Towards the end of “chapter 2” Paul wrote the following to the people being holy and believing in Christ Jesus: “Consequently you are no-longer strangers and sojourners but you are citizens-together with the holy-people, even God’s household-people, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets – Christ Jesus himself being the extreme-corner, in whom all the building joining-together increases into the holy interior-temple in the Lord, in whom also you are being built-together into the dwelling-down-place of God in spirit.” Paul continues:
3:1For-this-grace I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus on behalf of you, the Gentiles: .2since indeed you heard the stewardship of the grace of God, the (grace) having been given to me into you, .3(which is that) according to revelation the mystery was made-known to me, according as I wrote-beforehand in a little-amount .4towards which reading you are able to mentally-perceive my understanding in the mystery of the Christ, .5which (during) different generations was not made-known to the sons of men as now it was revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in spirit,
It is for this grace (in grace of this, because or for the reason of this unmerited or undeserved favor that God bestows in Christ) that I, Paul (me myself) am the prisoner of Christ Jesus (the bound-person belonging-to Christ Jesus) in the interests of you holy-people (sanctified-people, Christians, saints, children of God) who are of the Gentile background.
Paul did not say that he was the “main-man, the number one man for Christ Jesus, the one to whom everybody should be in awe of” – nor did he write that he was a prisoner of the Roman soldiers, see Acts chapter 28! He was the prisoner of Christ Jesus, and by his freedom of will he believed, obeyed, and served his Lord/Master. Also, even though this letter is addressed to the people being holy and believing in Christ Jesus (which includes people both of the Israeli/Judean and the Gentile backgrounds), here Paul specifically points out to the holy-people of the Gentile background that part of his ministry is on behalf of the Gentiles (people of nations other-than Israel).
Paul continues to explain: since indeed you heard what was spoken regarding the stewardship of the grace of God…. “The stewardship of the grace of God” = the duty of house-management, the administration of God’s household-matters – God’s household affairs include teaching, instructing, caring-for, protecting, nourishing, and helping God’s children – here referring to the stewardship pertaining-to God’s grace, His unmerited-favor.
Since indeed you heard the stewardship of the grace of God, specifically the grace that has previously been given to me into (with a view to, directed to) you Gentiles who believe what God says, which stewardship is that in accordance with revelation (the process of things being uncovered or revealed as though removing a veil to expose what had previously been hidden), the mystery (secret) was made personally-known to me (a truly active and relative knowing).
The word “mystery” throughout Paul’s letters means “secret.” A mystery contains the details that are known and can be understood by those involved in it and by those to whom it has been revealed – it is not inexplicable to those involved in it.
This is in comparison to what I have already written a little bit about in this letter so far, for the purpose that when you are reading what I have written which pertains-to the mystery, you are presently able (have the able-power, the capability) to mentally-perceive (to observe with your mind, see to the end of knowing mentally) my understanding (what I have put together in my mind gaining insight) into the mystery of the Christ (within the sphere of action of the secret pertaining-to the Anointed-one, the Messiah).
The reason why this information, which was revealed to me, is called a mystery (secret) is because during different generations (other time-periods of race, descent or kind of living-beings) this mystery was not made personally-known to the sons of men (plural – mankind; this does not include the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ who is sometimes called “the son of man”), as at the present time it has been revealed to God’s holy apostles and prophets. The present time, now, is this generation which began on the day of Pentecost when the gift of holy spirit was made available to mankind (refer to Acts chapter 2).
The word “holy” means: sanctified, set-apart from the state of being common, defiled or unclean against God, and having come into the state of corresponding to the essence of God. The word “apostles” refers to people sent-forth or sent-away by God and/or by the Lord Jesus Christ on a specific mission or assignment to someone else. The word “prophets” refers to people who speak-forth God’s words being revealed concerning the past, present and/or future in front of a person or people.
How has the mystery of the Christ now been revealed to God’s holy apostles and prophets? In spirit – within their holy spirit-life, within the sphere of action of their holy spirit, which is the spirit of Christ in them. They did not learn about this mystery of the Christ because they were so intelligent or had such a high IQ or did so much research. God had revealed this information to them via the holy spirit within them.
[Reference: Acts 26:12-23, 28:16-31; Romans 15:15, 16, 16:25-27; I Corinthians 2:6-10, 4:1, 2, 9:17; Galatians 1:11-16, 2:7-9; Ephesians 2:17-20; Philippians 1:7, Colossians 1:25, 4:3.]