Revealed

                                                      Ephesians 3:1-13

                                                    September 29, 2019

 

                                                         Read vs. 1-13

 

v. 4 - “the mystery of Christ,” is a mystery only in the first-named sense.

It was known to the Jews for ages that the Gentiles would share in the

blessings of the Messiah’s kingdom — and the Apostle Paul quotes Old

Testament predictions to prove the fact (Romans 9:25-33); but it was

not known that the Gentiles would be included within the circle of religious

privilege by the complete sacrifice of the Hebrew theocracy and the

reconstitution of religion on a perfectly new basis, DESIGNED

EQUALLY FOR ALL MANKIND, under which the old distinctions of

Jew and. Gentile would be done away. There was to be no further room for

Jewish particularism. The dispensation which was to carry the world to its

                        last destinies was to be universal

 

ü      Comprehensiveness.

 

Ø      Extending to the whole world. The objects of our affection are

necessarily limited in number. Who can understand a love that

embraces Jew and Gentile, Greek and barbarian, and every man,

woman, and child in the world?

 

Ø      Including the most uninviting subjects. We love those whom we

      admire or those to whom we are drawn by some attraction, sympathy,

or relationship. Christ loves the base, despicable, and corrupt men,

remote and obscure folk — “the dim multitude” and those who

seem even less lovable — the great mass of dreary, uninteresting

people.

 

ü      The revelation of the mystery. So far as it involved a mission to the

Gentiles, it was revealed first to the Apostle Paul at his conversion; for

when Christ appeared to him on his journey to Damascus, he said, “I have

appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a

witness... delivering thee from the people, and. from the Gentiles, unto

whom now I send thee, to open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness

to light, and from the power of Satan unto God” (Acts 26:16-18). But

the fuller exhibition of Gentile privilege is made in this glorious Epistle as

well as elsewhere. It was a revelation made by the Lord Himself

(Galatians 1:12). But it was made especially to “apostles and

prophets,” both of them belonging to the new dispensation the only class of

inspired men connected with it who received special information from the

Holy Spirit, who searches the deep things of God, respecting the new

development of the kingdom. The revelation was, indeed, one of facts as

well as of truths. The calling of the Gentiles was made manifest in the

Spirit’s falling upon Cornelius, and in the widespread success of the gospel

among the Gentiles, so that the logic of facts beautifully reinforced the

more formal revelations of “apostles and prophets.”

 

5  Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now

revealed unto His holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;”  Which in other ages

was not made known unto the sons of men.  Though not a new purpose, the knowledge

of it is new.  Abraham, David, and the prophets, however much they knew of Christ

and the fullness of blessing in Him for all the families of the earth,  did not know

THE FULL EXTENT OF GOD’S GRACE to the Gentries — did not know that the

middle wall (ch. 2:14) was to be wholly broken down, and all inequality removed.  This

might seem to throw some doubt on the reality of this doctrine; but it was on purpose

that God kept it secret, and those by whom He has now revealed it are worthy of all

regard.  As it is now revealed unto His holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit.

It is not  revealed to Paul only, although he has got the privilege of announcing it to

the Gentiles, but to the whole body of “holy apostles and prophets.” The designation,

holy apostles,” is rare; it is used here to magnify the office, to show that those whom

the Head of the Church had set apart for Himself were fit instruments to receive so

important a revelation. “Prophets” here are undoubtedly New Testament prophets

(see ch. 2:20), the contrast being with “sons of men in other generations.”  Reference

may be made to the experience and decree of the Council of Jerusalem, guided by the

Holy Spirit  (see Acts 15:28).

 

6  That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers

of His promise in Christ by the gospel:” That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs.

