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The Mystery Revealed

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The Mystery Revealed...
What is a mystery? We actually use the word mystery in many different ways.
Who loves a good mystery?
I love mystery novels
Mystery used in different ways:
“a piece of fiction dealing usually with the solution of a mysterious crime”
“something not understood or beyond understanding: ENIGMA”
“a religious truth that one can know only by revelation and cannot fully understand”
Not fully understood?
How is it used in the Bible? I invite you to turn with me in your Bible to Romans 16, the last three verses of the letter. In this passage we find Paul using the word mystery, and we want to pay attention to what he says about it.
Romans 16:25–27 NIV
Now to him who is able to establish you in accordance with my gospel, the message I proclaim about Jesus Christ, in keeping with the revelation of the mystery hidden for long ages past, but now revealed and made known through the prophetic writings by the command of the eternal God, so that all the Gentiles might come to the obedience that comes from faith— to the only wise God be glory forever through Jesus Christ! Amen.
…in accordance with my gospel, the message I proclaim about Jesus Christ...

The Mystery has been...

Revealed
Shown
Made Known
Revelation - apocalypsis
Revealed / Manifested / Shown
Related to the word for shine, like you shine the light on something to make clear what it is
dog barking at night, shine the light on it
Made known - you are given understanding or knowledge

How was it revealed?

As we go through different passages today, we will see that God tells us that He has used multiple ways to reveal the mystery.
The first is found in this passage.

The Scriptures of the prophets

Through the scriptures of the prophets is an interesting way of saying it. Today, we call the scriptures that Paul and the early church had, the Old Testament.
They did not refer to it as the Old Testament. It was referred to a few ways, but one of them was calling it the writings of the prophets.
So, if this was revealed through the prophets, then how was it “hidden”.
The word hidden here, means unspoken, or secret.
How did the prophets speak and write it, and it was still a secret?
Cumberland Gap Trail

Mountain peaks of prophecy

Isaiah 61:1–3 NIV
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.
mountain peaks of prophecy
This is a graphic representation by Clarence Larkin.
Even the suffering and death of the Messiah, though prophesied in the Old Testament was not clearly understood, as they looked at the other peaks, when the Messiah would come and reign.

Hidden from the worldly wise and proud

Matthew 11:25 NIV
At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children.
1 Corinthians 2:6–8 NIV
We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. No, we declare God’s wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

Hidden from those Satan has blinded

2 Corinthians 4:2–4 NIV
Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
Though it was there in the scriptures, it was hidden. It was hidden because they could not distinguish all of the future events clearly from one another.
It was hidden because too many were wise in their own eyes and proud.
It was hidden because Satan wants to keep people blind from the truth and work of God.
But has bee revealed. It was revealed in in the writings of the prophets, and...

Jesus taught it

Jesus taught it to His disciples. He tried telling them on numerous occasions who He was and what was going to happen to him. He told them repeatedly that He would be betrayed, beaten and crucified, and that He would rise again. He told them what was coming, and even told them that He would build His church in Matthew 16. He taught them in parables because He wanted them to get it, while those who did not believe would not.
Matthew 13:10–13 NIV
The disciples came to him and asked, “Why do you speak to the people in parables?” He replied, “Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. Whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. This is why I speak to them in parables: “Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand.
Jesus revealed much of the mystery while He taught. However, even the disciples did not get much of it at the time.
In fact, it wasn’t until after the resurrection that they finally got what He was saying.
Luke 24:25–27 NIV
He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.
Jesus said that the prophets had spoken, but they were slow to believe it. Then He explained it to them in detail, and showed how it all pointed to Him, and what He had done and will do.
The Mystery has been revealed, made known, the light shone on it through the writings of the prophets, and through Jesus’ teaching.
There is another way it has been revealed. Please turn to Ephesians 3:2-3.
Ephesians 3:2–3 NIV
Surely you have heard about the administration of God’s grace that was given to me for you, that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation, as I have already written briefly.

