Paul's Pre-Prison Epistles
What are Paul's Pre-Prison Epistles
Many have questions concerning Luke and his knowledge of the mystery.
Acts was written after the salvation of God was sent to the Gentiles, in fact a whole two years after. So we know that Luke had knowledge of the mystery when he wrote Acts. Now the question is this; why did not Luke mention this fact somewhere in the treatise?
He recounted the events of Pentecost, yet never gave a hint that at the time of his writing, this was no longer valid. Nowhere in Acts is there a hint that Paul would have a ministry of the secret. His gospel to the Jews and his gospel of the grace of God are mentioned and made a great part of the account. But there is nothing about the mystery.
No hint is given in the last verses of Acts as to what Paul was preaching those 2 years except that it was about the kingdom of God. But the particular phase of that kingdom is not dwelt upon, or even mentioned. There has to be a reason.
And there is a reason. In Ephesians 3, Paul makes it clear that to him alone was a dispensation of grace given to make known the mystery. This immediately rules out Luke, Timothy, or any others associated with Paul. Paul was the steward of this particular household. He alone could dispense the truth of The Mystery.
In verse 7 he makes it plain that this gospel was given to him to administer. Again in verse 8 he makes it clear that to him who was less than the least of the saints was grace given to preach among the nations the unsearchable riches of Christ, even the mystery. And in verse 9 he makes it clear that he was to make all men see what is, "The Mystery". We cannot here enumerate all the references to this great fact of Paul's unique ministry.
In Colossians 1:21-27 we find that the gospel of The Mystery has been made known to every creature under heaven (this is the new creation, the saints). He claims that he was given the responsibility of finishing the canon of Scripture, the Word of God, and this finishing bit is the mystery, the highest pinnacle of the revelation of Christ. This mystery had been hid from ages and generations.
We note apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers mentioned in Ephesians 4:11. There is no indication that these were inspired, but that they received their message from Paul. And so Paul sends Timothy to the Philippians (Philippians 2:19-23).
In 1 Timothy 6 Paul entreats Timothy to keep something, even unto the appearing (epiphaneia). There is something committed to his trust. Timothy is to keep that good deposit.
Now the reader can search the other post-Acts epistles of Paul and find much more.
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