Chapter Three—The Mystery of Godliness

Fred R. Coulter—09/29/1991

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[Feast of Tabernacles - Day 7, 1991]

I want to ask the question today: What is the mystery of Godliness? As we will see, Paul said 'Great is the mystery of Godliness.'

  • What does that mean?
  • What does that mean for us?

Let's also understand that in the world there is also a mystery religion. Let's look and see what that mystery is. We're going to see that that is the mystery of Satan's deception on this world: with Satan's savior for this world; with Satan's way and religion for this world.

Let's first of all go to 2-Thessalonians, the second chapter, where it talks about the mystery of iniquity or the mystery of licentiousness—license to do evil in the name of religion. It's going to become very profound, because we're going to see—perhaps in our lifetime, and I say 'perhaps' because no one can tell how far into the future, or how much God is going to let men develop in their society, their civilization and all of this sort of thing. We don't know, so we cannot say for sure exactly when Christ is going to return.

But we do know that there is a system of deception that is now even developing more and more, which has been entitled by the President Bush {the 1st Bush} the New World Order. I don't think he even has the faintest idea of what that is going to usher in if it really takes place.

In 2-Thess. 2 it tells us about this system and what is going to happen. Let's pay attention and be alert to this. 2-Thessalonians 2:1: "Now, we beseech you, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ… [there is no authority that is greater than that by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ] …and our gathering together to Him, that you not be quickly shaken in mind, nor be troubled—neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by epistle, as if from us… [there were counterfeit letters going around; there were people] …saying that the day of Christ is present" (vs 1-2)—that Christ is returning, and all of these things were happening. Even letters coming saying that the day of Christ is at hand.

Verse 3: "Do not let anyone deceive you by any means…" It may sound very Scriptural; it may sound very authentic; they may even be able to build a fairly good case to make it look like it could happen. What they want to do is usher in—what the whole Feast of Tabernacles pictures—the rule and reign of God on the earth. He gives this warning:

Verse 3: "Do not let anyone deceive you by any means, because that day will not come unless the apostasy shall come first…"—in the rebellion or the apostasy come to its full. Do we know how full the rebellion against God and the apostasy is going to be? No, we don't! We don't know how great God is going to let this be. But we do know from the book of Revelation that it's going to be so fantastic that Satan is even going to convince the world and the armies that are there, that they can fight Christ when He returns and win. That means that they've got to think that they really have the ability, that they really have the capacity.

Just a little aside so we can understand, concerning human beings: Back in Psa. 8 it says, 'What is man that you are mindful of him? You have made him a little lower than the angels' (KJV)—but the Hebrew word for angels is 'Elohim' and in fact, really means that man has been made a little lower than God. We're made in the image of God! We're made in the likeness of God! But we're made in the flesh, and we've been made a little lower than God.

So, when people have accomplishment, technological abilities and things that we have in today's society, Satan is going to be there to make man think that he can become God without God. After all, isn't that exactly the message that Satan told Adam and Eve?

Out of this system, out of this rebellion it says that it's going to come first, "…and the man of sin shall be revealed… [the only way he's going to be revealed is if we know and understand the mystery of Godliness, if we understand the Word of God, because that's the only revelation to tell us that we know who this man is.] …—the son of perdition" (v 3). That means that he is cast into the Lake of Fire as the beast is when Christ returns.

Notice what he's going to do, he's going to be proclaimed as savior; he's going to be proclaimed lord, v 4: "The one who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God…" A great and marvelous manifestation of religious fervor and power and understanding in this world as far as Satan's way goes. So much so that he is going to be exalted above all of that. This is going to be the greatest thing that has happened to men since there have been men on the earth; that is apart from God and the coming of Jesus Christ.

"…or that is an object of worship; so that he comes into the temple of God and sits down as God, proclaiming that he himself is God" (v 4). That's going to be something!

Now let's see how this system is described, v 7: "For the mystery of lawlessness is already working…" What is this mystery of lawlessness/iniquity? That only the insiders know they are worshipping Satan! And all the world is deceived into worshipping the beast, but they really are worshipping Satan. 'All the world shall worship the beast whose deadly wound was healed' (Rev. 13). It is Satan who gives him power and all the world is going to worship the dragon, Satan the devil. This is going to be awesome! That is called the mystery of iniquity!

