EPHESIANS 3:1-12  



The details of our salvation status were developed in Ephesians 2:1-22.

A. Depravity: verses 1-3
B. Divine mercy and love: verse 4
C. Spiritual life: verse 5
D. Positional union in Christ (raised and seated): verse 6, 10
E. Grace: verse 8-9
F. Faith: verse 8-9
G. Saved (from wrath): verse 8-9
H. Experiential purpose (works): verse 10
I. Reconciliation: verses 11-20
J. Growth (number and character): verses 21-22

As a result of that, Paul intends to exhort (encourage, urge) the readers to advance in spiritual growth and in the application of salvation truth into their Christian experience.
The divine priority for believers who remain alive here on the earth is to bring honor and glory to God through the production of good works that are divinely defined and motivated.

The Divine Priority is the demand placed upon the believer in view of God’s eternal plan.
That plan has already been stated several times in the first two chapters of Ephesians:
At 1:6, “To the praise of the glory of His grace.”
At 1:12, 14, “To the praise of His glory.”
At 2:7, “to show case the surpassing riches of His grace.”
At 2:10, “created in Christ Jesus FOR GOOD WORKS, which God designed
beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
As God’s creatures we are under a mandate to relate to Him on His terms and fulfill HIS righteousness here on earth. Matthew 6:33,
“But seek FIRST The Kingdom and His righteousness.”
The DEMAND placed upon all believers is to “do all things for the glory of God.”
1 Corinthians 10:31; 6:20

Verse 1
1. I therefore:
The divine priority is fulfilled through the church by
(1) the increase of converts (Eph. 2:21)
(2) the growth of believers that produces an imitation of God;
a dwelling of God by the Spirit (Eph. 2:22).
(3) and then ultimately through the representation of God's wisdom here on earth. Eph. 3:10

Paul’s intent was to state the details of the divine priority placed upon individual believers.
But he interrupted himself to explain more details about the plan of God,
“the purpose of the ages,” (Eph. 3:11).
When he finishes that explanation, he will return to his intent at chapter four, verse 1.

With the word, “therefore,”  Paul begins to explain the believer’s responsibility to the Divine priority of bringing glory to God – based on two things.
As members of the kingdom and family of God we have -
A new RELATIONSHIP: Sons of God – Eph. 1:5; 1 Peter 1:17
A new FUNCTION: Priesthood, representation of Christ - Eph. 2:10; Phil. 2:15; 1 Peter 2:7

2. The prisoner of the Lord:
     A. He is in prison because of his representation of Christ in the world and specifically to
          the Gentiles.
     B. Not really in a prison, but chained to two Roman soldiers in fairly descent living

     C. The principle already hinted at by Paul using this phrase is that the Divine priority
          takes  precedence over everything else in life.
          No matter where it leads us, it is our only purpose for remaining on earth.
          (servant of the Lord, prisoner of the Lord, ambassador)

3. for the sake of you Gentiles: There are TWO reasons why the Gentiles are mentioned in connection with Paul’s imprisonment.
     A. The first reason is Paul’s primary focus as he writes this letter. It is too the Gentile Christians who have been made partakers and partners with the priestly commission; the responsibility and privilege to represent the character and plan of God to the world.

The Gentiles have always been SHARERS in God’s plan of salvation. In fact, before the commission of Israel as the specific priestly nation of God, EVERYONE was a Gentile. It was not until God FORMED a new race from the genes of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and built them into a physical nation, that the distinction “Gentile and Israel (or Hebrew)” was an issue.
From the establishment of the nation of Israel until the cross, the focus was always on Israel as the evangelistic-priestly body. Exodus 19:5-6.
It is Israel “to whom belong the adoption as sons and the glory and covenants and the giving of the law and the priestly service, and the promises.” Romans 9:4

But Paul has made it clear that NOW, as a result of Christ’s work on the cross, ALL PEOPLE who trust in Christ are joined in ONE BODY for the purpose of bringing glory to God the Father. Ephesians 2:11-22.
It is to teach the Gentiles, and the Jews for that matter, that God has created a new priestly body made up of both (or rather, all people), and united them together in union with Christ, that pushes Paul ever forward and onward for the cause of the plan of God. Thus, in spite of any and all opposition, Paul has continued to proclaim these spiritual truths to the point of imprisonment.

