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Studies in the Epistles of the Mystery.
The Dispensation of the Mystery (Eph. 3: 9).
pp. 8 - 10
The apostle had claimed that to him, less than the least of all saints as he was, grace
had been given to preach as good tidings the unsearchable riches of the Christ (3: 8). As
we have seen, the word "unsearchable" suggests that no track had been made,
"untraceable" perhaps conveying the meaning as well as any word. These untraceable
riches form the subject of verse 9, and we suggest that instead of commencing the verse
with "and", the kai should be translated "even". A parallel passage for this usage and
rendering is found in Rom. 16: 25:--
"Now to Him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, EVEN the
preaching of Jesus Christ according to the revelation of the mystery, kept quiet in age
times, but now made manifest . . . . ."
"My gospel" as used by Paul is nothing less than the preaching of Christ according to
the inner teaching of Rom. 5:, which doctrine does not find an exposition in Scripture
until then, for Paul and his chronicler Luke are the only ones who mention Adam in the
N.T.; no other writer seems cognizant of the revelation of the mystery which is
connected with Christ as the last Adam. This is not the mystery however of Eph. 3: 9,
the reference to Rom. 16: being only given as a parallel.
"Even to enlighten all as to what is the dispensation of that mystery which has been
hidden away from the ages by that God Who created all things" (Eph. 3: 9). (The R.V.
reads "dispensation" for the A.V. "fellowship").
We believe this to be the third title given in the epistle for this present dispensation,
the first being found in 1: 10:--
"With regard to a dispensation of the fullness of the seasons, to reunite all things
under one Head, in the Christ."
The second is in 3: 2:--
"The dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to youward."
The third is in 3: 9:--
"The dispensation of the mystery."
It will be seen upon examination that the dispensation of 1: 10 refers to the mystery,
for verse 9 reads:--
"Having made known unto us the mystery . . . . . with regard to a dispensation."
The Gentiles, previous to the revelation of this mystery and the introduction of this
dispensation, had lived in alienation from God and His covenant. Eph. 2: 12 uses the