The Mystery of
the Gospel
EPHESIANS CHAPTER 3
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Ephesians Chapter Three
The Mystery of the Gospel

For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, If ye have heard of the
dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward: How that by revelation he
made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, Whereby, when ye read,
ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) Which in other ages was not
made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and
prophets by the Spirit; That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and
partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel: Whereof I was made a minister, according
to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power. Unto me,
who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the
Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; And to make all men see what is the fellowship
of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all
things by Jesus Christ: To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly
places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, According to the eternal
purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord: In whom we have boldness and
access with confidence by the faith of him. Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my
tribulations for you, which is your glory. For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of
our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, That he
would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his
Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted
and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and
length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge,
that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. Now unto him that is able to do exceeding
abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto
him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.
(Ephesians 3:1-21 KJV)

For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, If ye have heard of the
dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward: How that by revelation he
made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, Whereby, when ye read,
ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) Which in other ages was not
made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and
prophets by the Spirit; That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and
partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel: Whereof I was made a minister, according
to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power.

Paul writes his epistle to the Ephesians while he is under house arrest in Rome (62 a.d.).
Since his conversion from Saul the persecutor, Paul had become “the apostle to the Gentiles.”
He has been imprisoned because he was not disobedient to that heavenly vision and charge
he received to preach the unsearchable riches of the gospel to the Gentiles.

But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name
before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: For I will shew him how great
things he must suffer for my name's sake. (Acts 9:15-16 KJV)

And I said, Lord, they know that I imprisoned and beat in every synagogue them that
believed on thee: And when the blood of thy martyr Stephen was shed, I also was standing
by, and consenting unto his death, and kept the raiment of them that slew him. And he said
unto me, Depart: for I will send thee far hence unto the Gentiles. (Acts 22:19-21 KJV)

Whereupon as I went to Damascus with authority and commission from the chief priests,
At midday, O king, I saw in the way a light from heaven, above the brightness of the sun,
shining round about me and them which journeyed with me. And when we were all fallen to
the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul,
why persecutest thou me? it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And I said, Who art
thou, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest. But rise, and stand upon thy
feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness
both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear
unto thee; Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send
thee, To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of
Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them
which are sanctified by faith that is in me. Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not
disobedient unto the heavenly vision: But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at
Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they
should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance. (Acts 26:12-20 KJV)

His imprisonment was for those who would be obedient to the faith. The gift of salvation (the
grace of God) was given to those who would be obedient. It is conditional – signified by the use
of “if.”

Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God,
(Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,) Concerning his Son
Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; And
declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the
resurrection from the dead: By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for
obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name: Among whom are ye also the called
of Jesus Christ: To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and
peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 1:1-7 KJV)

Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of
Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the
world began, But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to
the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of
faith: To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen. <<Written to the
Romans from Corinthus, and sent by Phebe servant of the church at Cenchrea.>> (Romans
16:25-27 KJV)

Paul’s preaching was by revelation of God; not by the instruction of man. He was inspired.

To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him
that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there
be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an
angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached
unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any
other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. For do I now
persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be
the servant of Christ. But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me
is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation
of Jesus Christ. (Galatians 1:5-12 KJV)

And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom,
declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know any thing among you,
save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in
much trembling. And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's
wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in
the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that
are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to
nought: But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God
ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for
had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But as it is written, Eye
hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which
God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit:
for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the
things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth
no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the
spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the
Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man
receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can
he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he that is spiritual judgeth all
things, yet he himself is judged of no man. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he
may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ. (1 Corinthians 2:1-16 KJV)

If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things
that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord. (1 Corinthians 14:37 KJV)

For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of
God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the
word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe. (1 Thessalonians 2:13 KJV)

The apostle here reminds me of Ezra and the Levites who prepared themselves to do what
needed to be done to teach God’s will to Israel, and to make them to understand what the will
of God was.

For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the LORD, and to do it, and to teach in
Israel statutes and judgments. (Ezra 7:10 KJV)

So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them
to understand the reading. (Nehemiah 8:8 KJV)

And on the second day were gathered together the chief of the fathers of all the people, the
priests, and the Levites, unto Ezra the scribe, even to understand the words of the law.
(Nehemiah 8:13 KJV)

The mystery is that which is not known. Paul was not saying the mystery remained; for what he
spoke and wrote was for the purpose of revealing that mystery, and making it plain to all. He
wrote so that they could understand what was formerly unknown.

