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Embrace the Mystery

June 8, 2010

When I was in Bible college, some of my class mates would spar with one another over various theological viewpoints that they were certain they had the corner on.  On one particular occasion, a man who started and ran a huge mission to homeless people in a major city here in the U.S. came to share at our chapel service.  He was not the most eloquent speaker and he did not hold a degree in ministry, but the fruit of his ministry was staggering.  I found myself in tears as I listened to a man who simply said yes to God and God used him mightily for the Kingdom.  As he spoke, some of my classmates were whispering back and forth about his lack of education or ministry credentials.  They were theologically picking him apart.  They were taking a haughty position based on their own credentials and knowledge.   They missed the mystery.

In 1 Timothy 3, Paul is laying out the qualifications of deacons, people who do the work of ministry.  One of the qualifications listed is, “They must hold the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience.” 1 Timothy 3:9.  I love this line! One idea here is that we need to be ok with not having it all figured out.  God is bigger than your mind can conceive.  You can’t conceive God.  He conceived you.  We only understand that which has been revealed to us.  No more.  God clearly says, “My ways are higher than your ways, My thoughts are higher than your thoughts.”  Isaiah wrote, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him.”  Although God is eternally bigger, more profound, beyond what we can think or imagine, and full of mysteries that will be forever larger than we can understand,  He has revealed the most profound mystery to us.

1 Timothy 3:16

Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness:
He was manifested in the flesh,
vindicated by the Spirit,
seen by angels,
proclaimed among the nations,
believed on in the world,
taken up in glory.”

The mystery that is the core issue for us is Jesus.  He came born of a virgin, He lived a perfect life, He served selflessly, He pointed to the Father, He gave His life in our place, He rose again, He ascended, and He is coming again.  He wants us to tell that revealed mystery in word and deed.

It’s not a detailed doctrine of how to be financially prosperous or a 1, 2, 3 formula for physical healing.  It is a Savior!  It’s not once saved always saved vs. losing your salvation or divine election vs. free will.  It is a Savior!  His name is Jesus!

Certainly, there are doctrines to be discussed and we are also told in 2 Timothy 3 that scripture is profitable for doctrine.  But those things should never be exalted above the core of the Gospel.  They should never be exalted over what Jesus put first.  I would challenge you to take the life and teachings of Jesus as your foundation and build everything else on that.

The fellow in that chapel service that day had a good handle on that and the fruit of his life showed it.  If we would just busy our selves with the mystery that has been revealed to us we would sure have less time argue about other things.  Understand that there are many things about God that will remain too large for our little minds and we need to be ok with that.  Embrace the mystery that has been revealed with good conceince, His name is Jesus.


From → Faith

One Comment
  1. Cynthia Edens permalink

    Scott….That is great! I didn’t know about that verse.
    Love, Cynthia

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