February 27, 2009

The Mystery of God

When I think about God, I often think of the mysteries that surround Him. How can God be loving and just? How can Jesus be both God and man? Why would the righteous choose to suffere for the unrighteous? And how can God both be three and one?

I love thinking about these mysteries. It assures me that God is truly bigger than my understanding. It is necessary that God be incomprehensible for if He could be understood by his creatures, then they would be greater than He is.

Evelyn Underhill said it this way: "If God were small enough to be understood, He would not be big enough to be worshiped."

Now, that being said, there are at least two things we must avoid when thinking about the mysteries of God.

First, just because these things are mysterious does not mean they are without explanation. There is NOT ONE mystery that can't be explained. Incomprehensible does not equal unexplainable. When we accept these apparent contradictions of God, we are not saying that we believe something that is illogical. Rather, we are trusting in God, whose logic transcends our own.

"How is this different?" you might ask. Well, realizing that paradoxes are not flawed logic, but instead superior logic, means that we will not accept something that contradicts what we do know about God. For instance, if we believed that these mysteries were in fact contradictions of reality or Himself then we could accept that certain sins are both right and wrong or that God is both holy and just as well as being lowly and easy-going with sin.

And this leads me to my second point. We should understand that though there is a great deal about God we don't know (we will never know all about God), there are things He has revealed and new revelations will never contradict old ones. But they might change the perspective.

The greatest example of this is the mystery of Jesus Christ. Before Jesus came to earth, God promised a Messiah. Even as far back as the first sin in the Garden of Eden, God promised that he would send a Redeemer (Gen. 3:15). But as the years went forward, no one knew what this Messiah would be like or anything apart from what was said in the prophecies and even that was misinterpreted.

For all people before Christ, His coming was a mystery. That is what Paul called it in Romans 16:25. But when Paul uses the word musterion from which we get the word mystery, he is not at all implying that we still don't understand how, when or why Christ has come. That has now been revealed (1 Peter 1:20-21). But that revelation in no way contradicted what we knew of God before. Rather, it enhanced it. Through Christ the mysteries of the forgiveness of sins and salvation by faith alone were revealed.

And so it is with all mysteries of God. As we learn more about God, it will never contradict what is clearly stated about God in the Bible, but it might change how we view Him. I encourage you to enjoy the mystery of Christ today.




© 2009Mind in Renewal | by TNB