Ephesians 3:6
That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:
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(6) That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs.—More exactly, are fellow-heirs, admitted already fully in God’s councils, as partially in actual fact to the kingdom of God.

And of the same body, and [fellow-] partakers of his promise.—These three words (of which the last two are peculiar to this Epistle) evidently describe progressive steps in the work of salvation. First comes the acceptance by God to a share in the inheritance, as “heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:17); next, incorporation into the mystical body of Christ; lastly, the actual enjoyment of a share in the promise—that is, all the spiritual blessings of the covenant, called “promises” because, though real in themselves, they are only an earnest of the hereafter. At every point stress is laid on their fellowship with Israel in all these gifts. The shoots of the wild olive (Romans 11:17) are first chosen out, then “grafted in,” and lastly “partake with the natural branches of the root and fatness of the olive tree.”

In Christ by the gospel.—These words should be joined with all the three preceding. Of all the privileges of the new life, the being “in Christ” is the substance, the reception of the gospel in faith the instrument.

3:1-7 For having preached the doctrine of truth, the apostle was a prisoner, but a prisoner of Jesus Christ; the object of special protection and care, while thus suffering for him. All the gracious offers of the gospel, and the joyful tidings it contains, come from the rich grace of God; it is the great means by which the Spirit works grace in the souls of men. The mystery, is that secret, hidden purpose of salvation through Christ. This was not so fully and clearly shown in the ages before Christ, as unto the prophets of the New Testament. This was the great truth made known to the apostle, that God would call the Gentiles to salvation by faith in Christ. An effectual working of Divine power attends the gifts of Divine grace. As God appointed Paul to the office, so he qualified him for it.That the Gentiles should be fellow-heirs - Fellow-heirs with the ancient people of God - the Jews - and entitled to the same privileges; see the Romans 8:17, note and Ephesians 2:13-18, note. 6. Translate, "That the Gentiles are," &c. "and fellow members of the same body, and fellow partakers of the (so the oldest manuscripts read, not 'His') promise, in Christ Jesus (added in the oldest manuscripts), through the Gospel." It is "in Christ Jesus" that they are made "fellow heirs" in the inheritance of God: "of the same body" under the Head, Christ Jesus; and "fellow partakers of the promise" in the communion of THE Holy Spirit (Eph 1:13; Heb 6:4). The Trinity is thus alluded to, as often elsewhere in this Epistle (Eph 2:19, 20, 22). That the Gentiles should be fellow heirs; i.e. have an equal right to the heavenly inheritance with the believing Jews.

And of the same body; the same mystical body whereof Christ is the Head.

And partakers of his promise; the great promise of the covenant, which comprehends all the rest under it.

In Christ; in whom all the promises have their accomplishment, 2 Corinthians 1:20.

By the gospel; as the means or instrument by which God works faith, whereby they are made partakers of the promise, fellow heirs, &c.

That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs,.... With the Jews, of all the blessings of grace, of lasting salvation, and of the eternal, incorruptible, and never fading inheritance in heaven; that they should be heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ Jesus, and inherit all things: and heirs they are by being Christ's, and on account of their special adoption through him, and their justification by his righteousness; and which appears by their regeneration to a lively hope of the inheritance reserved for them in heaven:

and of the same body: coalesce in one and the same church state, with the believing Jews, under one and the same head, Christ Jesus, and participate of the same grace from him, being all baptized into one body, and made to drink of the same Spirit, and enjoy the same privileges and immunities.

And partakers of his promise in Christ by the Gospel; as of God, being their covenant God, which is the great promise of the covenant; or of the Spirit, his gifts and graces, called the promise of the Spirit; or of eternal life and happiness, as the gift of grace through Christ. Now all these promises, and all others, are in Christ, yea and amen, safe and secure; and it is through being in Christ that any come to partake of them; and that by the means of the Gospel, as these Gentiles were to do, and did: the Gospel is a declaration of what God has promised in covenant to his people; this was carried among the Gentiles, and was made effectual to their participation of the things contained in it.

That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:
Ephesians 3:6. Epexegetical infinitive, more precisely specifying the contents of the μυστήριον: that the Gentiles are fellow-heirs, etc. This εἶναι (which is not to be changed into should be) is objectively contained in the redeeming work of Christ, and the subjective appropriation takes place by the conversion of the individuals.

συγκληρονόμα] denotes the joint possession (with the believing Jews) of eternal Messianic bliss,—a possession now indeed still ideal (Romans 8:24), but to be really accomplished at the setting up of the kingdom. See on Ephesians 1:11; Ephesians 1:14, Ephesians 5:5; Acts 20:32; Romans 8:17; Galatians 3:28.