Verse 9: "Even the one whose coming is according to the inner working of Satan, with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness… [We need fight against all the deceivableness of Satan. Well, here it is, it's coming on the world.] …with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in those who are perishing because they did not receive the love of the Truth, so that they might be saved. And for this cause…" (vs 9-11).

There's going to come a time when God is going to do something supernaturally in this world that is going to turn them to the will of the beast, that is going to turn them to the will of Satan the devil, because they don't love the Truth. The Truth is going to have to be preached in enough power and force and revelation so that the world is going to have heard it. Then God is going to do this:

"…because they did not receive the love of the Truth, so that they might be saved. And for this cause… [for this reason; for this purpose] …God will send upon them a powerful deception… [this is going to appear to them to be the greatest thing that has ever happened in the history of mankind. It's going to be a strong, or powerful, delusion] …that will cause them to believe the lie" (vs 10-11). That this man of sin the son of perdition is God. That they will believe the lie that they can make themselves God, rather than only God can give us salvation.

Verse 12: "So that all may be judged who did not believe the Truth, but who took pleasure in unrighteousness." There's going to be that demarcation.

We know that in Rev. 17 it talks about 'the woman, Mystery Babylon the Great, the mother of harlots and abominations in the world.' Yes, there is the mystery of iniquity, the mother of harlots, Mystery Babylon the Great!

  • that's what's going to rule the world
  • that's what is going to setup the false millennium
  • that's what is going to bring on the New Age

But that is NOT the mystery of Godliness!

Let's see what 1-Tim. 3 says about the mystery of Godliness. This is really a tremendous and profound Scripture in itself. 1-Timothy 3:16: "And undeniably… [no doubt about it; there is no question; there is absolutely no dispute about this] …great is the mystery of Godliness… [What is the mystery of Godliness? Do you know what it is? Paul tells us right here]: …God was manifested in the flesh…" Not just a man in the flesh revealed God, referring to a Christ Who was not God before He became human; but it was GOD Himself Who "…was manifested in the flesh…"

That's why when we go back to the very basic Scripture: 'In the beginning was the Word, the Word was with God, the Word was God, and the Word became flesh.' God was manifested in the flesh. That's a tremendous mystery. People wonder how can God do that and still be human? Look! Nothing is impossible for God. Human beings have been made a little lower than God, in His image, in His likeness, for the purpose to be born into His Family from the resurrection of the dead.

"…God was manifested in the flesh, was justified in the Spirit…" (v 16). Why did Christ have to be justified in the Spirit? He didn't sin! We know we're justified because we sin. He had to be justified in the Spirit because He carried within Himself the law of sin and death; because He carried within His body all of our sins—He bore in His body our sins!

  • that's why He had to be crucified
  • that's why He had to die
  • that's why He had to take on the death of Adam

"…was seen by angels… [after the resurrection, obviously] …was proclaimed among the Gentiles, was believed on in the world, was received up in glory" (v 16).

There's a whole encapsulation in one verse the whole story of the Gospel. But it is a mystery because people can't understand it unless it is revealed. People cannot understand the mystery of God because it is several-fold, not only what God did through Christ, but what God is doing to us, through us, and in us that, yes, we can be sitting here keeping the Feast of Tabernacles, and yes, we can be saying, 'Yes, that's God's plan,' but do you know the mystery of Godliness?

Colossians 1 talks an awful lot about the mystery of Godliness and the mystery of God. Colossians was written approximately the same time as Philippians, and perhaps the same time of Ephesians. Paul is beginning to teach something to them; he is beginning to tell them something very, very important. Let's understand something about the ministry of Paul that he never preached to them personally. Perhaps after he got out of prison he was able to see them—we have no record that he did. While writing this in prison:

Colossians 2:1: "Now, I want you to understand what great concern I have for you, and for those in Laodicea, and as many as have not seen my face in the flesh; that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, unto the knowledge of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ" (vs 1-2)—the whole mystery of God!

