The Mystery of the Gospel Revealed
3 For this reason I, Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles— 2 assuming that you have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace that was given to me for you, 3 how the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I have written briefly. 4 When you read this, you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ, 5 which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit. 6 This mystery is[a] that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.
7 Of this gospel I was made a minister according to the gift of God’s grace, which was given me by the working of his power. 8 To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, 9 and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in[b] God, who created all things, 10 so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. 11 This was according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord, 12 in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him. 13 So I ask you not to lose heart over what I am suffering for you, which is your glory.
A friend of mine recently spoke about being on ‘the wrong side of history.’ It is a phrase we hear often, and it is used to paint someone opposed to you as someone who will be revealed as misguided, even wrong in their understanding of events. Paul could have been accused of this; after all, by now he was under house-arrest in Rome and seemingly doomed. And, yet, as he writes this little excursus on his life, he makes very clear that he is very much on the ‘right side of history,’ despite all appearances (vs.7).
You see, history is about God’s plan to bring all the world to right standing ‘in Christ.’ That includes people from every nation, tribe and tongue reconciled to God and each other, ‘in Christ.’ When this happens in the church here and in the future, what is God shown to be (vs.8-12)? Unbelievably wise! In this sense, despite appearances, there is no need to be discouraged!
Ponder the mob of people you meet with at church – how do you display the ‘multi-faceted wisdom of God’?
Father, when I gather with your people, I am amazed by your wisdom – that ‘in Christ’, you have dealt with our sin, given us peace with you and each other, and so displayed to the world that you have defeated the rule of sin. Please grant me, and us, great delight and contentment in your wisdom. Amen.