The Mystery: Through the Church

Colossians 1:16 For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible (He has created visible and invisible things), whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him, and for Him.

It is interesting that the Greek reads “all things were created through Him and for Him.” We also need to understand that the creativity through Him is a continuous activity. And because Christ has become a many-membered Body (I Corinthians 12:12), the “Him” singular has become a “Him” plural. Thus, the creativity of the Lord Jesus continues through the many-membered Christ. The Ministry of the Body of Christ, then, will involve a creative ministry, the creative ministry of the Lord through the Church.

Colossians 1:17-18 And He is before all things, and by Him all things consist.
18 And He is the Head of the Body, the Church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things He might have the preeminence.

The Church is the Body of Christ and the Lord Jesus is the Head of the Body. The Body (the true Church) does not function apart from the Head nor the Head from the Body. The Lord ministers through His Church.

Colossians 1:19 For it pleased the Father that in Him should all fulness dwell.

In the past we have thought of “Him in whom all fullness dwells” only as Jesus Christ, but Christ now consists of many members. Therefore, all fullness must also dwell in the Church.

Colossians 1:25-26 Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the Word of God;
26 Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now (or in the now) is made manifest to His saints.

This has to do with the “now realm.” The mystery is “hid from ages and from generations.” That is a horizontal time line – one thing follows another. The revelation Paul is speaking of, this mystery, is hid from those who in that horizontal time zone, but is revealed unto those in the “now realm.”

Colossians 1:26b-27 …but now (or, in the now) is made manifest to His saints:
27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

The glory is Christ in His many-membered Body. One of the things that the Lord is highlighting today is the fact that the Scriptures are holding a truth concerning Christ in us. Everything of His Kingdom must be fulfilled in us. The Kingdom of God is commonly thought of among many Christians as being established on earth apart from the Church. This line of thought bypasses the means by which it comes forth on earth. It must first come forth in the Body of Christ, for it is the channel through which it is established on earth.

Ephesians 3:8-11 Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;
9 And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery (this is the same mystery Paul was speaking of to the Colossians), which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:
10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by (the Greek reads “through” not “by”) the Church the manifold wisdom of God,
11 According to the eternal purpose which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

It is God’s purpose for His wisdom, His creativity, to be worked through the Church. However, church as usual, as we have known it, is unable to be that kind of channel. It is primarily focused on what they want God to do for them rather than what God can do through them. We must learn how to be the channel through which the Lord functions. Why hasn’t God already fulfilled the promises and prophecies for the establishment of His Kingdom on earth? It is because the church, in general, is so wrapped up in itself and commercialism that God can’t function through it. Thus, we see why the true Church (the Body of Christ) is a mere remnant within Christianity, and that remnant is the mystery through which God will fulfill His will and purpose.

Copyright © 2003 by Henry DuBose

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