σύσσωμα καὶ συμμέτοχα κ.τ.λ.] That which is already sufficiently designated by συγκληρ. is yet again twice expressed, once figuratively and the next time literally;[172] in which no climax is to be found (Jerome, Pelagius, Zanchius, Schenkel), but the great importance of the matter has led the apostle, deeply impressed by it, to accumulated description.[173] σύσσωμα denotes belonging jointly to the body (i.e. as members to the Messianic community, whose head is Christ, Ephesians 1:23, Ephesians 2:16). The word does not occur elsewhere, except in the Fathers (see Suicer, Thes. II. p. 1191), and was perhaps formed by Paul himself. Comp. however, συσσωματοποιεῖν, Arist. de mundo, iv. 30. συμμέτοχος, too, occurs only here and Ephesians 5:7, and besides, in Josephus, Bell. i. 24. 6, and the Fathers. Comp. συμμετέχω, 2Ma 5:20; Xen. Anab. vii. 8. 17; Plat. Theaet. p. 181 C. The ἐπαγγελία is the promise of the Messianic blessedness, which God has given in the O. T., comp. Ephesians 2:12. He, however, who has joint share in the promise is he to whom it jointly relates, in order to be jointly realized in his case; hence ἡ ἐπαγγελία is not to be interpreted as res promissa, which several (Menochius, Grotius, Bengel; comp. Estius) have referred to the Holy Spirit (Galatians 3:14; Hebrews 6:4; Acts 2:39), but at variance with the context (συγκληρ.). The thrice occurring συν has the πρῶτον of the Jews (Acts 3:26; Romans 1:16) as its presupposition.[174]

ἐν τῷ Χριστῷ] dependent on εἶναι, applies to all three elements, as does also the following διὰ τοῦ εὐαγγ. In Christ, as the Reconciler, the συγκληρονομία κ.τ.λ. of the Gentiles is objectively founded; and through the gospel, which is proclaimed to them, the subjective appropriation in the way of faith is brought about. The annexing, with Vatablus, Koppe, and Holzhausen, ἐν τῷ Χριστῷ to τῆς ἐπαγγ., is not to be approved, just because the reader, as he needed no more precise definition in connection with συγκληρ. and σύσσωμα, understood also of himself what ἐπαγγελία was meant, and the absolute τῆς ἐπαγγ. (see the critical remarks) is more emphatic.

[172] Harless thinks, the one time after the analogy of persons, and the other time after the analogy of things. But as well in σύσσωμα as in συμμέτ. the relation of persons and of things is combined.

[173] On the accumulation of synonymous expressions in earnest emotional discourse, comp. Düntzer, Aristarch. p. 41.

[174] But the thought that the substantial contents of the gospel are identical with Judaism (Baur, Neutest. Theol. p. 276) is incorrectly imported. See, in opposition to it, especially Ephesians 2:15.

Ephesians 3:6. εἶναι τὰ ἔθνη συλκληρονόμα: [to wit], that the Gentiles are fellow-heirs. The εἶναι = are, not should be, the “mystery” or secret revealed being a fact, not a purpose. The obj. inf. expresses the contents or purport of the ἀποκεκαλυμμένον (Win.-Moult., p. 400). συγκληρονόμα (or συνκληρονόμα, LTTrWHRV) = fellow-heirs with the Jews; the only occurrence of the word in the NT in this application (for other applications cf. Romans 8:17; Hebrews 11:9; 1 Peter 3:7).—καὶ σύσσωμα: and fellow-members. σύσσωμος (σύνσωμος, LTTrWHRV) in the NT occurs only here and is unknown to classical Greek, although Arist. uses συσσωματοποιεῖν (De Mundo, iv., 30). It was probably constructed by Paul for his present purpose. It means belonging jointly to the same body.—καὶ συμμέτοχα τῆς ἐπαγγελίας: and fellow-partakers of the promise. συμμέτοχος (συνμέτοχος, LTTrWHRV) is found in the NT only here and in Ephesians 5:7. It occurs also in Joseph. (Jew. Wars, i., 24, 6), and in Justin (Apol. ii., 13). The verb συμμετέχω, however, is used in classical Greek (Eurip., Supp., 648; Plato, Theaet., 181 c, etc.), although it is not found in the NT. τῆς ἐπαγγελίας, not specifically the promise of the Spirit, but, as undefined, the promise of Salvation, the Messianic promise in its length and breadth. The three terms describe the Gentiles, therefore, first generally as heirs together with the believing Jews in all things, and then more particularly as belonging equally with them to the same corporate body and sharing equally with them in the Messianic promise. The TR inserts αὐτοῦ after ἐπαγγελίας, It is wanting, however, in the best documents ([227] [228] [229] [230] [231], 17, etc.) and is to be omitted.—ἐν τῷ Χριστῷ διὰ τοῦ εὐαγγελίου: in Christ through the Gospel. For the τῷ Χριστῷ of the TR (with [232] [233] [234] [235], etc.) read Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ (with [236] [237] [238], 17, etc.). These words are best taken as qualifying all the three former terms. The joint-heirship, membership, and participation had their objective ground and reason in Christ Jesus, and were made the actual possession of these Gentiles by the medium or agency of the Gospel that was preached to them.

