Dear Members and Friends of Valley Park,
Thirty years of evangelism, defending the gospel, being a student of the Old Testament, and learning
from Jesus Christ equipped the Apostle Paul to write a summary of the basics of Christian belief and
practice. The Book of Ephesians stands as Paul’s most refined articulation of the teachings of Jesus Christ
and will of God in in the New Testament. The last two VOICE articles have highlighted teachings from the
Book of Ephesians:
God, the Father, is the Master Architect, who designed the plan of salvation. (Eph. 1:3-6)
God, the Son, is the Master Builder, who redeemed human beings from the power of sin and
death. (Eph. 1:4-11)
God, the Holy Spirit, works in the heart of those who trust Jesus to help them grow as God’s
children into responsible servants of the grace of God. (Eph. 1:12-14)
“Redemption” involves much more than “forgiveness.” It represents liberation from sin in order that
a follower of Jesus might live a victorious life in the service of God. (Eph. 2:1-10)
Last week we introduced the teaching that Christians now understand the will, plans and vision of
God for the rest of history. With this knowledge, Christians are entrusted with a “calling” to join with
Jesus in uniting the world under the headship of Christ. (Eph. 2:11-22)
Last month I recommended contemplating the meaning of the term “mystery” as it is used in Eph. 1:8-
10 and explained in Eph. 2:11-22. I want to talk a little more about the revelation of truths that were a
mystery but are now intended to be clear to followers of Jesus Christ. Paul wrote:
“He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him…
with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in
Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth.” (Ephesians 1:9-10 cf. Colossians 1:26)
For Paul, everything in the universe will eventually be brought together under the authority of Christ as
the creator and redeemer of life. In fact, the Kingdom of God will be managed with Christ as Lord and there
will be peace on earth. We, as followers of Jesus, now understand that the death and resurrection of Jesus
establishes a purpose with eternal and universal implications. But what does Paul mean by the term
“administration suitable to the fullness of the times?”
The word “administration” is the translation of two words combined as one: “oikos” (“house”) and
“nomos” (“law”). It references “house rules” or “household management.” The use of the term is in
reference to the fact that the purposes accomplished by Jesus need to be managed. A house without order
will not function correctly without an “administrator” or “administration.” Even the President of the United
States needs an Administration. Without a well-managed Administration, the President will not get the
things done that need to be done. So, what is Christ’s Administration? Paul writes that the administration is
the members of the church.
“To me,… grace was given, to preach … the unfathomable riches of Christ, and to bring to light what is the
administration of the mystery …; so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through
the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places” and to bring to light what is the
administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God who created all things” (Ephesians 3:8-10)
The “mystery” is how God will bring all things together in Christ. The administrators of the mystery are
the members of the church. Their success or failure represents the effectiveness of Christ’s work on the
cross. Ruler’s and Authorities in the heavenly places are watching to see how they manage the grace they
have received. As with the Administration of the President of the United States, you can imagine that the
Church, as Christ’s Administration, is pivotal to the accomplishment of God’s purpose to bring all things
together in Christ.
This administrative purpose of the church is the foundation for all biblical instructions to the church in the
New Testament. The responsibility and success of those who are members of the Body of Christ are a
reflection of the values and purpose of Christ as our head. Our calling is “administrative.” We manage the
affairs of God’s household. There are several implications for our lives.
o We have a job to do that represents our Lord and Savior.
o Our faithfulness is observable by those who inhabit the heavenly realm.
o The Church as Christ’s Administrative Body is where the Devil attacks. Be on guard against the
conflict He incites.
o God’s will for our lives is clear. We are administrators of His grace.
Next month we will explore application of these truths in the Book of Ephesians. But let us build our
understanding of what it means to be a Christian in the light of the firm foundation already revealed to us by
the Apostle Paul.