Saturday, January 14, 2006

The Mystery of Glory

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. To them God has willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. (Colossians 1:25-27)
Paul is speaking again of the stewardship of the mysteries of God. This stewardship is not earned, but given as a matter of grace. The mystery of God has to do with the Word of God: The Word reveals the mystery; the mystery fulfills the Word.

In the Bible, a mystery is a secret that God is revealing to His people. We cannot reason our way to the mysteries. They must be revealed to us, and that is what God has done, by His Word and Spirit.

The mysteries of God are revealed expressly to His saints. But don’t misunderstand. Saints are not some sort of super-duper spiritual guys. In the Bible, a saint is one who has been sanctified. To be sanctified simply means to be “set apart.” We receive it by grace, through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9). If you have received the Lord Jesus Christ, you are a saint; God has set you apart for His own wonderful purposes.

Now God’s plan is not only to reveal these mysteries to His saints, but through His saints as well. He has chosen to make known the glory of this mystery among all the tribes, ethnic groups and nations of the world (the Greek word for “Gentile” is ethnos).

But what is the rich and glorious mystery God has chosen to release through us to the nations? It is:

Christ in you, the hope of glory.

“Christ” is the equivalent of the Hebrew Messiah. That is, He is the One Anointed by God to remove the burdens and destroy the yokes of sin and all its oppressions. The promise of Messiah was first revealed to Israel, but He comes not only for the Jews, but for all the nations of the world. And so He is revealed to the whole world by the people of God.

What is the “hope of glory?” Hope is positive expectation, joyful anticipation. Glory is the manifestation of God’s greatness and goodness. The hope of glory is the joyful anticipation of the greatness and goodness of God being fully and completely revealed in all the nations.

It is only in Jesus the Anointed that we have this positive expectation of fullness. When we receive the Lord Jesus Christ, God seals us with His Spirit, who is the “down payment” of our inheritance, the guarantee that we will experience the fullness of His glory (Ephesians 1:13). Paul said, “Now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but them I shall know just as I also am known” (1 Corinthians 13:12).

God does not keep Himself hidden, but reveals Himself to His people, and through His people to the nations. We are stewards of His mysteries, until His glory is fully made known to all the world. Let us therefore be full of faith to believe His promises, and they will come abundantly into manifestation.

(See also Stewards of the Mysteries of God .)

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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