Having made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he has purposed in himself:
1. God works saving wisdom to none, to whom He opens not the doctrine of wisdom, the gospel of salvation.
(1) God opens this saving wisdom to us outwardly, by the preaching of His ministers. As in great schools there are inferior ushers as well as the principal master, so it is here: it pleases God by man's outward ministry to open the eyes of the mind, and bring from darkness to light.
(2) Man can but speak to the outward ears; God himself applies the doctrine to the heart.
2. The doctrine of our salvation through Christ is a hidden secrecy.
(1) It is a mystery absolutely, because it is a thing of itself within the will of God, which no creature by itself is able to know. If a thing within my mind be such that no creature can know it further than I make it known — none doth know the things of man but the spirit of man — how great and deep a secret is that which is within God Himself?
(2) Although now partly revealed, yet still a mystery because —
(a) Only partly revealed.
(b) Only revealed to a limited number. If the king acquaint some two or three of his nearest favourites with a secret, it remains a secret still in comparison with things commonly known.
(3) The wisdom of the gospel is still a mystery, when it is now divulged, in regard of those whose eyes are not opened to see it, and their ears bored to attend to it. As news so common everywhere that they are no news are still secret to those who, being deaf, have never heard them, so the gospel is to this day a hidden riddle to many Christians by outward profession.
3. The reason why God reveals the gospel to any is simply His good pleasure. Human merit absolutely excluded, so there is no ground for anyone to boast.
Parallel VersesKJV: Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: