You are on page 1of 3

High-Stepping in Heavenly Places

I’ve Got a Secret Lesson Six

Paul was privileged to receive divine revelation concerning the mystery of godliness. In the
Bible, a mystery is a “sacred secret” reserved for God’s people. By New Testament definition, a
mystery is a truth that has been hidden by God in times past and is now revealed to those within
His family. Hebrews 1:1-2 says, God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in
many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He
appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. In the Old Testament God
revealed Himself progressively. Now we have God’s full revelation through the Living Word
and the Written Word. The mystery of godliness has been revealed to all who belong to Him.

I. The Unbelievable Revelation of Christ-Ephesians 3:1-7


Although Paul was currently being held as a prisoner of the Roman government, he considered
himself to be a prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of (the) Gentiles (Eph. 3:1). God had
commissioned Paul to reveal a mystery - Gentile believers were now united with the Jewish
believers in one body, called the church. Paul was charged to take not only the good news of the
gospel to the Gentiles but also this message - Jews and Gentiles were now one in Christ. Once
the Gentiles had been outside the covenant with no claims upon the promises of God. Now in
Christ, converted Gentiles had become partakers of God’s blessings along with believing Jews.

In Christ, being a Jew or a Gentile is neither an asset nor a liability. The new birth places us in
the body of Christ and eradicates all other artificial distinctions. Together all believers share in
the riches of Christ. This was radical thinking to the Jews who had known special covenant
privileges in the Old Testament program of God that did not extend to those outside of
Abraham’s line!

II. The Unfathomable Riches of Christ-Ephesians 3:8-13


Paul, who considered himself to be the very least of all saints, was given the great privilege to
preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ. In the early Church, Jewish believers
thought that a Gentile had to become a Jew before he/she could become a Christian. God’s Spirit
gradually revealed this mystery. God had brought about a new work, one in which He was
calling out a people for Himself from both Jews and Gentiles. Galatians 3:28 says, There is
neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for
you are all one in Christ Jesus.

Ephesians Fall 2009


High-Stepping in Heavenly Places

The church is the theater of the universe to reveals the manifold wisdom of God. While the
universe displays God’s creative genius and awesome power, the church reveals God’s wisdom,
His mercy and His grace to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places. That is, angels
and demons marvel at the mystery of God’s grace as revealed through the church, the Body of
Christ.

III. The Unending Resources of Christ-Ephesians 3:14-21


In Paul’s second recorded prayer in the book of Ephesians, he prays for the spiritual condition of
believers, not physical needs. While it is not wrong to pray for physical needs, our greater need is
to grow in the grace and knowledge of God. Matthew 6:33 says, But seek first His kingdom and
His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you. When the heart is rightly related to
the Lord, the external needs are generally taken care of in due time.

Paul prayed that we would be:

a. Empowered by the Holy Spirit-The Holy Spirit enables us and empowers us to live the
Christian life.
b. Energized by the Holy Spirit- Paul asked that Christ would “dwell” (literally “to settle down
and feel at home”) in our hearts. Paul prayed that our Christian experience would become well
rooted like a tree and grounded like a building that is raised on a great foundation.
c. Enlightened by the Holy Spirit-Paul desired that we would lay hold of the truth of God’s
Word, causing our practice to measure us to our position in Christ. Paul wanted us to move into
the deeper things of the Lord and leave the elementary things behind.
d. Operate in the overflow-Paul prayed that we would be filled up to all the fullness of God.
Oh, that we would come into the fullness of the knowledge of God and operate in the power of
His Holy Spirit!

Weak are our prayers! Pitiful are our petitions! We focus on things that do not matter. We ask for
things we do not need. We casually enter into the presence of Almighty God with our lists of
demands as if God were some kind of celestial errand boy! No wonder we are so often powerless
in our Christian lives. No wonder our prayers are not answered. James 4:2-3 says, You do not
have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives,
so that you may spend it on your pleasures. Our prayer time is often nothing more than a rout
recitation of childish and self-centered desires that are quickly uttered and soon forgotten. Paul
prayed that we might grow in spiritual strength and a deeper experience with Christ.

Paul seems to pause, catch his breath, ponder what has spilled forth from his pen under the
guidance of the Holy Spirit of God, and then bursts forth in a doxology, a fitting benediction to
such a marvelous prayer of petition. Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond
all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the
church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.

Hallelujah! What a Savior!

Ephesians Fall 2009


High-Stepping in Heavenly Places

Ephesians Fall 2009