We Preach Christ
Greek and Roman culture produced many religious and secular m ystery cults where the benefits of the religion or the society were only received by the initiate who was brought into the group and given the secret knowledge that only that group possessed. There is a natural appeal to be in on the secret that only a few can see.
For millennia, there was an ancient hidden mystery that men puzzled over but could not solve. Some of the greatest minds the world has ever known were unable to solve it. How can a man stand just before God? Natural theology can only take a person so far in knowing there is a God, some things about Him, and some about ourselves. But it doesn’t answer the big questions of who, how, and why. God revealed Himself in different ways, first to individuals, then to a small nation. Progressively, the Lord told these people more and more about Himself, which is now written in the books we call the Old Testament. But not everything.
Paul was called by God to be an Apostle of Jesus Christ and was given the mission of making known this great mystery which had been hidden for generations (Colossians 1:22-29). The Lord Jesus Christ is the revelation of God. These days, God has spoken to us by His Son (Hebrews 1:1-3). The mystery was made manifest in Christ to His saints. It is the will of the Lord that this knowledge would make known the “riches of the glory of this mystery” to all people, not just Israel. The mystery is not a quest to conquer or a work to complete. The mystery is revealed in a person, and that is who Paul preached – Christ Jesus. Christ in you, the hope of glory. Paul’s mission was to make Christ known, not only to the initiates, but Paul told anyone who would listen, that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came into this world to save sinners.
How can one be made right with God? How can unholy people approach a holy God? How can lawbreakers be forgiven? Jesus Christ, the Son of God, was born of a virgin, assumed a human nature, and lived among us. He was born under the law and kept it perfectly. He lived as a representative and lived perfectly under the law because this was God’s plan of redemption. Jesus was a substitute. The Godman bore the sins of His people and offered His life in their place as a propitiation. He shed His blood and gave His life, dying in our place, and rose from the dead, sitting now at the right hand of the Father. Jesus was born, lived, died, and rose from the dead in history. The gospel is that you turn from all other hope to Christ and have faith in what He accomplished was for you. By grace, you’ll be united to Jesus, and in Christ, you have the hope of glory.