by Michael Gilbert
May 1, 2007
In my youth, I would sometimes read the “Encyclopedia Brown” mystery books. I remember there were clues at the end of each chapter, but they never seemed to help me figure out the mystery!
However, there is another mystery which I have figured out – the mystery of how God can save mankind from the destruction of sin (Rom. 6:23).
Paul wrote that this mystery “…hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints…” (Col. 1:26). Peter revealed that “…angels desire to look into…” this mystery (1 Pet. 1:12).
Praise God that this mystery was revealed to humanity! God’s plan for saving man was to be accomplished through “…the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow” (1 Pet. 1:11)! With this in mind, let us discuss “the sufferings of Christ” and “the glory that should follow”.
Christ’s Death on the Cross
“For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly” (Rom. 5:6). At just the right time in history Christ was sent to earth and He “…taketh away the sin of the world” (Gal. 4:4; Jn. 1:29).
We could never earn our salvation “for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). But through His marvelous grace He “…loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood” (Rev. 1:5).
Through the waters of baptism, we can be washed in His blood. The Bible says, “…we are buried with him by baptism into death…” (Rom. 6:4). In the waters of baptism we contact that precious “…fountain opened…for sin and for uncleanness” (Zech. 13:1).
How thankful we should be that “…he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (Phil. 2:8) so that He could become “…that author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him” (Heb. 5:9).
Having discussed “the sufferings of Christ”, what exactly is “the glory that should follow” (1 Pet. 1:11)?
The Church That Jesus Built
We often hear about “the house that Ruth built”, but what about “the church that Jesus built”?
We can read about this church in the Bible for Luke wrote that the Lord added to it daily “…those who were being saved” (2:47, ESV). Paul suffered for Christ’s “…body’s sake, which is the church” (Col. 1:24).
The importance of the church is easily recognized because of its relationship to Christ. He is the “…head over all things to the church, which is his body” (Eph. 1:22-23).
Friends, His precious blood flows through His body. Sinners become saints when they are added by the Lord to His body, the church (Acts 2:47), which is covered by His blood.
Thanks be to God that the mystery of how God can save mankind from sin has been revealed! He paid the price of redemption at Calvary for the church “…which he hath purchased with his own blood” (Acts 20:28).