[227] Codex Vaticanus (sæc. iv.), published in photographic facsimile in 1889 under the care of the Abbate Cozza-Luzi.

[228] Codex Sinaiticus (sæc. iv.), now at St. Petersburg, published in facsimile type by its discoverer, Tischendorf, in 1862.

[229] Codex Alexandrinus (sæc. v.), at the British Museum, published in photographic facsimile by Sir E. M. Thompson (1879).

[230] Codex Ephraemi (sæc. v.), the Paris palimpsest, edited by Tischendorf in 1843.

[231] Codex Claromontanus (sæc. vi.), a Græco-Latin MS. at Paris, edited by Tischendorf in 1852.

[232] Codex Claromontanus (sæc. vi.), a Græco-Latin MS. at Paris, edited by Tischendorf in 1852.

[233] Codex Augiensis (sæc. ix.), a Græco-Latin MS., at Trinity College, Cambridge, edited by Scrivener in 1859. Its Greek text is almost identical with that of G, and it is therefore not cited save where it differs from that MS. Its Latin version, f, presents the Vulgate text with some modifications.

[234] Codex Mosquensis (sæc. ix.), edited by Matthæi in 1782.

[235] Codex Angelicus (sæc. ix.), at Rome, collated by Tischendorf and others.

[236] Codex Vaticanus (sæc. iv.), published in photographic facsimile in 1889 under the care of the Abbate Cozza-Luzi.

[237] Codex Sinaiticus (sæc. iv.), now at St. Petersburg, published in facsimile type by its discoverer, Tischendorf, in 1862.

[238] Codex Ephraemi (sæc. v.), the Paris palimpsest, edited by Tischendorf in 1843.

6. That the Gentiles, &c.] It is well to pause over a passage like this, and reflect that what seems now to be an axiom of religious thought, the equality of mankind in view of the offer of salvation, was once an immense and long-withheld discovery. See above, on Ephesians 2:11.

should be] Better, are; in the plan of God, now disclosed.

fellowheirs] Cp. Romans 8:17; Galatians 3:29; Galatians 4:7. They are the children of God and brethren of Christ, equally with Jewish believers, and so equally heirs of their Father’s kingdom; “joint-heirs with Christ” of “the better country, that is the heavenly” (Hebrews 11:16).

of the same body] Better, fellow-members, a version which preserves the likeness of the two Greek words represented by this expression and “fellowheirs” respectively. On “the body,” see notes on Ephesians 2:16.

partakers] Fellow-partakers, R.V., still preserving the similarities of the Greek.

his promise] See on Ephesians 2:12. Read, the promise.

in Christ] Only in vital union with Christ was the promise to be inherited. It was inextricably involved in Him.

by the gospel] Better, by means of the Gospel; the instrument by which the Divine Plan of Gentile incorporation is to be made actual. Cp. 1 Corinthians 4:15, “I begot you by means of the Gospel.” See also Romans 10:8-15; Romans 16:25-26.

Ephesians 3:6. Εἶναι) that the Gentiles are; and that they should be.—συγκληρονόμα, fellow-heirs) in the inheritance of God.—σύσσωμα, of the same body) under the head Christ.—συμμέτοχα τῆς ἐπαγγελίας, fellow partakers of His promise) in the communion of the Holy Spirit. The same μετοχὴ, participation, is mentioned Hebrews 6:4; the same promise, ch. Ephesians 1:13 [“that Holy Spirit of promise”]: comp. on the Trinity, ch. Ephesians 4:4-6; Ephesians 4:18; Ephesians 4:21; Ephesians 4:30; Ephesians 5:1-2; Ephesians 5:18; 2 Corinthians 13:14.—ἐν τῷ Χριστῷ, in Christ) Construe with, should be.[42]

[42] But Engl. V. connects thus: “His promise in Christ.”—ED.

Verse 6. - That the Gentiles are fellow-heirs - heirs with the Jews of the same inheritance (see Ephesians 1:11) - and fellow-members of the body (this figure is repeated and applied in Ephesians 4:4, 16, 25), and fellow-partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel - the promise to Abraham, "In thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed." They do not get this blessing indirectly through the Jews, or by becoming Jews, but directly, as Gentiles; and they become fellow-heirs, fellow-members, and fellow-partakers "in Christ Jesus," enjoying all privileges in him, in a state of union and fellowship with him. To this state they are invited and admitted through the gospel; by receiving the glad tidings they enter on these blessings (comp. Romans 10:15, 18). This statement of religious equality between Jews and Gentiles is strong, clear, complete; the more remarkable that Paul himself had bad so strong Jewish prejudices; only one of dearest insight and highest courage could proclaim the truth so emphatically; it is little wonder if many believing Jews, less enlightened and less courageous, shrank from his statements as too strong. Ephesians 3:6Fellow-heirs - of the same body - partakers (συγκληρόνομα σύσσωμα συμμέτοχα)

The second of these words occurs only here; the third only here and Ephesians 5:7. They are strange to classical Greek.

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