Three Great Mysteries
By Terry Cheek Th.D.
Thank you for being patient with me as I study to open the truth of God’s word from Paul’s epistle to the Romans. To truly grasp the context of Paul’s epistle to the Roman church, we must understand it as Paul has written it. Notice with me from chapter one and verses 1-4 the implication of the gospel. We find in verse one its decree. Paul was a man called, prepared, separated, and anointed to spread the gospel. Paul intended to press on despite the many Jews, government leaders, and gentiles trying to smear his credentials and qualifications.
Moving on to verses 2-4, we can find the information contained in the gospel. Every Christian knows that Christ is at the heart of the gospel message. Paul sets Christ in front of us threefold within the following three verses. First, Paul shows us Christ is the revealed one, the one “promised afore” (v2). The “gospel of God” is rooted deeply in the Old Testament.
The gospel is the highest climax in the revelation of God. So we can see that Paul’s special calling was to take the latent things of Christ from the Old Testament and explain them in the light of Calvary. As a result, Paul possessed the understanding of three great truths or even mysteries. He described these in his church epistles. In Romans, the first one is the mystery of Christ’s cross and expounded in I and II Corinthians as a reproof of moral failure. Finally, his exposition continues in Galatians as a correction of doctrinal error. Second, from Ephesians, Paul explains the mystery of Christ’s church and expounds it first in Philippians as a reproof of practical failure, then from Colossians as a correction of doctrinal error. Third, Paul unfolds the mystery of Christ’s coming from I and II Thessalonians.
These truths or mysteries were new revelations to the first-century church, none of them inconsistent with what God had revealed through the Old Testament.
The gospel’s message reveals Jesus as not only the revealed one but also as the reigning one. From verse 3, we read. “Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh,” Paul states Christ’s right to reign two ways. Positionally, Christ is “the seed of David.” And personally, Jesus Christ is our Lord. World governments may deny Christ His throne as the seed of David during this age, but every believer’s heart and life are bound to own Jesus as both Lord and Christ.
The gospel has a third aspect of Christ’s advent. He is the resurrected one. “Declared to be the Son of God with power according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead” (v.4).
Notice the expression “spirit of holiness.” I see the Lord Jesus as one living a life of victory over the power of sin, and this affirms His life on earth was perfectly holy.
The expression “by the resurrection from the dead” suggests to me Jesus gained victory over the penalty of sin. Jesus rose from the grave! Jesus’ resurrection was the very thing that impressed Paul. While on the Damascus road, Paul first met Jesus as the risen and ascended Lord from Heaven. The fact that Jesus was indisputably alive and glorified convinced Paul that Jesus was indeed the Son of God.
What significance does the gospel message have in your life? What evidence has Christ given through the Holy Spirit to gain your attention? If you have read this far, you also know we live in dangerous days. So many people are turning away from God. Don’t be the next one. Come to Christ while Grace abounds.
Until we meet again, in print or in person, may God bless you is my prayer.
ROMANS 1:4 KJV “And declared to be the Son of God with power, according …. https://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/Romans-1-4/
Phillips, John; Exploring Romans Chicago: Moody Press, 1969 ISBN 0-8254-3494-7
Terry is the Executive Director and broadcaster of The Inspiring Word media ministry
You can contact Terry by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Read more from Terry Cheek here.