The gospel that was to come through Jesus Christ and the teachings of the new covenant were a mystery to all those who lived before His first coming. But no longer. The mystery has been revealed.
These are the final words Paul wrote to the Roman church as he finished this most informative and significant letter, which God saw fit to provide in His bible for us down to this day.
Nowhere else in the bible is this mystery of the gospel of Jesus Christ so clearly and concisely revealed. The book of Romans lays out step by step how we are to progress in the new covenant as we walk the path to life in Jesus Christ.
Command of God
The revelation of the mystery of the gospel did not just happen randomly. As Paul writes here, it was revealed by and through the direct command of God.
25 Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages 26 but has now been disclosed and through the prophetic writings has been made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith (Romans 16:25-26)
The disclosure of the mystery to all mankind was done at God's command and has been given to us through the prophecies and writings contained in the bible, according to the will of God.
This is why it is so important to read, absorb and meditate on the words of the bible. We need to be immersed in these words, taking them into our hearts and minds so that they guide us at all times. These words of God will be a compass to us as we walk in this life and will be the map that leads us into the new life in the kingdom of God.
Like a map that leads to hidden treasure the words of the bible reveal the greatest treasure of all in Jesus Christ. It is no longer a mystery hidden so none can find but is now laid open and bare for all mankind to see and find, IF they are prepared to seek it out.
A secret is only a secret if no one knows it. But once the secret is available to be known by all it is no longer a secret.
This was the purpose of the coming of Jesus Christ. To reveal the secrets of the new covenant, which are the secrets of God and how we are to come to Him according to His ways and His will.
The Laws of God given to Moses did not reveal the secret of coming to God. The laws of Moses were given only to check the sinfulness of men and to provide an insight into what is good and what is evil. They are a benchmark of righteousness but are not righteousness themselves.
Christ came to show us what righteousness really looks like in the example of His life and in Hos preaching the new covenant. He showed us that true righteousness does not come from man for man was born in sin and a sinful thing cannot of itself make itself clean. Jesus showed us that true righteousness comes from God as a gift of grace when we hold faith in what God the Father wrought through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
This is the profound mystery of the new covenant now revealed in Jesus Christ. That by death we are set free and by allowing us to take the death of Jesus as our own through faith in baptism into the Lord's death, we receive the free gift of God's righteousness.
We receive what the law could not do, which is to make us righteous in the eyes of God. This is why it was a mystery to those who lived before Christ for they could not see any way to overcome sin, although they had glimpses of it. But it was not able to be achieved through works of law but only through faith in the working of God and what He achieved in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
The secret is out. If you seek it, you will find it. That is the promise of God for he said through Jesus Christ,
7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. – (Matthew 7:7-8)
Not once here did Jesus say that we would find what we were looking for if we sought it out, but three times he told us. Ask, seek and knock. Be diligent in your search and you will find the truth.
The Book of Romans
Nowhere in the bible is the truth of the plan of the new covenant as clearly laid out as in the book of Romans.
Romans is a road map. It begins with man in the state of sin, which is the place we all start from when we come to the Lord. Then Paul steps us through the processes of faith, repentance, freedom from sin, freedom from law, baptism, receiving the Holy Spirit, walking in the spirit and walking in love.
This is the basic progression of the walk to life in the new covenant and this is the path followed by Paul as he wrote the letter to the Romans. If we follow this path we stand a better chance of understanding the mystery of the new covenant than if we blindly play “lucky dip” as we read the bible.
And as we follow this map the Lord reveals it to us. He opens our eyes to see and our minds to understand and our hearts to take in His ways. The Holy Spirit works in us. To then take these words and to work transformation in our lives so that we are transformed into the image of Jesus Christ according to the will of God, for this is the work of the mystery of the new covenant. God is preparing His people for eternity and we must be perfect as He is perfect as the scriptures tell us.
You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. – (Matthew 5:48)
When it is all said and done, this is the place where the Lord is taking us. We cannot enter His eternal kingdom in the state of sin. As He is perfect and without sin, so too we who follow Jesus Christ must likewise be perfect and without sin. And the mystery of the new covenant is that this is what God is doing in us NOW!
And as I now finish this study of the book of Romans, the best way I can think to complete it is to use the words of Paul who wrote this amazing book so many years ago when he finished it by saying,
“…to the only wise God be glory forevermore through Jesus Christ! Amen.” – (Romans 16:27)
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