Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Making the Mystery Clear

“Devote yourselves to prayer...praying...that God will open up to us a door for the Word, so that we may speak forth the mystery of Christ, for which I have also been imprisoned; that I may make it [the mystery] clear in the way I ought to speak (Colossians 4:2-4).

What was this “mystery” that Paul desired to communicate clearly from the Word? “The mystery of Christ” that the apostle desired to speak was that “which has been hidden from the past ages and generations, but has now been manifested to His saints” (1:26). It is God’s plan to save a people for Himself “from every tribe and tongue and people and nation” (Revelation 5:9) through the saving work of Jesus Christ His Son.

This was God’s plan from eternity past and His purpose behind all He did in the Old Testament leading up to the coming of Christ and the establishment of the new covenant in Christ’s blood. Paul’s prayer was that the mystery, woven through the entirety of the Old Testament Scripture, would be clearly shown by his preaching:
  • “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 which has been kept secret for long ages past, but now is manifested, and by the Scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the eternal God, has been made known to all the nations, leading to obedience of faith; to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, be the glory forever. Amen” (Romans 16:25-27).
  • “Yet we do speak wisdom among those who are mature; a wisdom, however, not of this age nor of the rulers of this age, who are passing away; but we speak God's wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God predestined before the ages to our glory; the wisdom which none of the rulers of this age has understood; for if they had understood it they would not have crucified the Lord of glory; but just as it is written [Isaiah 64:4], ‘Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, and which have not entered the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love Him.’ For to us God revealed them through the Spirit...” (1 Corinthians 2:6-10).
  • “For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles - if indeed you have heard of the stewardship of God's grace which was given to me for you; that by revelation there was made known to me the mystery, as I wrote before in brief. By referring to this, when you read you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit; to be specific, that the Gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel, of which I was made a minister, according to the gift of God’s grace which was given to me according to the working of His power” (Ephesians 3:1-7).

May we have such a passion to see Christ in the Old Testament and proclaim Him from those pages, and may that passion begin with Paul’s prayer request becoming our own: that God’s purpose in Christ be made clear from our reading and teaching of the entire Bible – even the Old Testament. It is not a technique or hermeneutic alone, but the work of the Holy Spirit in the believer. As we study and learn together, the Author of the Book (the Holy Spirit) unveils the purpose of the Father through the Son in every page. This is why it is a matter of prayer.

All glory be to Jesus as we read, study, pray, and clearly tell of Him from the entirety of the Book of books.

No comments: