Parenthetical Commentary: The Mystery of the gospel
BIG QUESTION: How is  Ephesians 3:1-13  functioning within the letter of Ephesians? I take Eph.
Published February 25th, 2014
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2014-02-21 14:38:13
2014-02-25 19:15:10
BIG QUESTION: How is Ephesians 3:1-13 functioning within the letter of Ephesians? I take Eph.3:1-13 to be Paul's commentary on Eph.2:11-22 in that he is reflecting on the union of Jews and Gentiles - the language of 3:3,6 points me in that direction. Paul is saying: "The Gentiles, even they, are a part of the promise to God's people. What grace indeed!" Further, the phrase "for this reason" or "on account of this" in 3:1 seems to be an implication statement of some kind. This phrase will also show up again in 3:14 - thus making 3:1-13 a parenthetical sidebar that makes much of God's grace in revealing the mystery to Paul.*But this isn't just a tangent, though. In this section, we learn the "how" and "when" of this mystery, as well as the global purpose of the glocal church. In short, this is not a "throw away" section. It is utterly crucial to understanding the personal mission of Paul, the way in which this mystery came about to Paul, when this mystery started in time, how to understand this mystery, and why this mystery even exists! *A major section indeed. Paul is taking a step back from 2:11-22 and saying "you know what that is? That's called a 'mystery'. That 'mystery' was revealed to me on the Damascus road, but it is not a new plan. In fact, it stems from eternity past. God always planned to incorporate the Gentiles into God's eternal people. He hid this plan for ages, but now it has been revealed. All of this was done in order that 'the Church would make known the manifold wisdom of God'". It was wise of God to keep his mystery secret until the appropriate time. Who are you, o man, to question God and his ways? Thus, 3:1-13 functions as a parenthetical commentary on the realities of 2:11-22, which is why Paul is able to say "Don't lose heart...this is my calling. God planned this union between Jews and Gentiles, and I am the means by which this message is going to be proclaimed. Therefore, don't lose heart: it is for your glory". 1. The "mystery" revealed to Paul: Gentile inclusion into God's people (vv.2-6) Verse 2: the "grace of God" is mentioned. "Grace of God" is the banner over this entire section, and Paul describes this banner in terms of "mystery" and "gospel". V.3 - "Mystery" was made known to Paul according to revelation (see Acts accounts/personal testimonies) Vv.4-5 - parenthetical statements explaining "how" the mystery can be understood, and "when" the mystery was made known to mankind (emphasizing the importance of understanding redemptive history) V.6 - Is the actual mystery described and high/main point of vv.1-8. V.7 - Paul's personal calling as a minister of this mystery/gospel Q1 : What is the "promise" in v.6? Reference to the Holy Spirit? (Acts 1:4) 2. The "mystery" commissioned to Paul and the eternal purpose of the Church (vv.8-12). V.8 - Paul's two-fold mission: to "preach" to the Gentiles and to "enlighten" all to the mystery Q2 : Why does Paul add "in God who created all things". Why does he add "the one who created all things"? What is he explaining or trying to clarify? Purpose of the Church : the unfolding plan of redemptive history is the Church's witness to and proclamation of God's manifold wisdom to the watching world and heavenly rulers and authorities V.12 - sounds very much like Ephesians 2:18, but how is it different?
11392993493281 1392993493277 Notes 2014-02-21 14:38:13 2014-02-25 19:15:10 BIG QUESTION: How is Ephesians 3:1-13 functioning within the letter of Ephesians? I take Eph.3:1-13 to be Paul's commentary on Eph.2:11-22 in that he is reflecting on the union of Jews and Gentiles - the language of 3:3,6 points me in that direction. Paul is saying: "The Gentiles, even they, are a part of the promise to God's people. What grace indeed!" Further, the phrase "for this reason" or "on account of this" in 3:1 seems to be an implication statement of some kind. This phrase will also show up again in 3:14 - thus making 3:1-13 a parenthetical sidebar that makes much of God's grace in revealing the mystery to Paul.*But this isn't just a tangent, though. In this section, we learn the "how" and "when" of this mystery, as well as the global purpose of the glocal church. In short, this is not a "throw away" section. It is utterly crucial to understanding the personal mission of Paul, the way in which this mystery came about to Paul, when this mystery started in time, how to understand this mystery, and why this mystery even exists! *A major section indeed. Paul is taking a step back from 2:11-22 and saying "you know what that is? That's called a 'mystery'. That 'mystery' was revealed to me on the Damascus road, but it is not a new plan. In fact, it stems from eternity past. God always planned to incorporate the Gentiles into God's eternal people. He hid this plan for ages, but now it has been revealed. All of this was done in order that 'the Church would make known the manifold wisdom of God'". It was wise of God to keep his mystery secret until the appropriate time. Who are you, o man, to question God and his ways? Thus, 3:1-13 functions as a parenthetical commentary on the realities of 2:11-22, which is why Paul is able to say "Don't lose heart...this is my calling. God planned this union between Jews and Gentiles, and I am the means by which this message is going to be proclaimed. Therefore, don't lose heart: it is for your glory". 1. The "mystery" revealed to Paul: Gentile inclusion into God's people (vv.2-6) Verse 2: the "grace of God" is mentioned. "Grace of God" is the banner over this entire section, and Paul describes this banner in terms of "mystery" and "gospel". V.3 - "Mystery" was made known to Paul according to revelation (see Acts accounts/personal testimonies) Vv.4-5 - parenthetical statements explaining "how" the mystery can be understood, and "when" the mystery was made known to mankind (emphasizing the importance of understanding redemptive history) V.6 - Is the actual mystery described and high/main point of vv.1-8. V.7 - Paul's personal calling as a minister of this mystery/gospel Q1 : What is the "promise" in v.6? Reference to the Holy Spirit? (Acts 1:4) 2. The "mystery" commissioned to Paul and the eternal purpose of the Church (vv.8-12). V.8 - Paul's two-fold mission: to "preach" to the Gentiles and to "enlighten" all to the mystery Q2 : Why does Paul add "in God who created all things". Why does he add "the one who created all things"? What is he explaining or trying to clarify? Purpose of the Church : the unfolding plan of redemptive history is the Church's witness to and proclamation of God's manifold wisdom to the watching world and heavenly rulers and authorities V.12 - sounds very much like Ephesians 2:18, but how is it different? notes
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