Briefing: Have you ever solved a mystery? Mysteries are usually crimes that have been committed where the suspect has not been revealed or caught.
Dispatch (Assignment): Read Romans 15:7-13.
On the Street: When you think of mysteries what comes to mind? I think of Sherlock Holmes, Nancy Drew and the Hardy boys; oh yes, and Scooby-Doo and his gang of mystery solvers. Most people don’t realize that modern day mystery solvers are not private investigators who drive red Ferraris and wear Detroit Tiger baseball hats. Today we have police officers, detectives and investigators who work in every city across the United States. These are your modern day Magnum PI and Sherlock Holmes.
There was a mystery in the Bible that Paul talks about. Although it was a mystery, it was not part of any crime or criminal activity. It was a mystery because people did not understand it and the matter had not been explained yet. Here is a good one for you to practice on. 1 Corinthians 15:51-52 says, “Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed; in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.” A good detective would go look in his/her Bible for the last trumpet, found in Revelation, and try to figure this mystery out.
The mystery here in Romans is also spoken of in Ephesians. In chapter one it says, “And He made known to us the mystery of His will according to His good pleasure, which He purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment; to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ.” And in Ephesians 3:4 he writes, “In reading this, then you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to men in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God’s holy apostles and prophets.” Please read Ephesians chapter 3 to find out more of the revelation of the mystery as Paul explains to his readers.
I will not keep you in suspense, although as trained investigators you probably have already figured this one out. The mystery in the Old Testament was all about God and the Jewish people as they became a nation. God was their God and they did not want to share Him with anyone. The mystery was that Jesus came for all people. The Jews did not understand it then and are still unaccepting of it today. Paul was the apostle appointed by Jesus to go share this mystery with the Jews and Gentiles. We should be extremely grateful to the Jewish people and love them like God has called us to.
Investigational Resources: For more information about the mystery, see Ephesians 5:32, 6:19, Colossians 1:26-27, 2:2, 4:3, 1 Timothy 3:16, Revelation 1:20, 10:7, and 17:5-7.
Officer Safety Principle: Pray that God will give you, and increase in you, the ability to discern mysteries. As law enforcement, we could all use more discernment.
from The Book of Romans Through the Eyes of a Cop
©by Charles Gilliland. Used by permission.
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