Pull back the curtain
January 3, 2021
New International Version
3 For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles—
2 Surely you have heard about the administration of God’s grace that was given to me for you, 3 that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation, as I have already written briefly. 4 In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, 5 which was not made known to people in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God’s holy apostles and prophets. 6 This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus.
7 I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God’s grace given me through the working of his power. 8 Although I am less than the least of all the Lord’s people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the boundless riches of Christ, 9 and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things. 10 His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, 11 according to his eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. 12 In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.
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When Paul thought of this secret which had been revealed to him, he thought of himself in certain ways.
(1) He regarded himself as the recipient of a new revelation. Paul never thought of himself as having discovered the universal love of God; he thought of God having revealed it to him. There is a sense in which truth and beauty are always given by God.
It is told that once Sir Arthur Sullivan was at a performance of HMS Pinafore. When that lovely duet ‘Ah! Leave me not to pine alone’ had been sung, Sullivan turned to the friend sitting beside him and said: ‘Did I really write that?’
One of the great examples of poetical music of words is Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s ‘Kubla Khan’. Coleridge fell asleep reading a book in which were the words: ‘Here Kubla Khan commanded a palace to be built and a stately garden thereunto.’ He dreamed the poem, and when he woke up the only thing he had to do was write it down.
Notes from Point 1
Notes from Point 2
Notes from Point 3
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 William Barclay, The Letters to the Galatians and Ephesians, The New Daily Study Bible (Louisville, KY; London: Westminster John Knox Press, 2002), 142.