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November 18 - Evening

"This grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ,  and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things. His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms,  according to his eternal purpose which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord."
- Ephesians 3:8-11

Making Plain the Unsearchable Riches of Christ and the Manifold Wisdom of God


The “grace” that Paul “was given” was the office of an apostle. As an apostle Paul received, recorded and proclaimed revelation from God. The group that was the focus of Paul’s presentation of the revelation that he had received from God was the Gentile nations. Paul preached the “unsearchable riches of Christ” to the Gentiles and made “plain to everyone the administration of this mystery.”
The word “unsearchable” in the phrase “unsearchable riches of Christ” comes from the Greek word anexichniaston which refers to something that has limits that cannot be found out or reached by humans. An example of this in Paul’s day would be the seas of the earth whose depths could not be reached and whose size could not be known. Yet, Paul was given the “grace” to “preach” (or, proclaim) this untrackable, untraceable knowledge and “to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery.” Through the gifting of the Spirit of God Paul was enabled to preach and record in a “plain” fashion this unfathomable mystery of Christ. “Plain” is the word photisai which means “to illuminate,” and “to bring into light.”
Paul’s message captured the revelation of a “mystery” which had been kept hidden throughout the past ages. The revealing of this ancient hidden mystery began a new age, or a new “administration.” This “administration,” which is the translation of the word oikonomia meaning “management, responsibility, administration of a household,” refers to the church age where the proclamation and understanding of the unsearchable riches of Jesus would be brought to light among the Gentiles.
The result of this mystery being known and understood by the Gentiles would be that “the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms.” Through the church’s understanding, and the resultant transformation of the Gentiles, the angelic forces in the spiritual realm called the “heavenlies” would themselves have the “manifold wisdom of God revealed to them.” The word “manifold” means “many-sided, variegated, multi-faceted” and is used to refer to the many colors of a robe or the many facets of a cut diamond.
In this age in which we now live God has revealed and made known to the church the unknowable knowledge of Christ so that by the transforming power of knowing the person of Christ the church would be transformed into tangible, observable manifestations of Christ himself for all of the rulers and authorities in the heavenlies to see and understand. Part of God’s eternal purpose was that through his “grace” gift of apostleship, Paul would receive, preach and make plain the mystery of Christ. This ministry continues today through the teaching of the text of Scripture.
Presbuteros (Gr) - Elder (Eng) - the Greek word presbuteros has the basic meaning of "one who is advanced in years or is mature of age." The concept that the word communicates is that of a man with mature character. When used in the scripture presbuteros describes a mature man who is a leader in the church. The word presbuteros does not describe the job description of the man, but instead the character of a mature man.
I will seek to know the manifold wisdom of Christ revealed in this church age.
I will proclaim this unsearchable riches of Christ plainly to the people of my generation.



Bible Reading Descriptions Here

Narrative

(morning only)

Complete Text

General Text




Personal

For peace and contentment

Church

Increase Spiritual hunger
Scientists and Theologians
Thailand



Jerusalem viewed from the Mount of Olives looking northwest up the Kidron Valley.

Fit My Video Tag
Walking in the Kidron Valley.
Topography details of Jerusalem





Someone to Quote

"Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words." - Francis of Assisi

Something to Ponder

The universal Christian worldview can summarize history as a cosmic battle between good and evil with Jesus as the central personality.

Here’s a Fact

The Pool of Bethesda and the five covered colonnades are described in John 5:1-15. Although the Crusaders and other Christians built over this site, which is just outside the north wall of the Temple Mount, there was no modern evidence of this site existing until late in the 1800's. Because of this, critics in the 1800's used the lack of evidence to support the historicity of the Pool of Bethesda as proof that the Gospel of John was not written by John and that it was not an authentic first century document. But, the Pool of Bethesda has been excavated and the walls that supported the five covered colonnades that John wrote about can be seen. There is still a natural source of water visible at the site of the ancient Pool of Bethesda. (Details)

Proverb

"He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the Lord."
Proverbs 18:22

Coach’s Corner

Read books for knowledge and inspiration.

