By Jack Eberle
Ephesians 3:4-5 "Whereby, when you read,you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ, which in other ages was not made known as it is now revealed unto His holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit."
It is easy to be confused about the two mysteries spoken of here, yet if the student will patiently read the passage, the confusions unravel.
The mystery of verse 3 was given to Paul by "revelation". This identifies with the mystery of verse 9 which "from the age" was "HID IN GOD". Now if it were hidden in God until it was revealed to Paul, it had NOT been made known to other apostles and prophets.
Therefore the mystery of verses 3 and 9 are the same. The "mystery of Christ" of verses 4-5 cannot be the same mystery simply because prophets knew of this mystery in past ages.
Yet, we must look more carefully at Paul's words of 3:5 "which in other ages was NOT made known as it is NOW revealed unto His holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit.
The part of the mystery of Christ which is NOW revealed WAS NOT revealed in the PAST. You will notice that it is now revealed to "holy prophets" and "apostles" of the time written. These are not the same apostles and prophets of the past ages.
Could these be a least some of the apostles and prophets of ? Paul's knowledge of the "mystery of Christ" is Paul's revelation of verse 3 or at least a part of it. He makes clear what this knowledge is in verse 6. " inthat the gentiles should be fellow heirs and of the SAME BODY " Isn't this body "the ONE NEW MAN" of 2:14-15 where the dividing CHEL in the temple is abolished and Jews and gentiles become ONE NEW MAN? This is "one new body". The Head is Christ. (Eph. 4:15, Col. 1:18)
Paul's knowledge of the "mystery of Christ" is that the gentiles and the Jews are now admitted "of the same body" - the One New Man - under the HEADship of Christ. This mystery is NOW revealed unto His holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit. The "one new man" with Christ as The Head and acknowledging Jews and gentiles as the Body is certainly new revelation of "The mystery of Christ". Reading Eph. 2:6,7; "And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come He might shew the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus." We find that this body is raised with Him in the "upon heavenlies" where we are seated with Him (as His Body) at the right hand of the Father.
At the time of his "injuriousness"- the stoning of Stephen in Acts 7, Christ had not been seated.
Paul is the first to write of this "Church Who is His Body" in Ephesians 1 and then in chapter 2 of "The One New Man". The whole truth of "the mystery of Christ" was brought out by the Holy Spirit carrying along the Apostle Paul. Study and see if you can find both mysteries that are being referred to in these verses.