Mysteries Revealed to Those who Believe
Interesting Note about the city of Ephesus:
Ephesus was a big city of Asia during Paul’s time. Populations are said to be around 300,000 in the first century. That would make it one of the largest cities at the time.
It was very prosperous as a commercial center, port and capital in the east. It boasted numerous monuments, theaters and temples. It was a international tourist destination that was very profitable and had the first world bank. It was here that Paul was a frequent visiter.
Greeting1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God,
To the saints who are in Ephesus, and faithful in Christ Jesus:
2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Redemption in Christ
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, 4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, 5 having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace 8 which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, 9 having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself,10 that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both[a] which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him. 11 In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, 12 that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory.
13 In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who[b] is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.
(Photo from internet link "Dead Sea Scrolls")
In the greeting we see this is to those who already believe. To those called and faithful in Christ Jesus. Not to the general public. This was a city with many pagan gods, but here Paul is speaking to the faithful. He also says up front that he is called and appointed a apostle (teacher) by God's own Will.
Verse 3,4: he is praising God the Father of Jesus Christ and how "we" meaning all those called and chosen now. That we were PREDESTINED to this calling before we were born! Before the foundation of the world was created God knew we would be chosen and called forth! That we are blessed with every spiritual blessing! We are not told that we shall be in perfect health, or have great material wealth, but are greatly blessed Spiritually. The ability to know God personally, and understand His will and ways. Most important this means if you truly believe you will understand the Plan of God for mankind! The mystery of His Kingdom to come! To be in His care, lifted out of a world of self to His world of give. He now cares for us, we are His responsibility instead of being self reliant. Our growth, our everything is in His care.
LOVE. This word love here in verse four is the AGAPE love. This is very important. In Greek this means it is a love that is by choice, by one's will, not just a sentimental feeling.
verse 9: The mystery of His will. Why does it say a mystery?
mystery 1 |ˈmist(ə)rē|noun ( pl. -teries)1 something that is difficult or impossible to understand or explain : the mysteries of outer space | chiefly Christian Theology a religious belief based on divine revelation, esp. one regarded as beyond human understanding : the mystery of Christ.