Heirs with the Jews of the same inheritance (see ch. 1:11).  And of the same body

(this figure is repeated and applied in ch. 4:4, 16, 25) and partakers of His promise

in Christ by the gospel - the promise to Abraham, “In thee and in thy seed shall all

the families of the earth be blessed.”  (Genesis 12:3)  They do not get this blessing

indirectly through the Jews, or by becoming Jews, but directly, as Gentiles; and

they become fellow-heirs, fellow-members, and fellow-partakers “in Christ Jesus,”

enjoying all privileges in Him, in a state of union and fellowship with Him.  To this

state they are invited and admitted through the gospel; by receiving the glad tidings

they enter on these blessings (compare Romans 10:15,18). This statement of religious

equality between Jews and Gentiles is strong, clear, complete; the more remarkable

that Paul himself had had so strong Jewish prejudices; only one of dearest insight and

highest courage could proclaim the truth so emphatically; it is little wonder if many

believing Jews, less enlightened and less courageous, shrank from his statements

as too strong.  (How this would play along racial lines today would give us an

accurate assessment of our spiritual condition BEFORE GOD!  CY – 2019)

 

 

·         THE RECIPIENT OF DIVINE IDEAS. “By revelation he hath made

known to me the mystery,” etc. The gospel truths which Paul had to

proclaim to the Gentiles were not derived from any human source. They

were not the deductions of his own reason or the intuitions of his own soul,

but they were revealed to him by God. “I never received it of man,” said

he, “neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ”

(Galatians 1:12; see Acts 16.). We have an account of this revelation

given by Paul himself. It is the glory of man that he can receive ideas

from the great God Himself. He has what no other creature under

heaven has the capacity to take in the thoughts of THE INFINITE! 

It is essential to a true minister that he does this. He cannot offer any

spiritual help to humanity unless he does so. His own ideas have no

power to help his race. The ideas to enlighten, elevate, and bless souls

MUST COME FROM GOD!   Hence what Paul gave to the Gentiles, he

tells us, came by revelation. Three remarks are suggested by the passage in

relation to the idea.

 

ü      It had been long hidden. He calls it the mystery: “The mystery which in

other ages was not made known.” It was a mystery not in the sense of

incomprehensibility, but in the sense of undiscoveredness. It had been

unrevealed, and therefore unknown to past generations. The whole

gospel was once a mystery; it was in the mind of God as an idea

unrevealed to the universe.

 

ü      It was very grand. The particular idea to which the apostle here refers is

this, that the Gentiles were to partake of the salvation of the gospel, and

to be united in one body with the Jews. “That the Gentiles should be

fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of His promise in

Christ by the gospel.” (v. 6)  Grand idea this! That the poor Gentiles

should become:

 

Ø      “heirs” of the same inheritance as the Jews —

Ø       members of the same great spiritual “body” as the Jews —

Ø      partakers of the same great promise as the Jews.

 

The idea that Paul had from God was the uniting of all the races in the

world in one great spiritual confederation.

 

ü      It was exceedingly ancient. “From the beginning of the world it hath

been hidden in God.” Such was the idea that Paul tells us had been

revealed to him and to the holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit.

Every true gospel minister is the recipient of Divine ideas.

 

 

7   Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God

given unto me by the effectual working of His power.” Whereof I was made a

minister.   I did not gradually grow up to the office, but became, at a given time and

place, a minister, διάκονος - dee-ak’-on-osdeacon; ministe;, a servant.  According

to the gift of the grace of God.  The office of serving Christ was a gift, most undeserved

on Paul’s part, who had been a persecutor and injurious, (I Timothy 1:13) but flowing

from the free grace of God, His sovereign, unmerited mercy.

given unto me by the effectual working of His power.”  This denotes the manner of

the gift; the gift itself, apostleship to the Gentiles, would have been little had it not

been accompanied with Divine power. Spiritual office without spiritual power

is miserable; but in Paul’s case there was the power as well as the office;

not merely the power of working miracles, as some have held, but besides this,

the power of spiritual insight into the meaning of Scripture:

 

·         power of exposition,

·         power of demonstration,

·         power of persuasion (compare I Thessalonians 1:5; Acts 14:1; I Corinthians 4:7).

 

Paul gratefully acknowledged that all the power of his ministry was God’s, not his own

(I Corinthians 3:6-7).

