Monday, February 7, 2011

God's Mystery Revealed (Ephesians 1:7-12)

He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth.

In the second part of Paul’s first lengthy sentence opening Ephesians, He teases us with another topic that he will expound upon later: God’s mystery. This is a truth that God had intended in His plan all along, but had not revealed until after the cross. (Although it was hinted at repeatedly in the lead-up, as any good mystery is!)

This mystery is an important theme of Ephesians, and it concerns God’s plan to unify creation in Christ. Sin has torn the world apart. Relationships—the most important part of creation—have been destroyed: the relationship between God and mankind, the relationship between races, families, and spouses. God’s plan was to restore these relationships, not only between humanity and Himself, but also amongst humanity.

This unity is another one of the blessings in Christ. The Church has been blessed with unity and it is an important blessing that needs to be guarded. It is not something we need to work to achieve—we already have it, but the work required to guard it is just as important and very hard. It is not a unity achieved by ignoring problems, sin or false teaching and that is part of what makes it so hard. It is a unity that brings a lot of diversity together. That being the case—that God wants a people for himself that represent the diversity of His creation—makes unity hard because it demands tolerance and humility.

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