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Ephesians 1:9

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Having made known unto us the mystery - That the Gentiles should ever be received into the Church of God, and have all the privileges of the Jews, without being obliged to submit to circumcision, and perform the rites and ceremonies of the Jewish law was a mystery - a hidden thing which had never been published before; and now revealed only to the apostles. It was God's will that it should be so, but that will he kept hidden to the present time. A mystery signifies something hidden, but it ceases to be a mystery as soon as it is revealed. See the note on Matthew 13:11; and particularly that on Romans 11:25; (note).

Good pleasure - Την ευδοκιαν· That benevolent design which he had purposed in himself, not being induced by any consideration from without.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Having made known to us the mystery of his will - The word “mystery” ( μυστήριον mustērion) means literally something into which one must be “initiated” before it is fully known (from μυέω mueō to initiate, to instruct); and then anything which is concealed or hidden. We commonly use the word to denote that which is above our comprehension or unintelligible. But this is never the meaning of the word in the New Testament. It means there some doctrine or fact which has been concealed, or which has not before been fully revealed, or which has been set forth only by figures and symbols. When the doctrine is made known, it may be as clear and plain as any other. Such was the doctrine that God meant to call the Gentiles, which was long concealed, at least in part, and which was not fully made known until the Saviour came, and which had been until that time “a mystery - a concealed truth” - though when it was revealed, there was nothing incomprehensible in it. Thus, in Colossians 1:26, “The mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints.” So it was in regard to the doctrine of election. It was a mystery until it was made known by the actual conversion of those whom God had chosen. So in regard to the incarnation of the Redeemer; the atonement; the whole plan of salvation. Over all these great points there was a veil thrown, and people did not understand them until God revealed them. When they were revealed, the mystery was removed, and men were able to see clearly the manifestation of the will of God.

Which he hath purposed in himself - Without foreign aid or counsel. His purposes originated in his own mind, and were concealed until he chose to make them known; see 2 Timothy 1:9.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Blessings were made known to believers, by the Lord's showing to them the mystery of his sovereign will, and the method of redemption and salvation. But these must have been for ever hidden from us, if God had not made them known by his written word, preached gospel, and Spirit of truth. Christ united the two differing parties, God and man, in his own person, and satisfied for that wrong which caused the separation. He wrought, by his Spirit, those graces of faith and love, whereby we are made one with God, and among ourselves. He dispenses all his blessings, according to his good pleasure. His Divine teaching led whom he pleased to see the glory of those truths, which others were left to blaspheme. What a gracious promise that is, which secures the gift of the Holy Ghost to those who ask him! The sanctifying and comforting influences of the Holy Spirit seal believers as the children of God, and heirs of heaven. These are the first-fruits of holy happiness. For this we were made, and for this we were redeemed; this is the great design of God in all that he has done for us; let all be ascribed unto the praise of his glory.
Ellen G. White
The Acts of the Apostles, 159-60

Paul's labors at Antioch, in association with Barnabas, strengthened him in his conviction that the Lord had called him to do a special work for the Gentile world. At the time of Paul's conversion, the Lord had declared that he was to be made a minister to the Gentiles, “to open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in Me.” Acts 26:18. The angel that appeared to Ananias had said of Paul, “He is a chosen vessel unto Me, to bear My name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel.” Acts 9:15. And Paul himself, later in his Christian experience, while praying in the temple at Jerusalem, had been visited by an angel from heaven, who bade him, “Depart: for I will send thee far hence unto the Gentiles.” Acts 22:21. AA 159.1

Thus the Lord had given Paul his commission to enter the broad missionary field of the Gentile world. To prepare him for this extensive and difficult work, God had brought him into close connection with Himself and had opened before his enraptured vision views of the beauty and glory of heaven. To him had been given the ministry of making known “the mystery” which had been “kept secret since the world began” (Romans 16:25),—“the mystery of His will” (Ephesians 1:9), “which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto His holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ by the gospel: whereof,” declares Paul, “I was made a minister.... Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; and to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: to the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, according to the eternal purpose which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Ephesians 3:5-11. AA 159.2

God had abundantly blessed the labors of Paul and Barnabas during the year they remained with the believers in Antioch. But neither of them had as yet been formally ordained to the gospel ministry. They had now reached a point in their Christian experience when God was about to entrust them with the carrying forward of a difficult missionary enterprise, in the prosecution of which they would need every advantage that could be obtained through the agency of the church. AA 160.1

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Ellen G. White
This Day With God, 35.6

The Lord has men of His appointment whom He will use in His work so long as they allow themselves to be used in accordance with His good pleasure. He can never use any one who is seeking to humble someone else. Humble yourselves, brethren. When you do this, it is possible for holy angels to communicate with you, and place you on vantage ground. Then your experience, instead of being faulty, will be filled with happiness. Seek to relate yourselves in harmony with God's leadings, and then you will be susceptible to the movings of His Holy Spirit. TDG 35.6

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Ellen G. White
Lift Him Up, 378.1

And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment—to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ. Ephesians 1:9, 10, NIV. LHU 378.1

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Ellen G. White
SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 6 (EGW), 1113-7

(Isaiah 45:21, 22; Matthew 16:24; John 1:29.) Look and Live—Hanging upon the cross Christ was the gospel. Now we have a message, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sins of the world.” Will not our church members keep their eyes fixed on a crucified and risen Saviour, in whom their hopes of eternal life are centered? This is our message, our argument, our doctrine, our warning to the impenitent, our encouragement for the sorrowing, the hope for every believer. If we can awaken an interest in men's minds that will cause them to fix their eyes on Christ, we may step aside, and ask them only to continue to fix their eyes upon the Lamb of God. They thus receive their lesson. Whosoever will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. He whose eyes are fixed on Jesus will leave all. He will die to selfishness. He will believe in all the Word of God, which is so gloriously and wonderfully exalted in Christ. 6BC 1113.1

As the sinner sees Jesus as He is, an all compassionate Saviour, hope and assurance take possession of his soul. The helpless soul is cast without any reservation upon Jesus. None can bear away from the vision of Christ Jesus crucified a lingering doubt. Unbelief is gone (Manuscript 49, 1898). 6BC 1113.2

(Psalm 85:10; see EGW on James 2:13.) The Cross of Christ Moves the World—The cross of Calvary challenges, and will finally vanquish every earthly and hellish power. In the cross all influence centers, and from it all influence goes forth. It is the great center of attraction; for on it Christ gave up His life for the human race. This sacrifice was offered for the purpose of restoring man to his original perfection. Yea, more, it was offered to give him an entire transformation of character, making him more than a conqueror. 6BC 1113.3

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