Acts 21
New International Version (NIV)
On to Jerusalem
21 After we had torn ourselves away from them, we put out to sea and sailed straight to Kos. The next day we went to Rhodes and from there to Patara. We found a ship crossing over to Phoenicia, went on board and set sail. After sighting Cyprus and passing to the south of it, we sailed on to Syria. We landed at Tyre, where our ship was to unload its cargo. We sought out the disciples there and stayed with them seven days. Through the Spirit they urged Paul not to go on to Jerusalem. When it was time to leave, we left and continued on our way. All of them, including wives and children, accompanied us out of the city, and there on the beach we knelt to pray. After saying goodbye to each other, we went aboard the ship, and they returned home.
We continued our voyage from Tyre and landed at Ptolemais, where we greeted the brothers and sisters and stayed with them for a day. Leaving the next day, we reached Caesarea and stayed at the house of Philip the evangelist, one of the Seven. He had four unmarried daughters who prophesied.
10 After we had been there a number of days, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. 11 Coming over to us, he took Paul’s belt, tied his own hands and feet with it and said, “The Holy Spirit says, ‘In this way the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem will bind the owner of this belt and will hand him over to the Gentiles.’”
12 When we heard this, we and the people there pleaded with Paul not to go up to Jerusalem. 13 Then Paul answered, “Why are you weeping and breaking my heart? I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.” 14 When he would not be dissuaded, we gave up and said, “The Lord’s will be done.”
15 After this, we started on our way up to Jerusalem. 16 Some of the disciples from Caesarea accompanied us and brought us to the home of Mnason, where we were to stay. He was a man from Cyprus and one of the early disciples.
Paul’s Arrival at Jerusalem
17 When we arrived at Jerusalem, the brothers and sisters received us warmly. 18 The next day Paul and the rest of us went to see James, and all the elders were present. 19 Paul greeted them and reported in detail what God had done among the Gentiles through his ministry.
20 When they heard this, they praised God. Then they said to Paul: “You see, brother, how many thousands of Jews have believed, and all of them are zealous for the law. 21 They have been informed that you teach all the Jews who live among the Gentiles to turn away from Moses, telling them not to circumcise their children or live according to our customs. 22 What shall we do? They will certainly hear that you have come, 23 so do what we tell you. There are four men with us who have made a vow. 24 Take these men, join in their purification rites and pay their expenses, so that they can have their heads shaved. Then everyone will know there is no truth in these reports about you, but that you yourself are living in obedience to the law. 25 As for the Gentile believers, we have written to them our decision that they should abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality.”
26 The next day Paul took the men and purified himself along with them. Then he went to the temple to give notice of the date when the days of purification would end and the offering would be made for each of them.
Paul Arrested
27 When the seven days were nearly over, some Jews from the province of Asia saw Paul at the temple. They stirred up the whole crowd and seized him, 28 shouting, “Fellow Israelites, help us! This is the man who teaches everyone everywhere against our people and our law and this place. And besides, he has brought Greeks into the temple and defiled this holy place.” 29 (They had previously seen Trophimus the Ephesian in the city with Paul and assumed that Paul had brought him into the temple.)
30 The whole city was aroused, and the people came running from all directions. Seizing Paul, they dragged him from the temple, and immediately the gates were shut. 31 While they were trying to kill him, news reached the commander of the Roman troops that the whole city of Jerusalem was in an uproar. 32 He at once took some officers and soldiers and ran down to the crowd. When the rioters saw the commander and his soldiers, they stopped beating Paul.
33 The commander came up and arrested him and ordered him to be bound with two chains. Then he asked who he was and what he had done. 34 Some in the crowd shouted one thing and some another, and since the commander could not get at the truth because of the uproar, he ordered that Paul be taken into the barracks. 35 When Paul reached the steps, the violence of the mob was so great he had to be carried by the soldiers. 36 The crowd that followed kept shouting, “Get rid of him!”
Paul Speaks to the Crowd
37 As the soldiers were about to take Paul into the barracks, he asked the commander, “May I say something to you?”
“Do you speak Greek?” he replied.
38 “Aren’t you the Egyptian who started a revolt and led four thousand terrorists out into the wilderness some time ago?”
39 Paul answered, “I am a Jew, from Tarsus in Cilicia, a citizen of no ordinary city. Please let me speak to the people.”
40 After receiving the commander’s permission, Paul stood on the steps and motioned to the crowd. When they were all silent, he said to them in Aramaic:
Acts 8
New International Version (NIV)
And Saul approved of their killing him.
The Church Persecuted and Scattered
On that day a great persecution broke out against the church in Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria. Godly men buried Stephen and mourned deeply for him. But Saul began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off both men and women and put them in prison.
Philip in Samaria
Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went. Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Messiah there. When the crowds heard Philip and saw the signs he performed, they all paid close attention to what he said. For with shrieks, impure spirits came out of many, and many who were paralyzed or lame were healed. So there was great joy in that city.
Simon the Sorcerer
Now for some time a man named Simon had practiced sorcery in the city and amazed all the people of Samaria. He boasted that he was someone great, 10 and all the people, both high and low, gave him their attention and exclaimed, “This man is rightly called the Great Power of God.” 11 They followed him because he had amazed them for a long time with his sorcery. 12 But when they believed Philip as he proclaimed the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. 13 Simon himself believed and was baptized. And he followed Philip everywhere, astonished by the great signs and miracles he saw.
14 When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to Samaria. 15 When they arrived, they prayed for the new believers there that they might receive the Holy Spirit, 16 because the Holy Spirit had not yet come on any of them; they had simply been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 17 Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.
18 When Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money 19 and said, “Give me also this ability so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.”
20 Peter answered: “May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money! 21 You have no part or share in this ministry, because your heart is not right before God. 22 Repent of this wickedness and pray to the Lord in the hope that he may forgive you for having such a thought in your heart. 23 For I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin.”
24 Then Simon answered, “Pray to the Lord for me so that nothing you have said may happen to me.”
25 After they had further proclaimed the word of the Lord and testified about Jesus, Peter and John returned to Jerusalem, preaching the gospel in many Samaritan villages.
Philip and the Ethiopian
26 Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Go south to the road—the desert road—that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” 27 So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian eunuch, an important official in charge of all the treasury of the Kandake (which means “queen of the Ethiopians”). This man had gone to Jerusalem to worship, 28 and on his way home was sitting in his chariot reading the Book of Isaiah the prophet. 29 The Spirit told Philip, “Go to that chariot and stay near it.”
30 Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. “Do you understand what you are reading?” Philip asked.
31 “How can I,” he said, “unless someone explains it to me?” So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.
32 This is the passage of Scripture the eunuch was reading:
“He was led like a sheep to the slaughter,     and as a lamb before its shearer is silent,     so he did not open his mouth.
33 
In his humiliation he was deprived of justice.     Who can speak of his descendants?     For his life was taken from the earth.”
34 The eunuch asked Philip, “Tell me, please, who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?” 35 Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus.
36 As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water. What can stand in the way of my being baptized?” [37]  38 And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him. 39 When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing. 40 Philip, however, appeared at Azotus and traveled about, preaching the gospel in all the towns until he reached Caesarea.


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