What is the mystery that Paul talks about in a number of his letters to different churches? Specifically, what is the mystery that he talks about in Colossians 1:26-27?
The NASB reads:
“that is, the mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations, but has now been manifested to His saints,
to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”
The Greek understanding:
The mystery, the one having been hidden from the ages and from the generations, now being demonstrated to the holy ones of Him
To whom God wanted to make known in an experiential way what is the richness of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory
Μυστηρίου – signifies those truths which are part of God’s plan and can only be understood as He reveals them by His Spirit through His Word. Μυστηρίου is a truth which without special revelation would have been unknown and thus is commonly used with words denoting revelation or knowledge. “The NT use of the term “mystery” has reference to some operation or plan of God hitherto unrevealed. It does not carry the idea of a secret to be withheld, but of one to be published…The term mystery, moreover, comprehends not only a previously hidden truth, presently divulged, but one that contains a supernatural element that still remains in spite of the revelation.”(Unger, M. F., Harrison, R. K., Vos, H. F., Barber, C. J., & Unger, M. F. The New Unger’s Bible Dictionary. Chicago: Moody Press
Often a mystery today is something that only a few people have experienced. That is what makes it mysterious. Mystery, as Paul explains it, is something that is initiated by the Spirit and is available to all who surrender their life to God. You and I have access to this mystery. So what is the mystery really?
The mystery is that Christ is in us!!! How is it that Jesus can be inside you and me? The most profound understanding of this:
“But ONE THING STANDS OUT in this finally sharpening confirming process, that there IS TOTAL TOTAL death to everything with nothing left to us but CHRIST AS US. I KNOW THIS IS VITAL AND PIVOTAL. Most good evangelicals can take Christ in me, because it leaves really Christ and a “me”. But Christ AS me leaves no me! I’m dissolved and HE AS ME and we who’ve gone that total way KNOW ITS TOTAL. But to others the truth of Christ in me, it is just the way over to DANGEROUS HERESY, which makes the ultimate difference among us.”
Now that is a mystery…