| || |The Berean Expositor
Volume 32 - Page 143 of 246 Index | Zoom | |
The Mystery Manifested.
#5. The Mystery of Christ.
A superlative manifestation.
pp. 12 - 14
In our last article we recognized that there were two mysteries discussed by the
Apostle in Eph. 3:, one dealing with the peculiar calling of the present dispensation
called "the mystery", and the other called "the mystery of Christ". It is to the second of
these two, and its manifestation that we must now turn.
The Apostle introduces the subject parenthetically, as will be clear from an
examination of Eph. 3: 3-5.
"As I wrote afore in few words, whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my
knowledge in the mystery of Christ" (Eph. 3: 3, 4).
What is the purpose of this reference? To what does the Apostle refer when he says
"as I wrote afore"? And how does the introduction of this second mystery help the main
line of his argument? The main thread of the Apostle's argument is that to him, as the
prisoner of Christ Jesus, a dispensation had been given, and the revelation of the mystery,
around which that dispensation revolved. To support this claim the Apostle seems to
pause in order to demonstrate the quality of his knowledge in another mystery, namely,
the mystery of Christ. As there was no other epistle to the Ephesians, or to any other
church, to which the Apostle could appeal, he must have been referring to something
already written in the opening chapters of Ephesians. In chapter 1:, in connection with
"the mystery of His will", the Apostle shows that God had in view a dispensation in
which He would "gather together again under one Head the all things (ta panta) in the
Christ, the things in the heavens, and the things on the earth in Him" (Eph. 1: 10). This
glorious aspect of the mystery of Christ is further expanded in the same chapter, in
verses 21-23, where He is seen as the exalted One, far above all, in the heavenly places,
with all things (panta) under His feet, and Head over all things (panta) to the church,
which is His body, the fullness of Him that filleth the all things (ta panta) in all (panta).
It is to these verses that the Apostle appeals, in order that the reader may understand his
knowledge of the mystery of Christ.
It would seem that Paul's argument is somewhat as follows:
"In making this claim, namely, that as the prisoner of Christ Jesus I have received a
dispensation from God, accompanied by the revelation of the mystery, I know that I have
made a very great claim, and that it is reasonable that you should demand some
credentials from me. My difficulty is caused by the unique character of this ministry. I
cannot compare myself with any other of the apostles, for their ministry and mine differ
too much to make that comparison possible or of any value. The only thing I can do is to
speak of that which other apostles and prophets, both past and present, share together
with myself, namely, a knowledge of an associated mystery--`the mystery of Christ'. If
I can show you there, where comparison is possible, my knowledge of this mystery