We are all free agents of God. In other words we have the right to choose and make our own decisions free from God. God gives us that right. Having said that, there are rules and things that we must learn if we want to be a child of God. In Ephesians 3:8-13 we find Paul explaining the Purpose of the Mystery.
Purpose of the Mystery
8 To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, 9 and to make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ; 10 to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places, 11 according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord, 12 in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him. 13 Therefore I ask that you do not lose heart at my tribulations for you, which is your glory.
Commentary: 3:8b-9. Two infinitives state Paul’s functioning in this ministry. First, he was to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ. Second, he was to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery. Though Paul ministered to both Jews and Gentiles (cf. comments on Acts 9:15), he was especially designated as the apostle “to the Gentiles” (Rom. 11:13; Gal. 1:16; 2:7-8).
The Gentiles can know something of the riches of Christ’s blessings (cf. “the riches of God’s grace” in Eph. 1:7 and 2:7 and the richness of His mercy in 2:4). Yet Christ’s fathomless spiritual wealth can never be fully comprehended (anexichniaston, lit., “not capable of being traced by footprints”; used only here and in Rom. 11:33). Paul was to disclose publicly to everyone, not just the Ephesians (cf. Eph. 3:2) this stewardship of God’s sacred secret (vv. 3-4, 6). This secret had been hidden in God (cf. v. 5), the Creator of the universe. Even before creating all things God had in mind this wonderful truth as part of His eternal plan (cf. 1:4, 11).
- The purpose of the ministry (3:10-12).
3:10-12. The purpose (hina) of Paul’s ministry was that . . . the manifold wisdom (sophia) of God might be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms. In classical Greek the adjective “manifold” (polypoikilos) referred to the beauty of an embroidered pattern or the variety of colors in flowers (cf. poikilēs, “in its various forms,” in 1 Peter 4:10). The “manifold wisdom of God” does not refer to redemption as such but rather to the new relationship between believing Jews and Gentiles in one body. The medium by which this wisdom is communicated is the church; the recipients are the angelic hosts “in the heavenly realms” (cf. Eph. 1:3). These “rulers and authorities” refer to both good and evil angels as seen in 6:12 (cf. 1:21). As the angelic hosts witness the church, they must admit that having Jews and Gentiles in one body is evidence of God’s wisdom.
This mystery—that both believing Jews and Gentiles are in one body (3:6)— was revealed to the apostles and prophets (v. 5) and was disseminated by Paul (vv. 7-9). Its purpose was that angelic beings might see God’s variegated wisdom. This whole plan was in accord with God’s eternal intent which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord (v. 11). This means either that God is now carrying out His eternal purpose, or that He carried it out (accomplished it) in Christ about 2,000 years ago. The latter view is preferable because (a) “accomplished” is in the past tense not the present or perfect tense, and (b) the inclusion of believing Jews and Gentiles in one body was in fact accomplished by Christ’s death.
Through faith in Christ Christians have the right of address (freedom, parrēsian, lit., “courage, boldness”; cf. Heb. 3:6; 4:16; 10:19, 35) and the right of access (approach, prosagōgēn; cf. Eph. 2:18; Rom. 5:2) to God with . . . confidence. Though God’s eternal plan was accomplished in Christ nearly two millennia ago, believers can still address God and go to Him freely and confidently.
- the injunction (3:13).
3:13. This verse marks the conclusion of the sentence begun in verse 2. If the Ephesians truly understood “the administration of God’s grace that was given to” Paul (v. 2), they should not . . . be discouraged because of his sufferings for them. His sufferings were for their gain and glory. If Paul had not dispensed to the Gentiles the stewardship of God’s grace, then Jews would not have been hostile to him and he would not have been imprisoned. His preaching brought salvation to the Gentiles, but it incurred the wrath of many Jews on him. However, many others became members of the church, Christ’s body, and this was their glory.
- Prayer for strengthened love (3:14-21).
Having stated that positionally the Gentile and Jewish believers are “one new man” (2:15), which is the body of Christ, Paul now prayed that they may be united experientially. He desired that they might genuinely know and experience Christ’s love and thus exhibit it toward each other.
16 Things Free Agents (all men) Must Learn
- That God must be respected and obeyed in all things (Eph. 3:9-11)
- That His laws are final and just (Ps. 119:89; Isa. 55:11; 2 Tim. 3:16-17)
- That sin does not pay ( Gal. 6:7-8)
- That sin will never be excused (Gen. 2:17; Ez. 18:4;Rom. 6:23)
- That sin will be forgiven if terms are met (2 Cor. 7:10;Jn. 1:9)
- That God’s form of government is the only right one (Isa. 9:6-7;Rev. 20)
- That a loving and free submission to God is the highest and most noble principle of moral government (Mt. 22:37; Jn. 3:16; Rev. 22:17; Eph. 3:10)
- That justice and righteousness must prevail, if any society is to be eternally preserved in the universe (Eph. 1:4-12; 2:7; 3:9-11; Rev. 11:15-18; 1 Cor. 15:24-28)
- That consecration to the highest good of all is the nature and highest glory of the creature (Eph. 1:4-12; Rev. 4:11;5:11-14;C0l. 1:15-18)
- That God is merciful and forgiving to those who will be penitent, and who learn obedience through their fall and redemption (Rom. 1:5,16; 3:24-26; 16:26; Eph. 2:4:10; Tit. 2:11-14; 3:5-6)
- That God is the only absolutely just and perfect Being, and the only one capable and worthy of unquestionable authority ( Isa. 57:13; Rev. 4:8; 6:10;15:4)
- That all accusations of present rebels against God are untrue (Ez. 28:16; Eph. 6:16;Rev. 12:10)
- That God does only those things which are for the best good of creation (Mt. 7:7-11; Eph. 2:7; Rev 4:11)
- That He should, by virtue of His own history of justice and righteousness in all of His dealings, be recognized by all as the Supreme Moral Governor of the Universe (1 Cor. 11:3; 15:24-28; Eph. 2:9-11; Cor. 1:15-18; Rev. 4:11)
- That those who rebel will be punished forever as an everlasting monument of God’s wrath on sin and as examples of justice to all coming generations in all eternity (Isa. 66:22-24; Rev. 14:9-11; Mt. 25:41,46; Mk. 9:43-48)
- That all the redeemed and obedient will become eternal heirs of God and kings and priests and judges under Him to help administer the affairs of the universe forever (Dan. 7:18,27; Rom. 8:17; 1 Cor. 6:2-3; Eph. 2:7; 3:9-11; 2 Tim. 2:12; Rev. 1:6; 5:10;22:4-5)
To live as children of light one must discern what pleases the Lord (cf. 2 Cor. 5:9; Col. 1:10).
Knowledge is the apprehension of truth; wisdom is its application to life. Knowledge is prudent judgment and wisdom is prudent action. Both are found in Christ (cf. Rom. 11:33; 1 Cor. 12:8) whose wisdom is foolishness to the world (1 Cor. 1:21-25), but who is the power of God by which a believer receives “righteousness, holiness, and redemption” (1 Cor. 1:30).
Always keep Jesus in your heart and on your mind.
God is testing us every day and has given us the right to make our own choices. Do you know which ones are the right choices in Gods mind?
Fear God, love God, honor God, and trust God with all your heart, mind and soul and you will receive and experience the promises of God’s blessings in His time.
Prayer: Father in heave, hallowed is Thy Name. I praise You for Your Son and the Holy Spirit. I praise you for Your grace in sending us Your wisdom about “Knowledge Free Agents Must Learn.” For without it we would all be sinners forever. Please bless those who have read this article for they too are seeking Your righteous truth, love, wisdom and understanding.
May God, Jesus, The Holy Spirit and Christianity be our guiding lights, our safety nets and our inspiration for loving happiness in all of Your kingdom. Father into your hands I commend my spirit. Not my will, but Yours be done. Please come Lord Jesus.
I pray in Jesus sweet name and to His glory through the power of the Holy Spirit,