It's going to be a mystery revealed, because we're going to see that Paul said, 'I had direct Divine revelation from God about the mystery of God to teach you.' That is so exciting, brethren, it's just absolutely fantastic when we understand that. Not only what it's going to be when we are in the Kingdom of God, but what it means right now and what God wants us to be inspired with right today, so that we know and understand and have burned in our mind and heart and our being the very inspiration and power of God's Spirit to do His will. To go forward and to accomplish what God wants, and to understand that mystery of God.

Verse 3: "In Whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." When that is said there is virtually nothing more to say when we understand about the mystery of God. We are to grow in this.

Colossians 1:1: "Paul, an apostle by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, to the saints and faithful brethren in Christ who are in Colossi: Grace and peace be to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. We give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying for you continually since hearing of your faith in Christ Jesus, and the love that you have toward all the saints; because of the hope that is laid up for you in heaven…" (vs 1-5).

  • What is that hope? That's all bound up in the mystery of Godliness—that we are going to become God!
  • What is that hope—the earnest, the down payment—for us now? The Spirit of God, Christ in you the hope of glory!

That's profound, brethren!

Verse 9: "For this cause we also, from the day that we heard of it, do not cease to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding." Which is what we are trying to do here, brethren, at this Feast of Tabernacles and with what we have prepared here for you.

Verse 10: "That you may walk worthily of the Lord, unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God." That is to be continually increasing!

Verse 11: "Being strengthened with all power …[through the power of God's Holy Spirit. That's what we need to do with this; let the Spirit of God strengthen us with all might] …according to the might of His glory, unto all endurance and long-suffering with joy; giving thanks to the Father, Who has made us qualified… [It is God Who qualifies us for the Kingdom of God; or has made us competent through His power] …for the share of the inheritance of the saints in the light" (vs 11-12). God is the One Who has done this.

Showing then how, if we follow what we learned in 'resisting the devil' and fighting and putting on the whole armor of God and all of that, v 13: "Who has personally rescued us from the power of darkness…" There is no need for us to be enslaved by the mystery of iniquity or the mystery of Babylon the Great, the mother of harlots, because we have been delivered from the power of darkness.

"…and has transferred us unto the Kingdom of the Son of His love" (v 13). That is put under the authority and jurisdiction of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, which now rules and controls our lives in which we are looking for that kingdom to come when He returns.

Verse 14: "In Whom we have redemption through His own blood, even the remission of sins." There is no sin that He cannot forgive if there is repentance. But there are sins He will not forgive, and those are the unpardonable sins of: rebellion, obstinance, going against God and coming into that mystery of iniquity of Satan the devil—the way that it's going to be in the world.

Verse 15: "Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation"—'prototokos'—the firstborn from among the dead. He couldn't be the firstborn of every creature, because He was not the first thing created. As a matter of fact, Jesus Christ didn't come on the scene until well over halfway in the entire history of all human kind—pretty close to the end of 4,000 years of human history.

So, it doesn't mean the firstborn in that sense, the firstborn of every creature. We know that in Rom. 8 that He is the 'firstborn among many brethren'—the 'prototokos' of many brethren. And that is the firstborn from among the dead. The first birth is your physical human birth. The second birth—born again—is to be raised from the dead—'prototokos'—as Christ was. Then we will be the firstfruits in a collective sense. We will be a kind of 'prototokoi'—plural in the Greek.

Verse 16: "Because by Him were all things created… [He had to exist before they were created if He is to create them] …the things in heaven and the things on earth, the visible and the invisible, whether they be thrones, or lordships, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him and for Him. And He is before all, and by Him all things subsist. And He is the Head of the body, the Church; Who is the beginning, the firstborn from among the dead…" (vs 16-18).

Being the Beginning means that He is the firstborn from the dead, which then is the beginning of the creation of God through the resurrection of the dead to bring those people into the Kingdom of God. That should be very clear and that's part of the mystery of Godliness. Great is the mystery of Godliness:

  • God manifested in the flesh!
  • Justified of the Spirit!
  • Seen of angels!
  • Raised to the right hand of God!
  • Preached in the World!

Maybe we understand a little more of what that means.

"…so that in all things He Himself might hold the preeminence…. [always, forever] …For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell; and, having made peace through the blood of His cross, by Him to reconcile all things to Himself; by Him, whether the things on the earth, or the things in heaven" (vs 18-20). Because the whole plan has got to be all justified and made right.

Verse 21: "For you were once alienated and enemies in your minds by wicked works; but now He has reconciled you." God is part of the great mystery of Godliness for us. Paul said how he preached and how he was made a minister of God.

Verse 26: "Even the mystery that has been hidden…" It wasn't revealed; wasn't made known. Even when Paul first started preaching, God had to reveal and make this known to him. He didn't know this. He didn't understand this. He didn't realize what God had in store for him.

When he was on his way to Damascus and knocked off that horse and knocked on the ground and made blind, he didn't know what God had in store for him. He didn't know there was going to be the time when he would be taken off to the Arabian Desert to be taught of Christ. He didn't know that he was going to have those visions and dreams that God gave him. He said, 'I knew a man in Christ once about 14 years ago, whether in the spirit or whether in the body I cannot tell.' He was carried up into the third heaven. Paul didn't know, and now this is being made manifest to him. Now this is being revealed:

Verse 26: "Even the mystery that has been hidden from ages and from generations, but has now been revealed to His saints; to whom God did will to make known…" (vs 26-27). This is a mystery being unfolded, being revealed, being told to us by the very Word and Power of God and Christ so that we can understand His way.

Verse 27: "To whom God did will to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles…" This is what so set afire so absolutely the forces of hell against Paul and his preaching, and even caused a division between Peter and the other apostles and Paul, because of what he was preaching and saying: 'This is fantastic, you are going to be God! The One Who was Christ was God before He became a human being, and He is there at the right hand of God and God took upon Himself all of these things to pay for our sins! Now you can worship God in heaven above. You can have direct access to God the Father in heaven above.

  • no longer in this temple on the earth
  • no longer with these sacrifices
  • no longer with these traditions
  • no longer with these things that are just physical things and amount to nothing compared to the mystery of God

And preaching that among the Gentiles, "…which is Christ in you…" (v 27). There's the first step of the mystery of God, the Spirit of Christ in you. If you have the Spirit of Christ in you, then you belong to Christ:

  • He can live in your heart and mind
  • He can lead you
  • He can teach you
  • He can inspire you
  • He can help you
  • He can uplift you
  • He can correct you and teach you

—that you can prepare for the resurrection and Jesus Christ at His return.

That's fantastic, brethren! That is absolutely marvelous and unbelievable, that God would make know this mystery; that through the Apostle Paul—who was beaten, who was scourged, who was shipwrecked, who was rejected, who was just made the minced meat of the enemies—so that he could suffer as God said. But because of that suffering, God revealed to him things that God did not reveal to any of the other apostles in the fullness and the measure of the mystery of the knowledge of Christ.

That is absolutely fantastic, and we need to ask God to help us to understand that. To help us to realize us, to give us of His Spirit that we may know, realize and understand. This is fantastic, brethren, absolutely beyond belief!

"…which is Christ in you, the hope of glory" (v 27). That is absolutely magnificent!

Now let's go to Ephesians, chapter 3, and you're going to see why I have held chapter 3 until the end. Ephesians 3 tells about the final revelation that God gave to Paul when he was in prison. When he was there in chains and bonds and crying out to God: 'Oh, God, what am I going to do? I know that I'm here as a prisoner in Your hands. I know I am here for whatever You want—whether I live or whether I die, I am Christ's. Oh, God, tell me Your plan. Give me understanding and comprehension of Your way.'

So, God did! God revealed to Paul the great and fantastic and magnanimous and glorious plan that He has given for us. That ought to motivate us and inspire us beyond belief and understanding, that we can grow in this.

Ephesians 3:1: "For this very reason and cause, I, Paul, am the prisoner of Christ Jesus on behalf of, and for you Gentiles. If truly you have heard of the administration and stewardship (the ministry) of the grace of God, which was granted and entrusted to me, in your behalf" (vs 1-2). That's how every minister needs to feel about his relationship to God, to God's Word and to the brethren. That he is the steward and he is to pass on the Word of God in truth and in sincerity.