 

 

8 “Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should

preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;” Unto me, who am

less than the least of all saints,”  Not only of apostles and prophets, but even of all

believers — a profound expression of humility, founded not only on his persecuting

career, but on his consciousness of sin, of inborn rebellion against God’s Law, of

fountains of unlawful desire in his flesh (Romans 7:18; I Timothy 1:13-15), making

him feel himself to be, in heart and essence, the chief of sinners.  The sense of sin is

not usually in proportion to the acts of outward transgression, but to the insight into

the springs of evil in one’s heart, and the true nature of sin as direct antagonism to

the Holy God!  Is this grace given.  The third time in this chapter that he speaks of his

office as a fruit of grace, showing that, notwithstanding his being a prisoner on account

of it, and all the perils it involved (II Corinthians 11:24-27), he was overwhelmed with

God’s unmerited goodness in conferring it on him. It was substantially the post of a

foreign missionary, with hardly one human comfort!  That I should preach among the

Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; εὐγγελίσασθαι -  euggelisasthai

to evangelize, to proclaim good tidings; to bring the well-message. The force of the

εὐ is not given in “preach,” but the idea is amply conveyed by the words that follow.

The balance of authority for τοῖς ἔθνεσιtois ethnesi - to the Gentiles, and ἐν τοῖς

ἔθνεσιen tois ethnesi - among the Gentiles, is about equal; the meaning really the

same. Ἔθνος - ethnos - heathen, was almost an offensive name; yet with that name

the apostle associates the highest blessings of God. The unsearchable

riches of Christ; two attractive words, riches and unsearchable, conveying the idea of

the things that are most precious being infinitely abundant. Usually precious things are

rare; their very rarity increases their price; but here that which is most precious is also

boundless — riches of compassion and love, of merit, of sanctifying, comforting, and

transforming power, all without limit, and capable of satisfying every want, craving,

and yearning of the heart, NOW and EVERMORE!   (And to think, besides that,

GOD IS ABUNDANT IN TRUTH!  Exodus 34:6 – CY – 2019)  The thought of His

having such riches to offer to all made him regard his office as most glorious, raised

him far above the point of view from which the world would despise it, and filled

him with adoring gratitude to God for having conferred it on him.  Concerning riches,

worldly riches, there has historically been CEASELESS DISAPPOINTMENTS

of most who follow after them.  The riches of God are those that “moth and rust

doth not corrupt and thieves do not break through and steal”  (Matthew 6:20)  

God’s unsearchable riches” make provision for the full satisfaction and infinite

enjoyment of every soul FOR EVER AND EVER!  “They shall hunger

no more, neither thirst any more; ... for the Lamb in the midst of the throne shall

feed them;”  (Revelation 7:16-17) - “He that hath the Son hath life;” (I John 5:12).

“He that overcometh shall inherit all things, and I will be His God, and he shall be

my son.”  - (Revelation 21:7)

 

9 “And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from

the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by

Jesus Christ:  And to make all men see what is the fellowship (dispensation)

of the mystery.  Another branch of his office, and another fruit of God’s grace in

conferring it. He was not only to benefit man, but also to vindicate God. For

fellowship of the mystery,” the Revised Version has “dispensation of the mystery,”

founded on the preference of the reading οἰκονομια - oy-kon-om-ee’-ahdispensation;  

for which there is a great preponderance of authority over κοινωνία - koy-nohn-ee’-ah

fellowship.  It was the apostle’s function to show how this mystery had been dispensed

concealed for a long time and at last revealed.  Which from the beginning of the world

(ages) hath been hid in God.  The counsel itself was πρὸ τῶν αἰώνωνpro ton aionon

before the foundation of the world; the concealment of it ἀπό τῶν αἰώνωνapo ton

aionon - from the beginning of the ages, when there were intelligent beings capable

of understanding it — whether angels or men. Whatever the angels may have known

of the Divine plans, this feature of them was not known till revealed to the New

Testament Church -  which things the angels desire to look into.”  (I Peter 1:12)

Who created all things.  The reason for adding this particular designation of God

is not obvious; probably it is to indicate the relation of the matter in hand to

the mightiest works of God. This is no trifling matter; it connects itself with GOD’S

GRANDEST OPERATIONS;  it has supremely glorious bearings. It might be

supposed to have relations only to one race and to one period of time; but it has

relations to “all things;” it is an integral element in God’s plan. The words,

by Jesus Christ”, are not found in a great preponderance of textual authorities –

