For Christ’s Sake, a Prisoner Part II – (Ephesians 3:1-3)
For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles if indeed you have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace which was given to me for you; that by revelation there was made known to me the mystery, as I wrote before in brief.
The Apostle Paul begins his prayer for all believers in verse one of this chapter. But then he will forget that he is praying for us because he is so focused on Jesus and His work with the church through the Holy Spirit. Paul focuses so much on the church body, that he immediately forgets to continue his prayer. He won’t pick it up again until verse fourteen, because he gets sidetracked explaining a mystery of God’s kingdom. Paul won’t pick up this prayer again until verse fourteen because he wants to make sure that we understand the mystery of God’s plan of salvation. A salvation which is working throughout the body of Christ, which is the church. His prayer is for the riches of knowing Christ’s glory as our Lord and Savior. Riches that are not material in nature, rather they are far more valuable because they are spiritual. They are riches which lead to a more abundant life in Christ, as well as a more fruitful life for the kingdom of God. And what was this mystery that got the Apostle Paul side tracked? Paul was side tracked by explaining the mystery that all believers are united as one in Christ. Dear child of God, this may not seem as much of a mystery to us who are part of the church today.
However, this was a profound revelation for people in Paul’s day as well as for others in our world today. The mystery that through faith we all come together as one body, as one family, collectively called the church. And that together we become the “bride of Christ,” as we wait for His return. The profound mystery that through faith alone, in Jesus alone, all races, all ages and all genders of people are one in Christ. We are all one body and one family under Jesus, by whom we were all adopted into the family of God through faith! There is no more race or nationality with Jesus, because through Him we have become one. We have become one body which is His church. We have become one family because we are the children of God. And we have one inheritance because we are joint-heirs with Jesus in the kingdom of God. And we have one spirit because we are all indwelt by the Holy Spirit. Moreover, part of this mystery is the understanding that we grow in Christ and in His word by the Holy Spirit who gives us wisdom and guidance. The Holy Spirit helps us to further understand this mystery as we study God’s word, the Bible. Because we are all one in Christ Jesus our Lord, God has indwelt all of us with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit who is God, works out our “sanctification.” Sanctification is God’s process of spiritual growth, whereby He transforms our hearts and minds, thereby bonding us all together in the love of Christ, making us one family, united under His lordship.