(Sunday September 30, 2018)
Read: Ephesians 3:1–12
Bible in a Year: Isaiah 9–10; Ephesians 3
This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel. Ephesians 3:6
When I came home from work one day and saw a pair of lady’s high-heel shoes next to the driveway, I was sure I knew whose they were. So I put them in the garage to give to my daughter Lisa when she returned to the house to pick up her children. But when I checked with Lisa, I found they didn’t belong to her. In fact, no one in our family claimed them, so I put them back where I’d found them. The next day, they were gone. Mysterious.
Did you know that the apostle Paul wrote of a mystery in his letters? But the mystery he described was so much more than some kind of “whodunit.” In Ephesians 3, for example, Paul spoke of a mystery that “was not made known to people in other generations” (v. 5). This mystery is that, while in the past God revealed Himself through Israel, now, through Jesus, Gentiles—those outside of Israel—could be “heirs together with Israel” (v. 6).
Think about what this means: all who trust Jesus as Savior can love and serve God together. We can all equally “approach [Him] with freedom and confidence” (v. 12). And through the church’s unity the world will see God’s wisdom and goodness (v. 10).
Praise God for our salvation. It unlocks for us the mystery of unity as people of any and all backgrounds become one in Jesus.
Thank You, Jesus, for the unity all believers can enjoy in You. Help us to serve together as equal members of Your body.
Unity in Christ breaks down barriers and builds the church.
By Dave Branon
Paul’s heart for both Jew and Gentile, like Jesus’s love for Samaritans and Roman soldiers, has deep roots in Scripture. The God who blessed His creation (Genesis 1:22–28) has always been far more than a God of a few preferred people.
Eve was promised a descendant who would one day defeat the enemy of every woman’s child (Genesis 3:15). Later the same God promised Abraham (12:1–3), Isaac (26:4), Jacob (28:14), David (Psalm 67:1–7) and prophets like Isaiah and Micah (Isaiah 2:1–3; Micah 4:1–3) that He had a mysteriously wonderful plan to bless His world through the salvation and witness of all who trust Him (John 3:16).
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