(and not in the Greek New Testament which I have – CY – 2010)

 

The work of a true gospel minister is to make men see Divine things, to bring

them before their eyes, and to induce them to look earnestly and steadily

upon them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

10  To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places

might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God.”  To the intent

indicative of the purpose of the remarkable arrangement or dispensation according

to which the eternal Divine purpose, which had been concealed from the beginning

of the ages, was now made known.  That now unto the principalities and powers

in the heavenly places - that a lesson might be given to the unfallen angels. Their

interest in the scheme of man’s redemption is referred to (I Peter 1:12). Even the

highest powers of heaven have yet much to learn respecting God. The dispensation

of God’s grace to man is one of their lesson-books. The angels by their great age,

for they are thousands of years old, have advantages that short-lived man does not

possess for comparing the wisdom of God as manifested in widely distant ages. 

Angels have from the first moment of their being, lived  in the presence of God! 

They have been contemporaries of man during all the history of mankind,

for when the earth was framed “the morning stars sang together, and all the

sons of God shouted for joy.”  (Job 38:7)   (Dr. Chalmers shows (‘Astronomical

Discourses’) how this meets the objection that so dread a sacrifice as the life of

God’s Son  could not have been made for one poor planet; in its indirect bearings

we do not know what other orders of beings have derived most vital lessons from

this manifestation of the attributes of God. (“For without controversy great is the

mystery of godliness:  God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the spirit,  seen

of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into

glory.”  I Timothy 3:16 -   I recommend Spurgeon Sermon this website - #547a –

I Timothy ch. 3 v. 16 – The Hexapla of Mystery – Charles Haddon Spurgeon Sermon

CY – 2019) However men may scorn the salvation of Christ and all that belongs to it,

the highest intelligences regard it with PROFOUND INTEREST!  Might be known

by the  Church the manifold wisdom of God. Through the Church, now constituted,

according to the revealed mystery, of Jew and Gentile, all redeemed by Christ’s

blood and renewed by His Spirit, there is exhibited to the angels the manifold

wisdom of God. The precise line of thought is this:  God from eternity, had a

purpose to put Jew and Gentile on precisely the same footing, but concealed

it for many ages, until He revealed it in the apostolic age, when He appointed

Paul His minister to announce it. The purpose of this whole arrangement was to

enlighten the principalities and powers of heaven in the manifold wisdom of God.

How in His manifold wisdom? In this way. During these preparatory ages, when God’s

gracious dealings were with the Jews only, all kinds of false religions were developing

among the heathen, and their diversified influence and effects were becoming apparent

in many ways — the divergent tendencies of men, especially in religious matters, were

being developed; but in the new turn given to things by the breaking down of the

middle wall in Christ, the manifold wisdom of God was shown in transforming many

of these most diverse elements, unifying them, building them up into a great spiritual

body, into a holy, most beautiful, most symmetrical temple. When all things seem

to be flying asunder into the most diverse and antagonistic elements, God gives a

new turn, as it were, to providence, and lo! A GLORIOUS SYMMETRICAL AND

HARMONIOUS STRUCTURE BEGINS TO ARISE. 

 

 

 

God is called “the Lord of hosts,” as marshalling the innumerable army of angels?

They have a manifoldness far beyond our conception, and yet He can dispose of them

as easily as an officer can do with a small section of an army. He calls them, as He

calls the stars, by their names; (Isaiah 40:26) - not one is overlooked, not one out

of place. The manifold wisdom of  God is also to be seen in the way in which the

billions of men on the earth are DEALT WITH IN ONE MOMENT!  The problem

here has been complicated by the entrance of sin.

 

·         Manifold are the phases of sin, and

·         manifold are the methods by which God seeks to dislodge men out of their sin.

 

But this manifold problem of the world of mankind is mastered by Him more

easily than the problem of a single household is mastered by us. But it is in the

Church that there is to be seen conspicuously the manifold wisdom of God.  (May we

“open our eyes and behold” – CY – 2010)  As Christ is called the Wisdom of God,

(I Corinthians 1:24) so we may expect to see in His Church a wisdom manifold as

Himself!  What an element in the scheme of redemption, that the Redeemer was a

Divine Being in human nature!

 

·         How justice and mercy are reconciled in His cross!

·         How sin is forgiven while God at the same time manifests His detestation of it!

      (I recommend The Wrath of God by Arthur Pink – # 3 - this web site – CY – 2010)

·         How manifold are the ways by which men are brought into the Church!

 

What the final adjustment of things is to be is very much a mystery to us, as it is

doubtless to the angels. But we stand in this position that, in what has been

exhibited to us already of the manifold wisdom of God, we can look hopefully

forward to the final reconciliation.

 

What wisdom was requisite for the creation of the world and the ordering of all things,

from the movements of a star down to the life of a cell! (I highly recommend

“Fantastic Trip” on the internet – just type in those words in your browser –

it will give you great exposure of the wisdom of God in creating the worlds and

the things that are in it – whether through the telescope or the microscope – CY –

2010)  What wisdom is involved in the government of the world, maintaining life

and gladness, developing the latent resources of the universe, making all things

work together for good, ruling great kingdoms and individual lives in justice

and mercy! But a higher wisdom is required for REDEMPTION!   It is more

difficult to regenerate than to create, to regain Paradise than to form it at the first. 

Not only are the POWER and GOODNESS of God needed for this work, but

also HIS WISDOM!  Preaching may be foolish, but the gospel preached is the

WISDOM OF GOD!   The HIGHES INTELLECTUALITY  has been exercised

in working out THE WORLD’S REDEMPTION!

                                                             

We are called to minister instruction to other worlds. The service is mutual; angels

are ministering spirits to men, (Hebrews 1:14) men are instructive witnesses of

redemptive wisdom to angels. Thus the lowest can help the highest. An angel can learn

lessons from a man, as a man can find instruction in an insect. (Proverbs 6:6) - Our lives,

then, are linked to other worlds. What happens to us has bearings elsewhere. This

thought may help us to face some mystery of life.  As in the case of Job, what is humanly

unintelligible may be explained when it is seen that the beings of another sphere are

being instructed through our experience.  If the highest intelligences “desire to look

into” these things, and see the manifold wisdom of God in them, (I Peter 1:12) surely

we men should treat the works of redemption with profound reverence, and regard

the study of them as worthy of our HIGHEST THOUGHT!

 

 

 

 

 

                                    The Manifold Wisdom of God (v. 10)

 

·         THE MANIFOLD WISDOM OF GOD IS PUT FORTH IN THE

REDEMPTION OF THE WORLD. God is the great Thinker. All our

philosophy is the attempt of man to spell out some of the ideas of God.

 

ü      What wisdom was requisite for the creation of the world and the

      ordering of all things, from the movements of a star down to the

life of a cell!

 

ü      What wisdom is involved in the government of the world, maintaining

      life and gladness, developing the latent resources of the universe,

making all things work together for good, ruling great kingdoms

and individual lives in justice and mercy! BUT A HIGHER WISDOM

IS REQUIRED FOR REDEMPTION!   It is more difficult to regenerate

than to create, to regain Paradise than to form it at the first.

 

ü      Not only are the power and goodness of God needed for this work,

BUT ALSO HIS WISDOM!  Preaching may be foolish, but the gospel

preached is the wisdom of God. The highest intellectuality has been

exercised in working out THE WORLD’S REDEMPTION.  (Compare

God’s work, planning, and results with the work of the Congress of

the United States, the House of Representatives and the United States

Senate!  What a joke!  What a mismatch in comparison, yet vain man

is as wild as an ass’s colt and takes no heed or warning!  CY – 2019)

 

ü      Paul sees this especially in the breadth of the results — in the

inclusion of Gentile with Jew. High wisdom is broad, and liberal charity

requires much intelligence. Comprehensiveness should not be a matter of

vague sentiment. To be effective it must be fortified by ripe wisdom.

 

ü      This wisdom is manifold. God has many interests to consider, many

conflicting forces to deal with, and many issues to provide for. Therefore

 

Ø      different men may have different views, and yet all be in the right.

Ø      Many purposes may be aimed at in redemption beyond what we

      can see, and thus many processes which to us look meaningless

find their end.  The water is not taken over the mill-wheel simply

that it may find its nearest course to the river; nor is the Christian

led over a broken path because that is the nearest way to heaven.

 

·         THE MANIFOLD WISDOM OF GOD IS MADE KNOWN THROUGH

      THE CHURCH TO THE HIGHEST INTELLIGENCES. The

Church is the manifestation of a wisdom that was hidden before

Christianity appeared. Truth is explained by illustration, and the Church is a

concrete illustration of Divine wisdom. It is not in the thinking and

teaching of Divine wisdom by Christians, but in their very existence as

such, that the wisdom of God is revealed. To be a redeemed soul is to be a

proof of that wisdom, just as for one who had been incurably sick to be a

healthy man was to be a living proof of the healing power of Christ. This

revelation was made to other worlds and higher intelligences.

 

ü      God cares for other worlds than our own; elsewhere processes of

education are being carried on with creatures in whom God takes

interest.

 

ü      We are called to minister instruction to other worlds. The service is

mutual; angels are ministering spirits to men, men are instructive

witnesses of redemptive wisdom to angels. Thus the lowest can help

the highest. An angel can learn lessons from a man, as a man can find

instruction in an insect. ("Go to the ant thou sluggard, conside her ways,

and be wise."  (Proverbs 6:6)  Our lives, then, are linked to other worlds.

What happens to us has bearings elsewhere. This thought may help us

to face some mystery of life.  As in the case of Job, what is humanly

unintelligible may be explained when it is seen that the beings of

another sphere are being instructed through our experience.

 

ü      If the highest intelligences desire to look intothese things, and

see the manifold wisdom of God in them, surely we men should

treat the works of redemption with profound reverence, and

regard the study of them as worthy of our highest thought.

 

 

v.16 - The measure or standard of the gift: “according to the riches

of His glory;” as, for example, that riches as exhibited in the

starry firmament, or in any other scene that exhibits the boundless

profusion of God.

 

 

 

11 “According to the eternal purpose which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:”

The apostle is ever anxious that we should connect these operations, of God with the

profundity, deliberation, and awfulness of an eternal decree, and that we should thus

contrast them in our minds with many even of the most important works of man

which are often determined, on his part, by a passing event or other trivial cause.

The verb in this clause is ἐποίησενepoiaesen - which He made; He makes, and

it has been debated whether it denotes the original formation of the purpose, or the

execution of it under Christ. We prefer the former. The object of the apostle is to

indicate that the purpose existed from eternity; but, besides, the meaning of

closing formula, “in Christ Jesus,” is perfectly applicable to the eternal formation of

the purpose; it is the constantly returning indication of the element in which the

whole scheme of grace had:

 

·         its beginning,

·         its progress, and

·         its end.

 

 

 

 

 

ü      The gospel has aspects of blessing beyond this world. It

                        carries important lessons to the principalities and powers. It shows the

                        manifold wisdom of God, shows how all classes and varieties of

                        mankind are brought to God by the cross of Christ:

 

Ø      assimilating all characters,

Ø      overcoming all alienations,

Ø      demolishing all walls of separation, and

Ø      building up all together in Christ Jesus.

 

·         One Great Conclusion. In every sense the success of the gospel is very

      glorifying to God:

 

ü      it illustrates His perfections;

ü      it glorifies His Son;

ü      it educates the very angels;

 

and thus it carries forward the grand purpose of God in the creation of the

            worlds. “To Him be glory forever. Amen.”  (Romans 11:36)

 

 

v. 12

 

As the effect of the work of redemption, we stand in a new relation to

God, which entitles us to a continuous access to Him, free, unrestricted,

and confiding.

 

·         THE MORAL ELEVATION WHICH THE GOSPEL PROPOSES

TO BESTOW UPON THE GENTILES. (v. 6.) Up to out Lord’s time

the tribal idea prevailed. The Jews were a tribe, and their policy was, as

their policy would still be, the supremacy of the tribe. But Christ proposed

not to carry the Jewish tribe up to proud supremacy, but, on the contrary,

to bring all other tribes up to their level of privilege,  AND TO WELD

ALL THE EARTH’S PEOPLES INTO ONE!   IT WAS HE who first

touched the key of cosmopolitan comprehensiveness and bade the narrow

tribal spirit to cease. He talked of many coining from east and west to sit

down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 8:11).

