Proverbs 10 & Ephesians 3

Proverbs 10

    The proverbs of Solomon.

    A wise son makes a glad father,
        but a foolish son is a sorrow to his mother.
    Treasures gained by wickedness do not profit,
        but righteousness delivers from death.
    The LORD does not let the righteous go hungry,
        but he thwarts the craving of the wicked.
    A slack hand causes poverty,
        but the hand of the diligent makes rich.
    He who gathers in summer is a prudent son,
        but he who sleeps in harvest is a son who brings shame.
    Blessings are on the head of the righteous,
        but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.
    The memory of the righteous is a blessing,
        but the name of the wicked will rot.
    The wise of heart will receive commandments,
        but a babbling fool will come to ruin.
    Whoever walks in integrity walks securely,
        but he who makes his ways crooked will be found out.
    Whoever winks the eye causes trouble,
        and a babbling fool will come to ruin.
    The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life,
        but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.
    Hatred stirs up strife,
        but love covers all offenses.
    On the lips of him who has understanding, wisdom is found,
        but a rod is for the back of him who lacks sense.
    The wise lay up knowledge,
        but the mouth of a fool brings ruin near.
    A rich man's wealth is his strong city;
        the poverty of the poor is their ruin.
    The wage of the righteous leads to life,
        the gain of the wicked to sin.
    Whoever heeds instruction is on the path to life,
        but he who rejects reproof leads others astray.
    The one who conceals hatred has lying lips,
        and whoever utters slander is a fool.
    When words are many, transgression is not lacking,
        but whoever restrains his lips is prudent.
    The tongue of the righteous is choice silver;
        the heart of the wicked is of little worth.
    The lips of the righteous feed many,
        but fools die for lack of sense.
    The blessing of the LORD makes rich,
        and he adds no sorrow with it.
    Doing wrong is like a joke to a fool,
        but wisdom is pleasure to a man of understanding.
    What the wicked dreads will come upon him,
        but the desire of the righteous will be granted.
    When the tempest passes, the wicked is no more,
        but the righteous is established forever.
    Like vinegar to the teeth and smoke to the eyes,
        so is the sluggard to those who send him.
    The fear of the LORD prolongs life,
        but the years of the wicked will be short.
    The hope of the righteous brings joy,
        but the expectation of the wicked will perish.
    The way of the LORD is a stronghold to the blameless,
        but destruction to evildoers.
    The righteous will never be removed,
        but the wicked will not dwell in the land.
    The mouth of the righteous brings forth wisdom,
        but the perverse tongue will be cut off.
    The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable,
        but the mouth of the wicked, what is perverse.
    

(Proverbs 10 ESV)

Ephesians 3

    For this reason I, Paul, a prisoner for Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles—assuming that you have heard of the stewardship of God's grace that was given to me for you, how the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I have written briefly. When you read this, you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit. This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.

    Of this gospel I was made a minister according to the gift of God's grace, which was given me by the working of his power. To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things, so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. This was according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him. So I ask you not to lose heart over what I am suffering for you, which is your glory.

    For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

    Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

(Ephesians 3 ESV)

Ephesians 3: Although the Old Testament prophets had written about the Savior-King who would bring ultimate deliverance, freedom and redemption for God’s people, the way in which Christ came to unite all people (Jew and Gentile) into one people of God through the truth of the gospel was simply not understood. Moses may have understood that Christ’s salvation would extend to the ends of the earth (John 5), and Abraham certainly believed God’s promise that all the nations of the earth would be blessed through his Seed (Genesis 12). However, complete revelation and therefore full realization of the person of Christ and the extent of His salvation was not clear until it was “made known” to His apostles and prophets by the power of the Holy Spirit. 
  
For this reason, the apostle Paul considers himself a steward of God’s grace and considers the chains that he must endure for sharing this grace completely worthy of the glory that it brings. They great mystery of salvation for all men through faith alone in Christ alone is an incredibly humbling truth while at the same time being our highest treasure. The gospel humbles the self-righteous moralist while simultaneously elevating the self-aware sinner. The gospel brings some men down, and the gospel builds other men up which balances the playing field and brings all men into the same position of having to bow before Christ as our only Savior and King. 
   
How can we possibly understand the revealed mystery of our Lord’s unifying salvation of all men and still find discrimination, prejudice, racism and signs of self-righteousness in our Lord’s people and among our Lord’s church?

In the original creation, God made all things out of nothing, and now in the mystery of the new creation, God makes new creatures out of man’s own nothingness. We are all sinners with no hope of salvation apart from the converting grace of God through the gospel of Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit. May the mystery of the gospel renew our hearts and minds. And through this truth and the power of the Holy Spirit, may we be rooted and grounded in love for all men and be granted the mental capacity to comprehend like the saints before us the breadth and length and height and depth of the love of God demonstrated in the work of Christ so that we may be filled with all the fullness of God.