Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Stewards of Divine Mysteries

… of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God which was given to me for you, to fulfill 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 words,“of which,” refer to the Church, the body of Jesus the Messiah. Paul identifies himself as a minister of the Church. The sufferings he spoke of in verse 24 were for the sake of the Church.

“Mystery” is one of Paul’s favorite words. He uses it seventeen times in his letters, including four times in this one. The stewardship he received from God concerns divine mysteries. “Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God” (1 Corinthians 4:1). A mystery is a secret. Gnostic religion had mysteries, secret teachings not given to all but were revealed only as one progressed to a certain level of knowledge. For Paul, however, the mysteries of which he was given stewardship were secrets that, though they were once hidden, were now revealed to every believer. His stewardship was to “fulfill the word of God,” that is, to preach the mysteries that God has to us revealed in Jesus the Messiah.
  • We speak 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 2:7-8)
  • 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 — in Him. (Ephesians 1:9-10)
  • By revelation He made known to me the mystery … 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. (Ephesians 3:3-6)
  • 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, and to make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 3:8-9)
  • We are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones ... This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. (Ephesians 5:30-32)
  • [Pray] for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel. (Ephesians 6:19)
  • 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)
  • Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed. (1 Corinthians 15:51)
These divine mysteries reveal to every believer how God is redeeming the world through Jesus the Messiah.



The Focus of Our Faith
The Focus of Our Faith
Paul’s Letters to the Jesus Believers at Colosse
Bite-Size Studies Through Colossians
by Jeff Doles

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