERYWHERE (vs6-9) 1.Gentiles are on the same level as Jews 2.Paul the Jew was made a minister to the Gentiles by God's grace 3.Paul removes any room for comparisons of worth or ability a.Most men profess a fake humility outwardly while they are full of pride inwardly. b.They call themselves the least of all; yet they are always looking for recognition. c.When Paul does this, he is referring to his life outside of Christ and how that life did not keep him from being elected by God and from being made an apostle. 4.The mystery had been hidden in God. It is God's to conceal or reveal. a.This goes against the notion that everyman deserves a chance to hear the gospel. b.From our perspective of our responsibility, everyman deserves that we tell him the gospel. c.But ultimately it's up to God whether or not that man believes. D. TO HEAVENLY PRINCIPALITIES (vs10-13) 1.God had even hid this from heavenly principalities (angels). 2.Think about it now: "if the calling of the Gentiles is known and revered by the angels in heaven, how shameful that it should be rejected or despised by men upon earth!" (Calvin p.163) 3.Teaches the immutability of God's plan and purpose. a.God didn't change His mind along the way. b.All planned before the foundation of the world. c.According to God's eternal purpose 4.Now we have boldness because of Christ's faith a.It's like a holy presumption b.We believe the promise of God about our access through Christ c.This gives confidence and removes fear d.We trust Christ, not our works. II. GOD REVEALS THE KNOWLEDGE OF CHRIST'S LOVE A. TO FAMILY MEMBERS (vs14-15) 1.Paul prays specifically for the Ephesians 2.He reminds them of what he has written about Jew and Gentile being one new man 3.There is one family in Christ a.Outside of Christ is not the "brotherhood of man" b.Outside of Christ is only dispersion B. TO BE STRENGTHENED (vs16-17) 1.Everything from start to finish comes from God a.Not just our new birth b.But also our increase and growth 2.Paul didn't pray for the Ephesians to prosper in the world or in the outward man 3.Paul prayed they would be strengthened in the inner man (Kingdom of God) 4.Paul explains how the inner man will be strengthened a.Through the fullness of Christ b.Love is a fruit of Christ dwelling in us c.Paul wants us to be so well rooted in love that nothing can move us C. TO COMPREHEND (vs18-19) 1.Knowledge is another fruit of Christ's dwelling in us. a.The dimensions reveal the whole by learning the parts b.The necessary knowledge is the love of Christ 2.Paul says the knowledge of the love of Christ is superior to all other knowledge a.Human faculties can't teach it b.The Holy Spirit teaches it 3.Again Paul says to have Christ is to have the fullness of God D. TO THOSE WHO PRAY (vs20-21) 1.Paul closes with an exhortation to hope 2.Hope comes from the knowledge that God is able and His


E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank