In Ephesians 3:7,8 Paul tells us that God has given mankind His grace. It was the giving on this grace that made Paul a preacher to the Gentiles.
In verses 9 and 10, Paul tells us God’s reasoning and what God’s goal in giving His grace to man.
Ephesians 3:9 “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:”
I was confused by this verse at first. It says so much that I needed to break it down into pieces. It says basically that God wants to “make men see”. It is interesting that the word make is the English translation of the Greek word photizo, which means to shine a light on something so others can see. In fact, the other parts of the Bible where this Greek word is used, our translators used the English words “give light”, “bring to light”, lighten, enlighten, light and illuminate. It was as if God turned a light on so that man could see something that was already there, but hidden.
What was it that God wants man to see? God wanted to show man “what is the fellowship of the mystery.” In other words, God wanted to show how this mystery would bring mankind into fellowship with God. The Greek word for fellowship here is koinonia, which means to bring something together to something else, or to have communion. The “mystery” brought fellowship between God and man. It was God’s purpose to reveal this mystery to mankind by shedding light on it. The mystery here is the coming of Jesus Christ. Those in the Old Testament knew of the coming of a Messiah, but didn’t know when. This was a mystery to them. It has now happened. By sending His Son, God revealed His grace to all men. The sending of Jesus Christ was God’s way of bringing fellowship with Himself and mankind. Man no longer has to live under the age of the law; now man lives in the age of God’s grace.
God not only wants to show mankind this mystery, but also the angels and powers in heaven.
Ephesians 3:10 “To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,”
God will now use the church (“by the church”) to make known (“might be known”) to the principalities and powers in heavenly places the manifold (multifaceted) wisdom of God. Angels in heaven, even the highest of angels, don’t know the fullest extent of God’s wisdom. They are not beings with infinite knowledge or wisdom. They are fallible, just like Satan and his horde of demons. For reasons known to God, it is His intent to use the church to reveal His great wisdom to the angels surrounding Him in heaven.
Ephesians 3:11 “According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:”
He wants the principalities and powers of heaven to understand the reason behind the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. I find the word “purpose” in this verse interesting. Paul used the Greek word prothesis here, which is the same word used for the temple shew bread. The Jews laid twelve loaves of shew bread in the temple each week. This was a fulfillment of the Old Testament law. Now that God had given His Son to mankind, Jesus WAS the shew bread.
John 6:35 “And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.”
The bread of life which God bestowed to mankind was accomplished by the giving of His Son Jesus Christ.