In Biblical language, a mystery is not a puzzle that is still waiting to be solved or figured out by some elite guru. This is in fact the very antithesis of Christianity; far from being a closely guarded mystic secret, our message is one which we proclaim and herald, desiring everyone to know it.
Nevertheless, the concept of ‘mystery’ is a very important one in Pauline epistles. He uses the term six times in this one letter. Jesus Himself taught the apostles that it was given to them to understand the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, while the same understanding was withheld from others (Matt 13:11). When a truth is described as a mystery it does not mean, as modern emergents might think, that truth is nebulous or vague. The post-modern’s cry that, “truth can never be stated propositionally, because it is a mystery, and to do so detracts from the truth,” is entirely subversive to the Christian faith. Such ideas have led many to reduce the Bible to merely a road map or guide to life, instead of what it claims to be, the inspired and life-changing Word of God.
A mystery is something which, while incomprehensible to the natural mind, is revealed to the child of God by His Spirit. Saving truth is no longer a mystery to the Christian; it only remains so to the non-Christian. The revelation found in the Bible is unchanging; there is nothing discovered in the 21st Century that can advance that which has already been revealed. The mystery of God’s will is solved in Christ, and it is this: God will save His creation and will transform it so as to restore the glory of its original destiny, as the second man, another Adam, accomplishes that which the first Adam failed.