Paul was given revelation

How and when, we are not given specifics, however, Paul tells us in Galatians chapter one that he was given this revelation by Jesus. He was likely referring to his encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus, but he also speaks of going to Arabia after being saved, and then returning to Damascus. The point is, the mystery Paul proclaimed was not something he got from other people, but what Jesus revealed to him.
Paul goes on to say,
Ephesians 3:4–5 NIV
In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to people in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God’s holy apostles and prophets.
Once again, Paul mentions how it was hidden in the past. It was not made manifest to them like it has been now. Why? Because of another of means of revelation.

Spirit revealed

Not only did Jesus teach it while on earth, but just like Jesus said in John, He was going to send another, He was going to send the Spirit to guide His people into truth, and remind them of all that Jesus taught.
The Spirit has come, and the Spirit taught the apostles, and prophets. Now, the Holy Spirit is at work in each of us, making it clear to us. Paul talks about this in 1 Corinthians 2.
1 Corinthians 2:7–13 NIV
No, we declare God’s wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived”— the things God has prepared for those who love him— these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us. This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words.
The mystery has been revealed in the scriptures of the prophets.
It has been revealed by Jesus when He taught.
It has been revealed to Paul, who writes about it in his letters.
It has been revealed by the Spirit.

What is the mystery?

So just what is this mystery that has been revealed? What is it that God has freely given to us, and wants us to know?
Let’s look back at Romans 16.
Romans 16:25 NIV
Now to him who is able to establish you in accordance with my gospel, the message I proclaim about Jesus Christ, in keeping with the revelation of the mystery hidden for long ages past,

The Gospel of Jesus Christ!

The whole of the letter of Romans is Paul’s largest and clearest explanation of the Gospel. Now, at the conclusion of the letter, Paul is saying that this gospel, the message he proclaimed about Jesus is the mystery that has been revealed.
Jesus death, burial and resurrection to pay the penalty for our sins, and to give us peace and fellowship with God is the mystery that was spoken of by the prophets, but hidden from plain sight as it got overshadowed by other mountain peaks which seemed to be more impressive, like when He comes and carries out vengeance, and when He comes and establishes His kingdom.
The suffering isn’t quite as appealing as that glorious kingdom, is it? But, without the suffering of Jesus, there would be no one to be in the kingdom. There would be no one righteous enough to enter, and live at peace and in fellowship with God!
There is another aspect of this mystery which Paul speaks about in Ephesians 3.
Ephesians 3:6–11 NIV
This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus. I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God’s grace given me through the working of his power. Although I am less than the least of all the Lord’s people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the boundless riches of Christ, and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things. His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to his eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Gentiles heirs together with Jews

Wow! Over the past weeks, we have seen how God revealed to the prophets that other nations would seek
flows out of 2 two one new man

The Church

church is body of christ,,,
Ephesians 1:22–23 NIV
And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.
baptized into by hs
1 Corinthians 12:12–13 NIV
Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.

The hardening of Israel

Romans 11:25 NIV
I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers and sisters, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in,
What else is this revealed mystery?
Colossians 1:24–27 NIV
Now I rejoice in what I am suffering for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church. I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness—the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the Lord’s people. To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

Christ in you, the hope of glory

What has been revealed?
Ephesians 1:9–10 NIV
he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.
Colossians 2:1–3 NIV
I want you to know how hard I am contending for you and for those at Laodicea, and for all who have not met me personally. My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

Christ is the mystery of God

In Him we find a ll the wisdom and knowledge we need for life and godliness.

Purpose:

What is the purpose of all of this Mystery stuff?
Why spend time looking at this?
Romans 16:25 NIV
Now to him who is able to establish you in accordance with my gospel, the message I proclaim about Jesus Christ, in keeping with the revelation of the mystery hidden for long ages past,

To Him who is able to establish you...

col 2 - don’t be led astray
Ephesians 3:12 NIV
In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.

Approach God with freedom & confidence

Romans 16:27 NIV
to the only wise God be glory forever through Jesus Christ! Amen.
Ephesians 3:10 NIV
His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms,

Wisdom of God be made known

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