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The Mystery of Christ

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Subject: The Mystery of Christ, CIT: Paul taught that God had gifted him with the privilege of preaching that the Gentiles can find salvation in Chirst. Prop: The church has the great priviledge of bringing the nations to Christ.

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When I was a kid, I loved getting up every Saturday morning and watching cartoons. I know that they have entire channels devoted to cartoons now. But kids, when your parents were kids, cartoons mostly came on on Saturday morning.
So most of us would get up fairly early so that we could watch all the cartoons that came on and lasted until about lunch. We all had our different favorites. Here’s one of my favorites.
(*Show Scooby Doo Theme Clip). The cartoon follows four teenagers Fred, Daphne, Velma, Shaggy as well as a talking Great Dane named Scooby Doo. Does anyone remember what they travelled around in?…The Mystery Machine.
(*Show Scooby Doo Theme Clip). The cartoon follows four teenagers Fred, Daphne, Velma, Shaggy as well as a talking Great Dane named Scooby Doo. Does anyone remember what they travelled around in?…The Mystery Machine.
Why did they call it that? Because they travelled around and found themselves solving mysteries that centered around a local legend. That usually involved them being chased by some monster. But when the solved the mystery, the monster was just some masked person that they had already met that was trying to take advantage of the local legend to gain money or other wealth.
Today, we are talking about another mystery. Believe it or not, a greater mystery than anything Scooby and the Gang ever had to solve. It was a mystery that was never solved but a mystery that had to be revealed. It is the mystery of Christ (v.5)
In Scripture, a mystery is not something that is a hidden secret that has to be figured out. But, it is a an aspect of God’s plan that God has not chosen to reveal to us yet.
For example, in , we are going to see another mystery. He is speaking about the relationship of a husband and a wife and he says,
Ephesians 5:32 ESV
32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.
32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. (Eph. 5:32)
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.
The truth that Christ is revealing is that God created marriage to picture Christ’s relationship to his people. We will talk more about that when we get there.
But now we are dealing with a mystery that Paul calls in v.4 “the mystery of Christ.”
What is the Mystery of Christ? He tells us in v.6.
Ephesians 3:6 ESV
6 This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.
Eph.
Paul is saying, God has revealed something new. That Gentiles from every nation are separated from God can be made right with God through faith in Jesus Christ. What is God doing through Christ? He made it real clear a few verses before here.
Ephesians 2:15 ESV
15 by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace,
There are two types of people in the world: Jews and Gentiles. Both of them are lost and separated from God because of sin. God is reaching people from both of these groups, not just the Jews. So that the new heavens and the new earth will be populated by only one type of person, a believer in Jesus Christ.
That’s what God is doing in the world. Here are two implications for us as we live in light of this incredible revelation?

I. The gift of the gospel motivates the church to share it. (vv.1-9)

The price we pay to get that news to the world is worth it. (vv. 1-2, 13)

A. This gift was not only for us, but for others as well. (v.2)

A. This gift was not only for us, but for others as well. (v.2)

Ephesians 3:2 ESV
2 assuming that you have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace that was given to me for you,
Ephesians 2:2 ESV
2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—
Eh
Paul had been in Ephesus for 3 years. He knew that they knew of the calling had on his life. No doubt, he had shared with them his calling on the Damascus Rd. Now he had been gone for a while. He is assuming that their were now people in the church that others had told about Christ. They had shared about how Paul had come with the gospel.
Paul says that God has given the nations a gift, but he has given the gift of the gospel to him for the Gentiles. Paul says, “It was my job to get that gift to you.”
There is a little bit of danger in that. What is it? Has anyone ever given your wife or your husband a gift that they gave to you to get to them. But, it never got to them. Or it didn’t get to them in the exact way it was given? Like,”Bradley, I’ve got this pie that I cooked for your wife. She said that she like this kind of pie.” It’s likely that I’m going to tell Misty and you made her half a pie.
Sharing the gift is a gift.
It is a gift to the church to get the gospel
Paul said that God had not just given him the gospel for him. But, he had also given him the gospel for them.
+Who has God given you the gospel for?

