The Berean Expositor
Volume 6 - Page 58 of 151
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The Blessings of the Son (Eph. 1: 7-12).
"The Mystery of His Will."
pp. 145 - 147
In the first article dealing with the blessings of the Son (page 113? {81}), we saw that
they were three, viz., Redemption, Mystery, Inheritance. We have seen some of the
wonders of redeeming love. Let us now turn to the central reference, the mystery. This
mystery has been made known to us in all wisdom and prudence. Wisdom is linked with
the making known of the mystery or its connections in each of its occurrences in
Ephesians. Here, in 1: 8; in 1: 17, "may give unto you a spirit of wisdom and revelation
in the full knowledge of Him"; and in Eph. 3: 9, 10, "The dispensation of the mystery
. . . . . may be made known . . . . . the manifold wisdom of God."
Philippians contains no reference to either wisdom or mystery, but Colossians again
contains them both. Col. 1: 9 refers to the walk; 1: 27, 28 speaks of the "riches of
the glory of the mystery among the Gentiles . . . . . teaching every man in all
wisdom"; 2: 2, 3 speaks of "the mystery of God, . . . . . and of Christ, in Whom are hid
all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge."
Prudence (phronesis) is wisdom in practice, and has special reference to the
management of affairs. In the stewardship of the mystery, the Apostle was divinely
guided in making it known, not going before the time and not revealing more than the
wisdom of God saw fit. The mystery here is spoken of as mystery of His Will. Some
prefer the word "secret," owing to the fact that the word "mystery" has come to mean in
English that which is "mysterious." However this may be, we feel justified in retaining
the word, first because it is the Greek word musterion transliterated, and secondly by
reason of the many parallels that are drawn between the mystery of God and those of the
heathen, for which Ephesus was famous. The worship of Isis in Egypt, of Mithras in
Persia, of Ceres and Bacchus in Greece, was connected with the heathen mysteries.
The heathen mysteries were divided into the Lesser and the Greater. The Greater
revealed the real inner teaching called the Apporheta, "the things that must not be uttered
or divulged" (see II Cor. 12: 4).
The initiates to these mysteries were called teleioi or "perfect," a word used with
somewhat similar meaning in the Epistles (Heb. 5: 14, Eph. 4: 13, I Cor. 2: 6 and
Phil. 3: 15).
The New Testament reveals a series of mysteries, some concerning the church in its
wide sense, and some concerning the One Body. The Apostle Paul had revealed to him a
great number of mysteries which it was his privilege to explain and teach.
Out of the twenty-seven occurrences of the word, the Apostle Paul uses twenty of
them, the remaining seven being divided between the first three Gospels and the