     B. This is very offensive to the Jews. And that is the second reason Paul finds himself imprisoned in Rome. The Jews have continually resisted the truths Paul has been teaching, and it is that opposition specifically, that has led to Paul’s present status. It began at Acts 22:22 when Paul was arrested and blamed by the Jews for causing a serious disturbance. The result, as recorded in the rest of the book of Acts, is that Paul was sent to Rome as a prisoner. This is known as Paul’s first Roman imprisonment,
and it is from there that he wrote the book of Ephesians.

3. At this point, there is a syntactical break in Paul’s writing. His intent is to write about growth and application, but suddenly he is motivated to write more about the new priestly body. Thus, he basically INTERRUPTS his thoughts and writes the material in verses 2-21. Then at verse 4:1, he again picks up his previous thought and teaches about Christian growth and living.

Verse 2
1. if indeed: This is a first class condition in the Greek and indicates that the stated action is indeed, an accomplished fact. It is better to render it, “SINCE indeed.”

2. You have heard: This is an aorist active indicative to indicate that there is a first class condition here. Thus, they have indeed heard about this information before. Although the verb, akouo, indicates audible hearing, it can also refer to the acquisition of information through other means. In fact, at verse 3-4, Paul reminds them that he has written previously about these truths.

3. the stewardship: the noun is oikonomia. The word, oikos means HOUSE, and the word nomia means law. Thus, it indicates the law or protocol of the house and refers to HOW the house will be administered. The HOUSE is God’s plan of salvation for the human race. The LAW or protocol refers to the details of God’s plan of salvation and how He is going to administer it. God has divided human history into 4 periods, each to be characterized by who it is that God has chosen to be the dispenser of divine truth. These periods can be designated as AGES, administrations, stewardships or dispensations. The 4 ages are:
A. Dispensation #1: the age of the family priesthood – Family
B. Dispensation #2: the age of the national priesthood – Israel
C. Dispensation #3: the age of the universal priesthood - the church
D. Dispensation #4: the age of the kingdom priesthood – Christ and restored Israel.


4. of God’s grace: This refers to the NEW protocol for administering the plan in view of Christ’s success in dying for the sins of the world.
Grace refers to what God does for man based on His own character and wisdom. It is not dependent on man’s human good efforts in producing good works. Good works have always been something that ATTENDS the believer’s relationship with God and never the basis for establishing or maintaining that relationship.
The PLAN has always been based on grace.
Salvation has always been based on grace.
But it has always been something experienced based on the PROMISE of God to provide the savior. Now IN CHRIST, the promise has been fulfilled. Now the GRACE provision has been realized through Christ’s work on the cross.
Thus, it is the administration of God’s grace – NOT because it is something NEW, but because it is the OLD promises fulfilled and realized.

5. which was given to me for you: Paul received his commission directly from the Lord Jesus Christ. The intent is to make certain that the Gentiles realize that God’s salvation plan includes them, and that they have an equal participation in the responsibility to represent the gospel to the rest of the world.
To be more specific, the Gentiles are now joined with the Jews in the new priestly evangelistic body

Verse 3
1. That by revelation: This refers to information received directly from Jesus Christ (Gal. 1:11-12) and from the Holy Spirit (Eph. 3:5, “by the Spirit”).

2. There was made known to me: The purpose of divine revelation is to communicate specific information to God’s apostles and prophets.

3. the mystery: the mystery refers to the new dispensation; that is, the new administration of GRACE based on the success of Christ’s ministry and sacrifice. It involves the establishment of a new evangelistic agent or priestly body to represent the wisdom of God to both humanity and the angels. Several details are provide in this portion of Scripture.

4. as I wrote before in brief: This could refer to either . . .
    A. A previously written letter which has not been preserved for us.
    B. Or to the brief mention found in chapter one at verses 9-14
    C. It seems that the nature of this previously written information is such that it must be a
        different letter than the little bit written in chapter one.

