Mysteries and secrets

In pagan religions, mysteries were secrets opened only to those who were introduced into their system of worship. These secrets supposedly gave them the power and ability to influence others, and they should not be revealed to anyone else. They certainly were not proclaimed. Such powerful knowledge was dangerous and had to be kept secret at all costs.

The opposite is the case with the gospel. In the Gospel, it is the great mystery of what God has done in and through human history, which is revealed to everyone clearly and freely, instead of being kept secret.

In our English vernacular, a mystery is part of a puzzle that must be found. In the Bible, however, a mystery is something that is true but that the human mind can not understand until God reveals it.

Paul describes all those things as mysteries that were blurred in the time before Christ, but fully revealed in Christ - the mystery of faith (1 Tim 3,16), the mystery of Israel's stubbornness (Rom 11,25), the mystery of God's Plan for Humanity (1 Cor. 2,7), which is the same as the mystery of God's will (Eph. 1,9) and the mystery of the resurrection (1 Cor. 15,51).

When Paul openly revealed the mystery, he did two things: First, he explained that what was hinted at in the Old Covenant became reality in the New Covenant. Secondly, he opposed the idea of ​​a hidden mystery and said that the Christian mystery was a revealed mystery, publicized, proclaimed to all, and believed by the saints.

In Colossians 1,21-26 he wrote: Even to you who once were alien and hostile in evil works, he has now reconciled 1,22 by the death of his mortal body, so that he may place you holy and blameless and immaculate before his face; 1,23 if you only remain in faith, established and firm, and do not depart from the hope of the gospel that you have heard and that is preached to all creatures under heaven. I became his servant, Paul. 1,24 Now I rejoice in the sufferings that I suffer for you, and reprove on my flesh, what is still lacking in the sufferings of Christ, for his body, that is the church. 1,25 I have become your servant through the ministry that God has given me, that I am to preach to you his word abundantly, 1,26, the mystery that was hidden from everlasting times and generations, but now it is revealed to his saints.

God calls and orders us to work for him. Our task is to make the invisible kingdom of God visible through faithful Christian life and testimony. The gospel of Christ is the gospel of the kingdom of God, the good news of justice, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit through fellowship and discipleship with our living Lord and Savior. It should not be kept secret. It should be shared with all and proclaimed to all.

Paul continues: ... to whom God wanted to proclaim, what is the glorious wealth of this mystery among the Gentiles, namely Christ in you, the hope of glory. 1,28 We ask and exhort all people and teach all people in all wisdom so that we make each person perfect in Christ. 1,29 For that, I'm struggling and wrestling with the power of the one who is powerful in me (Col. 1,27-29).

The gospel is a message about Christ's love and how he alone frees us from guilt and transforms us into the image of Christ. As Paul wrote to the church in Philippi: But our civil rights are in heaven; whence we also expect the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, 3,21 to transform our wicked body, that he may become like his glorified body according to the power with which he can subjugate all things (Phil. 3,20-21).

The gospel is indeed something to celebrate. Sin and death can not separate us from God. We should be changed. Our glorious bodies will not decay, they will not need food, they will not grow old or wrinkled. We will be raised like Christ in powerful spiritual bodies. More than that is just not known. As John wrote: Beloved, we are already God's children; but it has not yet become clear what we will be. But we know that when it is revealed, we will be like him; because we will see him as he is (1 Joh. 3,2).

by Joseph Tkach

pdfMysteries and secrets