On the Epistle to the Ephesians: Chapter 3 Continued

Ephesians 3  •  5 min. read  •  grade level: 5
Here I get, not what we have been remarking, God’s thoughts, and God’s works, but Paul’s administration (v. 2); that is the character of the third chapter, and therefore it is a parenthesis. Paul’s administration of the mystery is a most important part, which falls in with all we have been looking at. We have it according to God, learned by Paul, “my knowledge of the mystery of Christ.” Verse 5 proves that these are New Testament prophets. It is commonly said that prophets are one wall and the apostles the other wall, and Christ the Corner-stone to bind them both together. But the prophets are clearly the prophets of the New Testament.
(V. 6.) The Gentiles are fellow-heirs.
(V. 9.) It should be the “administration” of the mystery, not the “fellowship” of the mystery. Here we find that this was completely hidden, till it is brought out after Christ’s death.
(V. 10.) You get again that the witness is in heavenly places. They learn God’s manifold wisdom in the Church (v. 13). He comes to his prayer again, He was suffering for the Gentiles (v. 14). You get the second title as to the prayer, that is, He is Son. In chapter 1 it was the God of our Lord Jesus Christ; here it is Father of our Lord Jesus Christ; as a man He was raised from the dead, so here I have Him as a Son.
(V. 14.) This dwelling in your heart by faith is a present thing.
(V. 15.) “Every family in Heaven and earth” takes in angels, and the Church, and the spirits of just men made perfect—Jews and Gentles. “Named” does not mean that every one calls God Father. But it is as the Father of all He does it.
In v. 14 many reject the words “Jesus Christ” as an interpolation; I have left them in on the whole.
(V. 16.) “According to the riches of his glory.” It is not now “to the praise of his glory,” but according to its “riches.” He takes the place as already there. He puts Christ into us. I get the power of the Spirit of God working so that Christ is in my heart by faith. What He does is thus according to all His power and riches in glory. Christ is the center of that, and Christ is in my heart. So He says according to the riches of His glory—the length, and breadth, and depth, and height he does not know what.
(V. 18.) “With all saints” is the first circle, which you must possess to comprehend, what is the length, and breadth, and depth, and height.
Christ being in our heart, we have two things to take in. Being in such a scene I shall be dazzled. So he says the person who is the center of the Father’s glory is well known to you. Like as if I were to go to court, and were dazzled by what I saw; but I find one there that I know full well, and that is the Prince of Wales, I am quite at home at once. That brings me back to the love of Christ, with whom I am intimate and familiar. Yet this is far from diminishing the extent of the blessing, for He is God as well as Christ. So that I know His love, yet it passeth knowledge, and we see this in this word “that we may be filled to all the fullness of God.” (V. 19.) I get, by having Christ in my heart, into the center of all the glory, and see every ray of it as it were, because Christ is in my heart. It is an astonishing way of bringing it all together.
Paul is said to be steward of the mystery of God. He is the person to whom the administration of the mystery is entrusted.
(V. 20). “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think.” Now I have another thing. God can do more for us than we can ask or think is often used in prayers, but that is not what we have here. It is here according to the power that worketh in us. Here I get the administration. I get the actual present thing.
First, we had the counsels; secondly, the power that took us up from death in sins and put us in Christ; thirdly, the power that enables us to realize all this according to all the fullness of God.
The end of v. 21 reads literally, “all the generations of ages of ages”—it means to all futurity, and yet takes it up now, for it speaks of the power that works in us. This (v. 21) shows us that the Church will remain a distinct thing forever, and ever, and ever.
Paul calls himself less than the least of all saints because he persecuted Christ— (“why persecutest thou me?”) He was taken from all that, that he might be a living testimony to the sovereign grace of God.
Peter denied Christ when he knew Him; Paul sought to destroy the name of Christ off the earth. To Peter, He says, “when thou art restored, strengthen thy brethren.” To Paul, He said, “for this cause you obtained mercy that Jesus Christ might show forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them who should hereafter believe” (1 Timothy 1:1616Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting. (1 Timothy 1:16)).