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Ephesians is full of lofty ideas. Sometimes they are ideas that dig deep inside. Our focus this morning is on three mysteries that are discussed in Ephesians.
The Mystery of God’s Redemption in Christ
Ephesians says quite a bit about redemption in Christ. Some of it is simple, and some of it is more complex and lawful.
Talking about a mystery here means that there was a truth that was hidden in the past but had now, or is being revealed. We have redemption through Christ’s blood, the forgiveness of sins according to His grace. This is God’s purpose through Christ’s shedding of blood on the cross.
God’s purpose is to work in such a way that His best goodwill and eternal purposes for everything He has created comes to its fullness. This almost sounds like the redemption and reclaiming and reordering of everything that God has created. It almost sounds like universalism… where everything comes back to God.
A question for us to ponder. Are we being brought more and more into harmony with God and His purposes where we are? We can’t control the world, and we can’t affect the redemption of everything. We can engage in the world and try to lead a Kingdom of God life where we are. Are we becoming more in tune with God’s goals for us and for His world?
Whatever God accomplishes in these areas that we don’t know part of what they mean… we will be happy with what He does.
God is Forming a Kingdom Composed of Jews and Gentiles
In the New Testament this is spoken of in a number of places, that the Jews and Gentiles will be brought together into a family of Christ. There is absolutely no reason for people to be in hostility towards anyone.
By Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, he made utterly irrelevant the antagonism between Jew and Gentiles. The Gentiles were without God and without hope… they did not have a relationship with God. Paul abruptly moves from this hopeless position of Gentiles and says Gentiles are now united to Christ through His shed blood! They have given the opportunity to draw near and belong to God, and God’s family.
God’s purpose all along was to bring Gentiles, and Jews into close harmony and fellowship through the blood of Christ’s cross. The Father of all humankind intends to unite all people with Himself and to bring all people into unity with each other.
The Mystery of the Church
The Church is in union with Christ. We are members of His body, this is a great mystery. There are many parallels between Christ and the Church and the marriage of a man and a woman.
The Church is under Christ and is filled with the presence of Christ. To the extent that we are in union and harmony with Christ, this is the extent to which we experience His presence and work among us.
The Church is like a building. The building belongs to God. We are not God and we don’t own the building. Christ is the cornerstone and the rest of the building is made up of people. Christ holds the Church together and He grows the building up.
Ephesians 1:1-14, Ephesians 3:16-17, Colossians 1:26-27, Ephesians 2, Romans 4, 1 John 2, Ephesians 5