For this reason I, Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles assuming that you have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace that was given to me for you, how the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I have written briefly. When you read this, you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit. This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel. Of this gospel I was made a minister according to the gift of God’s grace, which was given me by the working of His power. To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God, who created all things, so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. This was according to the eternal purpose that He has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in Him. So I ask you not to lose heart over what I am suffering for you, which is your glory.
This will help us reflect on the privilege that we have in Christ, especially being Gentiles and being alive and saved after the coming of Christ. This is a great privilege that this mystery, which you could see now when we read our Bible how it was hidden starting from Genesis 3 on forward, whether it’s given in mystery form in the promises given to Abraham. Then you can see, whether it is the pictures in Exodus or the tabernacle or in the temple or all the prophets, that God was going to reveal His plan of salvation and that it was going to give great privilege, not only for His visible people there, those that descended from Abraham, but in his seed, the whole earth was going to be blessed. This is now that mystery. How is God going to do this? It’s through Christ and through His gospel.
You can see it in verse 6, “This mystery is that the Gentiles…” The mystery or the definition of the mystery he is talking about which is no longer a secret is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs and members of the same body and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the Gospel. This is our privilege that we are here in the revelation of the mystery and this mystery is now applied to us, that Christ was to come and die and bring salvation to those that are Jews first and us outside of Judaism, outside of the physical descendant genealogy of Abraham. We are brought in by the blood and sacrifice of Jesus Christ. This was hidden for ages and it is in the manifold wisdom of God that it has been revealed for us and for our salvation.
What do we do with this mystery? Is it just an intellectual benefit? You see what Paul points to is not only the blessing that the Ephesians have and we have, but that we have gifts that come out of this mystery, this great privilege that we have in Christ. We respond with this great privilege in whom we have boldness. You see it there in verse 12, “…an access with confidence through our faith in Him.” This is the way we should come to our God, humbly, but with confidence. Why? This mystery that God kept secret from the beginning was for our benefit and for our privilege. Christ died for us and He wants us. We are of equal value. Any soul that was from Abraham genetically, we are of equal value, we are not second class citizens being Gentiles and this was this great mystery that salvation is through faith in Christ.
I was reminded of this verse in Proverbs 25:2, “It is the glory of God to conceal things, but the glory of kings is to search things out.” This is part of our privilege as believers having the Holy Spirit. We go into God’s Word and He reveals things to us, things that can only be spiritually discerned. Then we have confidence with faith in Christ, which we have been given (not that we could create it on our own). Hebrews 4:16, talks about the boldness and the access that he talks about here, “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” What better motivation of the heart, that we can come to God, humble, grateful, thankful, knowing that we have been in God’s plans throughout the ages, from the beginning of time, in eternity. Our salvation is a part of this mystery.