“according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:” (Romans 16:25–26, KJV 1900)
Have you ever watched on TV or read a book that was considered a mystery? My wife and I watch these together and try to follow the clues to see if we can determine whodunit. Inevitably, the investigator in the mystery uncovers enough clues by the end of the show to disclose the person who committed the act right at the end of the book or episode. The results often catch us totally off guard.
While the mystery that Paul speaks of here is unlike a TV show or novel, there is an interesting parallel. Peter presents the parallel in his general epistle.
“Of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.” (1 Peter 1:10–11, KJV 1900)
In a sense, the prophets had the clues, the prophetic word of God concerning the work of Christ in salvation. Peter indicates that they searched and inquired diligently to understand these things. Yet, thought they searched and inquired with all due diligence and while they understood enough to trust the Lord, they still struggled to see the picture as we do today. We have the privilege to look back to the fulfilment of their prophetic words.
We who have been born in this “church age,” have been definitely privileged with the New Testament revelation. In it we see the fulfillment of the prophetic utterances regarding Christ. The mystery that was once kept secret is now disclosed to us. Moreover, we understand it because the Holy Spirit of God has illuminated the word to us.
In this doxology, we praise the Lord our God for all that He has done to make salvation known to us. He sent His Son to make our salvation possible. He caused the prophets to foretell of this work in the Old Testament. He fulfilled this in Jesus’ impeccable life, death on the cross and resurrection. He revealed this truth to the authors of the New Testament who wrote these things for us. He gave us who believe understanding through the illuminating work of His Spirit. Let us praise God for the blessings He has lavished upon us by His grace.