In Eph. 3:1-3 “the dispensation of the grace of God” is specifically called “the mystery” (i.e., secret). It is thus designated for two reasons:
1. It had been “kept secret since the world began, but now,” through Paul, had been “made manifest” (Rom. 16:25). “In other ages” it was “not made known” (Eph. 3:5). Rather, “from the beginning of the world” it had been “hid in God” (Ver. 9), “hid from ages and from generations, but now… made manifest to His saints” (Col. 1:26).
2. It was at the same time the explanation, the key, to all God’s good news, including that which had been proclaimed in ages past. It explained how it was that Abel could be declared righteous by bringing an animal sacrifice, “God testifying of his gifts” (Heb. 11:4), how Noah could become “an heir of… righteousness” by building an ark (Heb. 11:7), how anyone could be saved under the dispensation of the Law, and how it is that we can be saved today by grace through faith alone.
Thus we have in Paul’s epistles, not only the gospel [good news] of “the secret” (Eph. 3:1-3), but at the same time, “the secret of the gospel” (Eph. 6:19,20).
This great secret, revealed to and through Paul, has rightly been called the capstone of divine revelation, for it concerns God’s eternal purpose in Christ. Through Paul, the chief of sinners saved by grace, God has now made this glorious secret known to us (Eph. 1:9) that we, in turn, might make it known to others (Eph. 3:9).
To the Reader:
Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago by Pastor C. R. Stam for publication in newspapers. When many of these articles were later compiled in book form, Pastor Stam wrote this word of explanation in the Preface:
"It should be borne in mind that the newspaper column, Two Minutes With the Bible, has now been published for many years, so that local, national and international events are discussed as if they occurred only recently. Rather than rewrite or date such articles, we have left them just as they were when first published. This, we felt, would add to the interest, especially since our readers understand that they first appeared as newspaper articles."
To this we would add that the same is true for the articles written by others that we continue to add, on a regular basis, to the Two Minutes library. We hope that you'll agree that while some of the references in these articles are dated, the spiritual truths taught therein are timeless.