5 …”which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit. 6 This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.” (Ephesians 3:5–6 (ESV)
The Apostle Paul more fully explains the mystery, or secret, of Christ (Ephesians 3:3-4) in today’s text. He begins by saying that it is a divine mystery previously not made known, or revealed, in previous generations, as it has been by the Lord’s holy apostles and prophets in the New Testament era by the Holy Spirit.
In Ephesians 3:6, the apostle declares the mystery of Christ. It is that Gentiles are in Christ Jesus, through the Gospel. This means that not only are Gentiles joined and in union with Christ, but they also are joined and in union with Jewish believers in Christ. This is a doctrine of which Paul extensively explained, and we examined, in Ephesians 2:11-22.
Paul provides three common characteristics Gentile and Jewish believers share in Christ. These three phrases describe what all believers are in Christ.
First, Gentile Christians are fellow heirs. The phrase fellow heirs (συγκληρονόμος; synkleronomos) means that Gentiles are co-inheritors in Christ of all the blessings from God, along with believing Jews (Rom. 8:17; Eph. 3:6; Heb. 11:9; 1 Peter 3:7).
Second, Gentile Christians are members of the same body (σύσσωμος; syssomos).The body metaphor was previously introduced in Ephesians 2:16. The Gentiles are counted along with the Jews in sharing in the promise’ or even the Gentiles along with the Jews share in the promise of the Gospel.
Third, Gentile Christians are partakers of the promise (συμμέτοχος ἐπαγγελία; symmetochos epangelia). This means that Gentiles share in the Messianic promises from God (Ephesians 2:12; Galatians 3:29).
Dr. John MacArthur writes, “Though God had promised universal blessing through Abraham (Gen. 12:3), the full meaning of that promise became clear when Paul wrote Gal. 3:28. Isaiah 49:6 predicted salvation to all races, but it was Paul who wrote of the fulfillment of that pledge (Acts 13:46–47). Paul disclosed a truth that not even the greatest prophets understood—that within the church, composed of all the saved since Pentecost in one united body, there would be no racial, social, or spiritual distinctions.”
In light of our position in Christ, let us resolve to display this unity in all we do for Christ. Have a blessed day in the Lord.
Soli deo Gloria!