God reveals his plans through dreams, interpreted by his servant
Da 2:28Nebuchadnezzar’s dreams require the interpretation that God discloses to Daniel before they can be understood as a revelation of divine purposes for Babylon and the surrounding nations. See alsoDa 2:17-49; Da 4:9
God’s mysteries are revealed to a man inspired by his SpiritDa 4:18See alsoAm 3:7
The mystery of God’s kingdom
Mt 13:11 pp Mk 4:11 pp Lk 8:10God’s plan to establish his kingdom is revealed only to those chosen to receive it. To those “outside” it is hidden in parables.
Mystery as God’s plan of salvation
God’s plan, now revealed, has been hidden for long agesEph 3:9The use of “mystery” in this sense is found particularly in Paul’s letters. See alsoRo 16:25; 1Co 2:7; Col 1:26
God’s plan is fulfilled in Jesus ChristEph 1:9See alsoEph 3:4; Col 2:2; 1Ti 3:16 The “mystery of godliness” is the revealed secret that produces godliness in people.
Mystery as other aspects of God’s purposes, spiritually discerned2Th 2:7Paul’s reference to “the secret power (literally “mystery”) of lawlessness” suggests that we know some things about evil only as God reveals them. See also1Co 13:2; 1Co 14:2
Mystery as an allegorical understanding of a biblical text, revealed to Paul by GodEph 5:31-32Paul sees Ge 2:24 as symbolising the unity between Jesus Christ and his church; the unity of husband and wife is a human reflection of that relationship.
Dictionary of Bible Themes Scripture index copyright Martin H. Manser, 2009. As Editor, Martin Manser wishes to thank all those who compiled or edited the NIV Thematic Study Bible, on which this work is based.
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