7”Of this gospel I was made a minister according to the gift of God’s grace, which was given me by the working of his power. 8 To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, 9 and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God, who created all things. 10 so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 3:7–10 (ESV)
We continue our examination of the Apostle Paul’s extended parenthesis prior to his prayer on behalf of the Ephesian believers. Paul has already indicated that he is a minister solely by a gift of God’s grace (vs.7), along with being the least of all the saints.
Yet, God has given him the responsibility of preaching the gospel of Christ to the Gentiles (vs.8). Paul also shares that God has also given him the privilege of making plain, for both Jews and Gentiles, what is the plan of the mystery. This refers us back to Ephesians 3:3 and the truth that both Jews and Gentiles are one in Christ.
God’s ultimate purpose is for the church, both Jews and Gentiles who are united in Christ, to display the manifold wisdom of God. Manifold (πολυποίκιλος; polypoikilos) means many-sided and diverse. This adjective modifies the noun wisdom (σοφία; sophia) which refers to God’s insight and practical truth. In other words, the church is to disclose and proclaim the comprehensive and practical truth solely originating from the Creator of the universe.
Dr. John MacArthur writes, “God, through the church, manifests his glory to all the angels. The holy angels rejoice (see Luke 15:10; cf. 1 Pet. 1:12) because they are involved with the church (see 1 Cor. 11:10; Heb. 1:14). Although they have no desire or capacity to praise God, even fallen angels see the glory of God in the salvation and preservation of the church. The heavenly places (as in Eph. 1:3 and 6:12) refers to the entire realm of spiritual beings.”
Dr. R. C. Sproul adds that, “There is no more basic division in the human race than that between Jew and Gentile. That they can be united with each other in Christ displays the profound wisdom of God (Isaiah 55:8-9; I Cor. 2:6-10). It proves, even to supernatural powers, that Jesus is Lord of the universe (Ephesians 1:20-23).”
Soli deo Gloria!