| || |The Berean Expositor
Volume 6 - Page 59 of 151 Index | Zoom | |
Revelation. The twenty references of Paul are divided evenly between the Prison Epistles
and the remainder. The references in Ephesians are the following.
The Mystery in Ephesians.
A | 1: 9. The mystery of His Will--a dispensation--which he purposed.
B | 3: 3. The mystery.
C | 3: 4. The mystery of Christ--my knowledge.
A | 3: 9. The dispensation of the mystery--which He purposed.
B | 5: 32. The great mystery.
C | 6: 19. The mystery of the gospel--made known.
It would appear from the above that the mystery of His Will, which has in view the
dispensation of the fulness of the seasons, and the dispensation of the Mystery are
parallel. In this paper we must confine ourselves to the first of these references, the
mystery of His Will. Ephesians speaks of three things which pertains to the Will of God,
(1) "The good pleasure of His Will," (2) "The mystery of His Will," and (3) "The
counsel of His Will." (1: 5, 9, 11). The first and third references have to do with
predestination to sonship and inheritance. The second has to do with the present
revelation of the hidden purposes of God. By telling us at the outset that the mystery is
the mystery of His Will, the Scriptures dispose of any idea of mere fortuitousness, the
dispensation of the mystery, the purpose to head up all things in Christ, though not made
known in other Scriptures, was all planned and arranged in the purpose of the ages
(Eph. 3: 1-10). Moreover, we are assured that this purpose is actuated by the most
gracious of motives, viz., "according to His good pleasure, which He hath purposed in
Himself" (1: 9). Versions and readings vary as to the word "Himself," later readings and
the R.V. read, "in Him," and so point to Christ. The words "in Him" come again at the
end of verse 10, and a double emphasis seems to be given to the fact that in Christ the
purposes of God meet and find their fulfilment. The setting of the passage therefore is as
| 9. The mystery of His WILL.
B | 9. IN HIM.
A | 10. The dispensation of the fulness.
B | 10. IN HIM.
In other words, verse 10 is an expansion of verse 9, and the mystery of His Will is
revealed in His purpose to gather together under one head all things in Christ. Let us
pause before this revelation. Let us seek more earnestly His face, that to us also may be
"made known" in all wisdom and prudence, this marvellous mystery of His Will.