Jesus post- Easter talks with the disciples showed that it was written already in the Old Testament that God is a missionary God and that it was His intent to send Christ to suffer and die and be raised again so that repentance and faith be preached to all men. Luke 24:46–47 Paul spells out the missionary enterprise in the creation of the church and one of our great Lutheran commentaries by R.C. Lenski on Ephesians 3 takes on the universal and all encompassing nature of what God has done.
Lenski summarizes the great facts Paul has presented to us this way:
- The divine purpose going back to eternity.
- Formed in Christ Jesus, our Lord.
- Standing veiled in all past ages yet standing nonetheless.
- Revealed in gospel preaching to all men including the Gentiles.
- Establishing the church of the New Testament with its wonderful universality.
- Unveiling even to the angels in heaven the wonderful wisdom of God contained in the divine purpose from its inception onward.
- Putting us believers into possession of the enjoyment of the highest earthly communion with our heavenly Father.
Lenski, R.C.H. The Interpretation of St. Paul’s Epistles to the Galatians to the Ephesians and to the Philippians. Augsburg Publishing House, Minneapolis, Mn. 1961