In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the
riches of his grace; Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;
Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which
he hath purposed in himself: That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might
gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth;
even in him: In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according
to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: That we
should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. (Ephesians 1:7-12 KJV)

And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet
now hath he reconciled In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and
unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled,
and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was
preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;
Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of
Christ in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the church: Whereof I am made a minister,
according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God;
Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made
manifest to his saints: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of
this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: {in: or, among}
Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may
present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: Whereunto I also labour, striving according to
his working, which worketh in me mightily. (Colossians 1:21-29 KJV)

The gospel of our salvation, although prophesied, was not revealed through the prophets in its
specifics. That waited to be done by the preaching of the apostles and prophets of the New
Testament.

Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of
the grace that should come unto you: Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of
Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ,
and the glory that should follow. Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but
unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have
preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the
angels desire to look into. (1 Peter 1:10-12 KJV)

For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those
things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and
have not heard them. (Matthew 13:17 KJV)

For I tell you, that many prophets and kings have desired to see those things which ye see,
and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.
(Luke 10:24 KJV)

We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as
unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your
hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they
were moved by the Holy Ghost. (2 Peter 1:19-21 KJV)

The prophecy included the blessing of all nations [which includes the Gentiles], but that never
occurred to the Jews. The promise to Abram was that all nations would be blessed by his
Seed. It is this promise that is repeated to Isaac and to David. The prophecy of Daniel had the
Stone consuming the kingdoms of the Gentiles.

The gospel as it was proclaimed from the beginning included all nations – “those who are afar
off.” Yet, the church did not think of taking the gospel to the Gentiles until the occasion of
Cornelius. (Acts 10).

Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus
Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the
promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the
Lord our God shall call. (Acts 2:38-39 KJV)

Now they which were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose about Stephen
travelled as far as Phenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to none but unto
the Jews only. (Acts 11:19 KJV)

Cornelius was an Italian centurion – a Roman soldier over one hundred men. Cornelius was a
good man. He was a godly man. He was a worshipper of God and provided for the needy. He
had an active and consistent prayer life. One day when he was praying an angel of God came to
him and told him to send for Peter, who was staying in Joppa with Simon a tanner. “He shall tell
thee what thou oughtest to do.”

Notice, Cornelius was to send for Peter to find out what to do, just as Saul had to go to Ananias
to find out what to do. No individual in the New Testament was ever told by a heavenly vision, or
even an angel from heaven, what they needed to do. They were sent to a human messenger to
learn what God’s will is. We have the message in earthly vessels. Not even an angel from
heaven, or an heavenly vision, can contradict the message which we have in the gospel, the
doctrine of Christ, the New Testament. Add to this the occurrence of the Ethiopian Eunuch. The
Eunuch was not told the gospel by a heavenly vision, but was sent Phillip that he might know
what to do.

Peter had the social prejudice of the Jews which he had been taught while growing up. In order
to overcome his hesitance to speak to a Gentile, let alone offer them the gospel, it was
necessary to break through that wall of separation that the Law and society had drawn.
First, Peter is shown the vision of the four-cornered sheet. “What God hath cleansed, that call
not thou common.” Although the Law had called for some things to be unclean, God had the
right to call those things clean. God was greater than the Law. What He said superseded the
Law. This was repeated three times. It is said: “The secret to education is repetition, repetition,
repetition.” This was a lesson that Peter needed to learn, and remember.

Second, the Spirit urged Peter to go with the servants of Cornelius. “Behold, three men seek
thee. Arise therefore, and get thee down, and go with them, doubting nothing: for I have sent
them.”

Third, Cornelius recounts the appearance of the angel of God before him. It is then that Peter
realizes: “Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that
feareth Him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with Him.”

The vision of the four-cornered sheet, the urging of the Spirit, and the recounting of the
appearance of the angel convinced Peter. But, it was the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon
Cornelius and his household that convinced those Jews who came with Peter and Peter
himself, that the Gentiles could not be forbidden water to be baptized to wash away their sins.

