1For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles--
- For WHAT reason? - because God has brought the Gentiles from being “far away” to near
- Because Jesus has made one man out of two and is connecting the two in order to make a dwelling place for His spirit on the Earth
2if indeed you have heard of the stewardship of God's grace which was given to me for you;
- He was a steward of God’s grace - the apostle to the Gentiles
- Romans 1:5 - grace and apostleship to call all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from Faith
- 1 Peter 4:10 - Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms
- 1 Cor 4:1 - stewards of the mysteries of God
- What Grace are you stewarding? - you are the one to whom the grace is given and it only FROM you that it will be given
- who is receiving a grace from God through you?
- who should be but isn’t?
- He was the one given the job of taking Grace to the Gentiles…
3that by revelation there was made known to me the mystery, as I wrote before in brief.
- Gal 1:11 - 12 - the Gospel Paul Preaches was given to him by Jesus
- wrote before in brief - either a different letter or he is referring to chapter 2
4By referring to this, when you read you can understandmy insight into the mystery of Christ,
- The Mystery of Christ - that he will bring the Gentiles to salvation - this is the only mystery being talked about in this passage
5which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men,as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit;
- God is showing through Jesus and through the church the essence of what his plan was all along
6[to be specific], that the Gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in ChristJesus through the gospel,
- fellow heirs - we receive the promise also
- fellow members of the body - we are connected to and of one kind with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David etc
- fellow partakers of the promise - the promise of salvation, resurrection, and relationship with God
- through the Gospel - ONLY through the good news - we did not earn it
7of which I was made a minister, according to the gift of God's grace which was given to me according to the working of His power.
- I love that Paul never allows us to think he earned or deserved the grace of apostleship. He was called and enabled by the working of God’s power.
8To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given,to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ,
- the very least of all saints? - Apostle Paul? -
- it actually says "less than the least of the saints"
- Paul wants it to be known in every possible way exactly who he is and who he is not.
- this grace was given - to be called by God to work for him is a gift from God and is not earned
- the unfathomable riches of Christ -
- past finding out
- the Riches of CHRIST - they are so glorious human language is not up to the task of describing them
- no wonder he calls it a grace - this is my job!
9and to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God who created all things;
- to bring to light - another translation says “to make all men see"
- what is the administration - what do your versions say?
- the how, the why, and the what of the Gospel
- what is the news?
- how is it good?
- how do I get connected to this?
- the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God - this was God’s big idea from the beginning and now he is finally pulling the cover off and yelling surprise!
10so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly[places].
- "It was not enough to show it by the creation of intelligent beings, the formation of immortal minds on earth, and the various ranks of the angelic world. There were views of the divine character which could be obtained only in connection with the redemption of the world. Hence the universe was created, and man was made upon the earth, not merely to illustrate the divine perfections in the work of creation, but in a still more illustrious manner in the work of redemption. And hence the deep interest which the angelic hosts have ever evinced in the salvation of man.” Barnes
- "It is as if a great drama is being enacted. History is the theatre, the world is the stage, and the church members in every land are the actors. God himself has written the play, and he directs and produces it. Act by act, scene by scene, the story continues to unfold. But who are the audience? They are the cosmic intelligences, the principalities and powers in the heavenly places." (Stott)
- "In his immortality, never touched by one drop of our cold river, it is instructive to him beyond all our thought to see his God triumphing over pain and death in some sufferer in the fire of martyrdom, or in the torture of cancer, or in the shipwreck, or just in the silent awe of any form of our departure from the body . . . They see these fallen and mortal beings, this Community of the lost and saved, not only bearing and doing for God here on earth, but spiritually present with Him in the Holy of Holies above." (Moule)