In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth-in Him.
In part one, we spoke about the redemption of God, which is essential to the life of the Christian. This is because redemption brings with it the many blessings of God including our salvation as well as other spiritual gifts, which help to build us into fully devoted followers of Christ. These things include God’s limitless grace and forgiveness which does not require works. It also includes the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, who performs God’s work of spiritual growth called “sanctification.” And it’s this work of God in our hearts and minds, which changes us from the inside out as the Holy Spirit works with our new spirit. Prior to our salvation, our spirit was dead in our trespasses and sins, therefore we were dead to the things of God. However, with our salvation, we received a new spirit which is alive to God and the things of God. Our salvation brings with it a divinely bestowed spiritual understanding of God and the things of God because of the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. The mystery spoken of here does not refer to hidden or secret knowledge like the Gnostics sought, nor the works of the law as practiced in Judaism. Rather, it refers to the spiritual things of God.
Things previously unknown or not understood by us before the Holy Spirit opened our hearts and minds through the Gospel of Christ Jesus our Lord. Things we could not understand like salvation, atonement and how God works by drawing us closer to Himself. A perfect example of this is God’s grace, which is available to us through the blood Jesus shed for us on the Cross of Calvary. Another example is that how by faith we become adopted into the family of God as children of God and joint-heirs with Jesus in the kingdom of God. These things were unknown to us because we were dead in our trespasses and sins. But now, by the grace of God, they have become clear and understandable to us because of our salvation. Our salvation brought with it a divinely bestowed spiritual understanding from God, because we now see scripture in light of who Jesus is and what He has done for us. Moreover, we gain understanding of God’s plan of redemption. And that the culmination of God’s plan of redemption is to bring all things in heaven and on earth, under the lordship of Jesus Christ to the glory of God the Father. These things are part of the mysteries of God, which are now clear to us as followers of Jesus, because of what God has given to us, His children through faith. Moreover, these are just some of the many gifts we receive through the study of the Bible and through the work of the Holy Spirit in our hearts and minds.