God has revealed the mystery of His will to His saints!
The Bible unveils a great mystery. Paul proclaimed the
word of God, the mystery
which has been hidden from ages and
from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints
(Colossians 1:25, 26).
The mystery, revealed in the Bible, is described in various
ways: the mystery of God (Colossians 2:2; Revelation 10:7), the
mystery of His will (Ephesians 1:9), the mystery of Christ
(Ephesians 3:4; Colossians 4:3), the mystery of the kingdom of
God (Mark 4:11), the mystery of the gospel (Ephesians 6:19),
the mystery of the faith (1 Timothy 3:9), and the mystery of
godliness (1 Timothy 3:16).
In the Bible, a mystery is a hidden truth that can be known
only by revelation.
God has revealed mysteries to man.
Daniel declared: He gives wisdom to the wise and
knowledge to those who have understanding. He reveals deep
and secret things (Daniel 2:21, 22).
God has revealed His mysteries to enable man to do His will:
The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but those things
which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that
we may do all the words of this law (Deuteronomy 29:29).
These mysteries are not understood by all.
In that hour Jesus rejoiced in the Spirit and said, I thank
You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden
these things from the wise and prudent and revealed them to
babes. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight
And the disciples came and said to Him, Why do You speak
to them in parables? He answered and said to them, Because it
has been given to you to know the
mysteries of the kingdom of
heaven, but to them it has not been given. For whoever has, to
him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever
does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.
Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do
not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand
Why do some fail to understand?
Although mans ears cannot be closed physically, they can
be switched off. Zechariah said of Gods rebellious people: They
refused to heed, shrugged their shoulders, and stopped their ears
so that they could not hear. Yes, they made their hearts like flint,
refusing to hear the law and the words which the LORD of hosts
had sent by His Spirit through the former prophets (Zechariah
God instructed His people for their good, Yet they did not
obey or incline their ear, but followed the counsels and the
dictates of their evil hearts, and went backward and not forward
(Jeremiah 7:24). Gods word is keyed to those who incline their
ear, to those who are eager to learn.
How do people avoid hearing?
By not listening! People tune out what they do not want to
hear. They prefer to watch dramatic presentations that require
little effort or thought.
To really learn something however, especially if it is a little
complicated, active listening is required. Like in school, one must
listen to learn.
A preacher notices certain people who are listening to every
word to learn more about the will of God. He notices others who
sit with a blank expression, apparently thinking about something
else, or nothing at all. Some allow themselves to be easily
distracted by little disturbances rather than focusing on the
message. Some even go to the rest room ... to see who just sent
them a text message on their cell phone!
A preacher spends many hours in study and preparation to
present a message from the word of God. But he is not an
entertainer: he cannot mesmerize your mind like television.
While Gods word is being preached, the hearer also has a
task to perform. He must listen attentively.
This lesson about the mystery of God will require
concentration. We will be reading some beautiful, yet complicated
passages of Scripture. Listen carefully so you can understand
what God is telling us in His word.
Who can understand the mysteries of God?
About the coming reign of righteousness it was foretold:
The eyes of those who see will not be dim, and the ears of those
who hear will listen (Isaiah 32:3).
Only those who want to do the will of God understand the
mysteries of the kingdom. Jesus said: If anyone wills to do His
will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from
God or whether I speak on My own authority (John 7:17).
Paul explains that the mysteries of God are comprehended
only by people who value spiritual realities: However, we speak
wisdom among those who are mature, yet not the wisdom of this
age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. But
the wisdom of God in a mystery,
the hidden wisdom
which God ordained before the ages for our glory, which none of
the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not
have crucified the Lord of glory (1 Corinthians 2:6-8).
Paul had not based his message on human wisdom, so their
faith would be in God, not man (verses 4 and 5). To the mature
Paul speaks the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom
which God ordained before the ages for our glory. Even before
creation, God had a marvelous plan for man. This plan could not
be known by human wisdom.
Paul continues: But as it is written: 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 (1 Corinthians 2:9). The blessings God has prepared are so vast that they not only cannot be known by human wisdom, they cannot even be imagined!
But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the
Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what
man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man
which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except
the Spirit of God (1 Corinthians 2:10, 11). The mystery of the
wisdom of God and the unimaginable blessings He has in store for
those who love Him, have been revealed through the Spirit!
Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God (1 Corinthians 2:12). The mystery of the grace of God has been revealed by the Spirit.
Paul continues: These things we also speak, not in words
which mans wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches,
comparing spiritual things with spiritual (1 Corinthians 2:13).
Some claim that the ideas in the Bible are inspired, but not the
words. Paul emphasizes, however, that he communicated the
revealed mystery in words taught by the Spirit.
He concludes: But the natural man does not receive the
things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor
can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned (1
Thus, spiritual discernment is required to understand the
things of the Spirit, the mystery of the wisdom and will of God.
The mystery was revealed to the apostles in the first century.
Pauls understanding of the mystery came by revelation. He
explained: For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus
for you Gentiles - if indeed you have heard of the dispensation of
the grace of God which was given to me for you, how that by
revelation He made known to me
the mystery (as I have briefly
written already, by which, when you read, you may understand
my knowledge in
the mystery of Christ) (Ephesians 3:1-4).
