ITERO 2020 – The Christian Life – Week 1
The Consummation of the Age — the Age of Mystery
Eph. 3:8-9, 3, 10-11
8 To me, less than the least of all saints, was this grace given to announce to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ as the gospel
9 And to enlighten all that they may see what the economy of the mystery is, which throughout the ages has been hidden in God, who created all things,
3 That by revelation the mystery was made known to me, as I have written previously in brief,
10 In order that now to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenlies the multifarious wisdom of God might be made known through the church,
11 According to the eternal purpose which He made in Christ Jesus our Lord,
4 Even as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world to be holy and without blemish before Him in love,
Paul says that this mystery was hidden in God who created all things [Eph. 3:9]. He mentions the creation because this mystery is an answer to God’s creation….This mystery is the explanation of God’s creation, and even more, [it] is an answer to all the ages. What was the reason for all the ages? Why was there an Adam, Abel, Enosh, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, Samuel, David, Solomon, and all the prophets? Why was Israel afterward captured to Babylon, and why was there a recovery? The reason was a mystery. When Saul of Tarsus met the Lord on the way to Damascus, the Lord asked him a little question, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” (Acts 9:4). Paul was captured, and from that day onward the Lord “played a video” [of the mystery] to Paul. Soon afterward Paul also “played the video” in every place. First, he enlightened those around the Mediterranean Sea concerning the mystery that throughout the ages had been hidden in God, who created all things. Then all of us who read the New Testament today have also been enlightened, and now we all see the mystery….Now the more we “watch this video,” the more we are enlightened and enabled to enlighten others. (CWWL, 1987, vol. 1, “Bearing Remaining Fruit,” pp. 413, 416)
—–[A] great matter in Ephesians 3 is the economy of the mystery in verse 9. An economy is a dispensing, a distribution of riches. The apostle Paul was doing a particular kind of work—he was distributing Christ in His riches into people. As genuine Christians, we can testify that since the day we first called on the name of the Lord, something mysterious has been added into our being; Christ has been dispensed into us. The mystery of Christ is Christ experienced in all His riches. To experience the riches of Christ means that something of Christ, some element of His riches, has been dispensed into us….The more we experience Christ, the more He is dispensed into us. The dispensing of His riches into us is the economy of the mystery. Something eternal, mysterious, and incomprehensible yet sweet, rich, and high has been dispensed into our being and makes us joyful, living, powerful, loving, and lovable. This is the enjoyment of the riches of Christ.
Every believer has Christ within. Once we receive Christ, we can never send Him away. We may sometimes try to reject Him, but we cannot get rid of Him. We may even say, “Lord, I do not love You,” but He will say, “I still love you.” The more we talk to the Lord, even in this way, the more of Christ we will receive. Instead of resisting the Lord, we should simply love Him. Loving the Lord and being loved by Him is the reason that Christians may appear to be crazy to others. Saints often travel from a long distance to come to church conferences. At the conferences we only attend meetings. We do not come for entertainment, yet we are happy. Unbelievers cannot understand our joy and may think that we are superstitious or misled, but the real reason is that we have the dispensing of the mystery.
Saints from many different nations meet together in the church life….When we see the other saints, regardless of their nationality, we spontaneously love them. The reason and motive for our mutual love is…that something within each of us corresponds to something within the other saints. Even if we cannot understand one another’s language, we love one another because we experience the dispensing of the mystery.
The reason for this love is the dispensing of the mystery. (CWWL, 1981, vol. 1, “Crucial Aspects of the Experience of Christ Revealed in Paul’s Epistles,” pp. 426-427)
Further Reading: HWMR The Christian Life, the Church Life, the Consummation of the Age, and the Coming of the Lord – Week 1, Day 4
Corporate Reading of “The Mystery of Christ” Chapter 6 – Sections: Authority In The Body; The Authority Of The Body Resting In The Head; The Members’ Place Being To Submit To The Authority Of The Head
© Living Stream Ministry, 2016, used by permission