In our message, GOD’S LIVING ETERNAL TEMPLE (Eph. 2:19-3:7), we looked in greater detail at the mystery of the church which was not revealed in Old Testament times. Believing non-Jewish people who were once far away from their Creator are now “fellow citizens” of His kingdom and part of His very “household” (Eph. 2:15, 19). Today, this new humanity/the church is being “built… into a temple of the Lord… a dwelling place” for Him (Eph. 2:21-22; John 14:7; 1 Cor. 6:19, etc.). Christ’s body is a living eternal temple that is “being fitted together” and that is growing right now with new believers (Eph. 2:21). Dead stones, by grace, are taken out of the pit of sin and given new life as God sets them lovingly into His temple (Eph. 2:1, 20-21; Ps. 40:2; 1 Pet. 2:5; 2 Cor. 6:16, etc.). As the “chief cornerstone,” Jesus is also the One in whom our lives are to be measured by as we serve in Him and God dwells in us (Eph. 2:20; 1 Cor. 3:16; Rom. 12:1-9, etc.)
The Word informs us, it is “for this reason… Paul [was a] prisoner of Christ Jesus” (Eph. 3:1). God gave to Paul (and us) “the dispensation of… grace” (Eph. 3:2). Dispensation means stewardship, trust, economy, and/or household rules… That is, God is managing some things differently after His Son’s arrival (just like He will manage some things differently after Jesus’ return- Eph. 1:10). The church was born out of this “mystery” and also serves as “stewards” of this mystery- the “gospel” just like Paul did (Eph. 3:3, 6-7; 1 Cor. 4:1-2; Acts 1:8; 2:1-4; Matt. 28:18-20, etc.).
A “mystery” in the Bible is a sacred secret which was not previously known (Eph. 3:4, etc.). The church falls into this category as it was “not made known” to people “in other ages” but “now [was] revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets” in the New Testament after Christ’s coming (Eph. 3:5, 9-10, etc.). The mystery is not that the Gentiles should be saved as there is much in the Old Testament concerning salvation of Gentiles (for example- the book of Isaiah, etc.), BUT that they “should be fellow heirs, of the same body…” (Eph. 3:6). We need God’s “effective working of His power” in our lives as we share the Gospel of grace to those around us (Eph. 3:7b, 20-21, etc.).