Well, it has been a few months, and I’ve been contemplating another post for a while. I’ve wondered what to say and figured that I’ll talk briefly about The Secret. Yes, we’ve heard Oprah talk about the book, she did a show on it, it’s even been in the news. But one day, while I was reading my copy of the Living Translation of the Bible, I discovered something that just jumped out. It said: And this is the secret: that the Gentiles will have their full share with the Jews in all the riches inherited by God’s sons; both are invited to belong to his church, and all of God’s promises of mighty blessings through Christ apply to them both when they accept the Good News about Christ and what he has done for them. (Ephesians, Chapter 3, Verse 6.) The words “And this is the secret” really made an impression because I’d been hearing so much about what the secret was supposed to be. This says that the secret is that everyone (Gentiles is the name used for people who were not of the Jewish race), yes, everyone … no matter what race … who believes in Jesus Christ and that his death was for all of our wrongs — those that we do deliberately and mistakenly and even unknowingly has the opportunity to have all of God’s promises. This is good news because accepting Christ and being a Christian is for everyone.
Here’s more from Romans, Chapter 10, verses 9-13: That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. As the Scripture says, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame.” For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
So I started thinking about a few things and realized that so many of the things that we get so excited about when we hear it on TV or in the latest book, were really in the Bible all along; for those of us who are Christians, we have to remember to read the Bible … and not just on Sunday in the church service. So often people say that they don’t read the Bible because it’s too hard to understand, or because it doesn’t make sense. It may be true that some of the translations are harder to read than others, but I invite you to pick a translation that you can understand … and yes, read it. 🙂 Here’s a great online source for any translation that you want: http://www.biblegateway.com; you can get the New International Version (NIV), King James (the old English version), versions in Spanish, etc. I like The Message version … talk about something that is easy to understand!! I use the Living Translation because the verses are often combined like paragraphs in a book instead of verses in a poem, and that works for me. But I still use the King James version (especially for the Psalms since those are poems and songs anyway) and read things again there. My Spanish Bible is the Nueva Version Internacional which I like better than the Reina-Velera … but that’s just me.
Here’s Ephesians Chapter 3, verses 4-6 (In shorthand, we write: Eph. 3:4-6) in The Message Translation:
As you read over what I have written to you, you’ll be able to see for yourselves into the mystery of Christ. None of our ancestors understood this. Only in our time has it been made clear by God’s Spirit through his holy apostles and prophets of this new order. The mystery is that people who have never heard of God and those who have heard of him all their lives (what I’ve been calling outsiders and insiders) stand on the same ground before God. They get the same offer, same help, same promises in Christ Jesus. The Message is accessible and welcoming to everyone, across the board.
And here it is in Spanish: es decir, que los gentiles son, junto con Israel, beneficiarios de la misma herencia, miembros de un mismo cuerpo y participantes igualmente de la promesa en Cristo Jesús mediante el *evangelio.
In any case, go ahead … pick up that Bible … and read it. 🙂 There used to be a joke about the dusty family Bible, but in our generation, we have the quick clicks of links … so go ahead, click on the Bible gateway link … and read. If you haven’t read the Bible in a long time and are thinking “where do I start?” I recommend starting at The Gospel of John. If you’re online on Bible Gateway, you’ll see a blank space where you can type any passage and then search. Type John 1 in the space, click search, and read. It will start you off with the NIV version, if that doesn’t work for you, go back and try other versions until you find one that is clear to you. I was taught to first pray and ask God to help me to understand what I would be reading … this has always worked when I’ve asked sincerely; I may not even understand it immediately, but the understanding does come — even through talking about what I’ve read with others.
So go ahead, re-discover your own Bible, go to Bible Gateway and open it online … May God Bless you as you find so many secrets that were right there all along.
The not-so-secret secret…
I concur, that it may take us a life time and more to unravel and understand the smallest bit of the biggest secret – God’s love for us as expressed through Jesus…
well done, Dr. Tull, you did it again!