Thursday, January 28, 2016

Ephesians 3:1-13

When I think about it I realize that I’m a prisoner of and for Christ. It’s all because of my mission to make the grace of God available to the non-Jews -- the Gentile people.

As I briefly mentioned before, this is all a part of God’s mysterious and secret plan -- the plan that he has revealed to me. And as you read and digest this, you’ll join me in understanding that I’m talking about the plan of Christ to personally bring about the reconciliation all disparate things in the creation. Included in that reconciliation is the pulling together of the Jews and the Gentiles. For the Gentiles are now, along with the Jews, coheirs of God’s promises. How’s that for an earth-shattering mystery!

This secret plan is now being revealed by God’s Spirit to his holy apostles and prophets. Earlier generations were oblivious to God’s hidden plan to bring both Jews and Gentiles together into a single group. This new cooperative has become the inheritor and owner of the promises of God. These are the promises that were about Christ Jesus and which constitute the good news of which I have become an unworthy servant. And, really, the only reason I can serve in this way is that through his grace, God exercised his power to bring me on board to his mission. What a privilege it is to serve him -- and you -- in this way.

Indeed, it’s all about the grace. I am the least of all God’s people, yet he filled my tank with his grace so that I could fuel the tanks of the Gentiles with this grace -- the grace that is the good news of Christ and his immeasurable riches. He is extending his generosity to all people regardless of their culture. That is the secret plan -- the mystery -- hidden from us since the beginning of time. And it was hidden by none other than God himself, the creator of all things. But now, much to my surprise, God has sent me to unveil his top secret plan.

He is using the church to reveal to all the power brokers -- whether earthly rulers or authorities operating in the heavenly realms -- just how wise he is. That is his intention. And this is the operation that he has been carrying out from the beginning of all time through Christ Jesus our Lord. Christ is the point man in all this. And it is because of the faithfulness of Christ that we, both Jews and Gentiles, boldly and confidently relate to God. So, then, don’t fall apart thinking that the situation is hopeless when I your leader end up suffering on your behalf. Don’t sweat it. It’s all a part of the plan to bring honor to you Gentiles.