To Make All Men See

By: Will Robinson

The Apostle Paul tells us in Eph. 3:9 that the reason for his ministry is “…to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God…”

What is this “fellowship of the mystery” which was so important for men to see that God raised up an apostle for this very purpose? If it were this important, why had it been kept hidden for so long and why should it now be revealed?

In answer to the why, let us simply rest assured that this was the way God wanted it and, whatever his reasons, that is the way it should be.

It remains, therefore only necessary for us to discover what the “fellowship of the mystery” is. This we shall now attempt to do.

The preposition “of” suggests that something belongs to, is associated with or is contained in something else.

A mystery is a secret which has not been revealed prior to this time but once revealed, it can be readily understood. A fellowship is an association or joining together of two or more separate entities. From this, it follows that the “fellowship of the mystery” is a secret concerning the joining
together of things which had been separate prior to this point in time.

One might be tempted at this point to contend that there are many mysteries spoken of in scripture and therefore we should not choose one and claim for it the unique significance we are here attempting. While the many mysteries do exist, we believe that Paul, himself, guides us into this
selection of one above all the rest. Let us, therefore, allow God’s word to both speak for itself and make the choice if there is to be one.

In Eph. 3:1-8, Paul tells us he has been given the “dispensation of the grace of God,” and that by revelation, God made known unto him a mystery which had not been revealed to men in other ages. In verse 4 , he calls it the mystery of Christ (the secret about Christ). In verse 6 he specifically states that the mystery is “That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ by the gospel”; He then continues in verse 7 to state that he was made a minister of this message.

Many would say at this point that we need go no further for we have the key to this mystery–the Gentiles are to be added to the church founded by Christ and started by Peter and the others at Pentecost. In fact, we find this very evident in Acts 10 where Peter, himself, is sent to Cornelius after a special revelation from God (see verses 34 and 35). However, from these same verses, we must con-clude that this cannot be the secret to which Paul is referring. One thing is certain, however– that the Gentiles should share with the Jews in salvation through Christ was no secret. See Is. 11:10; 60:3; Mt. 12:17-21; Luke 2:28-32. These are but a few examples.

What then does Paul mean by “fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ”?

The beginnings of an answer can be found in Eph. 2:14-22. Here we see that Christ has broken down a partition and made into one the two that were separated by it. That men are the things being brought together can be seen from verse 15. So who are these men? Verses 11-13 clearly show them to be the Jew and the Gentile. These two then are now of the same body and that is
Christ’s body (2:15) of which Christ is the head (1:22,23). We can now conclude that “of the same body” clearly points to the Jew, the Gentile and our Lord Jesus Christ being joined together into one body, the body of Christ.

From Eph. 2:11-13, it would seem that the Gentiles have been made fellowheirs with Israel. However, verse 2:19 suggests a deeper meaning. Here we see that we have become members of God’s household. If we can determine what position we are to fill in this household, we should gain
additional light on our question.

Eph. 1:5 leads us to the key. Here we are said to be predestinated to adoption as children (huiothesia) of God by Jesus Christ. Follow-ing this thought leads us back to Rom. 8:14-17 where we are told that we have been adopted as children (teknon) of God and made to be joint or fellowheirs with Christ. The same idea is presented in Gal. 4:1-7.

Now then, if we are not to be fellowheirs with Israel but rather are to share in Christ’s inheritance, the promises that the body of Christ will partake of are not the promises made to Israel but the ones made to our Lord Jesus Christ.

From this we conclude that the “fellowship of the mystery” is a fellowship consisting of Jew and Gentile, placed by the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 12:13) into one body with Christ as the head. The members of his body have been adopted as children of God and are to be joint heirs of God with Christ. Because of this position they will share with Christ in all that He has received from the Father. We further con-clude that this fellowship is not a fellowship in which Gentiles are now to share in the gospel of the kingdom promises made to Israel as a nation but rather that the nation of Israel is but a part of the inheritance of Christ in which we will share.

How marvelous a secret this is and what better way to show forth the grace of God than by its revelation. Nothing but the matchless grace of God could provide so great a treasure as fellowhship with Christ Jesus, (to share with the Creator in all that He has created), as a free gift. A gift
which cannot be purchased, earned or deserved. A gift to be given by God to those whom He has chosen to receive it–those who believe (Eph. 2:8-9).

Won’t you join with us as we endeavor to follow the great com-mission given to the Body of Christ, (today’s church), through the apostle Paul–to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery? (Eph. 3:9)


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