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9 having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself,


Verse nine explains the meaning of God’s grace (v. 8) and how it fits into His grand plan.

having made known to us

God communicated His wisdom abundantly in the Word of God, and in this He clearly conveyed the mystery of His will. God intends that we appreciate His provision of redemption grace. “Made known” is a revelatory concept. His plan of salvation by grace is a carefully designed strategy.

the mystery of His will,

The Greek term for “mystery” does not convey the idea of something spooky or unknown. The idea is of a truth formerly unknown but now revealed. The dimension of revelation is always implied in the word “mystery.” A mystery is a revelation from God; it is not something abstruse or something unknowable. It is also something that God hides for a time and then reveals in a period of His appointment.

The truth that was not revealed until the New Testament is that both Jews and Gentiles are included in God’s plan of salvation. Paul spelled this out further in chapter three

The word “mystery” occurs six times in Ephesians. In Ephesians 3:3-4, 9 the Holy Spirit shows how both Jews and Gentiles are incorporated into one body called the church. In Ephesians 5:32 “mystery” denotes the union between Christ and the church. In Ephesians 6:19 it refers to the gospel. The mystery that God did not reveal in the Old Testament was the revelation of the church in a new economy.

according to His good pleasure

The revelation of God’s truth previously hidden now revealed is a standard of God’s good pleasure. God did not simply purpose to unite both Jews and Gentiles into one body, but He also took pleasure in doing so.

which He purposed [set before]

God purposed the church from eternity in His plan.

in Himself,

“In Himself” should be “in Him”; that is, in the Lord Jesus. We define the nature of the church by our position in Christ.


The church is a new revelation of God for a new economy of dealing with God’s people.


God kept hidden for thousands of years His plan for the church. Now He has revealed a new economy, a new way of life, in the church. The essence of the way the church functions is by grace and not by the law.

Some of us have been Christians a long time. You would think we would have grown to understand the economy of grace more than we have.