Some people refuse to believe what they cant understand. They dont want God or anyone else to just tell them what to believe, they first want answers to questions about how and why. To a point such intellectual curiosity is good. It can drive us deeper into Gods Word and find there answers we would not have known otherwise. But sooner or later we come to the limit of what we can know. Some things are too big for us to understand. Some He has chosen not to tell us. And there are certain things we as individuals arent mature enough to understand yet. There are even things we may have to wait until we get to heaven before we understand them. And I suspect there are things He wont even tell us there. The Bible uses the word mysteries for truths that were once or may still be hidden. In modern English the word is usually associated with stories in which some important fact isnt discovered until the end. The reader experiences a growing tension as the story progresses: who committed the murder or where is the treasure hidden? But in the Bible the word means something else. It refers to spiritual truths no human can discover by themselves no matter how hard they trytruths that can only be known after God reveals them. Hes the One who decides how, when and if an explanation is given. And then we are left to decide how we will respond to these mysteries: will we believe what He reveals and will we trust Him when He is silent?
1. Mysteries of God: hidden truths which only God can reveal.
Seven thunders (v 4)
Mysteries of God (v 7) (Ro 16:25, 26; Eph 3:1-6)
How to Respond to Gods mysteries
1. It is important to study the Bible and let it teach us as much as we can know.
Some lazy minds are satisfied with shallow answers. They give clichés or humorous threats when questioned: God made a special place in hell for people who ask questions like that.
2. It is important to honestly admit when the Bible goes silent.
Some people have proud minds and refuse to believe what they cant understand.
- They become scornful
- They invent theologies that make sense to them. (I cant believe in a God whod. . .)
Sound doctrine requires the humility to believe what the Bible teaches even when it doesnt explain details we wish we knew
Integrity: acknowledge what is does say
Humility: acknowledge what it doesnt say
3. When there are troubling truths its important to trust the character of God believing He will always do the right thing.
Remember: we see the character of God most clearly in Jesus Christ.
We must have a patient mind that waits until He reveals more.
Here are some themes where we have to stop speculating and simply believe what we read:
Jesus: fully human, fully divine
What about those who have never heard the gospel?
Why are some healed and some not?
Why does God let evil people do bad things?
The Transformed Mind
1. By accepting Gods Word and acting on it we learn to understand much more of it.
Ginosko: to know, understand concepts
Epiginosko: to fully know, recognize, understand because of experience
People who seek to obey the Word of God have a much deeper understanding of its truths.
Mt 7:24 . . .everyone who hears these words of mine and acts on them. . .
Jas 1:22-25 . . .doers of the Word, and not merely hears. . .
St. Anselm: credo ut intelligam, I believe so that I may understand
Intellectual knowledge is changed into experiential knowledge
God wants us to hungrily search His Word but when we do well discover truths that dont always make sense to us or are frustratingly incomplete. How we handle these truths will determine whether or not we keep growing. Over the course of our lives God wants to teach us more and more about the truths Hes revealed. But for that to happen we must remain humble when facing mysteries He hasnt disclosed and obedient to the mysteries He has.
1) Name a mystery that has long puzzled you.
2) Describe a spiritual truth that has changed from just a head knowledge to become heart knowledge for you. How did that change take place?