God’s hidden mystery is so big, there’s two sides to it. But it is still one glorious mystery.
The Mystery of God
F.F. Bruce once pointed out that the theme of Colossians is Christ the Head. Paul’s letter to “the saints and faithful brethren in Christ who are at Colossae” beautifully details God’s incomparable Christ.
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.
~ 1:15-20 NASB
With this beautiful detailing of Christ, Paul paints the picture of Christ the Head. He calls Christ the Mystery of God.
that their hearts may be encouraged, having been knit together in love, and attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God’s mystery, that is, Christ Himself, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
~ 2:2-3 NASB
that is, the mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations, but has now been manifested to His saints, to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
~ 1:26-27 NASB
The mystery of God is Christ. So what’s the mystery of Christ?
The Mystery of Christ
F.F. Bruce’s insight into Paul’s letters led him to remark that the theme of Ephesians is Christ the Body. So, now we have Christ the Head as seen in Colossians and Christ the body as seen in Ephesians. This body, which is the bottom half of Christ and made up of the saints, is the church. Paul calls the church the mystery of Christ.
By referring to this, when you read you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit; to be specific, that the Gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel,
~ 3:4-6 NASB
But then it gets even deeper, cooler. God is to use the church, the corporate Christ, to bring glory to Jesus Christ.
and to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God who created all things; so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places.
~ 3:9-10 NASB
Yes! Christ is the glory of God and the church is the glory of Christ. And it is through the church that God will make known his manifold wisdom to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places.
Christ the Head and Christ the body. One new man. A corporate Christ. The Great Twin Mystery.