MYSTERY

by Kevin Rutherford

 

“Let me tell you about a mystery.”  Those words are intriguing.  The curious human mind seems naturally drawn to mysteries.  There are mystery novels, movies and documentaries produced to make money from the inherent interest people have in such things.

The apostle Paul spoke of a mystery (Ephesians 3:1-7).  This was a mystery to people in the past.  It was a mystery with clues given through ancient prophecy.  A mystery not fully solved or revealed until the first century.

In order to understand this mystery Paul told us we simply need to read his inspired writings (Ephesians 3:4).  The revelation of the mystery is “that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the Gospel (Ephesians 3:6).”  God had given the Law of Moses to the Jews only (Deuteronomy 5).  They were the favored race through whom Christ would come and the kingdom/church would be established.  For this reason it must have been difficult for the Jewish mind to conceive of any plan God had for blessing mankind that would involve the Gentiles.  To the Jews of old this was a mystery.

It is a mystery no longer.  God wants both Jew and Gentile to be saved in His church.  Jews and Gentiles are now saved in the same manner (Romans 10, 11).  Whether Jew or Gentile, one must enter the body of Christ (2 Timothy 2:10). One does so through baptism (Galatians 3:27).

Let us thank God that He has revealed His plan to save the Gentiles.  Let us thank God that this is no longer a mystery.  Let us appreciate the blessing of being able to be saved alongside any people of any nation who call on the name of the Lord through humble obedience to His will (Romans 10:12, 13; Acts 22:16).

 

THE GOD OF HOPE

by Kevin Rutherford

 

This world is not always a pleasant place to be.  If this life were all that made up man’s existence, man would be without purpose and without hope. Death is not a pleasant prospect for those who have no hope.  For those who doubt, or for those who do not believe in anything beyond the grave there must be a terrible dread and fear of the grave.  To live like this must bring great despair.  To live only for this life cannot truly be fulfilling and satisfying.  There must be hope of something better.

To the church at Rome Paul wrote, “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 15:13).”  Our God is a God of hope.  He is the God of hope because He has made eternal life possible (John 3:16).  Christians who faithfully serve the God of hope can be filled with joy, peace, and hope.  Furthermore our hope is not just a glimmer.  It is not just a hint.  We can abound in hope.