Why is everything in the bible a Mystery?

My mother-in-law mentioned one time that some priests seem to answer every question they are asked with the cliche “It’s a mystery my child” or “the LORD moves in mysterious ways”.   She had heard that phrase so many times, that she was starting to wonder if they simply used this trite phrase every time they didn’t know the answer to a question.

If you have heard this phrase before, it begs the question.  Is the bible really a confusing mysterious book, full of impossible mysteries that no one can understand?

No, it’s not.

The bible tells us specifically that God’s word is designed to teach, to instruct, and that he is not the author of confusion.  He is the God of sound doctrine, teaching and instruction.

1 Corinthians 14:33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

It also tells us that we are given the bible that we may study it even as children to understand God’s truths

2 Timothy 3:14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;
[15] And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
[16] All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
[17] That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

The bible also makes it clear that there was a mystery in the past, but that has now been revealed.  That mystery was how the gentiles could be connected to the promises made to Abraham in the Old Testament.  This was a very specific subject that God simply hinted at throughout the 4000 years before Christ, and now that mystery is revealed through the life and sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 3:3 How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words,
[4] Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)
[5] Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;
[6] That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:
[7] Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power.
[8] Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;
[9] And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:

The previous verses tells us that there was a mystery, that God has now made it known to us, and what the mystery was.  The mystery was how the gentiles could become fellow-heirs to the promises made to Abraham.

If you are like most people, you have no idea what the promises were that God made to Abraham, and how they affect your hope of salvation.  Most religions ignore this subject, but the promises made to Abraham are the very foundation of your hope of salvation, and are mentioned all throughout the bible.  There is no other hope of salvation God offers other than resurrection from the  unconscious dead and promotion to eternal life.  The Promises to Abraham describe what God offers for a hope of salvation, and who he offers it to.  Some bible verses are misconstrued to offer this, but there is no bible verse offering you an immortal soul, only the hope of resurrection to life.

This next verse makes it clear that those who are strangers from the “Covenants of Promise” (the promises to Abraham), and aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, have no hope and are without God in the world, even though they may think they worship him, they worship a lie.

Ephesians 2:11 Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; [12] That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:

The true followers of Jesus Christ become merged into the line of Abraham through baptism into the name of Jesus Christ.  They become fellow-heirs to the hope of Abraham as shown by the following verse:

Galatians 3:26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
[27] For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
[28] There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
[29] And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise


God doesn’t want you to be confused

God doesn’t want you to be confused, and the bible was not given to us to be an unfathomable mystery. That’s why he commands us to read and understand his word.  It is only by reading the word of God that we get answers about God and the world around us.  Some examples of God’s commands to read his word are:

2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

1 Corinthians 15:34 Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.

God gives wisdom to those who ask it of him:

James 1:5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

The bible was given to us to teach us, not to confuse us.  Among the people who read and understood the scriptures, we have shepherds, a humble carpenter from Nazareth (Jesus Christ) and his apostles (who were fishermen, a tax collector, a tent maker and other lowly professions that people perceived as simple and uneducated [Acts 4:13]). They could all understand and teach the word of God.  Is it possible for simple men with no theology degrees to read and understand the word of God?  Yes, in fact God never required advanced education or theological training for any of his prophets, famous men of old, his son or his apostles.

Believe it or not,  an advanced education or a theological degree can actually be an impediment to understanding God’s word.  Theological students are taught the specific beliefs and rituals of their systems, and many times do not study the bible at all during their training.  Picture two men side by side.  One is taught the principles of the doctrines of Jesus Christ.  The other is taught the principles and doctrines of Judaism.  Both have advanced degrees of a PhD, yet one is taught a belief system that rejects Jesus Christ as the Messiah, and as Christ said below, has no hope of salvation:

John 14:6   Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

What good is an advanced degree if it offers you no hope of salvation?

There is no connection between advanced education and understanding God’s truth.  There is no connection between titles of education (like Masters and PhD) and the hope of salvation.  Many times people with advanced education like to make you think they’re smarter than you, and part of that is pretending the bible is full of mysteries only they can understand.

Read the bible for yourself to understand his word.


NEXT LESSON:  The basics of studying the bible for yourself.

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