B. Our task comes with a price. (vv.1,7-8)

Eph. 3:
Ephesians 3:1 ESV
1 For this reason I, Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles—
Paul was a prisoner. He was writing this letter from Roman imprisonment. He was there because of his commitment to bring the gospel to the Gentiles. Paul had suffered greatly to get the gospel to the world.
2 Corinthians 11:24–28 ESV
24 Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; 26 on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; 27 in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. 28 And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches.
2 Cor. 11:24-
It was an
But, he made it clear that it was a price well worth paying.
Ephesians 3:13 ESV
13 So I ask you not to lose heart over what I am suffering for you, which is your glory.
Why? He viewed the burden of sharing the gospel as a gift or a grace of God.
Sharing the gift is a gift.
Ephesians 3:7 ESV
7 Of this gospel I was made a minister according to the gift of God’s grace, which was given me by the working of his power.
Ephesians 3:7–8 ESV
7 Of this gospel I was made a minister according to the gift of God’s grace, which was given me by the working of his power. 8 To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ,
+We tend to look at the call to make disciples like a burden, or a duty, or doing what I am suppose to do because God told us to do it. That is not how Paul viewed it. Paul viewed it as a massive gift from God. Paul thought, “Who am I that I get to share with the nations that God has called you to be in his family through the work of his Son? He called himself the least of all the saints. After all, he had actually persecuted the church. He held the coats when Stephen was stoned to death. Who was he that he had this great priviledge?
+Who knows the Lord because you were willing to pay a price.
+The ability to evangelize is a gift. Yes it might cost you something. It will never cost you as much as it did Paul. It eventually cost him his life. You might feel uncomfortable. It might put the other person off. It might even cost you a friend. But the cost is worth it.
You might feel uncomfortable.
+Who knows the Lord because you were willing to pay a price. We should all be able to point to someone who knows the Lord because we were willing to pay some price.
Ephesians 3:13 ESV
13 So I ask you not to lose heart over what I am suffering for you, which is your glory.
Ephesians 2:13 ESV
13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

C. Everyone is qualified to receive the gift of sharing the gospel. (v.8)

Ephesians 3:8 ESV
8 To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ,
Don’t think that you can’t be used by God to share the gospel. We’ve made all the excuses. I’m not smart enough. I don’t know enough. I’m not righteous enough. Paul says he was less a Christian than you are. So if use Paul, God can use any of us.

D. Everyone is qualified to hear the gospel (v.9)

Ephesians 3:9 ESV
9 and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God, who created all things,
We must remember that God can use anyone to share the gospel and God can use the gospel to save anyone.
+There is a danger for us to discriminate who deserves the gospel. We tend to look for moral people that fit the “good” category. They would be a good person to share with. They will be easy. Biblically they are probably the hardest. You get someone that knows they are a sinner. That’s probably a person that is willing to hear a message about grace.

II. The beauty of the gospel compels the church to cherish it. (vv.10-13)

*Diamond- Manifold wisdom, many different aspects of God’s wisdom and glory.
“The wisdom of God devised a way for the mercy of God to satisfy the judgment of God for the glory of God.” -John Piper
angels even liek to
*Showing an engagement ring. So beautiful that angels even love to look into something so glorious.
Ephesians 3:11–12 ESV
11 This was according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord, 12 in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him.
Ephesians 3:10 ESV
10 so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.
.11
So beautiful that angels even love to look into something so glorious.
This is not only how much God loves me. But a picture of how much God loves you.
*Showing an engagement ring. Usually a symbol of how much he loves his fiance. This glory of the gospel is not only how much God loves me. But a picture of how much God loves you.
*The gospel opens the way for us to approach God for or with anything.
Ephesians 3:11–12 ESV
11 This was according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord, 12 in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him.
The greatest gift that God can give us is the gift of himself. That’s what Adam and Eve lost in the garden, his presence. That’s what we get back in Christ, his presence.
Psalm 55:22 ESV
22 Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.
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