Verse 4

1. And by referring to this: literally this is, “to which when you read.”
They have access to this previously written information, which gives even greater detail than Paul gives at this time. Previously, he had written IN BRIEF, but in detail enough so that all he needs to do here is to summarize the information, which he does in verses 4-11.

2. You can understand: Two verbs here.
    A. you are able: the verb is dunamai as a present middle indicative, and means to have ability.
Thus in English, we use the word, “can.” It is a PRESENT ability based on the understandable content
of that previous letter.
    B. to understand: This is the verb noeo as an aorist active infinitive. The aorist tense focuses on the completed result from studying the letter. They will have acquired the necessary knowledge to fully comprehend the truths of the NEW PRIESTLY BODY.

3. my insight: The Greek word is, sunesis. This indicates established knowledge of something. Thus, insight or understanding is a good translation.

4. into the mystery of Christ: This seems to be the OFFICIAL title then for THE MYSTERY.
It is described at Col. 1:26 as “Christ in you, the confidence of glory.”
But at verse 2:2, the mystery is “Christ Himself.” That is the very revelation of “God the Word” in human flesh in order to accomplish God’s plan of salvation for the human race.
Thus, at 1 Tim. 3:16, The mystery of godliness (eusebeia) is that which revolves around the PERSON and WORK of Christ.

A. godliness: eusebeia means, good worship and refers to the proper manner of worship. Here the emphasis is on the proper "object" of worship based on the revelation of God's plan in and through the Messiah.

B. The mystery of worship is that the function of worship is now equally bestowed on the Father and on the incarnated Messiah. Equal honor: John 5:23

C. The mystery of worship then centers around the plan of God as revealed through the incarnation of The Word. That is the significance of Paul’s words at Colossians 2:2, “the mystery – Christ.”

1. He who was revealed: phaneroō, aorist passive indicative.
2. In the flesh: John 1:14; Philip. 2:6-8

D. His ministry:
1. Vindicated: dikaioō, aorist passive indicative demonstrated as righteous
2. By the Spirit: Sustaining ministry of the Holy Spirit. Isaiah 11:1-2; 42:1-4; Mat. 12:15-21
3. John 8:29; Mat. 17:5; 1 Pet. 2:22

E. Angelic observation:
1. Seen: horao, Aorist passive indicative
2. By angels: angelos, plural

At His birth: Luke 2:13
At His temptation: Mat. 4:1-11
At His crucifixion: Mat. 26:53
At His resurrection: Mat. 28:2; John 20:12
At His ascension: Acts 1:10-11

F. Proclaimed as the Savior:

1. kārussō, aorist passive indicative
2. Among the nations: Rom. 16:26; Col. 1:6, 23; Acts 17:6 (1:8).

G. Believed: embraced as the Savior.

1. pisteuō, aorist passive indicative
2. In the world: kosmos
3. John 1:10-13

H. Ascension/session: Acts 1:9; Eph. 4:8
Present status: Heb. 1:3, 13; 10:12-13 ; Col. 3:1

I. These 6 factors then are the basis for worshiping God as Christians in a way that is acceptable to him.

At verse 1:27, we see “the riches of the glory of this mystery.”
Here at Eph. 3:8, it is designated as “the unfathomable RICHES of Christ.” 
It refers then, to all the status, assets and resources that are given to the believer through union with Christ.
The mystery STATUS:
A. This refers to the unique spiritual union of the believer IN CHRIST and Christ IN THE BELIEVER as one spiritual body.
B. And to the joining of both Jew and Gentile together in that one spiritual body.
C. It is the sealing of the Spirit that confirms this spiritual status, and thus it can be said that
    Christ in you is the CONFIDENCE of our promised salvation glory. Col. 1:26.

For more complete details -
See Topic: The Mystery

Verse 5

1. Which in other generations: generations before the arrival of the Messiah, Jesus Christ.

2. Was not made known to the sons of men: aorist passive indicative of gnoridzo plus the neg.

3. as it has now been revealed: the significance here is with the word AS.
In other words, the mystery has indeed been taught in the past, but not in the manner and detail as that taught to God’s church age communicators.

