Dr. Couch, what is the "mystery" Paul speaks about in Romans 16:25?
ANSWER: The language of Romans 16:25-26 is almost identical as found in Ephesians 3:1-6. Actually, the entire section about the mystery is explained in some detail in Ephesians 3:1-11. The mystery Paul speaks about is the church that was not revealed in the OT. "In other generations it was not made known" but it is now revealed to His holy apostles and (NT) prophets by the Spirit (v. 5). Specifically, that the Gentiles have become fellow heirs and members of the body (of Christ). In other words, the church was not described or revealed in the OT, but the knowledge of the church was "made known to me [by] the mystery, as I wrote before in brief" (v. 3). And, "when you read you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ" (v. 4).
This is about the "stewardship" (dispensation) of God's grace which was given to me for you" (v. 2). The word dispensation (administration) is also used in verse 9. THIS IS WHY I'M A DISPENSATIONALIST!
The amil guys and the progressive dispensationalists try to tell us the church is mentioned in the OT but we just don't recognize it! It is there but just hidden from us! How silly! (Any argument will do when you try to create your own doctrines!) They will do anything to avoid the obvious truth to create their own belief system to fit their preconceived agendas. The Scriptures are not difficult to interpret. Just read them and let them speak what is normal and simple to understand. Paul makes it clear that the church was made know to him in its full understanding. It was revealed to him as the apostle of the Gentiles.
In Romans 16 Paul says the gospel came to the believers in Rome "according to the revelation of the mystery which was kept secret for long ages past" (v. 25). But now it is made known "to all the nations, leading to obedience of faith" (v. 26).
Thanks for asking.
Dr. Mal Couch