There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the
Italian band, A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much
alms to the people, and prayed to God alway. He saw in a vision evidently about the ninth
hour of the day an angel of God coming in to him, and saying unto him, Cornelius.

And when he looked on him, he was afraid, and said, What is it, Lord?

And he said unto him, Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God.
And now send men to Joppa, and call for one Simon, whose surname is Peter: He lodgeth
with one Simon a tanner, whose house is by the sea side: he shall tell thee what thou
oughtest to do.
And when the ang
el which spake unto Cornelius was departed, he called two of his household servants, and
a devout soldier of them that waited on him continually; And when he had declared all these
things unto them, he sent them to Joppa.

On the morrow, as they went on their journey, and drew nigh unto the city, Peter went up
upon the housetop to pray about the sixth hour: And he became very hungry, and would
have eaten: but while they made ready, he fell into a trance, And saw heaven opened, and a
certain vessel descending unto him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners,
and let down to the earth: Wherein were all manner of fourfooted beasts of the earth, and
wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air.

And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat.

But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean.

And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not
thou common.

This was done thrice: and the vessel was received up again into heaven.

Now while Peter doubted in himself what this vision which he had seen should mean,
behold, the men which were sent from Cornelius had made enquiry for Simon's house, and
stood before the gate, And called, and asked whether Simon, which was surnamed Peter,
were lodged there.

While Peter thought on the vision, the Spirit said unto him, Behold, three men seek thee.
Arise therefore, and get thee down, and go with them, doubting nothing: for I have sent
them.

Then Peter went down to the men which were sent unto him from Cornelius; and said,
Behold, I am he whom ye seek: what is the cause wherefore ye are come?

And they said, Cornelius the centurion, a just man, and one that feareth God, and of good
report among all the nation of the Jews, was warned from God by an holy angel to send for
thee into his house, and to hear words of thee.

Then called he them in, and lodged them.

And on the morrow Peter went away with them, and certain brethren from Joppa
accompanied him.

And the morrow after they entered into Caesarea. And Cornelius waited for them, and had
called together his kinsmen and near friends. And as Peter was coming in, Cornelius met
him, and fell down at his feet, and worshipped him. But Peter took him up, saying, Stand up;
I myself also am a man. And as he talked with him, he went in, and found many that were
come together. And he said unto them, Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man
that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath shewed
me that I should not call any man common or unclean. Therefore came I unto you without
gainsaying, as soon as I was sent for: I ask therefore for what intent ye have sent for me?
And Cornelius said, Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I
prayed in my house, and, behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing, And said,
Cornelius, thy prayer is heard, and thine alms are had in remembrance in the sight of God.
Send therefore to Joppa, and call hither Simon, whose surname is Peter; he is lodged in the
house of one Simon a tanner by the sea side: who, when he cometh, shall speak unto thee.
Immediately therefore I sent to thee; and thou hast well done that thou art come. Now
therefore are we all here present before God, to hear all things that are commanded thee of
God.

Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of
persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted
with him. The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus
Christ: (he is Lord of all:) That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all
Judaea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached; How God anointed
Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and
healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him. And we are witnesses of
all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and
hanged on a tree: Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly; Not to all the
people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us, who did eat and drink with
him after he rose from the dead. And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to
testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead. To him
give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall
receive remission of sins.

While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.
And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with
Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. For they
heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God.

Then answered Peter, Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which
have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? And he commanded them to be baptized in
the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days. (Acts 10:1-48 KJV)

Even after this, the church questioned Peter going to the Gentiles. However, after hearing the
matter fully, they accepted it.

When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath
God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life. (Acts 11:18 KJV)

It seems to have been a mental acceptance which did not thoroughly change their actions.
The very next verse shows that they still did not take the gospel to the Gentiles.
Now they which were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose about Stephen
travelled as far as Phenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to none but unto
the Jews only. (Acts 11:19 KJV)

It would wait until the journeys of Paul in preaching the gospel, to see the Gentiles appealed to.
Paul was made a minister by God, to be a servant reaching out to the Gentiles with the grace of
God, showing His power and love in forgiving the sins of the world. The entire church unified in
this teaching as they came together in Acts 15.

