What is the Fellowship of the Mystery?


What does Paul mean when he says that we are to make all [men] see what is the fellowship [dispensation] of the mystery?”

Other translations of this text use the word “administration” in place of fellowship’ “To bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God” (NASB); “to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God” (NIV). It seems that Paul is talking about the distribution of this special knowledge, or God’s method of administering it to those concerned. Paul feels himself an honored vehicle, called of God to dispense knowledge that is priceless. “Although I am less than the least of all God’s people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery.” He feels the weight of his calling, the breadth of his responsibility before God, and the deep privilege in which he shared, though he felt unworthy because of his unworthy past. But no one could dispute his credentials. His calling had been directly of Christ, who had appointed him to this ministry at the time of his conversion. He was to be Christ’s minister to the Gentiles, and this meant preaching the ‘unsearchable riches of Christ,’ along with making plain God’s method of distributing this priceless knowledge.