Sunday, 25 January 2015

God Reveals - Ephesians 3:1 - 13

Is God distant or close? For many it perhaps suits them for God to be distant. Certainly the traders in Acts 19 liked it that way, since they filled the gap with their religious paraphernalia that kept them in business. Yet from Ephesians 3 it is clear to see that God wants to reveal, to be made known, to be seen by all.

Check out these verses: v3 mystery made known, v5 hidden before but now revealed, v7 this gospel is to be broadcast and shared, v9 made plain, v10 make known. The bottom line is that God wants to be known. He's shown up in Jesus Christ so that all can now see. Yes previously it was a bit of a mystery, but not now.

The physical Jesus as a man can only be at one place in one time. So what if God could have an ever increasing number of people like Jesus taking His presence out like a shockwave across the world? The first band of followers received the Spirit, i.e. God Himself, to do just that. What was previously hidden becomes seen through these people (v4 & 5) - we are now in a broadcast situation.

Paul became included in that early band or people. Paul was acutely aware that only grace allowed himself (and the others) to be connected in. Yet notice also that Paul is very aware that his own receiving of grace was not just for himself: the 'to me for you' concept of v2 and v7-8. Grace connects us with God, but the moment we receive it starts overflowing, to be given away, uncontainable.

In v10 God's intent is that He should be revealed through the church. That means you and me as well! This same 'to me for you' concept applies to all Christians, not just a special few. We can address every level of society - see that 'heavenly realms' phrase again - we are to declare Jesus is Lord so people can be gathered in by His grace.

All this is known as general revelation. Yet God is also interested with our day to day specifics ... so let us look to God for our own specific revelation. Again it will mean receiving grace, which immediately will spill out to others. Hence the key question/challenge:

Key Qn: [IN] What is God revealing to you … for others?
Challenge: Ask God specifically for revelation

Remember Paul said (1 Corinthians 14:1) 'eagerly desire the gifts ... especially prophecy' - God wants to speak into our lives. Today's Ephesians passage closes with an invitation to approach God with freedom and confidence (v13). God is in the business of revealing, in the big and the small. For us to play our part in His purposes we must learn to receive this, and to let it be uncontainable so that others get to know too.

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