“Why do they, then, appear so mean?
And why so much despised?
Because, of their rich robes, unseen,
The world is not apprized.”
Satan has tried to counterfeit every part of Jehovah’s plan; so he organized a religious system in the earth which is iniquitous and is known as “the mystery of iniquity”. (2 Thessalonians 2:7; Revelation 17:5) This mystery of iniquity God will destroy in his great day of vengeance which is now on, and then the mystery of God will be more clearly revealed to mankind. It is revealed to individuals now as they come into Christ. It is important, therefore, for us to know how one becomes a member of the Christ, the great mystery of God.
The mystery of God involves an understanding and appreciation of the fundamental truths of repentance, consecration, justification, spirit-begetting, and sanctification. Let us now trace the steps of one in the world as he comes to Jehovah that he might be a member of the body of Christ.
Because of the disobedience of father Adam, all of his children are born imperfect, all sinners. “There is none righteous, no, not one.” (Romans 3:10; 5:12) All such are out of harmony with God. They have no right to life. It has pleased Jehovah, then, during the gospel age to draw to Jesus, the great Redeemer and Deliverer, those who have the desire to come into harmony with him. The Prophet says: ’The reverence of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom’. (Psalm 111:10) The first thing essential for one becoming a Christian is an honest desire to know the Lord and to do his will. A man with this honest desire, then, realizes that he is a sinner and born such; and he has an honest desire to come to God. He learns that Jesus is his Redeemer and he wants to know more about him and do his will. In his mind he does not approve the ways of the world. He begins to think about the Lord and wants to know more about him. He begins to turn his face in the right direction. When he ceases to approve the course of the world, he is repentant to that extent. Repentance means a change of mind respecting one’s relationship to evil.
Jesus said: “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him”. (John 6:44) The man now is drawn to Jesus by what he learns of Jesus, what Jesus has done for him, and by his own desire to follow a different course. When one ceases to approve the worldly course and begins to seek after the Lord, he is in that condition mentioned by the Apostle as seeking God, “if haply they might feel after him, and find him”. (Acts 17:27) When he is drawn to Jesus, seeking God, then he is converted. He is now in the condition spoken of by the Apostle when he said: “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out”. (Acts 3:19) Repentance means a change of mind respecting one’s relationship