Verse 3: "How that by direct Divine revelation He made known to me… [It came to Paul first] …(giving me comprehension and understanding) of the secret mystery of His plan; (according as I had previously written to you briefly." So, he had a little inkling of it; he had a little understanding of it and he wrote to them about it. But he says, 'Now—in this third chapter—I'm going to give you more of it.

Verse 4: "Whereby, you are able when you read this… [this Epistle to the Ephesians] …to perceive and comprehend my understanding and knowledge (such as only God can grant) of the secret mystery of Christ." Christ in you, the hope of glory! The secret mystery of God:

  • that God came in the flesh
  • that God gave His life
  • that God took upon Him the law of sin and death
  • that God died

to be resurrected and live forever, and bring all the brethren into the Family of God.

Verse 5: "Which in other generations and previous ages was not made known or revealed to the sons of men…" God didn't do it; God didn't give them understanding. Remember Daniel said, 'Lord, when will these things be? I've had the great privilege of writing them down; when will it be?' He was told, 'Go your way and seal up the book until the time of the end. For many shall go to and fro and knowledge shall increase.' And we're living in this age. Then He gave a little bit of understanding, and He said, 'But you go your way until the end of the age, but you shall stand in your lot, in your time—that is at the resurrection at the end of the age' (Dan. 12 paraphrased).

Peter said that this Gospel is brought to us, the Prophets spoke of it to us, part of it—little glimpses of it here and there—of this grace that should come to us—which the Spirit of Christ in them was signifying and causing to be prophesied for us—that we should be partakers of God's way. Peter was given the understanding, too, but that was after this understanding that Paul had.

Verse 4: "Whereby you are able, when you read this, to perceive and comprehend my understanding and knowledge (such as only God can grant) of the secret mystery of Christ. Which in other generations and previous ages was not made known or revealed to the sons of men, as it has now been Divinely revealed and made manifest to His Holy apostles (who have been commissioned and sent, bearing the authority of Jesus Christ) and His prophets by the Spirit; that the Gentiles should be joint-heirs, conjointly receiving of His inheritance…" (vs 4-6).

Let's see a little bit about this inheritance and how fantastic it is that part of the mystery of Godliness is that Christ is going to share everything that He has with His brethren; with those in the first resurrection as His bride.

Romans 8:14: "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God. Now, you have not received a spirit of bondage again unto fear, but you have received the Spirit of sonship, whereby we call out, 'Abba, Father.' The Spirit itself bears witness conjointly with our own spirit, testifying that we are the children of God. Now, if we are children, we are also heirs… " (vs 14-17).

We are going to inherit with Christ, and he's saying here that it's not just to the Jew, it's not just to the Israelite, it's not just to the descendents of Abraham, but of the Gentiles. That means all nations are going to participate in this. That we are going to be joint-heirs with Christ! What is Christ inheriting? The Kingdom! He is going to give us of that wealth and those riches and that responsibility. And all of those things are so fantastic in the inheritance that we now share in, that all human beings that God calls can share in.

"…—truly, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ—if indeed we suffer together with Him…" (v 17). Paul did! We have! Not like Paul, none of us will ever be able to stand up and say, 'Oh boy! This has been really tough; it's been really hard to make it as a Christian.' Well, you try telling Paul that at the resurrection. Just read what Paul went through. When he talks about suffering, he knows was that is.

"…so that we may also be glorified together with Him. For I reckon… [calculate, figure, estimate, plan in my own mind] …that the sufferings of the present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us" (vs 17-18). No comparison what God has for us through the mystery of Godliness in the plan of God, to come into His kingdom is so fantastic that there is nothing—not even the most miserable suffering in the world—to compare to what God has to give to us in this inheritance and glory that He says He's going to give to us. And it's going to be revealed in us that we will share in that Divine splendor and magnificent glory of God.

Verse 19: "For the earnest expectation of the creation itself is awaiting the manifestation of the sons of God"—the completion of the mystery of Godliness.

