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The mystery of the gospel

The mystery of the gospel

Who doesn't love a good mystery? Paul explains the mystery of the gospel and the unity that should be on display among the believers of the mystery.

Ephesians 3:The Mystery of the Gospel Revealed

1 For this reason I, Paul, a prisoner for Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles---

2 assuming that you have heard of the stewardship of God's grace that was given to me for you,

3 how the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I have written briefly.

4 When you read this, you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ,

5 which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit.

6 This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.

7 Of this gospel I was made a minister according to the gift of God's grace, which was given me by the working of his power.

8 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,

9 and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things,

10 so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.

11 This was according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord,

12 in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him.

13 So I ask you not to lose heart over what I am suffering for you, which is your glory.

Prayer for Spiritual Strength

14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father,

15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named,

16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being,

17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith---that you, being rooted and grounded in love,

18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth,

19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us,

21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

Ephesians 4: Unity in the Body of Christ

1 I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called,

2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love,

3 eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

4 There is one body and one Spirit---just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call---

5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism,

6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

7 But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ's gift.

8 Therefore it says, "When he ascended on high he led a host of captives, and he gave gifts to men."

9 (In saying, "He ascended," what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower regions, the earth?

10 He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.)

11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers,

12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ,

13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ,

14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.

15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ,

16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.

The New Life

17 Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds.

18 They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart.

19 They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity.

20 But that is not the way you learned Christ!---

21 assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus,

22 to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires,

23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds,

24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

25 Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbour, for we are members one of another.

26 Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger,

27 and give no opportunity to the devil.

28 Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labour, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need.

29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.

30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamour and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.

32 Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

Things to think about…

1.Paul says the whole reason he is in prison is because of the gospel, Eph 3:1. The problem for him is that he had revealed a mystery hidden in the scriptures kept until now and now is paying the price. We are all called to count the cost of following Christ. We know of course that the payoff is well worth the investment.

2.The Greek word for mystery is 'mysterion'. It means something that was hidden is now revealed. It is not as we would say today – something that is unresolved – a mystery. The scriptures speak about the gospel and the Saviour in many places, but Paul says that "which was hidden for ages… now made known" Eph 3:9,10. The truth of the gospel had always been in the scriptures but was only now being realised. How many things do we read in the scriptures that we simply gloss over and don't fully understand? They are there, but still remain a mystery to us. Pray for wisdom and insight.

3.The mystery, Eph 3:6 is that the Gentiles would also become part of the family of God. The gospel was not just for Israel, but for the entire world. This was always in the scriptures and the blessing through Abraham, but now has been realised. The gospel needs to go out to everyone. Are you sharing the mystery of the gospel with those whose eyes and hearts are presently closed?

4.Look at who are entrusted with this mystery, Eph 3:10 – the church. We have been given this charge. Let's encourage each other to keep sharing the truth of Jesus and the cross with our generation.

5.God wants his children to lack no good thing, Eph 3:14-21. He wants us to be firmly established in the truth, Eph 3:17 with each other, while understanding the immeasurable love that comes from Christ, vss 18, 19. As such Paul says, he can do even more than what we ask in our prayers. All we have to do is simply trust the power that is working in us, vs 20.

6.Only Paul the prisoner could have any authority to speak on humility, gentleness, patience and love, Eph 4:1&2. I know how easily these things can leave me at a moment's notice. Paul says these things are possible in the Spirit. True spiritual maturity unites people in truth and character, Eph 4:4-8. These come from the Father's grace which Paul says again in vs 7 is a gift.

7.Why did Christ descend and then ascend back to where He came from? Paul gives the answer in Eph 4:8-16. To give gifts to us, to fill all things by giving Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers to equip us all for ministry so the body of Christ is built up. Let's encourage one another to use our gifts to build the body of Christ. What gift have you got that is presently sitting in the cupboard?

8.The mind has so much to do with where we are at spiritually. We are encouraged or discouraged as we meditate on certain things. Paul says don't think about worldly stuff like worldly people, Eph 4:17-19. This also confirms the 'you reap what you sow' principle. A good commentary for this is found in another of Paul's prison letters Phil 4:8,9.

9.God knows exactly what we need to hear. The new self will be reflected by your actions. Eph 4:26 is very relevant for me. If I give in to anger, Satan attacks me as a result, vs 27. What about you? The last three verses have the answer Eph 4:30-32. Paul asks us to reflect on how much we were forgiven in Christ and then to act accordingly.

Vision Point

CBC's Vision :- To be a growing biblical church community, significantly influencing our city and beyond, through intentional outreach, fulfilling our mission.

For Cell groups

We will be considering the topic of baptism for this week's baptism service.

1.Who should get baptized?

2.What does baptism represent?

3.What passages come to mind when considering baptism in the NT?

Prayer Points

1.Next Sunday 5 people getting baptised at Colleges Crossing.

2.Pray for continued follow up rain

3.Pray for those who have recently come to CBC that they settle into the fellowship.

4.Pray for our help and response to Stanthorpe community.

5.Ministries this term 4 – PlayPatch, Kids@Church, Recharge youth.

6.More Sunday school and RI teachers

7.Our outreach initiatives as well as the Axiom podcast.

8.Sunday's messages. "There's no better guarantee than this" Eph 1:1-14. in the morning and "Why do bad things happen to good people" – Sunday night.

9.Finish "Bean Redeemed" coffee shop and podcast area.

10.Church finances to meet our expenses.

11.Our City and Country – Pray for revival over our city and the leadership of our country.

Praise Points.

1.Quite a few visitors and new folk at CBC in both services.

2.Sunday worship – great blessing. Thanks Josh, Ben and Jesse.

3.Unity, peace and Christ's love over our church.

4.A number being baptised.

Announcements

1.Hawkins group - Hosting morning tea on Sunday morning.

2.Playpatch –Friday mornings – 9:30 – 11am for mums and bubs. See Carly Backwell for details.

3.Recharge Youth – Friday night 7pm – High Schoolers.

4.Kids at Church – Primary school aged children Sunday mornings.

5.Prayer meetings – 5:30am – 6:30am at church Wednesday and Friday mornings.

6.AGM meeting – now on the 17th November after the morning service.

7.Baptism service at Colleges Crossing – 10th Nov @12pm.

8.Creation Ministries – Sunday 1st December. Dr Ron Neller "From Evolutionist to Creationist!"Invite a friend 6pm.

9.Carols service 22nd December – 6pm. Invite family and friends.

This month's catechism question...

Q. 6. What is the first petition?
A. "Hallowed be your name."

Bible Reference – Matt.6:9; Luke 11:2.


"Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known" Jer 33:3

Pastor Jay

Be imitators of God
Before He made the world - He loved us