“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 it is in the English. It is not mysterious or abstruse. 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.
“which has been hidden from ages and from generations”
The church was not disclosed in the Old Testament. Abraham or Moses did not know of the church. God revealed it initially in a doctrinal sense 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 the followers of Christ were placed into the body of Christ (Acts 1:5; chapter 2; I Cor. 12:13). The mystery was not that Gentiles would become Christians. It was that the Gentiles would be placed at the same status quo 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).
The Old Testament believers knew about the first coming of Christ and his second arrival. They knew that he was going to be crucified (Psalms 22:1-31; see also Isa. 53). However, they knew nothing about the church. The church was not revealed until the Apostle Paul.
The New Testament believer has a status quo equivalent to Jesus Christ’s status quo before God.
You would think that we would be better Christians than the 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.