What did the Apostle Paul mean by the "mystery?"


Clarify Share Report Asked August 22 2013 Mini Anonymous

Ari Ariel HaNaviy Messianic Jew and Torah Teacher with Messianic Congregation 'The Harvest'
The question does not specify which mystery of Paul’s they are inquiring about; as others have pointed out, Paul used the word mystery (Greek=musterion) to refer to varying topics. Therefore, I only want to single out one of those usages:

Eph. 3:1-10
“For this reason I, Paul, a prisoner for Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles— assuming that you have heard of the stewardship of God's grace that was given to me for you, how the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I have written briefly. When you read this, you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit. This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.

Of this gospel I was made a minister according to the gift of God's grace, which was given me by the working of his power. To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things, so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.”

Eph. 6:19, 20
“…and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.”

The prevailing view of the sages of the 1st Century held to the common belief that Jewish Isra'el and Jewish Isra'el alone shared a place in the world to come (viz, were saved, were going to heaven). Thus, if a non-Jew wished to enter into God’s blessings and promises, such a person had to convert to Judaism and take on legally recognized Jewish ethnicity first. By contrast, Paul taught most assuredly that Gentiles were grafted into Isra'el the same way that God counted Abraham as righteous in Gen. 15:6, which is faith in the promised Word of the LORD. To be sure, this is one of the primary arguments delineated in the letter to the Galatians.

The “mystery of the Gospel” is that Isra'el is actually comprised of both Jews and Gentiles. It was a “mystery” to Jewish Isra'el because for centuries they thought that covenant membership into Isra'el was reserved for Jews only, and that the Torah (Law) was for Jews only. However, Paul was sent by Yeshua (Jesus) to reveal the real truth behind this mystery. To be grafted into the family of God is to join oneself to a Jewish Olive Tree without having to succumb to any kind of man-made proselyte conversion policy whatsoever. To this end, one becomes submissive to the instructions and righteousness of God, and inherits the blessings of God, whether he is of Gentile or Jewish stock.

September 02 2015 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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