Saturday, March 10, 2012

Missions in Ephesians

When it comes to glorious truths about Christ and his church, no book surpasses Ephesians. I'm guessing that we all love reading this epistle. In the midst of this wonderful letter, does Paul say anything significant about missions?

He certainly does. In 3:8-10 we read the following:

"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, and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things, so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places."

Although Paul says several significant things in this passage, I'd like to focus on two.

First, and most important, Paul understands that his duty and privilege is to preach/proclaim "the unsearchable riches of Christ." The core content of the apostle's heralding was always the person and work of Jesus Christ. Paul esteems Christ's riches to be beyond value and inexhaustible. As Paul goes from place to place, he stays on point in his preaching; it always centers on Jesus.

Second, Paul refers to "the plan of the mystery." What is he talking about? Paul is referring to God's eternal purpose of bringing together Jew and Gentile to be his special people (the church). God does this to put on display for all to see the magnificence of Christ. Basically, the plan is one of renewal and sharing. God is reversing the effects of the fall by creating a new, holy people to enjoy God and give him glory.

As we read the above passage, we should also take notice of the biblical definition of preaching. It refers to announcing with conviction the gospel to the lost.

It is interesting to read an epistle like Ephesians and then read through the book of Acts. Throughout Acts, we see Paul again and again do what we see above. He preaches Christ over and over in all sorts of different locations. Although he doesn't say exactly the same thing every time, Jesus remains the focal point.

Paul was all about Jesus. May we be the same.

(To read any or all posts in this series, please click here.)

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