In Ephesians 3:1-11 Paul explained that he had a ministry which involved revealing "the mystery" to men. He described this mystery with these words:
"His [God's] promise in Christ by the Gospel" - Ephesians 3:6
"The unsearchable riches of Christ" - Ephesians 3:8
"The manifold wisdom of God" - Ephesians 3:10
This mystery can only be revealed by God's Spirit through the ministry of the Gospel. To know this mystery, is a great privilege and responsibility. As our Scripture reading tells us, we are to be faithful "stewards of the mysteries of God. (I Corinthians 4:1-2 cp. I Timothy 3:8-9). The mystery of God is actually many faceted. It has many mysteries within it.
Let's consider some of those facets.
The mystery of the Kingdom of God / Kingdom of Heaven
- Matthew 13:11; Mark 4:11; Luke 8: 10
If you ever wonder why there are so many churches and so many different kinds of teachings, then you can appreciate why Christ referred to His Kingdom (His dealings with this world) as a "mystery." It is about the Gospel: the good news that God has provided a way for many to be redeemed from Sin and Satan's power by the work of His Son, Jesus Christ. In His wisdom, the Heavenly Father has made a way to overcome all the evil in this world and produce a people that love Him and serve Him, and worship Him. God's kingdom on earth can be described as the spiritual rule of God in the hearts of His people. Despite all the wickedness and lies in this world, God's people overcome the world by faith (John 16:33; I John 5:4-5). Ultimately, Satan is deceived, through these mysteries, and defeated (I Corinthians 2:7-16; Colossians 2:13-15; I John 3:8; 4:1-6; Hebrews 2:14-15; Revelation 12:9-12; 20:1-10; Romans 16:20.
- Israel / The Gospel / The Church
Israel is a little nation that was called, out of slavery, to be the ones to give us the truth of the Scriptures and the Messiah: our Savior from sin and the conqueror of Satan and the world. Israel has failed in many ways, but their failure is temporary. In their blindness, they condemned their Messiah, but this facilitated the redemption of both Jew and Gentile and brought about the church, which unites both Jew and Gentile in Christ!
See Romans 11:25; Ephesians 1:8-10 (Please study these chapters: Romans 9-11; Ephesians 1-3).
- The mystery of Christ / The mystery of the Gospel / The mystery of Godliness
The knowledge of Christ, through the gospel, transforms us, strengthens us, and gives us the hope of glory. See II Corinthians 3:13-18 (cp. Matthew 11:28-30; John 8:26-36); I Timothy 3:16 (cp. II Peter 1:2-4); Ephesians 6:19 (cp. Colossians 4:3); Romans 16:25-27 (cp. Colossians 2:1-3); I Corinthians 2:7 (cp. Colossians 1:27).
To be Continued….
The Mystery of Iniquity - II Thessalonians 2:7
The Mystery of Christ and the Church - Ephesians 5:32