Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Tonight I’m preaching on the radical reconciliation between Jew and Gentile in the body of Christ. Paul interrupts himself after v.1 (which he doesn’t pick up again till v.14 in his prayer) with a lengthy parenthetical remark on his stewardship to make known the mystery of Christ.

If I employ verbal aspect to this passage (Eph 3:1-13) there is only one perfect verbal form which gives heightened prominence (marked emphasis) to arrest the listener/reader’s attention on this most-important point.

The perfect verb form is found in verse 9: καὶ φωτίσαι [πάντας] τίς ἡ οἰκονομία τοῦ μυστηρίου τοῦ ἀποκεκρυμμένου ἀπὸ τῶν αἰώνων ἐν τῷ θεῷ τῷ τὰ πάντα κτίσαντι.

Thus, the perfect participle ἀποκεκρυμμένου brings the idea of this mystery which was once hidden but yet it has existed since the eternal times in God (v.9b). But now this mystery (μυστηρίῳ τοῦ Χριστοῦ, cf. v.4) has been revealed where both Jew and Gentile can worship together in one body on equal ground because of Christ’s atoning death.

Not only do we see the amazing plan of salvation revealed where both Jew and Gentile have equal standing before God in the body of Christ but we also stand mind-boggled at the marvelous wisdom of God who had this plan from the eternal times (ἀπὸ τῶν αἰώνων, v.9). What a great God who is unchanging yet all wise and perfectly sovereign over our salvation. Soli Deo Gloria.
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