“For he has made known to us in all wisdom and insight the mystery of His will , according to His purpose which He set forth in Christ.”
God has given us knowledge of His will and purpose in Christ.
Knowledge was important to the Greeks and to many in that culture. People still say to this day, “Knowledge is power.”
This applies not just to the human realm but also to the spiritual realm.
The early church faced multiple threats to its theology from groups collectively called Gnostics to whom knowledge was eternal life. There were many Gnostic sects which blended elements of various religious systems, but they had a common thread. The basic belief was that the physical world is evil and the heavens are pure, and we can only be redeemed by secret knowledge (gnosis) which allows us to ascend by a series of intermediaries of which Christ is just one. This knowledge is hidden from ordinary people (mystery), but this teacher or this group will lead you to knowledge and enlightenment.
Paul cuts down that line of thinking by saying God has made known to us these hidden mysteries and His plan and purpose in the person of Christ. We don’t need any more knowledge, wisdom or insight because Christ Himself is the revelation.
The mystery of God’s will is something that Paul writes about quite often. The word mystery means there is something that was in the past secret and unknowable about salvation, but this has now been revealed. The Jewish people had some understanding, but the revelation they had was not complete.
Now in Christ we have the full revelation, the unveiling of the mystery, the explanation of God’s purpose that was hidden for so long.
In Christ we have knowledge; the explanation and description of who God is and how we can be put right with Him.
There is no need for other knowledge, the Gnostic “knowledge”, because we have Christ to show us. He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. Whoever sees Him sees the Father. Whoever follows Jesus as Lord is granted entry into God’s Kingdom.
In Christ we have full wisdom. The Greeks pursued philosophy which is literally the love of wisdom. Wisdom would give them mastery of themselves and their destiny.
The problem with philosophy is that every team comes up with different answers. One team would say that you must deny the fleshly desires and live a frugal life. Another team would say that the best life is one in which we enjoy every good thing. Yet another team would say that wisdom comes when we learn to patiently endure all things in life whether good or bad.
Jesus’ message is all wisdom. “The Kingdom of God is here. Turn away from your sins and follow me.” This wisdom not only orders our earthly life, but guarantees eternal life to all who will follow Him.
In Christ we have true insight- the word here actually means a frame of reference. Christ sets all of our thinking right. He is the centre of our world-view. Since this is actually God’s perspective, that means that all of our thoughts about ourselves, about God, and about other people now line up with those of the Creator. We have a true world-view, a correct frame of reference, a clear lens through which to view the world around us.
In the past everything was “mystery”, hidden from us and unable to be discerned except through a lens that was distorted and out of focus. Now, in Christ, we see all things clearly.
All of this is according to God’s purpose set forth in Christ. There is a Kingdom that is world-wide in scope, bringing every person under its reign. Jews and Gentiles are to be united in their worship of the Lord and in their work for Him. One race swearing allegiance to Christ.
Christ’s purpose was not just to save some individuals, important as that is, but to bring all things in unity under Him, and then at the end to present it all to the Father.
Key points in this verse:
God has given us all revelation in Christ.
There is no need for secret knowledge to gain salvation
Christ is all we need.
There is a huge plan that is coming to fruition in Christ,