… that by revelation He made known to me the mystery … which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets …Ephesians 3:3-6
Somewhere in man’s nature is a love for the intrigue and secrecy of a good mystery. Mysteries seem to capture our minds and hearts. Everybody loves the idea of being in on a secret, and the Bible is filled with mysteries. In fact the church age is called the ‘mystery form of the Kingdom.’ God has given us great insight in the New Testament that He kept secret even to the godliest men of ages past. There are many sacred secrets and mysteries which had gone unsolved until this age – and now we know them, in fact we are the mystery.
In verse 3 Paul writes that the mystery was made known to him, “by revelation.” Verse 4 calls it the “mystery of Christ.” And then verse 6 tells us just what the content of the secret is. Once a mystery is solved, it is no longer a mystery – as we understand the word. And the time has come for the secret to be revealed, first to Paul, and then be told to the world.
There are many mysteries in the Hebrew Scriptures which were left in the dark, even to the very prophets who wrote them (1 Pet 1:1-12). There is the mystery of the Gospel, the mystery of the Trinity, the mystery of the Resurrection, the mystery of the Incarnation, the mystery of the God-man’s death. It is a mystery that the Spirit of Christ dwells in us, that we become a fellow heir with Jesus Christ, and are even partakers of His nature – that’s a mystery! But when faith comes – God reveals the mystery! Christ, the God-man, born of a virgin, dying for our sins, living for our justification; Christ: the just and the justifier … there was a time when these were all mysteries to you, but no more! A mystery remains a mystery only to those who do not know it; once you know it, it’s no longer a mystery! Such is true of the Gospel – it is a mystery to those who are perishing, but to those who are being saved, it is the power of God.
1 Corinthians 2:9-10 says, “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. What has God prepared for those who love Him? All that Paul has been revealing thus far in Ephesians – that we have been given every spiritual blessings in Christ, redemption by His blood, forgiveness of sin, revelation of the mystery of His will, an inheritance, access to the throne of grace, the ability to call upon God as Father – these things, God had REVEALED unto us! The Spiritual man understands all things of God – yet he himself is understood by no man!
Colossians 2:2-3 tells us that all of God’s mysteries are hidden in Christ, so it stands to reason that, as Christ is revealed, so are all of the mysteries of God. That’s why we preach Christ – to REVEAL the greatest mystery of all; that’s where they are going to be found – in Christ! So, “we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, but Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God” (1 Cor. 1:23,24) Christ crucified for the unification and glorification of Jews and gentiles in the church is the mystery of God and the wisdom of God.
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