Hello everybody and welcome in to episode #213 of the Bible 2021 podcast. Happy August!  We are reading 1 Corinthians 2 today and our focus is on What is the Great Mystery of God? What is God’s Hidden Wisdom All About???  We are a daily 10 minute podcast, where we will dig in to the truth of the Word of God by reading one Bible chapter a day and discussing it. Welcome to new listeners in . Thanks for listening!  Our goal is to encourage DAILY Bible reading, so you can jump in at any time and join with us. We want to invite as many people as possible to join us in daily Bible reading, so help spread the word and share the podcast! Don’t forget about our web-page, Bible2021.com – contact page, show notes, transcript and more– Click here for our Bible 2021 reading plan\

I must confess that I love a good mystery. I planned on being a detective or FBI agent as a kid, not a a pastor, and I am still a fan of all things mystery-related. As a kid, I read the Bobbsey Twins, the Hardy Boys, the Three Investigators, and any mystery I could get my hands on. Still today, as an adult, I watch a ton of mystery/crime shows on tv, and I am genuinely subscribed to, and listen to, no less than 2 dozen crime and mystery podcasts. It could be more than that! But today’s mystery is less a whodunit, and more of a deep, inscrutable and almost incomprehensible kind of mystery, than a simple solve the murder case could ever be.

Mystery and hidden wisdom show up multiple times in our first few verses today:

When I came to you, brothers and sisters, announcing the mystery of God to you, I did not come with brilliance of speech or wisdom…We do, however, speak a wisdom among the mature, but not a wisdom of this age, or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. On the contrary, we speak God’s hidden wisdom in a mystery, a wisdom God predestined before the ages for our glory. 

2nd Corinthians 2:1 and 6-7

What is this mystery of God? The good news is that we don’t even have to put on our Sherlock Holmes style deerstalker hat to solve this, because Paul speaks frequently elsewhere of this mystery, and gives us more of an idea what he is talking about in other passages:

And most certainly, the mystery of godliness is great: He was manifested in the flesh, vindicated in the Spirit, seen by angels, preached among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory. 1 Timothy 3:16

1 Timothy gives us a very, very obvious clue as to what this mystery is, and then Colossians 2 brings it home for us:

For I want you to know how greatly I am struggling for you, for those in Laodicea, and for all who have not seen me in person. I want their hearts to be encouraged and joined together in love, so that they may have all the riches of complete understanding and have the knowledge of God’s mystery—Christ. In him are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

Colossians 2:1-3

Even the sometimes bumbling inspector Lestrade could solve this with the verses we just read: JESUS is the mystery of God – but what could that possibly mean? How is Jesus a mystery? Great question, let’s go back to Paul and hear his answer:

25 I have become its [the church’s] servant, according to God’s commission that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, 26 the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints. 27 God wanted to make known among the Gentiles the glorious wealth of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28 We proclaim him, warning and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone mature in Christ. 29 I labor for this, striving with his strength that works powerfully in me.

Colossians 1:25-29

Now we’re getting somewhere! Jesus is the mystery of God, and part of the reason He is the mystery of God is because this plan of God, which was predestined to happen before the world began according to our 1 Corinthians passage today, was hidden to the world until the coming of Jesus. In other words, even before the fall of man happened in the Garden of Eden, The Triune God knew what was coming, and knew that the coming of Jesus and His death and resurrection were the only solution. So for hundreds of years of biblical history – the people of God turning away from God and returning to Him after discipline and then turning away again and again – God always knew that the solution was coming – Jesus was coming. He would live the life we should have lived, die the death we should have died and then send His Spirit into us to be the great hope of the world – Christ in us the hope of glory.

What about the hidden wisdom of God? Let’s turn to pastor John Piper to help us better understand that, and also to see another facet of the mystery of God – the fact that Jesus came, in part, to unite Jewish and Gentile people -to make ONE new man out of two.

I take it, then, that the wisdom of God is primarily the wisdom it took to devise a plan of redemption as great as this: a plan to unite and glorify Jew and Gentile, contrary to all human expectation, by the horrible death of the mighty Messiah. The wisdom of God is virtually the same as the mystery of Christ revealed to Paul. In 1 Corinthians 2:7 Paul says, “We speak the hidden wisdom of God in a mystery, which God foreordained before the ages for our glory.” God’s wisdom is the counsel of his will (Ephesians 1:11) by which he ordained from all eternity to glorify the church through the unthinkable death of his Son. In 1 Corinthians 1:23, 24 Paul says, “We preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.” Christ crucified for the unification and glorification of Jews and Gentiles in the church is the mystery of God and the wisdom of God.

John Piper, Sermons from John Piper (1980–1989) (Minneapolis, MN: Desiring God, 2007).

Bible Memory verses for the month of August: Love is patient, love is kind. Love does not envy, is not boastful, is not arrogant, is not rude, is not self-seeking, is not irritable, and does not keep a record of wrongs. Love finds no joy in unrighteousness but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 1 Corinthians 13:4-6 

The Bible 2021 Podcast Is a ministry of Valley Baptist Church, A North Salinas church in California.

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