Paul gained knowledge of the mystery of Christ by
revelation. Others can obtain this knowledge by reading what
Paul has written.
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: that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, of
the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through
the gospel, of which I became a minister according to the gift of
the grace of God given to me by the effective working of His
power (Ephesians 3:5-7).
The mystery of salvation by Christ, made known to the
apostles and prophets in the first century, included the truth that
believing Jews and believing Gentiles would be united in the same
body, the church of Christ.
Pauls special mission was to preach the gospel to the
Gentiles: To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this
grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the
unsearchable riches of Christ (Ephesians 3:8).
But he also addressed everyone, And to make all see what
the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the
ages has been hidden in God (Ephesians 3:9).
The fellowship of the mystery is the fellowship of the saved
of every nation in the church of Christ, as determined by God
To the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might
be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in
the heavenly places, according to the eternal purpose which He
accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord (Ephesians 3:10-12).
Never underestimate the importance of the church of Christ.
The mystery of the manifold wisdom of God is made known by
the church, not only to man on earth, but also to the principalities
and powers in heaven!
This purpose is accomplished in Christ who is the source of
salvation for mankind.
In Him we have redemption through His blood, the
forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace which He
made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, having
made known to us
the mystery of His will, according to His good
pleasure which He purposed in Himself, that in the dispensation
of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all
things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on
earth (Ephesians 1:7-10).
For the sake of the church, Paul was willing to suffer so the
mystery - the word of God - might be preached: I now rejoice in
my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in
the afflictions of Christ, for the sake of His body, which is the
church, of which I became a minister according to the
stewardship from God which was given to me for you, to fulfill
word of God, the mystery which has been hidden from ages and
from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints
It was Gods will that the saints might know the glory
awaiting those in whom Christ dwells: To them God willed to
make known what are the riches of the glory of this
among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all
wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus
(Colossians 1:27, 28).
Paul had a burning desire to help people understand the
mystery of God so they might enjoy the blessings God gives to
those who are in Christ.
To this end I also labor, striving according to His working
which works in me mightily. For I want you to know what a great
conflict I have for you and those in Laodicea, and for as many as
have not seen my face in the flesh, that their hearts may be
encouraged, being knit together in love, and attaining to all riches
of the full assurance of understanding, to the knowledge of
mystery of God, both of the Father and of Christ, in whom are
hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Colossians
1:29 - 2:3).
Through the Scriptures this mystery is made known to all nations.
After the mystery of salvation was revealed to the apostles,
God commanded that the gospel be made known to all nations
through inspired Scriptures: Now to Him who is able to establish
you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ,
according to the revelation of
the mystery kept secret since the
world began but now made manifest, and by the prophetic
Scriptures made known to all nations, according to the
commandment of the everlasting God, for obedience to the faith -
to God, alone wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever
Preachers are stewards of the mysteries of God.
They must faithfully proclaim the gospel. Referring to Peter,
Apollos and himself, Paul wrote: Let a man so consider us, as
servants of Christ and stewards of
the mysteries of God.
Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful (1
Corinthians 4:1, 2).
We are to pray that preachers will boldly proclaim the
mystery of the gospel: Praying always with all prayer and
supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all
perseverance and supplication for all the saints - and for me, that
utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly
to make known
the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an
ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to
speak (Ephesians 6:18-20). Continue earnestly in prayer, being
vigilant in it with thanksgiving; meanwhile praying also for us,
that God would open to us a door for the word, to speak
mystery of Christ, for which I am also in chains, that I may make
it manifest, as I ought to speak (Colossians 4:2-4).
The Bible is a book of mysteries revealed. What have we
- God has revealed the mystery of His will to His saints.
- Only those who want to do the will of God comprehend the mysteries of the kingdom.
- Only those with spiritual discernment understand the mystery of Gods wisdom revealed by the Spirit.
- The mystery of salvation through Jesus Christ was revealed to the apostles and prophets in the first century.
- It was Gods good pleasure to make these mysteries known. He wants us to know the mystery of God.
- God commanded that the revelation of this mystery be made known to all nations through inspired Scriptures.
- Preachers must faithfully proclaim the mysteries of God.
- We are to pray that they will boldly do so.
And without controversy great is
the mystery of godliness:
God was manifested in the flesh, Justified in the Spirit, Seen by
angels, Preached among the Gentiles, Believed on in the world,
Received up in glory (1 Timothy 3:16).
What a tremendous blessing that God has revealed to us the
mystery of salvation! Through the Scriptures this mystery has
been made known to all nations for a purpose, for obedience to
the faith (Romans 16:26).
Thus Jesus commands: Go into all the world and preach the
gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be
saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned (Mark
16:15, 16). And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, All
authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go
therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in
the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you;
and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age
What is the mystery revealed? The good news that sinful
man can be saved by the grace of God through His Son, Jesus
Christ. Accept Gods mystery of salvation by believing in Christ
and confessing His name (Romans 10:10), by repenting and
being baptized for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38). Do not
delay. Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day
of salvation (2 Corinthians 6:2). Amen.
The Scripture quotations in this article are from
The New King James Version. ©1979,1980,1982, Thomas Nelson Inc., Publishers.
Permission for reference use has been granted.
Published in The Old Paths Archive