Eph. 1: 7-10
In Him we have redemption (deliverance and salvation) through His blood, the remission (forgiveness) of our offenses (shortcomings and trespasses), in accordance with the riches and the generosity of His gracious favor, which He lavished upon us in every kind of wisdom and understanding (practical insight and prudence), making known to us the mystery (secret) of His will (of His plan, of His purpose). [And it is this:] In accordance with His good pleasure (His merciful intention) which He had previously purposed and set forth in Him, [He planned] for the maturity of the times and the climax of the ages to unify all things and head them up and consummate them in Christ, [both] things in heaven and things on the earth.
Do you know that God’s plan for our salvation is a mystery that he guarded closely long before we came into existence? Do you know that by accepting salvation we play a role in the unfolding of this plan for redemption? And as we are saved, we come to know the mystery, the secret, of God’s will in this plan.
Romans 16 also speaks of the mysterious plan of salvation being disclosed to all nations through the prophetic scriptures, leading them to obedience to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ. This disclosure came at God’s commandment, at his purposeful direction. Without regard for the distinction between Jew and Gentile, God made this mystery known to all.
There are two types of knowing being described here. One type is factual, in that the mystery of salvation is exposed and made available for discovery. When God revealed this secret through the scriptures, he laid out his plan and invited us to share in it. He told a story of the things to come so that we would know. The facts of his salvation plan were made known to all nations. The other type is experiential, it is the coming to know the mystery of salvation by living it. It is the difference between knowing of Jesus and knowing Jesus.
Knowing of Jesus is akin to studying him as one would any other historical figure by learning the prophecy of his coming, the details of his life and ministry, and the events of his death and resurrection. Now matter how much I know of Abraham Lincoln, that’s as far as my knowledge goes. I can never know him or be acquainted with him because he is no longer here. Knowing Jesus means adding faith faith to facts and coming to a saving knowledge that He is Messiah. This requires looking at the Christ not as a fact but as the truth. He is not a man who died 2,000 years ago; He is a savior who lives today. That is the only way we can have a relationship with Him.
God allows us to take our knowledge of Christ from factual to experiential through the once-secret plan of redemption, through the blood of Jesus, with His gracious favor, bestowing on us understanding and wisdom in the process. He lets us in on the greatest secret ever made known. Let us daily explore the depth of the knowledge of Christ, that our image may increasingly conform to His, and that we may fulfill our role in the revelation of this secret to others.