United To God's Plan — Study It (Ephesians 3.8-10)

During Fall 2017, I taught Calvary Monterey the book of Ephesians. During the series, I also wrote about Ephesians in sixty-plus short, devotionally styled posts. Each Thursday, through 2018, I will release a post. I hope you enjoy. For the entire series, please visit nateholdridge.com/united-for-unity-posts.

“To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God, who created all things, so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 3:8–10).

Paul, continuing to rejoice over the fact he’d been brought into God’s mysterious plan, sang its praises. He would preach about this mysterious plan, and so would the church, and all would hear of its glory. Gentiles, Jews, and the spiritual realm would stand in awe of Christ’s gospel. As Paul describes the mystery in further detail, the modern reader begins to feel they must develop their minds to study the mystery. It is a message worth knowing and exploring.

First, Paul called the mystery the unsearchable riches of Christ.

What Christ has given cannot be completely mapped out, walked out, or tracked out in this life. For eternity, believers will learn and rejoice over all Christ has done. The message will never grow stale, for it is limitless and beyond all borders. Believers ought to study the gospel for its glorious unserachableness. No other message or field of study can bring so much joy to so many people. Every generation, every culture, and every individual can stand amazed in their own pursuit of the knowledge of the unsearchable riches of Christ.

Second, Paul said the mystery was hidden for ages in God, but it is now revealed.

We are living in a beautiful time. God had decreed His mysterious plan before the ages (1 Corinthians 2:7). He kept the mystery secret for long ages (Romans 16:25). But now, in His grace, on our side of the cross, His mystery has “been disclosed and through the prophetic writings has been made known to all nations” (Romans 16:26). The plan believers are living in was not God’s plan B, but His first and best and most wonderful plan. Now, because of our position in Christ, His plan is unhidden. Believers ought to study the gospel because it is no longer concealed, but revealed.

Third, Paul said the mystery is made known to the angelic realm.

The church is the conduit whereby the “rulers and authorities in the heavenly places” come to see the “manifold wisdom of God.” When angels and demons look into the new humanity found in the church they catch a glimpse of God’s manifold wisdom, His glorious and mysterious plan. Through the mirror of the church, the angels of heaven see the glory of God. Peter told us these are “things into which angels long to look” (1 Peter 1:12). When the church lives out the gospel unity granted to it by Christ, the angelic realm stands in awe of God. If the spiritual dimension thinks this highly of the gospel, so ought believers.