There it stands in its sublime majesty. It is so simple that a child can almost understand it. The word “economy” means a rule, a law, or management for the house; in this case the holy temple of the Church. Every believer must know what God’s administration in His temple is. The word MYSTERY means a revealed secret of the Lord and stands here, not for EKKLESIA, or Church, in general, but specifically for the mystical Body of Christ, which had been hid in all other ages ands generations, but around the year 60 A.D. made known to the Apostle of the Gentiles, or better, the Apostle of the Body.
WHY does God want all to know about the house rule of this sacred secret? Because He wants all His people—and He is thinking with “ALL” of all saints—to know in what house they are. He wants them to know that He dwells in that holy temple, there to meet His own and bless them with all Spirit-blessings. He wants them to know that not the ark, but Christ is there and that the grace and glory of God fills this new holy temple; and He wants them to know how to behave in this holy habitation and fill it with glad songs of gratitude.
WHEN must all know the economy of the secret? Right now: in this age and day. Satan has succeeded long enough to hide this blessed truth and blind the eyes of even believers from it. After it has been buried nineteen hundred years it is certainly high time to come boldly out with this Divine secret. It is now a “told” secret and may not be kept a secret any longer. It must be told that Christ was not only crucified for our sins according to the Scriptures, but that we were crucified, buried, raised, and seated with the Lord of glory; positionally one with Him in His humiliation and exaltation, His past, present and future.
Now the question arises: how must this be made known? This was the problem for Paul himself at the end of his life. All his own converts, and those whom he had taught and edified, turned away from him when he told them this. II Timothy 1:15. This is also the problem confronting, if not perplexing, us today.It cannot be made known PHILOSOPHICALLY, since the very mystery truth sounds with clarion call the alarm; “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy.” Colossians 2:8.
It cannot be done HISTORICALLY, for the simple reason that this mystery was UNHERALDED, UNPREDICTED, UNPROPHESIED, UNTYPIFIED, UNCOVENANTED, UNPROMISED, UNDESCRIBED, UNASSOCIATED, since it was hid in God.
For the same reason a PROPHETIC approach is of little or no avail. The sweet singer, David who sang so much about the coming Messiah, and put Him ever before him, could not sing about His Body hid in God. The seraphic Isaiah, who painted the most roseate pictures of the Messiah’s Kingdom, could not and did not give an oration about this mystical Body of Christ; and neither did Jeremiah, with all his pathos and tears, weep concerning this Body. Nor did Daniel, the much beloved man, in his wisdom, know a thing about it.
Again, for the same reason, a COVENANTAL approach will not accomplish anything in regard to this secret hid so long in God, because the Body exists on uncovenanted mercies pure and simple. The “sure mercies of David” are wonderful but they cannot refer to this Body of Christ.
Further, CHRONOLOGICALLY, we cannot accomplish anything in regard to this revealed secret, because it is altogether dateless and timeless. The Kingdom has its “TIMES AND SEASONS”. but not so the mystical Body of Christ. It breathes the air of the eternal hills.
Even the DISPENSATIONAL approach is by no means the wisest. With this is meant the study of the different EONS and ECONOMIES of the Scriptures. Understand me well, all these different ways of Bible study are very necessary and useful, but they do not bring the desired results in regard to the purpose heading this article.
After same blundering and after much exercise of heart and prayerful Bible study I have come to the conclusion that the best way to propagate the knowledge concerning the economy of this mystery, is the PRACTICAL, SPIRITUAL method of our walk in the light of this truth. This is always the best medium for the propagating of any truth, but it holds good here in a special way.
In connection with the holy walk I would advocate to bring forth, in practical study, all the illumination and consolation which this truth holds for the believers. Was this not the Pauline method? In Ephesians Paul describes in 66 verses the doctrine concentrating around this mystery with much practical matter even here, while he uses 89 verses to describe the WALK of the believers as a result of this mystery. Not less than seven times he speaks, in Ephesians, about the walk of the saints in this evil world.
Ever since the statement “Enoch walked with God” was given, the picture of a walk or traveling has been used to denote a believer’s whole life. In the broadest sense the WALK includes the WITNESS, WORK, WILL, WARFARE, WATCHING, and WAITING of the believer. Let us look at a few walks.
Walk in newness of life. Romans 6:4
Walk not after the flesh but walk after the Spirit. Romans 8:4.
Walk honestly. Romans 13:13.
Walk by faith, not by sight. II Corinthians 5:7.
Walk in the Spirit. Galatians 5:6.
Walk by a definite rule. Galatians 6:16. Philippians 3:16.
Walk in good works. Ephesians 2:10.
Walk worthy of the vocation. Ephesians 4:17 to 18.
Walk not as other Gentiles walk, Ephesians 4:17 to 18.
Walk circumspectly. Ephesians 5:10.
Walk in love. Ephesians 5:1.
Walk as children of light. Ephesians 5:8. I John 1:7.
Walk worthy of the Lord. Colossians 1:8.
Walk in wisdom. Colossians 4:5.
Walk to please God. I Thessalonians 4:1.
Walk honestly to them that are without. I Thessalonians 4:12.
Walk in the truth. III John 4.
Walk even as He walked. I John 2:6. Walk humbly. Micah 6:8.
Walk in the way of good men. Hosea 14:9.
Walk in integrity. Psalms 26:11.
Good Lord, help us to walk straight in these dark and evil days.
Before Paul points to the “glory of the one baptism”, he exhorts to all LOWLINESS and MEEKNESS, LONG SUFFERING and FORBEARING. The purpose of God to form a perfect man has, as its immediate object, that we should be NO MORE CHILDREN, tossed about as the waves by storm and carried about as a rudderless ship, and deceived by the dice-throwing and deceitful men. After Paul states the case negatively, he puts it positively, and says, that we should be “TRUTHING IN LOVE”; with affection and not with affectation. Not with sledgehammer blows and with sectarian harshness and bigotry, but with LOVE, which never acts unseemly and is not provoked and never fails and cannot fail here. Talking about this wonderful Body we should not forget that the Body has JOINTS and that every joint supplieth to the well being of the Body as a whole. Ephesians 4:16. There is often sickness in the joints and then we call it arthritis, or rheumatism, and it seems sometimes that the Church is also afflicted with that disease for it is often so stiff and stubborn. Then we must not try first of all to edify or build up the other fellow, but edify ourselves. “EDIFYING ITSELF IN LOVE”. Ephesians 4:16. “This I say”, Paul exclaims, (about the unity, love and self-edification) “that ye walk not as other Gentiles walk”. How do the Gentiles walk? With DARKENED MIND, ALIENS, IGNORANT, BLIND. Then he gives a series of contrasts, verse Ephesians 4:25 and 32. Put away lying, tell the truth, for WE ARE MEMBERS ONE OF ANOTHER. No rocking-chair for his black majesty. Take the whole panoply of God. No stealing, but laboring and giving to the needy. No smutty talking, but edifying and ministering grace to the hearers. No grieving of the Spirit, but glorying in His sealing to the day of redemption. No bitterness and wrath, but kindness, tenderhearted, forgiving one another; not seventy times seven, but as God in Christ forgave us.
May God help us in these troublous days to so firmly, lovingly and persistently make all see the economy of the mystery! We need not sermons in stones, but sermons in shoes; nor stones in sermons.