Four Mysteries Every Saved Person Should Know About
1 Corinthians 4:1-2
In the verses from 1 Corinthians we see that a minister is to be a steward of the mysteries of God. The key to stewardship is also found in these verses, and it is faithfulness. God never cares about looks, money, popularity, or status he just wants faithfulness from his servants. In this lesson we are going to look at four of these mysteries. Theses mysteries are not the only ones but these will deal directly with the body of Christ.
What do we mean by the word mystery? We do not mean something that can not be figured out or something that is unknown. A mystery in the word of God is either something that was hid and revealed or something that is known but cannot not be fully understood. Sometimes both definitions will apply to a mystery.
The Mystery of Godliness (1Timothy 3:16)
This is one of the most important mysteries that we will study in this lesson. The verse says “great is the mystery of Godliness. What is this mystery? The answer is right there in the verse. This mystery is that Jesus Christ was God manifest in the flesh. This mystery deals not only with God being manifest in the flesh but that he was also justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, and received up into glory.
What makes this such a great mystery? The fact that God would allow himself to be born of a woman (Galatians 4:4), grow as a child (Luke 2:52), learn obedience through the things that he suffered (Hebrews 5:8) and die as a sinner to redeem us (1 Timothy 2:5-6). We know all these things to be true but they are still hard to understand or explain.
Think about the virgin birth can you explain that? This is why it is called a mystery. Think about the fact that the creator of the universe needed to be cared for as a baby by a sinner. It is also a wild thought that as Jesus Christ the God of the universe who knows everything had to learn obedience. This truly is a mystery.
This mystery is also important because our salvation depends on it. First of all Jesus said that he was God many times. One of these is found in John 8:58. Here Jesus says “before Abraham was I am”. Now I am was the name of God from the Old Testament (Exodus 3:13-14). The Jews understood exactly what Jesus meant when he said this because they took up stones to stone him when he said it (John 8:59). Jesus also said, “he that hath seen me hath seen the father” (John 14:9). If Jesus was not God manifest in the flesh then he lied, was a sinner and could not be the perfect sacrifice that would take away the sin of the world. Jesus had to be virgin born not only to because the scripture had promised that he would (Isaiah 7:14), but if he was not virgin born then he would have had a human father which would also make him a sinner like the rest of us born being born in the image of Adam (Romans 5:12). This mystery of Godliness is essential to Jesus being able to be the sacrifice that was needed to take away our sins and be resurrected the third day. Note that Romans says that God was in Christ when he was reconciling the world to himself (2 Corinthians 5:19).
The Mystery of Christ in You, The Hope of Glory (Colossians 1:27)
In this passage we see a good illustration of one of the definitions we gave in the introduction of this booklet for the word mystery. Note that in verse 26 the mystery is said to have been hid from other ages and generations but that now it has been manifested to the saints of God. What is the mystery of Christ in you? This mystery is that after a person is saved in the church age Jesus Christ indwells inside the Believer.
Jesus had promised to his the twelve that when he was gone away the Comforter, who is the Holy Ghost, would come (John 14:16-26). But in this passage he says that when the Holy Ghost comes he will be in you (verse 21). We must remember that Jesus and the Holy Ghost are one in the same in the trinity (1 John 5:7). You might be thinking how can Jesus Christ live inside me or anyone else for that matter? This is why it is called a mystery, you cannot explain it but the scripture has said that it is so. Even though we are still in sinful flesh the Lord Jesus Christ indwells us. But we must remember that the new man is spiritually circumcised and sealed off from the sinful flesh. But even knowing that it is still a mystery how that Jesus lives inside of everyone who is born again in the church age.
We must also consider the second part of this mystery which is the hope of glory. Jesus Christ is said to live inside of us and this is connected with the Holy Ghost as we saw in John 14. When we are saved we are sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession unto the praise of his glory (Ephesians 1:13-14). What exactly does this mean? The Holy Spirit is given to us in earnest until Jesus Christ comes and redeems our body at the Rapture of the Church.
What is earnest? When you are trying to buy a house and you start into a contract with the seller, you put down earnest money. This is money that says you are interested in buying the house. The buying process will take several weeks because of inspections, appraisals, etc. The earnest money is given because while the contract is in place the house is off the market. If you do not end up buying the house then the seller keeps the earnest money since the house was off the market and he may have lost out on a potential buyer. In that regards when we are saved God has promised to redeem our physical body in the future. Until he does he has given us the earnest of our inheritance which is the Spirit. So if he was to back out, which he will not, we would get to keep the Holy Spirit. So in reality what we see in this mystery is eternal security of the believer.
This is why this mystery is said to be the Hope of Glory. The fact that Christ is in us is our hope of Glory. We must be very faithful as stewards of this mystery because there are very few that teach or understand the eternal security of the believer today.
The Mystery of Christ and the Church (Ephesians 5:32)
In this mystery we see that Jesus and the Church, which is all saved people from the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2) until the Rapture, are one body. The comparison for this is a husband and wife which is the illustration that Paul gives in the context. The word of God says that whosoever is joined unto the Lord is one spirit (1 Corinthians 6:17). In marriage a husband and wife are said to be one flesh. This is truly a mystery.
This mystery is accomplished by the fact that when a person is saved during the church age they are baptized by the Holy Ghost into the body of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 12:12-13). This is why we are said to be in heaven spiritually speaking right now (Ephesians 2:6). As a result of this we have direct access to God the father through Jesus Christ (Hebrews 4:14-16). This along with Jesus being the perfect sacrifice for sins is why we no longer need a priest to mediate between us and God. We are seated with him in heaven right now. This mystery is difficult to explain but it is important because it is connected with the Body of Jesus Christ. And as a result of this we are granted many spiritual blessing which were not given in other divisions of the word of God. These blessing only come through being in the Body of Christ, and only saved people during the church age are in the Body of Jesus Chirst.
The Mystery of the Rapture (1 Corinthians 15:51-57)
As we have seen in our study on the Resurrections, the Old Testament people knew about a resurrection from the dead. But what Paul is revealing here is that there saved people are also changed and taken up at this event. The mystery of the Rapture of the Church is that before the Tribulation starts Jesus is going to come and resurrect all the saved who have died in him. This means all church age saints. And he will also give those who are alive and saved a new glorified body. Then he will take them away to heaven to the Judgment Seat of Christ. This event is described also in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18. This was a mystery in the sense of it was unknown until God revealed it to Paul. (Remember that the word Rapture is not a Bible word but it is a word that is used to describe these events.)
It is plain to see that many false teachings could have been avoided if ministers of Christ would have followed 1 Corinthians 4:1-2 and been faithful stewards of the mysteries of God.
Four Mysteries Every Saved Person Should Know About : Handout
1 Corinthians 4:1-2
1) What do we see from the passage for our lesson today?
2) What is the Mystery of Godliness?
3) What is the Mystery of Christ in You the Hope of Glory?
4) What is the Mystery of Christ and the Church?
5) What is the Mystery of The Rapture?