And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter.
And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and
brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by
my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe. And God, which knoweth the hearts,
bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us; And put no difference
between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a
yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? But we
believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.

Then all the multitude kept silence, and gave audience to Barnabas and Paul, declaring
what miracles and wonders God had wrought among the Gentiles by them.
And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken
unto me: Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of
them a people for his name. And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written,
After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and
I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up: That the residue of men might seek
after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth
all these things. Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.
Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are
turned to God: But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and
from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood. For Moses of old time hath in
every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every sabbath day. (Acts 15:
6-21 KJV)

The apostle Paul never forgot the man he used to be – Saul the persecutor. For this reason he
considered himself to be “the least of all saints.”

I am verily a man which am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city
at the feet of Gamaliel, and taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers,
and was zealous toward God, as ye all are this day. And I persecuted this way unto the
death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women. As also the high priest doth
bear me witness, and all the estate of the elders: from whom also I received letters unto the
brethren, and went to Damascus, to bring them which were there bound unto Jerusalem,
for to be punished. (Acts 22:3-5 KJV)

I verily thought with myself, that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of
Nazareth. Which thing I also did in Jerusalem: and many of the saints did I shut up in prison,
having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I gave
my voice against them. And I punished them oft in every synagogue, and compelled them to
blaspheme; and being exceedingly mad against them, I persecuted them even unto strange
cities.  Whereupon as I went to Damascus with authority and commission from the chief
priests, (Acts 26:9-12 KJV)

And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time. For I am the least of
the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of
God. But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me
was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God
which was with me. (1 Corinthians 15:8-10 KJV)

Paul had been given the privilege of preaching “among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of
Christ.”  To the Jew there were only two types of people in the world – the circumcised and the
uncircumcised – the Jew and the Gentile. It did not matter what race they belong to. It did not
matter what class they belonged to. It did not matter what language they spoke. It did not matter
what nation they were citizens of. There were only Jews and Gentiles. The Gentiles were
alienated from God. They were “strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and
without God in the world.” To those estranged from God, Paul was given the privilege to preach
the salvation which is in Christ Jesus. No longer were they to be separated from God and His
promises. In Christ Jesus, they too would be partarkers of the Promise, they too would be part
of “the household of God,”  one of the saints. No greater blessing could be found for the
Gentile, for their souls were worth more than all the world.

Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called
Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; That
at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and
strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But
now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of
partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of
commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so
making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having
slain the enmity thereby: And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to
them that were nigh. For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.
Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints,
and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and
prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly
framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded
together for an habitation of God through the Spirit. (Ephesians 2:11-22 KJV)

But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto
me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter; (For he that wrought effectually in
Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the
Gentiles:) And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the
grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship;
that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision. (Galatians 2:7-9 KJV)

Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and
take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and
whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall
gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his
soul? (Matthew 16:24-26 KJV)

His purpose was to preach to the Gentiles, but “to make all men see what the fellowship of the
mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by
Jesus Christ.”  He not only preached to the Gentiles, but he taught all men that all men –
regardless of who they were, or where they were from – were in fellowship in Jesus Christ.
They were all a part of one body. They were all reconciled by the blood of Christ. This may have
been hid by God in times past, but “from the beginning of the world” God had this in mind, even
as He created all things by Jesus Christ.

The church has no separation between Jew and Gentile. The church has no separation
between the races. The church has no separation between the classes. The church has no
separation between cultures. The church has no separation between those who speak
different languages. The church has no separation between those who are from different
countries. God’s eternal purpose was that the church would make this known – they would by
their teaching and by their practice show that the divisions which exist in the world of race or
class or culture or nationality mean nothing to God, and thus nothing to the church. In a more
picturesque statement, the church is the original rainbow society, blending those of all stripes
and colors together for the glory of God. However, because of the present state of society it
must be noted, this rainbow society depends upon doing righteousness – living according to
God’s rules.