4. to His holy apostles: The apostles were the human agents of the new dispensation. They were responsible for proper organization and dogma during the transition period between the age of Israel and the age of the church (the years 30 to 96 AD) Eph. 3:1-7; 2:20. Example: Acts 8:14-15
See Topic: Apostles

5. and prophets: The gift of prophecy is a pre-canon revelation gift providing both divine viewpoint dogma and guidance for the early church.

A. Dogma: 1 Corinthians 14:3
B. Guidance: Acts 11:27-28; 21:10-11, Agabus

The prophecy gift was a foundational gift that functioned in association with the apostles in order to provide the church with an absolute standard for both doctrine and policy. Ephesians 2:20; 3:5
See Topic: Prophet

6. by the Spirit: The direct revelation of God’s thoughts communicated to the apostles and prophets.
See Topic: Inspiration of the Bible

7. The mystery was unknown in previous ages. Rom. 16:25-26
Romans 16:25

A. To him who is able: dunamai (pr. m. part) keeps on having ability

B. to establish you: stāridzō (aorist active infinitive) set up, establish, support, confirm.
Refers to spiritual security for the believer. A permanent salvation status

C. According to: kata indicates that the basis for having spiritual security is the policy of God

1. My gospel: personal impact of Divine revelation on Paul.
2. and: kai, even the proclamation (karugma) of Jesus Christ
3 factors:1 Cor. 15:3-5: Person, work, resurrection.

D. According to: kata - the basis for the proclamation of the Gospel message is the Revelation of the mystery

1. The mystery truth determines the content of the Gospel.
2. The revelation of the mystery: apokalupsis provided through -

a. incarnation, death and resurrection - 1 Tim. 3:16
b. provision of spiritual gifts: Col. 1:20; Eph. 4:11-12

E. Which has been kept secret: concealed - sigaō (perf. p. part.)

F. in ages past:
1. kairos - locative plural - in times or time periods
2. aionios - locative plural - adj. - past (or perpetual)
3. Eph. 3:5; Col. 1:26

G. What has been concealed are details of the Divine plan.

The outline had been taught extensively in the Old Testament although often in parabolic language.
Gen. 3:15; 12:3; 49:8-12; Deut. 32:21;
Is. 7:14; 9:1-7; 11:1-5; 28:9-13; 65:1-16; 52:13--53.12;
Psalm 110:1; 118:22-29

H. Mt. 13:11-17
I. 1 Pet. 1:10-12
J. Also kept from the angelic creation, both elect and fallen. 1 Pet. 1:12; 1 Cor. 2:7
Romans 16:26

     1. But now is made manifest: phaneroō (aorist passive part.)
         made visible. Ie, taught clearly without parabolic language.

     2. And by the scriptures of the prophets --

          a. Dia + the genitive of graphō = through the writings
          b. Genitive plural adj. - prophātikos = prophetic.

     3. Thus through the prophetic writings which is a reference to the mention of Mystery truth in the
         Old Testament in outline and parabolic form.

     4. The Holy Spirit interprets the old in the new.

          a. Deut. 32:21 is quoted in Rom. 10:19
          b. Is. 28:11 is quoted in 1 Cor. 14:21
          c. Is. 65:1 is quoted in Rom. 10:21
          d. Is. 53:4 is quoted in Mt. 8:17
          e. Is. 53:9 is quoted in 1 Pet. 2:22
          f. Is. 7:14 is quoted in Mt. 1:23
          g. Is. 9:1-2 is quoted in Mt. 4:14-16
          h. Is. 61:1-2 is quoted in Lk. 4:14-21
          i. Ps. 110:1 is quoted in Heb. 1:13
          j. Ps. 118:22 is quoted in Mt. 21:42 ff

     5. According to: kata

          a. The commandment: epitagā - Divine sovereignty determines when to initiate the
          various phases of his plan. Gal. 4:4
          b. Of the Eternal God: tou aiōniou theou (aiōnios + theos)

     6. has been made known: gnōridzō (aorist passive part.)
     The point of time of new testament revelation.

