the text that i read starting in Ephesians 3:14 says, “for this cause I bow my knees.” what cause is Paul referring to? what is this calling that he is so passionate about? what purpose in Kingdom ministry to which Paul was called would he fulfill to the extent of “tribulations”? this cause for which Paul is imprisoned and suffers is the revelation into the mystery of Christ as revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit and relating that knowledge in a way that the church at Ephesus, and through the test of time, you and i can understand.
the Biblical use of the word mystery can mean several things. it can mean something revealed that was previously hidden. it can be something about God that humans cannot entirely comprehend. it may also refer to something about God that cannot be logically understood. the God of Israel. Elohim. Yahweh. Jehovah, Adonai. The Great I am. the One who brought His people out of Egypt’s land. the God of the Mosaic Law. the Sovereign King of the universe that had made a covenant with a people. He had made a new covenant, and i like how the song says it, “You were the Word at the beginning, One with God the Lord Most High, Your hidden glory in creation, Now revealed in you our Christ”!
this mystery revealed is that the salvation that Jesus fulfilled has the Gentiles as fellow-heirs, of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel! Paul’s mystery was not the gospel itself but its destination to the Gentiles as much as to the Jews. a mystery that is known only to the initiated does not denote here a thing obscure in its nature but only something that had been concealed from view. only the initiated now knew that God designed the gospel for Gentile and Jew alike. Paul had been formed “by revelation” – not by his reflecting power, not by his study of Scripture, not by communication from men, but by a particular communication from God, as he states in Galatians 1:12.
this was the eternal purpose that every man, woman, and child would have access, with confidence, to Jesus Christ—not as servants or those looking in from the outside, but as sons and daughters, adopted into the Kingdom of God with all its rights and privileges. the confidence of being welcomed and accepted when we go into God’s presence springs from our faith in Him. we believe in him as the Reconciler, and we go before God with confidence. having access through the gift of the Spirit to make requests and have prayers answered. had they been paying attention, Isaiah tried to tell them, “And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious” (Is. 11:10).
is Paul’s cause justified? has he suffered tribulations in vain? well, you’re reading this; that’s a great start! Paul hoped that we would grasp the complete understanding of this great mystery, that Christ would dwell in our hearts, and that we would know the love of Christ.
to the church in Corinth, he taught (2 Corinthians 5:18-20), “And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.” one meaning of “ministry of reconciliation” from the Greek translates as “to serve by restoring others to favor” with God. AND if you noticed, the passage states that God committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Strong’s Greek concordance lists the word “word” or message as the Divine Expression of restoration to favor.
the mystery has been revealed to us, and through Jesus’ example, or His Divine Expression, we are to love our fellow man, our brothers and sisters, our fellow-heirs in a way that expresses the Love of Christ and persuades them to become a Christian. if you were to say something along the lines of “they are not in the church” or “they don’t live right,” so they are not my brothers and sisters, let me refer you to Paul’s conversion in Acts chapter 9, verses 10 through 18, “And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord. And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth, And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight. Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem: And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name. 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. And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized.” knowing all Saul had done, Ananias called him Brother.
to once again quote The Bride’s Pearl, “Love is the foundation from whence faith springs into action to claim all the possessions that grace has purchased. Love for God, His purpose, and His people is the only foundation upon which to build one’s heart as a holy place where Christ can dwell.”
rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep, “And be ye kind One to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you” (Ephes. 4:32). “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another” (John 13:34-35).