He talked of drawing “all men” unto Himself once He was lifted on the cross

(John 12:32). He spoke of Jerusalem ceasing to be the single center of true

worship, and of true worshippers worshipping the Father anywhere

(John 4:21-24). All nations were to be discipled by His servants

(Matthew 28:20). Into these broad and noble views for mankind the

eleven did not very rapidly or fully enter. Doubtless Peter had inaugurated

the Gentile Pentecost in the house of Cornelius; but he relapsed into

narrowness a few years later at Antioch. It was reserved, therefore, for

Paul, the most powerful mind of the apostolic band, to catch the

cosmopolitan spirit of his Master, and to champion the Gentile against all

the prejudice of the Jewish world. It has been suggested that he would not

have chosen the appointment had it been left to himself. But, as far as we

can judge, he showed no narrowness once he had humbled himself at

Christ’s feet on the way to Damascus. He there ceased to be the patriot of

a tribe, and became, in the widest and worthiest sense, a citizen of the

world and a champion of the rights of universal man. There is surely

something grand in this idea of lifting outcast communities into the highest

and holiest associations. There is no casting of contempt on any tribe, but

extending pity and. compassion unto all. The golden gate of privilege is

opened wide for every one. The missionary enterprise is the best and

noblest policy which men have set themselves in earnest to carry through!

 

·         THE MORAL ELEVATION WHICH THE GOSPEL PROPOSES

TO BESTOW UPON THE GENTILES. (v. 6.) Up to out Lord’s time

the tribal idea prevailed. The Jews were a tribe, and their policy was, as

their policy would still be, the supremacy of the tribe. But Christ proposed

not to carry the Jewish tribe up to proud supremacy, but, on the contrary,

to bring all other tribes up to their level of privilege,  AND TO WELD

ALL THE EARTH’S PEOPLES INTO ONE!   IT WAS HE who first

touched the key of cosmopolitan comprehensiveness and bade the narrow

tribal spirit to cease. He talked of many coining from east and west to sit

down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 8:11).

He talked of drawing “all men” unto Himself once He was lifted on the cross

(John 12:32). He spoke of Jerusalem ceasing to be the single center of true

worship, and of true worshippers worshipping the Father anywhere

(John 4:21-24). All nations were to be discipled by His servants

(Matthew 28:20). Into these broad and noble views for mankind the

eleven did not very rapidly or fully enter. Doubtless Peter had inaugurated

the Gentile Pentecost in the house of Cornelius; but he relapsed into

narrowness a few years later at Antioch. It was reserved, therefore, for

Paul, the most powerful mind of the apostolic band, to catch the

cosmopolitan spirit of his Master, and to champion the Gentile against all

the prejudice of the Jewish world. It has been suggested that he would not

have chosen the appointment had it been left to himself. But, as far as we

can judge, he showed no narrowness once he had humbled himself at

Christ’s feet on the way to Damascus. He there ceased to be the patriot of

a tribe, and became, in the widest and worthiest sense, a citizen of the

world and a champion of the rights of universal man. There is surely

something grand in this idea of lifting outcast communities into the highest

and holiest associations. There is no casting of contempt on any tribe, but

extending pity and. compassion unto all. The golden gate of privilege is

opened wide for every one. The missionary enterprise is the best and

noblest policy which men have set themselves in earnest to carry through!

 

Following is a list of things from which I picked some examples of

God’s “manifold wisdom” just to think about.  Every person alive

could come up with a different list.  This was not meant to be exhaustive

but only for reference to think about.  I include this because I referenced

it in the lesson today – this being September 29, 2019 – which was

on radio and television – the list is for our thought processes of

How Great God is!  (CY – 2019)

 

 

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(The unauthoritative readings of something not in the text are called K’ri

 and technically the written text is called K’tib.)