Posted by: sdunnpastor | June 13, 2011

THE MYSTERY OF THE GOSPEL

This post is from an on-line Bible study I help lead for the Landisville Church of God.  It is from our study of Ephesians, chapter 6. – Steve (p.s. – since we started this Bible study almost two years ago we have 15 regular participants including four from outside the church – one as far away as London, England – Steve. To explore this Bible study more go to BIBLICAL JOY

19 Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel …”

1. In our previous post we noted an intriguing phrase in Paul’s closing prayer requests to the Ephesians.  “The mystery of the gospel.”  What do you think of when you think of the word mystery?

2. The word gospel means “good news.”  Why put the words together like this?

I am a lover of mysteries.  I particularly like the mysteries of Arthur Conan Doyle, Tony Hillerman and Sue Grafton.  Any avid fan of mysteries knows that they are about a secret that remains a secret until it is revealed.  People live lives knowing that something has happened, a crime has been committed (or that crime itself may yet be a secret).  Something has happened and their lives are not quite right.  There may even be a false sense of security that creates the potential for further crimes or deceptions.

In the mystery novel, the sleuth or detective looks for clues, carefully collecting and analyzing them until the secret is mystery is revealed.

In real life, however, the mystery of God’s good news is not a secret to be discovered by clever human investigation.  Paul tells us that because of God’s hand in creation that we are without excuse not to know that God exists and that He is greater than we are.  (Romans 1:18-20).  And because of the effect of sin, we are aware of God’s wrath. These are no mystery.

What is a mystery is God’s intentions towards us and specifically the salvation that He provides. Our salvation and the means by which we receive it are the mystery that has now been revealed in Jesus Christ.  If God had not sent Jesus, if Jesus had not died on the cross and been raised on the third day — we would still be ignorant and lost in our sin.

Once that God news has been revealed by God, it is the job of Paul and we, the Church of God, to boldly and lovingly proclaim the truth that has remained hidden until Christ came.

For many people, for whom God is generally out of sight and out of mind, it will remain a mystery unless we share that Good News!

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