“For you are able to read this to recognize my understanding in the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to those of other generations of the sons of men as now it is revealed to his holy Apostles and Prophets in the Spirit, that the gentiles are co-heirs and part of the same body and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the Gospel of which I was made a servant according to the gift of the grace of God given to me according to the working of his power.”
It should be noted that in the Greek text of this passage, verses 1-7 are a single sentence, binding the ideas together as one. To whom did God not unfold the mystery? The generations of the sons of men prior to the coming of Christ is the answer given. That does not mean that God gave them no hints or indications of what would come, but it means that the fullness of such has come after the resurrection of Christ. Jesus is the Rosetta Stone when it comes to understanding the Bible and the mystery of God. If you reject Jesus, the mystery remains clouded.
By what means is the mystery being made known? By the Prophets and Apostles. We have seen this language already for it is upon the writings of such that the church is built. If the church strays from the clear teaching of Scripture, it loses its foundations and will collapse. If a church seeks to add to that which has been laid down in the scriptures, it is building on the foundation of men, not that of the Prophets and Apostles and once again, it will collapse. How do we know? We are seeing it all around us in the world today.
And what is the heart of this great mystery? It is God’s plan to redeem a people from amongst the gentile nations in Christ and to make us fellow heirs and part of the same promise of God. As we have noted before, it is a great error to presume that the church and Israel are two separate peoples; we are bound together as one, through faith in Jesus Christ.
How is this accomplished? It is done by the outworking of God’s power. It is not about the work of men…it is all about God and His work and his design. It is his plan.