Summary: How can Christians get along when they have so many differing interpretations of Scripture? This is must read for anyone who is learned and wants to remain humble!
Seeing a Reflection!
Online Sermon: http://www.mckeesfamily.com/?page_id=3567
Like the church of Corinth many Christians today covet having superior knowledge … but is this too lofty or the wrong goal to obtain? Is not our perceived “superior” knowledge of self, creation, and God a source of many of the fights amongst fellow Christians? These fights of course are foolish for how can “I” know with certainty that “MY” hours of meditation and referencing the very best commentaries has led to an interpretation that is not tainted by “MY” sin? And how does one know the truth one has “received from the Spirit” has been understood correctly or truly came from Him? Is it possible for anyone to search the unsearchable or know the unknowable? And even if one truly knows more about God than others, does this mean one has a right to fight or “disassociate” from them, especially considering that knowledge without love is useless (13:1-3)? This sermon is going to explore the answers to these questions and what Paul meant when he said that while we see as a reflection in a mirror, we will one day know fully when we see God face to face!
Knowing as a Child
Speaking to the church of Corinth whom coveted and probably thought their knowledge was “complete” (6:12; 8:1, 4; 10:1-4) and not partial (13:10), Paul reminded them that their thoughts and reasoning were imperfect and mere childlike. Since maturity is defined as “attaining the whole measure of the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:13) such a state will not exist until Christ returns! Even though in Christ we partake in the Divine nature (2 Peter 1:4) and have been given the fullness in Christ (Colossians 2:9), this does not mean that believers have become omnipotent. If we no longer believe that our wisdom is mere foolishness in God’s sight (1 Corinthians 1:25) then we run the risk of letting our child like immaturity rear its ugly head and in turn be like Job and must brace ourselves and explain to God, the mysteries of the universe (Job 38-41)! It truly is childish to boast in our knowledge of ourselves, creation or God when we only see dimly as those with imperfect knowledge!
Imperfect Knowledge of Ourselves. Do we fully understand the human body with its 30 to 40 trillion cells? Have we figured out why we have fingerprints, have an appendix, a dominant hand, yawn, have blood types, dream, have viruses in our bodies, are weaker than other primates and have laughter that is contagious? And when it comes to the human soul isn’t our knowledge far from perfect? For instance, while the human soul can be described as a “spirit” who truly knows what this is and whom amongst us can without doubt declare whether the spirit resides in the brain, heart, blood or another part of our bodies? And when it comes to our standing before a holy God are we certain that we have become the living stones and sacrifices (1 Peter 2:5) pleasing to He who bought us at a price (1 Corinthians 6:20)? While our standing in relation to salvation is perfected by our faith in Jesus Christ, will not our flattering image of our own holiness shatter at the judgement seat of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:10)? How could anyone say they have “found” and known their true self considering all these uncertainties?
Imperfect Knowledge of Creation. Whom amongst us truly understands what God has created all around us? Whom of us can say what is dark matter or dark energy, whether our solar system is normal, what makes supermassive black holes, if there are parallel universes, what happens inside a black hole, do naked singularities exist and what truly is gravity? With only about 1/3 of the insect and plant and animal species of the oceans known, how could one ever say I have this universe figured out? If we should be so foolish to say we know everything about this universe then whom of us could ever stand when God asks us to explain its mysteries? And of the all the things unseen above, below and all around us whom of us can truly say? Of the few unseen things such as angels, demons, heaven and even Jesus Himself; is it not only through the “telescope of faith” that we have such “knowledge” and can accept these things?
Imperfect Knowledge of God. And finally, “how astonishingly little do we know about God!” Who can truly comprehend God being indivisibly present on His throne (Revelation 4:20), in the church (Matthew 18:20) in the believer's heart (Galatians 2:20) and everywhere else both seen and unseen (Psalms 139:7-11; Jeremiah 23:23-24)? Surely He who numbers and names the stars in the sky (Psalms 147:4, Isaiah 40:26) counts every hair on a person's head (Matthew 10:30), knows every thought (1 Chronicles 28:9), every secret (Hebrews 4:12-13, Psalms 44:20-21) and word a person will or ever has spoken (Psalms 139:4) is beyond our understanding? And whom amongst us can truly comprehend His holiness (Psalms 99:9; 1 Peter 1:15; Isaiah 57:15), His self-existence being eternal (Revelation 22:13; John 17:5) or His ability to do anything (Job 42:2; Romans 1:20; Matthew 19:26) consistent within His own nature (Titus 1:2; James 1:13; 2 Timothy 2:13)? Since God is not exactly like anything or anyone created, describing the ineffable is in a sense truly beyond both thought and language. While we know some things about God’s attributes more is unknown and left to faith than known by the intellect, for from all eternity to all eternity the depths of God's wisdom and knowledge are beyond measure, limit or comprehension (Romans 11:33-34).