For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been
baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither
bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye
be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise. (Galatians 3:
26-29 KJV)

I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise.
So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also. For I
am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every
one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness
of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. (Romans 1:14-
17 KJV)

For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no
difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that
call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. (Romans
10:11-13 KJV)

For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body,
being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one
body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made
to drink into one Spirit.  For the body is not one member, but many. (1 Corinthians 12:12-14
KJV)

For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. For in Jesus Christ
neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by
love. (Galatians 5:5-6 KJV)

But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of
Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall
of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of
commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so
making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having
slain the enmity thereby: And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to
them that were nigh. (Ephesians 2:13-17 KJV)

I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation
wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing
one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There
is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one
faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you
all. (Ephesians 4:1-6 KJV)

Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put
on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:
Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian,
Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all. (Colossians 3:9-11 KJV)

Thus, whoever is a part of the church, whoever lives in righteousness, whoever abides in
the doctrine of Christ, can with confidence come before God through and by “the faith of
Him.” Notice, there is an article “the” in front of “faith.” This is not referring to our personal
belief and trust in the Lord, this is referring the system of faith and salvation that is
revealed in His word. We not only have our trust, we have God’s word on the protection,
care, love and reward that await us. Thus, we can have a confidence and reassurance that
knows no bounds. Or, as the old preacher said, “If I is in the doctrine of Christ – I is in God,
and I is in Christ – and the poor devil, he has got to go through both of them to get to me.”
Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that
abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto
you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed:
For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds. (2 John 1:9-11 KJV)

Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall
drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the
body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor
gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than
they?  Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye
thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do
they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like
one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to
morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?
Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or,
Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your
heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the
kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take
therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of
itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. (Matthew 6:25-34 KJV)

What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How
shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?  Know ye not, that so many of us as
were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with
him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of
the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted
together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:
Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed,
that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin. Now if we be
dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: Knowing that Christ being
raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. For in that he
died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also
yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.
Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield
yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as
instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are
not under the law, but under grace. What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the
law, but under grace? God forbid. Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants
to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience
unto righteousness? But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have
obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free
from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. (Romans 6:1-18 KJV)

Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son
of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be
touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet
without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain
mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:14-16 KJV)

Paul tells them not to worry about him. He is more concerned about what can be done for them,
even in his present condition.

If we have such confidence and assurance in the faith, there is no reason to faint at tribulation.
Persecution, no matter what, cannot break the bond which is experienced with God.

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution,
or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all
the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are
more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death,
nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of
God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:35-39 KJV)

Paul kneels in prayer before the Father in heaven that 1) they might be strengthened by His
Spirit in the inner man; 2) that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; 3) that all saints might
comprehend the breadth, and length, and depth, and height, of love; and 4) they might know the
love of Christ.

1)        Strengthened by His Spirit – Christians are to be led by the Spirit. They are not to grieve
the Spirit. In this matter of unity, in this mystery of fellowship, in this uniting of Jew and Gentile,
Paul wishes the Ephesians to allow the Spirit of God to be their guide. Do not listen to society.
Do not listen to tradition. Listen to the Spirit of God. Allow it to guide your heart and soul in the
direction that it should go. It is not merely a matter of a surface cure, but the inner man must be
convinced and convicted that this is the will of God. To go against what you have been taught all
of your life, to go against what you have practiced all of your life, to go against society and
tradition, there must be a strong conviction, an inner strength, virtue, that directs the action.

For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of
the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit
of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. (Romans 8:13-15 KJV)

This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh
lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to
the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are
not under the law. (Galatians 5:16-18 KJV)

And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
(Ephesians 4:30 KJV)

2)        Christ dwell in your hearts by faith – To be a Christian means to be like Christ. He is
the example. He is the pattern. We walk in His steps. We imitate Him. Our faith places Him
on the throne of our lives. We unreservedly trust Him. Yet, this passage teaches that it is
through THE faith that Christ dwells in our hearts. This is the system of faith revealed in the
New Testament. This is the doctrine of Christ. This is the faith once for all delivered. This is
the gospel preached unto us.