     7. To all the nations: universal proclamation - pas ethnos Col. 1:6, 23; Acts 17:6

     8. Leading to: eis, indicates the result of the Gospel proclamation.

     9. Obedience of faith, hupakoā pistis
          a. Faith is the thinking system that denies all aspects of human logic and emotion.
          b. obedience indicates the object of faith obedience to the Gospel
          c. Rom. 1:5 cf. 2 Thes. 1:8

Ephesians 3:6-11
Specific details about the mystery in THIS context
Verse 6
1. That the Gentiles: Those who are NOT related to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
As seen in Ephesians 2:12, they are those “were separate from Christ, excluded from the common wealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise.”
They are further described as, “having no hope.” That is, they had no knowledge of salvation apart from the ministry of Israel in bringing the Messianic promise to them.
Thus, they “were without God in the world.” Thus they were unsaved – once again, without the communication of the Messianic promise through the evangelistic agency of Israel.

But now they are made FULL participants in all that God has made available to the human race.

2. They are fellow heirs: heirs to all that God has promised to those who trust in Christ. Galatians 4:7
a. Romans 8:17 - joint heirs with Christ
b. Christ's inheritance - Hebrews 1:2; Psalm 2:8

3. and fellow members of the body: 1 Corinthians 12:12-27
a. Branch in the vine: John 15:5 (speaks of production)
b. Stone in the building: 1 Peter 2:5 (context of priesthood)
c. Sheep in the flock: John 10:27-29 (speaks of protection)
d. The focus is on the new evangelistic body which has the purpose to proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.”
1 Peter 2:9

4. and fellow partakers of the promise:
The promise is the promise of eternal life through forgiveness of sins.
ETERNAL LIFE is the possession of God's quality of life which is both eternal and dynamic.

a. Spiritual life is not inherently "eternal."

1. Angels before their fall.
2. Adam and Eve before their fall.

b. Eternal life is a gift provided by God based on a creature's volitional acceptance of the gift.
Romans 6:23b
c. Eternal life is the perpetuation of spiritual life for all eternity. John 6:28-51
d. At the moment that spiritual life is imputed through the new birth, eternal life is assigned through union with Christ. 1John 5:11-13
e. Eternal life is personally assigned by Christ himself:
John 10:27-30; 17:2
f. The dynamic of eternal life is the capacity to
enter into an experiential knowledge of Jesus Christ. John 17:3

2Timothy 1:1, “The promise of life in Christ Jesus.”
Hebrews 9:15, “the promise of the eternal inheritance.”
1John 2:25, “and this is the promise which He Himself made to us; eternal life.”

6. in Christ Jesus: It is all based on our positional union with Christ.

7. Through the gospel: The gospel does TWO primary things.
A. It communicates the details of God’s salvation plan: WHAT must be believed.
B. And it communicates the REQUIRED response which is FAITH in those details.
    Romans 16:26, “leading to the obedience of faith.”

Verse 7
1. of which I was made a minister: This is based on the gift of apostleship as seen above.
Ephesians 4:7, 11; 1 Corinthians 4:1; Col. 1:28-29

2. according to the gift of God’s grace: The gift of apostleship.
A spiritual gift is a grace provided ability to fulfill a specific function of promoting Divine truth in the Devil's world. The concept of GIFT is found at -
A. 1 Cor. 12:4, charisma: a freely bestowed gift (neuter noun)
Emphasis is on God's grace as the basis for the possession and function of the gift. The believer does not earn it or work for it. (also in Rm. 12:6; 1 Pet. 4:10

B. And two words in Eph. 4:7-8
v. 7, dorea; v. 8, doma (Both indicate simply that which is given).

3. which was given to me: Here we have the verb, didomi as an aorist passive participle, to indicate the POINT of time the gift was given, which would be the moment of Paul’s salvation. (The words, "each" and "all" at Rm. 12.3-6; 1 Cor. 12.7; Eph. 4.7).

4. according to the working of His power: The gifts are given BY the Spirit of God (1 Cor. 12:11) and they function BY the Spirit of God. If the believer is not filled and led by the Spirit, then the gift will not function. Any activity that “resembles” the function of that gift would then be a human imitation at best or emotional confusion at worse.

