Ephesians 6:19-20 and for me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that I my speak boldly, as I ought to speak.
APOSTALIC STEWARDSHIP OF THE MYSTERIES OF THE GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM:
1 Corinthians 4:1-2 Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover, it is required in stewards that one be found faithful.
The apostolic function is a stewardship trust. All the apostles were given the responsibility to be true to the Word of God which the Lord Jesus gave them from the Father (see John 17:11-17). Those apostles were not given the luxury of holding to their own opinions but were given a stewardship to know and teach the mysteries of the kingdom of God.
Jesus told His disciples that He would give to them the “keys” of the kingdom.” Those keys were hidden in mystery in the Old Testament. Only by revelation did they become understood. The apostles, including Paul, understood what they carried and knew they were responsible to communicate the keys of the kingdom which is the understanding of the “mysteries of the kingdom.” They understood that the message of the kingdom was for both the Jews and Gentile nations. Thus, as Jesus command, “GO and disciple the nations.”
As a steward of the mysteries of God, Paul was asking prayer for an ability to open his mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel for which he was an ambassador in chains.
In the Corinthian scripture, mentioned previously; Paul speaks of being a servant of Christ. That is what a steward is, a servant trusted with what belongs to His master. The mysteries of the kingdom of God belong to Jesus our Lord and our Savior. Note, this is not Jewish doctrine, this is not some Denominations doctrine; the mysteries are Christ doctrine given to Him by the Father and established through His resurrected life. “Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which to judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead” (Acts 17:30-31).
Paul understood his call and responsibility given to him by the Lord. He is asking those who received the message of the kingdom and the understanding of the mysteries, to stand with him through prayer regarding the task of preaching this word of the Lord with boldness. Boldness because it is risky when the gospel is accurately preached. Why, because it is aimed at “all men everywhere,” including, emperors, kings, governors, dictators, and presidents. Most apostles were martyred because of their challenge.
For the next few minutes, we will take time to name the mysteries of which Paul was speaking. All of these need serious study, but for today I will simply mention the mysteries.
The mystery of Godliness: 1Timothy 3:16 And without controversy, great is the mystery of godliness: 1) God was manifested in the flesh, 2) Justified in the Spirit, 3) Seen by angels, 4) Preached among the Gentiles, 5) Believed on in the world, 6) Received up to glory. This takes in the “Virgin Birth” and the “Resurrection of the dead.”
The mystery of His Will: Ephesians 1:9 having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, that in the dispensation of times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him. Ephesians 3:9 . . . and to make all see what is the “fellowship” of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ; . . .
Paul, in Galatians 4:4, called this the “fullness of the time.” The New Creation in Christ began 2,000 years ago. It is not a future event but is in the process even as we speak. It will culminate in Christ’s return and the judgment of the nations as mentioned in Acts 17:31.
The mystery of the Indwelling Christ: Colossians 1:25-27 ministry and stewardship Jesus gave to Paul – the mystery which had been hidden from ages and generations. Paul knew he had been commissioned “to make known what are the riches of the glory of the mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”
The mystery of Iniquity or Lawlessness: 2 Thessalonians 2:3-8 (vs. 7) for the mystery of lawlessness is already working. This is what the believer is up against. The antidote is “the mystery of the resurrection.” Christ raised and seated above all principalities, all powers, the rulers of the darkness of this age, and against spiritual hosts of wickedness in heavenly places.
The mystery of Christ and His Church: Ephesians 5:30-32
- 2 Corinthians 11:2 espoused to Christ presently
- 1 Corinthian 6:17 in Spirit joined now
- 2 Corinthians 5:6-8 our bodies are on earth, He is up in Heaven
- A mystery that can’t be explained: Ephesian 5:32 We are to believe this reality by faith as we walk in the Spirit
The Mystery of the restoration of Israel: Romans 11:25
It appears that God is through with Israel. The first 40 years was the Jewish mission (first the Jew then the Gentile). Paul always went to the Jew first. Judgment upon Israel “the system” came in 70 AD. Jews were scattered among the gentile nations. A great gathering back into their geographical land has taken place in our day. A “Jewish State” has been established among the nations. This mystery is in the fact that God has established His true Israel through the cross of Christ. The true Israelite is found in the Spirit. Born from “Jerusalem above” (Galatians 4:26), Circumcised of the heart (Romans 2:29), and not under the Written Law, but the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1-2). The some-total of the mystery is found in Galatians 3:25-29. The true Israel of God is in heaven, also the true “Mount Zion,” the heavenly Jerusalem (Hebrews 12:22-29).
Many Jews of the flesh will be born again and added to the “True Israel of God” that has been regenerated by the Spirit. They are part of the Harvest of the Nations before the coming of Christ in Judgment of all the nations who have rejected Him as sovereign king.
Mystery Babylon Revelation 17:5 (This was God’s charge against Jerusalem and the Jewish apostate system which crucified their Messiah under Roman rule and authority. It is the same charge against Jerusalem that is found in the Old Covenant. According to Jeremiah 3:8, under the Old Covenant God divorced her, in the new Covenant He redeemed her through the blood of Christ, which is all those who believed and trusted Christ, receiving the promised Holy Spirit. Those of Israel who did not trust in Christ, He destroyed in 70 AD fulfilling His word spoken in Matthew Chapters 21-25.
The mystery of Change: 1 Corinthians 15:51-55 we will not all sleep, but we all shall be changed.