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I like this very part of apostle Paul's speech where he mentioned, "Now to him who is able to establish you in accordance with my gospel..." His phraseology is worthy of notice, because it expresses the truth that his gospel message is not according to Peter's words or wisdom which denote "Petrine epistle," and definitely not according to the wisdom, utterances and expressions of Johannine literature traditionally attributed to John the Apostle, John the Evangelist, or to the Johannine community. This tells us that Pauline gospel or his epistolary expressions uniquely displayed him as a well-respected authority in the theatre of the glorious gospel.

Reference: Romans 16:25-27 New International Version (NIV) "Now to him who is able to establish you in accordance with my gospel, the message I proclaim about Jesus Christ, in keeping with the revelation of the mystery hidden for long ages past, but now revealed and made known through the prophetic writings by the command of the eternal God, so that all the Gentiles might come to the obedience that comes from faith— to the only wise God be glory forever through Jesus Christ! Amen."

In line with my expository structure based on this topic, today's article is focused on the second segment which says:

"In keeping with the revelation of the mystery hidden for long ages past."

One of the main factors that make the glorious gospel according to Pauline epistles "peculiar" is that it activated a "fuller" revelation of the hidden mystery, namely Christ. Why was Christ termed a hidden mystery? First of all, I think we should find out what a mystery is! A mystery is defined as something that is difficult to understand or explain. Christ Himself is an enigma. His enigmatic and unfathomable nature was immensely perceived by His disciples while He walked the earth with them.

To instantiate this verity, on one occasion, Jesus got up and rebuked the winds and the sea that troubled His disciples' peace of mind, and it was perfectly calm. So the men wondered in amazement, saying, "What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey Him?" (Matthew 8:27 ESV).

Beloved, they were habitually and curiously baffled about the sort of a man Jesus was, which implies that they considered Him a mystery because of His eccentric or unconventional approach to life's troubling situations and His manner of influencing eventualities in their favour, and so they were continually mystified by His extraordinary personality.

Coming back to the question, "Why was Christ styled a hidden mystery?", it implies that He was never disclosed as the "Messiah" in human form or "son of man" on earth until the fullness of time. In accordance with the Synoptic gospels, His manifestation as the mystery known as Christ involves His "coming" (as an exaltation), plus His earthly life's experiences, which include His "suffering" and "death" on the cross.

Moreover, before He manifested on earth as Son of God and Son of man, He was hidden from mankind, bearing in mind that He functioned as the Word of God in heaven. To that effect, the Bible says, "The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth" (John 1:14 NIV).

When did the Word become flesh? At the fullness of time! To instantiate this verity, Galatians 4:4 reads, "When the right time arrived, God sent His Son into this world..." (VOICE), which means that He was a "hidden mystery" before the time of His full manifestation on earth. Stay tuned for part 6. Shalom!

Scripture Reading - Job 12:2; Daniel 2:22; Ephesians 1:9; Colossians 1:27.

Exuberant Declaration: God has made known to me, the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure, which He purposed in Christ. In keeping with the revelation of this mystery hidden for long ages past, I walk in the light of His finished works, which in turn, reflects and produces the life of the Spirit in every aspect of my life. Praise God!


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