For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an
example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his
mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not;
but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: Who his own self bare our sins in his
own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose
stripes ye were healed. (1 Peter 2:21-24 KJV)

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life
which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave
himself for me. (Galatians 2:20 KJV)

Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that
abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto
you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed:
For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds. (2 John 1:9-11 KJV)

Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful
for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which
was once delivered unto the saints. (Jude 1:3 KJV)

For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of
God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the
word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe. (1 Thessalonians 2:13 KJV)

3)        Rooted and grounded in love – All saints (not merely some, but all) need to
comprehend the dimensions of the love of God and Christ. The breadth, the length, the
depth, and the height of love are beyond measure. That is what John 3:16 is all about, the
enormity of the love of God. Jesus willing went to the cross. He willingly died for you and
me. No greater love can be shown by either the Father or the Son. Their love is for Israel,
the Jew. Their love is for the Gentile. As we echo the love of God and of Jesus, it means the
echoing of love for all men, regardless of their race, regardless of their class, regardless of
their nationality, regardless of their past, regardless of their present. Even as Paul wished
that all Israel would be saved, so we wish that all the world would be saved.

And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted
up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so
loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should
not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the
world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not
condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed
in the name of the only begotten Son of God. (John 3:14-18 KJV)

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become
as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and
understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could
remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to
feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me
nothing. Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself,
is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily
provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all
things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. (1 Corinthians 13:1-7 KJV)

We love him, because he first loved us. If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he
is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom
he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love
his brother also. (1 John 4:19-21 KJV)

If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's
commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy
might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. This is my commandment, That ye love
one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down
his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. (John 15:10-
14 KJV)

Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. For I
bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they
being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own
righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. (Romans 10:
1-3 KJV)

4)        Know the love of Christ –
Paul moves from comprehending the love of Christ to
knowing the love of Christ. This might be described as the difference between belief and faith.
Sometimes you know something, but you have not absorbed and incorporated it. While the
completeness of the love of Christ is beyond our feeble ability to grasp, there is a degree to
which we can comprehend, understand, and know. When this same type of love, this selfless
love, this sacrificial love, fills our hearts and minds and souls we will be filled with the fullness
of God. We will be mature – perfect (the word Jesus used). Not in that we will be sinless and
error free, but we shall no longer be childishly petty. We will understand that the love of God is
available for every Jew and for every Gentile, for every free man and for every slave, for every
man and for every woman. We will understand that the love of God does not depend upon the
color of their skin, the language that they speak, the nation where they come from, their net
worth, or even their righteousness. That is not to say that righteousness does not play a part in
their acceptance, but it does not play a part in the love which God has for them. God loved and
loves everyone in the world, righteous and unrighteous, good and evil. Jesus died for the whole
world. Unfortunately, the whole world does not return that love and will not accept His grace and
mercy. This is what we need to know. This is what the gospel is all about: salvation is available
for all men. Jesus died for all men. All men can come and be a part of the kingdom of God, the
church.

But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that
hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be
the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and
on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love
you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your
brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore
perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. (Matthew 5:44-48 KJV)

I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise.
So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also. For I
am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every
one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness
of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. (Romans 1:14-
17 KJV)

The power of God is without measure. He who was able to bring into existence the heavens
and the earth, the entire universe, with His spoken word, is able to do everything that we ask
and can think of, and more. There is nothing too difficult for Him.

Ah Lord GOD! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and
stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee: Thou shewest lovingkindness
unto thousands, and recompensest the iniquity of the fathers into the bosom of their
children after them: the Great, the Mighty God, the LORD of hosts, is his name, Great in
counsel, and mighty in work: for thine eyes are open upon all the ways of the sons of men:
to give every one according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings:  (Jeremiah
32:17-19 KJV)

It is to this God, who can hear and who will respond, that we offer up glory and praise through
Christ Jesus our Lord and His Son in the church until the end of time. The prophets spoke of
the kingdom of the Messiah lasting forever, or until the end of time. This kingdom, the church, is
the means through which glory is channeled unto God through Jesus Christ. By its obedience
to the will of God, the church in righteousness reflects glory upon God through Jesus. As the
church shines by means of its good works, glory is given to God. So be it. And may it ever be so.

Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end.
Amen. (Ephesians 3:21 KJV)