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the gospel mystery

Posted on Nov 9, 2012 by in #SheReadsTruth, Colossians, Daily Devo | 16 comments

5

Text: Colossians 2:1-5

This first section of chapter two is simply a natural, same-breath continuation of the last five verses of chapter one. Paul continues to share his struggle and passion for the hearts of the Laodiceans, that they may “reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”

So, while we sort of get what he’s saying, all the talk of mystery and hidden treasures is pretty difficult to grasp, even after reading it through several times.

Let’s unpack this “mystery” business a bit.

Mystery as Paul uses it has a very definite meaning. We hear mystery and think “not known.” It’s a mystery! When Paul uses the Greek mysterion, he intends to say, “something that was once concealed has now been revealed.” In other words, the mystery is the surprising and glorious unfolding of the gospel in redemptive history.

What’s surprising about it? Look back at verse 26 and 27 of the previous chapter (“the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints. To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory”).

How God would bring salvation was “hidden for ages and generations” but notice it is “now revealed to the saints.” We see the mystery now! It is known! What is it that we see? That God would move beyond the people of Israel, as he prophesied in the OT, and expand the reach of the covenant promises redemption to the alienated and hostile Gentiles (1:21). That fulfillment–of Christ coming to the Gentiles–we now see in Jesus Christ. (v.27)

The inclusion of the Gentiles in God’s redemptive plan in history is HUGE for Paul throughout this letter. That is why he is taking so many pains to speak about the cosmic Christ. Jesus is not just a Jewish Savior. He has come to redeem the world! The amazing mystery of salvation promised to Israel has now come to all nations in the form of the God-man, Jesus Christ.

Now, as we get to know the center of that story, “which is Christ”, we will continue to grow in assurance and understanding of this wisdom (2:2).



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16 Comments

  1. Paul understood the impact of Gentiles being included in God ‘a salvation plan! We need to grasp the same thing !

  2. I have been reading the #Shereadstruth plan for 5 days now and it fills me with joy to see written proof of Gods love for all mankind.

  3. THANK YOU for sharing that piece from John Piper. This phrase will become my mantra from now on. I am going home to make a remembrance card to place on my desk. "Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God. Receive the wealth of his grace in Jesus Christ. Fill your mouth with thanksgiving. And guard yourselves forever with gratitude!" Just think about all the ways your day (or your life) would change when you guard yourself with gratitude. That is a through provoking spin on "give thanks in all things."

  4. EmilySophiaa, THANK YOU for the link to John Piper’s lesson. I have bookmarked it for closer reading later, but I have already been blessed. Today I will make this my prayer and focus:
    The more deeply imbedded in my mind the WORD becomes, the more
    Steady
    Deep
    Serene
    Fearless
    My life and my faith will become. Thank you!

  5. I love the comment about serving withervency. I need to remember that in my job serving customers every day.

  6. I love a good mystery! And what better mystery can I read than God's greatest mystery that Christ came to redeem us that were lost!

  7. This is such a wonderful truth! He didn't have to include me, but He did!!!! Why do I sometimes take that for granted and not LIVE in the promises He has for ME??? God please help me in my times of complacency and stagnation! I want to know you more and more!

  8. I am very grateful for God choosing to include the Gentiles in His redemptive plan. I don't know where I would be without Him.

  9. What an awesome God we serve. The mystery is now known to us! I am clean and I am His, and only because of Him! I am messy and broken and He still takes me as I am… and sees me as a holy and blameless. Makes me think of the strain in "Just As I am," I come broken to be mended. I come wounded to be healed. I come desperate to be rescued. I come empty to be filled. I come guilty to be pardoned, by the blood of Christ the Lamb and I’m welcomed with open arms, praise God just as I am. Because of the great mystery… because of our Cosmic Jesus… I am welcomed with open arms. Because His grace is for the WHOLE WORLD, not just the Jews. Praise God.

    Another thing that really stuck me was in Ch 2 v 1 in The Message version Paul says "I want you to realize that I continue to work as hard I know how for you.." I want THAT to be my mantra. I want to work as hard as I know how to serve God and to serve His people. Not just as much as I can right now, or as much as I am willing to give, BUT AS HARD AS I KNOW HOW. What if we all served with such fervor? How would this world see Jesus then? Think on that sisters.

  10. I was struck hard by verse 4. In college I majored in philosophy and so I was taught some very convincing arguments. To this day one of my struggles is falling to believing arguments that seem convincing, but go against God and the bible. I want to keep verse 4 on my heart today.

    Also, I found this commentary by John Piper on this section of scripture about how gratitude is a way to guard ourselves against the enemy. It is one of the songs we sing to God to keep our enemy (satan) away. (http://www.soundofgrace.com/piper85/pn850033.htm)

  11. He loves me even if I love a person society would not be happy for me to be with (who is an amazing Christian). I dont choose religion i choose Jesus. I respect what is in the Laws, for sure, BUT that is not going to make Jesus love me any more or less than he already loves me, HE has already given Himself to me completely the day He chose me on the Cross, oh how can i walk away from such an amazing gift.I am so blessed to have found SheReadsTruth and read your emails everyday and i thank Jesus my Saviour for loving me enough to have chosen me JUST AS I AM… I am His daughter and child forever!!

    • Wilma, your words really touched my heart today. You are right, you understand grace — His perfect, scandalous, amazing grace! He gives it freely. That's the truth! Amen, sister.

  12. I cannot explain to you effectively in words how the road I am travelling on with you with Colossians has been changing and enriching my life. I always grew up learning the Law's, not allowed to speak or make a sound in church, being told if you do this do that, love this person not allwed to love that person, you will be accepted by Jesus and go to heaven. I always thought I have to be religious because that is the holy thing and only then will I be accepted and go to heaven. The journey I have been on for the last year is so totally opposite, my word, my soul wants to jump out my chest …… Jesus loves me JUST AS I AM, with my mess and all.

  13. I love the she reads truth devotoional. I found it in. My YouVersion. I was blessed to see there are more study devotoionals.and email devos Yay. I also love that there are a community of women who love the. Lord and his word.

  14. love it! well written!
    gratefully received!
    no longer a mystery!
    the "cosmic Christ" is my Redeemer… His redemptive story impacting the gentiles – then & today!

  15. What amazing truth today! reminds me to reflect back on that first moment when I accepted Christ into my life as he revealed himself to me. It was the first time I had heard and understood that I could have a living relationship with God.

    This.contrasts with something else I have been reflecting on Colossians 2:5 NIV

    For though I am absent from you in body, I am present with you in spirit and delight to see how disciplined you are and how firm your faith in Christ is.

    Sometimes that feeling of God close to us isn’t always there however we continue to strive forward knowing God is always there when we base our faith on more than feelings.

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