“The mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints.”
This verse demonstrates that the believer has a new standing before God with privileges.
“The mystery “
“Mystery” in the Bible is not something spooky as in English; it is not mysterious or abstruse. The mystery is something formerly concealed and then later revealed (Eph. 3:8,9). It is a sacred secret. Paul contrasts this with the Colossian heresy that a mystery was a secret known only to the initiated (incipient Gnosticism).
“which has been hidden from ages and from generations”
God did not disclose the church in the Old Testament. Abraham or Moses did not know of the church. God revealed it initially in a doctrinal sense uniquely to Paul (Ephesians 3). Jesus said the church was still a future institution in Matthew 16:16-18.
“but now has been revealed to His saints”
The birth of the church took place when God placed the followers of Christ into the body of Christ (Acts 1:5; chapter 2; 1 Cor. 12:13). The mystery was not that Gentiles would become Christians but that the Gentiles would be placed at the same status with Jews into one body (Eph. 3:1ff). There would be no middle wall of partition between them (Gal. 3:28; Eph. 2:12-14).
Old Testament believers knew about the first coming of Christ and his second arrival. They knew that he would be crucified (Psalms 22:1-31; Isa. 53). However, they knew nothing about the church because the Lord did not reveal the doctrine of the church until the Apostle Paul.
The New Testament believer has a status equivalent to Jesus Christ’s status quo before God.
You would think that we would be better Christians than Old Testament believers because we have so much more revelation than they. Also, our prerogatives are much greater than Old Testament believers. You would think that we would live up to them.