This fourth installment in this series begins a critical survey of an often overlooked portion of doctrine revealed in the New Testament. There are more than two dozen references to the mystery of God in the Bible. From Acts to Revelation, this doctrine is discussed as often as baptism is by the apostles and prophets of the New Testament. Yet, it is a topic many people rarely consider. Even among those who have studied the topic, few connect the doctrine of the mystery of God to the work of the Holy Spirit. That oversight causes many to have an incomplete view of the work of the Holy Spirit that is revealed in the Bible. The two essays of this volume along with the essay contained in Volume 5 explain the important connection between the mystery of God and the Holy Spirit. It is study that no serious Bible student can afford to miss.
Essay #9 – “What is the Mystery?”
When people hear the word mystery applied to God they are often moved to think that His intentions are beyond mankind’s ability to discover and understand. In contemplating the will of God we apply Deuteronomy 29:29 to help explain our struggles in comprehension: “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.” However, that verse does not affirm that God’s will is beyond understanding. It states that a portion of His will was secret and another portion was a knowable in the revelation of His will. The New Testament simply completes that statement by stating that the whole of His will was made known (1 Corinthians 2:7-10). As the Holy Spirit was the member of the Godhead responsible for the revealing of the gospel, it follows that the unveiling of the secret things of God would be central to His work. This essay looks at the New Testament references to the mystery of God to explain the nature of that mystery and the Spirit’s part in revealing it.
Essay #10 – “God’s Mystery: Established by the Holy Spirit”
One critical role the Spirit played was to show through His empowering of all flesh with prophetic abilities that the mystery of God applied equally to all men. His work provided the best, tangible evidence to God’s acceptance of both Jew and Gentile in the church. The connection between the work of the Holy Spirit and the establishing of the universal nature of the gospel is repeated often in Acts and the epistles. This essay examines the argumentation of the apostles in this area to defend the Gentiles’ right to salvation in the gospel of Jesus Christ. Without a working understanding of the Spirit’s role in the defense of the mystery of God among the Gentiles, a complete understanding of the work of the Holy Spirit in the church cannot be achieved.