Summary: This sermon shows how fear and friendship fit in to our relationship with the Almighty
Great Mysteries of the Faith
How can I be God’s friend when I am supposed to fear Him?
When I was in elementary schools, one of my favorite things to do in class was to solve a mystery. Several of my teachers and the library contained a series of books entitled “2 Minute Mysteries” in which a scenario is given in which you have two minutes to come up with an answer. Here is a sample.
“The museum was having a special exhibit,” the proprietor said. “It was a slab of stone dated 40,000 years ago made by Cro-Magnons. It was the first piece of literature. A team of 200 scientists made an exact replica and each took a different part of the one cubic meter stone to decipher. We kept the original.”
“Is that all you know?” Detective Nick Wray asked. “Tell me, who was the guard on duty when it was stolen?”
“There were many guards,” the proprietor said with a puzzled look on his face. “Oh, I suppose you mean the guard in that area. Jenkins was in the South Wing.”
“Thank you for you time,” the detective said. Then, he went on to the South Wing to talk with this particular guard. With a yawn, the guard got up from the chair in which he was sitting. “Jenkins, I presume,” said Detective Wray.
“That’s me, Howard Jenkins,” replied the guard.
“Tell me what happened three hours ago.”
“Well, I went to the washroom and when I came back, there was a guy running towards the doors. I tried to catch him, but he had a big head start.”
“What did he look like?” Nick asked.
“He had dark brown or black hair. I couldn’t really see him that well because the lighting was bad.”
“So was your story, Jenkins. You are under arrest.”
How did Detective Wray know that Jenkins was the culprit?
Answer: The man that Jenkins described would not be able to outrun him or run at all with a stone the size being the size that it was.
Now, these little mysteries served many purposes in the classroom. They were a great break from bookwork, got us to use our heads in problem solving ways, and they worked great to help with reading comprehension and listening skills. We looked forward to these activities, and it was a great honor to be the student who was the first to solve the mystery.
The Christian life is like one of these books. It can be full of mysteries that need to be looked into. The only problem is that most of the mysteries that we come in contact with are going to require a bit more than two minutes to look into and solve. And, if the mystery seems too hard, we often times just let it go unsolved and we don’t think twice about it.
This summer, I want to get us thinking. I want to get the church to examine some of these unclear and sometimes seemingly contradictory aspects of the Christian life so we can build up our knowledge, understanding, and wisdom. This summer, I want you to turn on your thinking cap as we take a look at some of the mysteries of the Christian faith from a Biblical standpoint. This is nothing new. Paul, when writing to the church in Colosse, desired that they do a very similar thing. Let’s check out Colossians 2:1-8 out to see what I am talking about.
I want you to know how much I am struggling for you and for those at Laodicea, and for all who have not met me personally. My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments. For though I am absent from you in body, I am present with you in spirit and delight to see how orderly you are and how firm your faith in Christ is. So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.
Basically, Paul is telling this church that all of his labor and hard work is so that they may have complete understanding and that they may know the mysteries of God because once they do, they will have found the hidden treasures of wisdom and knowledge in Christ. Also, once they know this, they will be strengthened in their faith and will be able to discern true and false teachings. That is my desire as well. As we travel through the summer months, I hope that there will be tremendous treasures of knowledge and wisdom revealed to you that will strengthen you in your walk with God. This morning, I want to touch on our first mystery. How can I be God’s friend when I am supposed to fear Him?