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Church Truths (7)
I like surprise parties...if they are not mine! Its fun to see the look on someone's face when they walk into the room, greeted by a crowd of friends and family and are genuinely surprised. To them it is unexpected and surprising, but a great deal of planning and work went into that surprise. The most difficult part of the evening may have been in getting the person there without them suspecting anything.
They are only given a small amount of information, a small piece of the picture. They are told they are going to a friend's house or to a nice restaurant with family to celebrate the occasion, which they are, but when they walk in its much more than expected. Surprise!
The plans, the party, was known to those who orchestrated it but was a mystery to them; a mystery not in the sense of how we use the word today but how the Bible uses and defines it. When the Bible speaks of a mystery it is not referring to an unsolvable puzzle, riddle or something that cannot be known or explained but that was previously unknown that has now been made known/revealed.
In our passage today, Ephesians 3.1-13, Paul writes about the mystery of Christ. That mystery includes the revealed message of salvation in Christ and His work on the cross where He served as our substitute to pay our sin debt, one that we could not pay, in order to make forgiveness possible and the creation of the church. Both were hinted at in the OT but not fully revealed until the NT.
- They were mysteries, known to God and part of His eternal plans which the OT saints, the patriarchs and the prophets only saw in shadow and not full light. They saw pieces but not the whole and what they saw in pieces and shadow we see clearly and fully because they were revealed in Christ and written down on the pages of the NT.
- No one fully understood the breadth of God's promise to Abraham when he said, ''In you all the families of the eart ...
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