Verse 8

1. to me the very least of all saints: This is Paul’s opinion of himself based on his past as an unbeliever. It cannot realistically be taken as absolute truth when compared with some of the terrible personages of human history. But Paul thinks of his activity of persecuting the church before his conversion as so nefarious, that he humbly views himself in this regard.
1 Corinthians 15:9; 2 Corinthians 12:11; 1 Timothy 1:15.

2. this grace was given: repeats the verb, didomi, but as an aorist passive indicative.

3. to proclaim to the Gentiles: The aorist infinitive of euangelidzomai communicates the specific purpose of Paul’s ministry as ONE action. Although he ministered to the Jews, his primary focus was to teach the Gentiles about God’s plan for them.

4. the unfathomable: anexichniastos is the Greek adjective which occurs only here and at Romans 11:33. It refers to something that is simply beyond human comprehension. Thus, it requires the supernatural understanding that comes from the Holy Spirit “interpreting spiritual things to spiritual people” (1Cor. 2:13).

5. riches of Christ: Again, the word WEALTH is used to express the VALUE factor associated with the spiritual blessings that God has provided for the human race.
Ephesians 1:7, forgiveness of sins according to the WEALTH of His grace.
Ephesians 1:18, we can know “what is the WEALTH of the glory of His inheritance.”
Ephesians 2:7, our salvation is based on the surpassing WEALTH of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
Ephesians 3:16, provisions for spiritual growth according to the WEALTH of His glory.
Philippians 4:19, our daily provisions from God are based on God’s WEALTH in glory in Christ Jesus.
Colossians 1:27, we can know “what is the WEALTH of the glory of this mystery . . . which is Christ in you, the confidence of glory.”

Romans 10:12, God abounds in WEALTH for all who call upon Him.

Verse 9
1. and to bring to light: The verb is photidzo, again as an aorist active infinitive to indicate the “lifetime” responsibility that Paul has as the steward of God’s mystery.

2. what is the administration: The word oikonomia means administration. It refers to the system of law or protocol for the function of the new priestly body – the mystery of Christ.

3. of the mystery: this then becomes the technical TITLE for the new dispensation or age.

4. which for ages: or FROM (apo) the ages

5. has been hidden in God: It was God’s design to keep the DETAILS of the new dispensation unknown to the previous generations so that the dispensation of the time would function with full confidence in God’s plan for them.

6. Who created all things: added statement to establish the AUTHORITY of God. Who has greater authority than the one who is the creator?

Verse 10
1. in order that: This indicates the ULTIMATE purpose for bringing to light the function of the new dispensation.

2. the manifold: the adjective is polupoikilos (only here) and describes something as many (polus) sided or faceted. The idea is that it is MULTI-DIMENTIIONAL. This translates practically into Christianity as wisdom that deals with ALL THINGS pertinent to the believer’s life on earth and future in heaven.

3. wisdom of God: The word is Sophia. Since this involves the angelic conflict, the wisdom of God as it is now amplified by the success of the Messiah, deals with those HEAVENLY issues and needs to be proclaimed to both fallen and elect angels.

4. might now be made known: the verb is gnōridzo as an aorist passive subjunctive (purpose clause).

5. through the church: The new evangelistic agent (new priestly body); the steward of the new dispensation, is responsible for the preservation and the communication of this truth to all who will listen – humans, elect angels and fallen angels.
Thus, at Eph. 3:21, “to Him be the glory by the church and by Christ Jesus.”

6. to the rulers and the authorities (archā and exousia): Based on Ephesians 6:12, these terms indicate a ranking system among the angels – usually used of Satan’s angels. Col. 2:15; 1 Cor. 15:24; 1 Peter 3:22.
Satan’s angels are ranked at Ephesians 6:12.
a. rulers: Greek, archā; demon category , general.

1. Probably the "nation" demons as at Dan. 10:20.
2. One of them is 2nd in command under Satan. Beelzeboul, Mat. 12:24; Mk. 3:22, 30

b. authorities: Greek, exousia = demon category, officers. Lesser responsibility.

c. powers: dunamis = demon category "rank and file."
Broken down into two functions at Eph. 6:12.

