I am wary of sounding New Age.  I think that those who think that we are to send good thoughts into the Universe and the Universe will send good thoughts back are misguided.  I think that the idea that The Ancients once visited Earth and that they will return some day is interesting information for a Spielberg movie, but that it is not based in reality.

However, Christ goes beyond the distinctly human way that we think about him.  He is not only human, but he is God.  There is a cosmic principle at work in this truth.  As Paul says it is a mystery.  However, in his writings Paul unfolds some of the implications of the death and resurrection of the God-Man Jesus.  We have been called into a process that transcends the physical and reveals to hierarchical angelic forces the glory of God’s plan in salvation.  Some of these forces need to be subjucated and some of the forces need to be encouraged.  There are rebellious angelic forces (demons) and there are those loyal to God.  Jesus in some way reveals aspects of God uniquely to both.

Ephesians 3:1-13

1For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles—

 2 Surely you have heard about the administration of God’s grace that was given to me for you, 3 that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation, as I have already written briefly. 4 In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, 5 which was not made known to people in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God’s holy apostles and prophets. 6This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus.

 7 I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God’s grace given me through the working of his power. 8 Although I am less than the least of all the Lord’s people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the boundless riches of Christ, 9 and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things. 10 His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, 11 according to his eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. 12 In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence. 13 I ask you, therefore, not to be discouraged because of my sufferings for you, which are your glory.


  1. How did Paul come to know the mystery he preached?
  2. What is revelation?
  3. What had God been doing with his ‘mystery’?  Why?
  4. How do you handle that God kept his life-giving mystery from mankind until 2,000 years ago?
  5. How do you cope with letting God be inscrutably mysterious?

About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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