Verse 20: "Because the creation was subjected to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of Him who subjected it in hope, in order that the creation itself might be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God" (vs 20-21). That's what we are being brought into, brethren, to that glorious liberty! That's what we are going to bring the world. That is another part of the mystery of God: the glorious mystery of the sons of God ruling in splendor and power and glory with Christ!

Verse 22: "For we know that all the creation is groaning together and travailing together until now." If that's what was going through in the days of the Apostle Paul, pray tell what is it going through today with all of the wretchedness and death, dying, war, disease, and everything that man is doing? The earth is moaning and groaning, every bit of it, waiting for us!

Verse 23: "And not only that, but even we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, also groan within ourselves, awaiting the sonship—the redemption of our bodies…. [That's all part of the mystery of God.] …For by hope we were saved…" (vs 23-24). This is the hope we are looking to: that very mystery of God being fulfilled and revealed. Then it talks about Christ being the firstborn of many brethren. That's another part of the mystery of Godliness.

This wasn't known before, that God is going to reach down and call the Gentiles. Of course, to a Jew that is the most unthinkable and unspeakable thing, because the Jew has turned that into their own private little form of vanity against the rest of the world in hatred and in violence and in deprecation to them. Now God is saying, 'No, that's not the way. I love the whole world. I gave My Son to save the whole world. I gave My Son!

Ephesians 3:6: "That the Gentiles should be joint-heirs, conjointly receiving of His inheritance; members of a joint-body… [We compare that with the mystery of the Church and Christ and the marriage] …which is His Church; and joint-partakers, sharing God's very own promise (of eternal life) through the good news of the Gospel." And through the power of Christ's Holy Spirit in you.

Fantastic, brethren! I want you to really grasp this. I want you to understand that with the very fullness of God's Spirit in you what God is going to do and is doing, that you understand the full mystery of Godliness. That you can rejoice with Christ. That you can rejoice with God the Father and all of the brethren in all of God's plan.

Verse 7: "Of which I became a servant and minister… [not because he was great, not because he understood anything] …according to the gratuitous gift of grace… [any preaching, any ministry, has to be by the grace of God, as a gift of God—can't be any other way] (which then is): …the gracious intentions of God, which was specifically given to me… [that's not being presumptuous; that's just telling the truth, because God gave it to him] …according to the inner workings of His very own dynamic spiritual power. Even to me, the lowest of the least of all the saints, was this grace given, in order that the good news of the Gospel should be preached and announced among the nations…" (vs 7-8).

All the Gentiles, and now at the end of this age in all the world; not only for a witness, but a calling for repentance and salvation, and goodness, righteousness and Truth.

"…even the unsearchable and unfathomable (yes, even the inscrutable and incomprehensible wealth and luxuriant riches of Christ" (v 8).

(go to the next track)

  • You think you set your sights high?
  • You think you have goals that you're going attain to?

Brethren, lift you eyes up on high! Lift you eyes up to heaven and see Christ and see God! Ask God to enlighten you.

Verse 9: "To enlighten and spiritually illuminate everyone of you…"

  • God wants you to know
  • God wants you to see
  • God wants you to understand

"…by making clear what is the fellowship and participation, that close relationship with God, as revealed in the secret plan… [the mystery of God] …which from the beginning of the world has been hidden (concealed and withheld from sight or knowledge until now), in God, Who created and brought into existence everything by and through Jesus Christ; so that it might now be made known through the Church, to the principalities and rulers, even the authorities, who are exercising power (yes, including even the angels) in the heavenly or spiritual realm what is the infinitely immense and supreme Divine wisdom of God. According to the eternal purpose of the ages, which He proposed and planned (thoroughly worked out beforehand) in Christ Jesus our Lord and Master" (vs 9-11).

Fantastic and marvelous words, brethren, what God has done. It's not just the words, it's the Spirit, God's intervention and revelation, and God's power that makes these things alive. It's not because anyone has done anything to take any credit for anything. It is what God has done!

Verse 12: "In Whom we are having the boldness, courage and assurance, even the direct access to God (by being allowed to have admission into the very presence of God the Father)… [So, when you pray 'Our Father' you're coming into His Divine presence 'in the name and by the authority of Jesus Christ] …in complete confidence and absolute trust by His faith (Christ's very own faith and trust implanted into our own heart and mind)."

