|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
1:9-14 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.
Verse 9. - Having made known unto us the mystery of his will. The wide extent of God's grace was a mystery, i.e. a hidden counsel, before Christ came and died, but it is now made known. In this, and not in the modern sense of mystery, the word μυστήριον is used by Paul. The thing hidden and now revealed was not the gospel, but God's purpose with reference to its limits or sphere (see Ephesians 3:6). According to his good pleasure which he purposed in himself. The whole phraseology denotes that, in this transaction, God was not influenced by any external considerations; the whole reason for it sprang from within. The threefold expression brings this out:
(1) according to his good pleasure (see ver. 5);
(2) he purposed, or formed a purpose;
(3) in himself, without foreign aid, "For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counselor?" (Romans 11:34).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Having made known unto us the mystery of his will,.... The Gospel, which is a mystery, a hidden mystery, the mystery of God and of Christ, and the mystery of the Gospel; the several doctrines of it are called the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven; such as are concerning the trinity of persons in the Godhead, the union of the two natures in Christ, his sonship and incarnation, the saints' union and communion with him, the work of the Spirit of God upon the soul, the calling of the Gentiles, and the conversion of the Jews, the resurrection of the dead, and the change of living saints: and the Gospel is the mystery of the will of God; of his will in saving sinners by Christ; and it declares that he does all things in salvation, according to his sovereign will and pleasure; chooses, redeems, justifies, pardons, and calls whom he pleases; and this is made known by the ministry of the word, and by the Spirit, as a spirit of wisdom and revelation, in the knowledge of Christ and his Gospel: the discovery of which is,
according to his good pleasure, which he hath purposed in himself; both with respect to the persons to whom it is made known, and with respect to the time when he makes it known; both these are as he pleases, and as he has purposed in his own breast; the Gospel is sent when and where he has determined within himself it shall go; and persons are called by it according to his purpose and grace.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
9. "He hath abounded," or "made (grace) to abound toward us" (Eph 1:8), in that He made known to us, namely, experimentally, in our hearts.
the mystery—God's purpose of redemption hidden heretofore in His counsels, but now revealed (Eph 6:19; Ro 16:25; Col 1:26, 27). This "mystery" is not like the heathen mysteries, which were imparted only to the initiated few. All Christians are the initiated. Only unbelievers are the uninitiated.
according to his good pleasure—showing the cause why "He hath made known to us the mystery," namely, His own loving "good pleasure" toward us; also the time and manner of His doing so, are according to His good pleasure.
in himself—God the Father. Bengel takes it, "in Him," that is, Christ, as in Eph 1:3, 4. But the proper name, "in Christ," Eph 1:10, immediately after, is inconsistent with His being here meant by the pronoun.
Ephesians 1:9 Parallel Commentaries
Ephesians 1:9 NIV
Ephesians 1:9 NLT
Ephesians 1:9 ESV
Ephesians 1:9 NASB
Ephesians 1:9 KJV
Bible Hub: Online Parallel Bible