| || |The Berean Expositor
Volume 12 - Page 117 of 160 Index | Zoom | |
The Mysteries of Eph. 3: 1-13.
pp. 55 - 58
The great theme of the first half of chapter 3: is "The Mystery". This subject, like
several other equally weighty themes in Paul's epistles, is introduced by way of a
parenthesis. Chapter 3: opens with the words, "For this cause" and verse 14 resumes
the statement. The chapter may be sub-divided simply as follows:--
| 3: 1. For this cause.
B | 2-13. The ministry of the mystery.
A | 14-. For this cause.
B | -14-21. Prayer for believers.
Our subject for the present is confined to the first half of the Chapter, viz., B | 2-13.
Again we must set out before the eye the literary arrangement of the passage so that we
may perceive the subject upon which the attention should be focused.
| 1. Prisoner for you.
B | 2. Dispensation of the grace of God.
C | 3. Revelation of mystery.
D | 4-7. Ministry of mystery.
C | 8. Unsearchable riches.
B | 9. Dispensation of mystery.
A | 13. Affliction for you.
The apostle, instead of seeking the commiseration of the saints with his imprisonment,
shows them the ground he and they have for glorying in such affliction, seeing that in that
condition and state he had been entrusted with the dispensation of the mystery, unveiling
a purpose which hitherto had never been made known (A | 1 and A | 13). The
dispensation of the grace of God to the Gentiles is further explained as the dispensation
of the mystery which had hitherto been hidden by God, the one expression magnifying
the wondrous grace that has been manifested to the far-off Gentiles, the other indicating
the peculiar character of that grace inasmuch as it was the outworking of a secret purpose
of the ages which God had never before made known (B | 2 and B | 9).
But, some reader may interpose, How can you speak of the mystery as being kept an
absolute secret until revealed to the apostle Paul, when verse 5 declares that it had been
made known in measure at least to other generations, and had been revealed not to Paul
only but to other apostles and prophets too? The question is an important one,
nevertheless it is an evidence of failure to rightly divided the Word of truth here. Let us
examine the passage for ourselves.
Verse 4 speaks of the Mystery of Christ. This mystery evidently was not something
entirely new at the time, for the apostle definitely makes a comparison between the
knowledge possessed by former generations and that of his own time. "As" indicates this