  • Isn't that something?
  • That God would do that?
  • That God would choose us?
  • That God would call us to this?

Fantastic, brethren!

Verse 13: "On account of this, I am imploring and beseeching you not to lose heart… [doesn't matter what the circumstances are] …or weaken in confidence or faith, neither be discouraged or downhearted at my trials and tribulations for you, which are for your own glory in God's eternal plan. Now, it is for this cause and reason that I am bowing my knees… [in chains, in shackles, in this prison] …in worshipful adoration and humble submission to the Father of our Lord and Master Jesus Christ, from whom the entire Family of God, the angels in heaven and the saints on earth, is named; that He may grant, graciously bestow and gratuitously endow you, according to the luxuriant, abundant riches of His very own magnificent splendor and glory, to be mightily strengthened and energized with dynamic power through His very own Holy Spirit in the inner man" (vs 13-16).

Verse 17: "That Christ may dwell and live in your heart and mind… [Christ in you, the hope of glory] …through faith and trusting belief. And that you may be constantly rooted and firmly planted…" (vs 17-18). Brethren, we need to be constantly rooted and firmly planted in

  • the Word of God
  • the Truth of God
  • the love of God

so that it gives us the strength and the stability that we need.

"…(that is stabilized, grounded and established in love (that Godly Divine love), so that you may be spiritually strong enough and to be able to fully comprehend…" (v 18). God wants us to know; this is the hope that God gives us. He doesn't want to hold back from us. God is not there to hurt us or destroy us, ruin us or put us down, or cause grief, sorrow and wretchedness in our lives. But if that comes, so be it.

"…and understand with every one of the saints, what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height (of God's eternal plan and purpose)" (v 18). That's what God wants for you; that's what God wants for me; that's why all of this futility, vanity, wretchedness in this world is going to come to an end; to usher this in! And God is giving us a part in that, brethren. Great is the mystery of Godliness!

Verse 19: "And to know and understand the Divine Godly love of Christ…" What Christ has done! What He did to come to this earth!

  • to give up everything to become a human being
  • to risk all of the universe
  • to risk being God to die for our sins

"…which surpasses and exceeds all human knowledge and understanding…" (v 19). There isn't any way you can figure it out by sitting down and using the best brain in the world; absolutely won't happen.

"…that you may be filled with all the fullness of God…" (v 19). Brethren, I want you to think on that.

  • that's what God wants us to do
  • that's what God wants us to be
  • that's what God is working in the mystery of Godliness

"…(so that with His Holy Spirit spiritually satiating every fiber of your being—that in the end at the resurrection you will be a son of God, composed of Spirit as God is composed of Spirit, for you shall see Him as He is, for you shall be like Him—truly a son of God). Now to Him Who has the eternal capacity and dynamic ability, which transcends all things…" (vs 19-20).

Brethren, we need not doubt one thing of God, or His way, His plan or His purpose. We need to set aside every one of those things that afflict us:

  • whether it be old age
  • whether it be trying to live in the world
  • whether it be trying to have a job
  • whether it be trying to be healed

Whatever it may be, set aside all of that, because God's plan transcends everything!

"…to do exceeding abundantly above everything that we can ask or think, according to the dynamic, spiritual power, which is working within us, to him, God the Father, be the magnificent splendor, honor and glory in the Church, in Christ Jesus, throughout all generations, expanding into the ages of eternity! Amen."

Great is the mystery of Godliness!

Scriptures in Ephesians from The Epistle of Paul to the Ephesians, An Inspirational Study by Fred R. Coulter

All other Scriptures from The Holy Bible in Its Original Order, A Faithful Version by Fred R. Coulter

Scriptural References:

  • 2 Thessalonians 2:1-4, 7, 9-12
  • 1 Timothy 3:16
  • Colossians 2:1-3
  • Colossians 1:1-5, 9-21, 26-27
  • Ephesians 3:1-5, 4-6
  • Romans 8:14-24
  • Ephesians 3:6-21

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Leviticus 23
  • Psalm 8
  • Revelation 13; 17
  • Daniel 12

Transcribed: 11-31-12
Corrected: 2-1-13