The mystery is the great topic of the church epistles written by Paul. Very few people really understand it completely. It is not nearly as hard to understand as it is to put into practice. Yes, it is “Christ in you” (Romans 8:16-17, Ephesians 3, Colossians 1:27), but what does that mean in practical living?
In Ephesians 1:18 and 19 God says:
The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,
And there is a lot more where that comes from! What does that mean? It says that the believer can see and know and utilize the power that God has given us. Imagine that! If God has enlightened our eyes, and given us all this power, why don’t we use it? We don’t because we haven’t dared to believe it! Many things in the world talk us out of it. The world is all too ready to offer alternatives to believing God. We have not been taught how to practically live it.
When I was first learning how to read the Bible for myself, I had a wonderful friend that loved to teach the Word. One day I asked him about something I was having a problem with and he told me he knew how much I loved God’s Word and that I needed to check in with God as to how to handle the problem. (Hey! listen, I had been raised behind the altar rail in the pews and still had somewhat of a stained glass idea of religion. My friend had at one time been there too and he was an expert on how to get out of that mindset) It was a huge turning point in my approach to God. I truly began to get real answers for myself.
It starts in Romans in realizing what has been actually been accomplished for us that none of us really deserved. That includes everybody! (Mother Teresa, the Dalai Llama, even the apostle Paul are no exceptions) Romans is the book that when we get finished reading and assimilating, we are extremely thankful. Next, there are so many things brought up in Corinthians that help people to see how to live that thankfulness and not get caught up with things that pull people down. Natural man is pretty self-centered and seeks his own remedies for fear. The culture very quickly tries to explain human nature away and make excuses for that fear.
This precious thankfulness is further protected by the book of Galatians when man attempts to outdo God in perfecting his own practice of religion. Man sets up his own levels of accomplishment and in the process pushes God aside to watch. It is brutal to others who have not reached man’s estimation of what is required. God makes it plain in Galatians in clear, straightforward grace. Believing pleases Him. Sometimes people get so wrapped up with the “Believing is action” performance mentality that they forget that believing starts with ‘God so loved the world’! We love Him because He first loved us (I John 4:19).
As we wind our way to reach Ephesians, the groundwork in Romans, the weeding of Corinthians and the rocky ground removal of Galatians helps our hearts to readily receive the unlimited supply that the big heart of God offers us without reservation. God has always been faithful. The problem is not with God; it is in man’s heart where the problem lies. We could blame it on someone else like Adam. (“Why wasn’t he thankful in Eden?”) Adam was Adam; but Jesus Christ opened a new door for each of us. We have nobody to blame. Thankfulness starts with each of us individually and it turns everything around!