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Volume 29 - Page 124 of 208 Index | Zoom | |
will find no difficulty in believing that, so far as these two mysteries in Romans are
concerned, they do not go beyond the things "which the prophets and Moses did say
The remaining mysteries of Paul's early ministry,
considered in the light of our title.
pp. 105 - 109
We have so far examined the mysteries of Romans and found no reason to call in
question the accuracy of Paul's statement before Agrippa, and we must now go on to
consider the two mysteries that are specifically mentioned in I Corinthians. We use the
word "specifically" because there are also two general references in Chapters 4: & 13::
"Let no man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the
mysteries of God" (I Cor. 4: 1).
"Though I understand all mysteries and all knowledge . . . . . and have not love, I am
nothing" (I Cor. 13: 2).
These "mysteries", however, are not defined and cannot therefore be called upon as
evidence in the case we are examining. The two mysteries in I Cor. 2: and 15:, on the
other hand, are specific, and must therefore be examined. The first of these passages
reads as follows:
"We speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom which God
ordained before the world unto our glory" (I Cor. 2: 7).
Because we have a reference here to a time "before the ages", there has sometimes
been a tendency to ignore the context and assume that the passage refers to the mystery of
Ephesians and Colossians. If we go back to the previous chapter, we find that the
Apostle speaks of the wisdom of God in connection with the cross of Christ (I Cor. 1: 24),
and also, by contrast, of the wisdom of this world (I Cor. 1: 20, 21). In the second
chapter, he reminds the Corinthians that when he came to them, he did not pander to
human fancies and indulge in "excellency of speech or wisdom", but rather "determined
to know nothing among them, save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified". The Apostle was
most anxious that the faith of these believers should not stand in the wisdom of men, but,
although he so ruthlessly sets aside human wisdom, he assures the Corinthians that he
does speak wisdom "among them that are perfect". The identity of these "perfect" ones
may be gathered from a comparison of I Cor. 3: and Heb. 5: & 6:
I Corinthians 3:
Hebrews 5: and 6:
Babes, carnal, fed with milk, not
Need of milk, not strong meat. A babe. Full
with meat. Building upon the one
grown (perfect) ones. Those who go on unto
foundation, that which may be
perfection. The earth either received blessing or
rewarded or may be consumed by fire.
is nigh unto cursing. Whose end is to be burned.