The Berean Expositor
Volume 12 - Page 23 of 160
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The Mystery.
pp. 33 - 36
"G.P.K." is a book of 240 pages, and out of this number the writer devotes one and a
quarter pages to the wondrous teaching of Ephesians and Colossians on the subject of the
mystery, which we here quote in full:--
It is astonishing to find how prevalent has become the idea that the Church was a
`mystery' first revealed to the Apostle Paul, and of which the other Apostles were
ignorant, until Paul made it known. We meet this idea again and again in current
writings, and when we ask what basis there is for it, we are referred to Eph. 3: 1-13;
and Col. 1: 23-29. But we are unable to find a trace of that idea in those Scriptures.
In the first place the `mystery' (whatever it be) whereof Paul is there speaking, was
one that, according to his own testimony, had been revealed not to him exclusively, nor to
him primarily, nor to him in any special way. It was `the mystery of CHRIST which in
other ages was not made known unto the sons of men as it is now'--in this age--
`revealed unto His holy Apostles and prophets by the Spirit.' Paul thus claimed no
exclusiveness nor preeminence in the knowledge of this mystery. The SPIRIT OF GOD
revealed it to GOD'S `holy apostles and prophets', Paul being simply one of a number to
whom the revelation had been given.
The mystery itself was that Gentiles were to receive `the unsearchable riches of
CHRIST' on precisely the same terms as the Jews--the ancient `middle wall of partition'
that GOD had placed between Jews and Gentiles having been removed by the death of
CHRIST (Eph. 2: 13-16). As stated in Eph. 3: 6, the mystery consists in this, `that the
Gentiles should be fellow-heirs, and of the same body and partakers (lit. joint partakers)
of His (GOD'S) promise in CHRIST by the Gospel'.
Peter had acted upon this `mystery' in preaching CHRIST to the Gentiles at Cornelius'
house before Paul began his ministry; which fact is enough in itself to dispose of the idea
that Paul was the first to receive knowledge of it.
The passage in Colossians is precisely to the same effect. `The hope of the Gospel'
was `preached to every creature (or in all creation) under heaven', and not to Jews only.
Of that Gospel Paul `was made a minister'--simply one of many. He also had become `a
minister' of the Church; and this was, to quote his words, `according to the dispensation
of GOD which is given to me for you (Gentiles) to fulfil the word of GOD, even the
mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest
to His saints, to whom GOD would make known what is the riches of the glory of this
mystery among the Gentiles which is Christ among you (Gentiles) the hope of glory'.
This, we think, requires no explanation, the meaning being quite evident to those who
give proper attention to the language."
Let us examine "M.'s" statement as to the mystery.
Speaking of the prevalent belief that Paul had some exclusive revelation he says that
upon examining Eph. 3: 1-13 and Col. 1: 23-29, he is "unable to find a trace of that
idea in those Scriptures". Not even a TRACE! We had better look at the passages again.