CONCLUDED IN UNBELIEF:
The Lost Mystery of the Gospel
I don't have the full answer to this daunting question. But I do believe God has given me a measure of it. It has to do with what I'll call the "lost mystery" of the Gospel. (As part of this unbelieving age myself, I have to admit even my own eyes are veiled to some degree! Still, as a prophetic searcher of light, I'll do the best I can with what I have here.)
There are key terms Paul uses to describe the Gospel He received from the Lord. One of these is mystery. Paul repeatedly speaks of the mystery (or secret) of the Gospel. The word mystery refers to spiritual truth which to the time has been hidden, but is now being revealed.
Over the 25-30 year course of his writings, Paul uses the word mystery in different ways depending on his context. He uses it generally to speak about his overall gospel revelation. But he also uses it to pinpoint specific truths within the overall revelation.
Paul's core use of mystery is found in Ephesians and Colossians, letters he wrote nearly together while in prison near the end of his life. Using the New American Standard as our reference, we find that Ephesians and Colossians account for 10 of Pauls 17 references to mystery.
Ephesians lays Paul's foundation for explaining the mystery while Colossians is a follow-up, shorter version of Ephesians. Ephesians emphasizes the objective nature of the mystery, calling it the Mystery of the Gospel and the Mystery of Christ. Colossians emphasizes the personal nature of the mystery, where Paul goes on to call it the Mystery of Christ-in-You.
Together, these letters encapsulate what Paul has been trying to say throughout his whole life about the gospel. Some of his earlier references to "the mystery," such as in Romans, are wrapped up here. The first half of Ephesians explains in black and white what the mystery is. So that's where we turn now for our understanding.
New Meadow Neck, RI
First Love Ministry
- a ministry of Anglemar Fellowship
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Page created July 7, 2010