Sunday, 10 April 2005 00:00

The Greatest Mystery You'll Ever Solve

Romans 16:25-26 (KJV)

Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith.

I love mysteries. Whether they come in the form of a novel, a personal experience, or an event in our world, mysteries are both exciting and challenging. For all of human existence, the greatest mystery has been "how can I be right with God?" Kings, emperors, nations and empires have all sought to establish systems to appease their gods. The entire message of Romans is that God has done for man what man cannot do for himself. This is the "good news" (gospel) or, as Paul says, the mystery from "time eternal" that is now revealed. Let's be clear on what the mystery is: (Read Colossians 1:25-27). The mystery is Christ in you, the hope of glory! (Read Philippians 3:8-9). His righteousness is yours.

  1. The understanding of this gospel must be attributed to the power of God...
    "Now to him that is able to establish you" (v.25 NIV) ...in order to finish this verse you have to drop down to the end of v.27 "(to him) be glory... forever." In our concluding message of Romans we will see why God deserves all the glory, but right now I want you to notice that Paul puts all the focus on God and His power.
    1. Prayer has no inherent power... it connects you to the One who has all power.
    2. Rituals of worship have no inherent power... they should direct you to God. If you can't seem to rest in God's grace through Christ, ask Him for that power.
  2. The understanding of this gospel is therefore a privilege of the grace of God...
    For God to exert his power and cause you to see the beauty of Christ is simply an act of incredible grace on God's part. He could have justly punished you, but...
    1. The mystery of Christ is revealed through the writings of the prophets (v.26)
      The Old Testament prophets foretold the coming of the Son of God.
    2. This mystery of Christ is revealed through the commandment of God (v.26)
      1. This commandment is either the Great Commission... "Go ye..."
        This is why it is the gospel for the world, or, as Paul says, "all nations."
      2. Or it is the commandment of God in the hearts of men...
        "For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shines in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ" (II Corinthians 4:4). This is why you pray for souls.
  3. The understanding of this gospel then sets a pattern to follow your entire life...
    Many people are fond of speaking of their salvation in the past tense:
    "I was saved when I was six" or "Many years ago the Lord saved me." However, if you want to think of salvation in Biblical terms, then to follow God in obedience is simply to cast your soul upon the grace of God through Jesus Christ and "believe" Him when He says what He says about you because you are "in Christ" and He is in you. This is what Paul calls "the obedience of faith" (v.26). Live by faith in Him.
Faith is nothing else but the soul's venture. It ventures to Christ, in opposition to all legal terrors. It ventures upon Christ, in opposition to our guiltiness. It ventures for Christ, in opposition to all difficulties and discouragements." (W. Bridge)

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