God’s Plan for Salvation: The Mystery
Early in the scriptures the problem of sin is presented. Sin and death came through Adam (Rom. 5:12). Man was cut off from fellowship with God and the tree of life (Gen. 3:22-24). All since Adam have sinned (Rom. 3:23). The answer to this problem came through another man, the Son of God (Rom. 5:15). If one abides in His will, he can once again gain access to the presence of God and to the tree of life (Rev. 22:1-5).
The scriptures refer to this plan as a mystery. This is a mystery in the same way we think of a mystery novel. Near the beginning a problem is presented. It is not until the end has been revealed that the middle and beginning make sense. Every time the New Testament uses the word mystery, it is accompanied by a verb such as “revealed” to show that God has made known the mystery. Now God’s plan can be clearly understood by all men.
God had a plan from the beginning. Ephesians 1:4; 1 Peter 1:18-20.
God gave men clues to the mystery.
- Promise to Eve (Gen. 3:15)
- Promise to Abraham (Gen. 12:1-3)
- One like Moses to rise up (Deut. 18:15-19)
- Promise to David (2 Sam. 7:16)
- Messiah a suffering servant (Isa. 53, Psalm 22)
- Messiah born of a virgin (Isa. 7:14)
- Messiah born in Bethlehem (Mic. 5:2)
- Messiah to be priest and king (Zec. 6:11-15, Psalm 110)
Men couldn’t figure it out themselves. 1 Peter 1:10-12.
- Nicodemus, expert in the Law, couldn’t get it. (John 3:10)
- After 40 days of preaching on the kingdom, Apostles still didn’t get it. (Acts 1:3-8)
- Paul raised at feet of great teachers (Acts 22:3), but learned from the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit revealed the mystery. John 14:16-17, 20, 25-26; 15: 26-27; 16:12-15.
1 Corinthians 2:6-13.
The Apostles taught the mystery. Ephesians 3:1-10; Romans 16:25-26.
The Mystery: Christ in you, the hope of glory! (Col. 1:25-27, Rom. 8:28-30)