1. world ruler of this darkness: kosmokratōr. Demonstrates power through viewpoint influence

a)1 Tim. 4:1, doctrines of demons.
Indicates a "teaching" demon as at Job 4:12ff.

b)1 Cor. 10:20, the idol demon.

2. The spiritual forces of the evil
pneumatikos of the ponāria.

a) The deceitful spirit of 1 Tim. 4:1
b) The unclean spirit that possesses.

B. The general ranking of the angels is suggested at Col. 1:16. “For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers (archā ) or authorities (exousia) – all things were created by Him and for Him.”

But whether “rulers and authorities” can be used of the elect angels or not, they are still in need of being TAUGHT about the manifold wisdom of God. 1 Peter 1:12, “things into which angels long to look.”

7. in the heavenlies: the heavenly sphere (or dimension) in contrast to the earthly sphere (or dimension).

Verse 11
1. (This was) according to: There is no “this was” as in the Nasb. The preposition, KATA, indicates the standard that governs a particular action. In this case the basis for the establishment of the new evangelistic agent and the revelation of new ADVANCED spiritual truths is the sovereign PLAN OF GOD.

2. the plan of the ages: Some translations render this as “the eternal purpose,” but there is no adjective here. It is comprised of two nouns – plan of the AGES. This refers to God’s plan in dealing with the human race according to different administrators of truth. The human ages are broken down into 4 periods based on whom God has chosen to be the administrator (steward or dispenser) of divine truth.

3. which He carried out: The simple verb is poieo (to do, make). Thus, the idea of accomplished or carried out.

4. In Christ Jesus our Lord: the plan of God revolves around the Messiah. The PROMISE, the ARRIVAL, the SACRIFICE, the RESURRECTION and the SECOND COMING.

Verse 12
1. In whom: based on our positional relationship in union with Christ. The preposition is EN with the locative case to indicate our SPIRITUAL location. It could be viewed as an instrumental case to indicate, “by means of whom.” But that idea would usually be indicated with the preposition, THROUGH whom. In either case, the boldness that we have is THROUGH Christ BECAUSE we are in positional union with Him.

2. we have boldness: parrāsia refers to the BOLD (although spiritually humble) attitude we have in now approaching God in EXPECTATION that He will meet our needs. Philip. 4:6-7; 1 Peter 5:7.
1 John 5:14, “and this is the confidence (parrāsia) that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.”

3. and access: prosagōga as at Ephesians 2:18. It is access to the Father. Thus, members in the family of God and possessors of eternal life. We are “fellow citizens with the saints and are of God’s household.” (Eph. 2:19).
Hebrews 10:19-20, “we have confidence for the entrance into the holies by the blood of Jesus, by a newly slain and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh.”

4. in confidence: pepoithāsis refers to the ASSURANCE we have that we are indeed saved and in God’s family. This noun comes from the verb peitho at Phil. 1:6.
Philippians 1:6, “being assured of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will fully complete it until the day of Christ.”

5. through faith in Him: The means for entrance into our salvation status is through faith alone in Christ alone.
A. Mark 1:15 - believe (pisteuō) the gospel: Acts 15:7; Rom. 1:16
B. 2 Thes. 1:8 - obey the gospel (hupakou

1. The command of Acts 16:31
2. Rom. 1:5, The obedience of (which is) faith.

C. What must be believed: The details of the salvation message
1 Cor. 15:3-8

1. Christ: the Messiah who is God in the flesh (Emmanuel, Is. 7:14)
2. Died for our sins: Spiritual sacrifice - John 1:29; Is. 53:10
3. Died physically: "buried" - principle of John 12:24
4. Rose from the dead: resurrection as proof - Acts 17:31

D. Believe in Christ: Acts 16:31
E. Belief in the Father: Rom. 4:24; John 5:24
F. Faith in His blood: That is the sacrifice He made - Rom. 3:25
G. Faith in the resurrection: Rom. 10:9; Col. 2:12



Questions and comments are always welcome

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