Summary: Proposition: The Study of God leads us to wonder at the Greatness and Glory of His Person.
Foundations of the Christian Faith Series
by Matt Black (Message 1)
THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD INTRODUCED
ROMANS 11:33 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!
Proposition: The Study of God leads us to wonder at the Greatness and Glory of His Person.
The purpose of the Word of God is to lead us to the greatness and glory of God. In this series we will be looking at the chief doctrines of the Bible, and each doctrine will lead us to see how small our minds are and how great our God is. You may think the study of God, called “theology”, is of no use to you, but you would be greatly mistaken. The deepest doctrines of God will affect your daily life. If that isn’t our experience it’s either because we don’t believe our theology, or because we go about it in a spirit of pride and make a game of it. The study of God is not to puff up our heads, but to humble our hearts and to leave us barren of self before Him--enabled to see how small we are and how great He is!
Now to begin, let us look at our text, which articulates this thought better than any human, because it was written by the finger of God:
33 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! 34 For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counselor? 35 Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? 36 For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.
The context of these verses deals with our salvation. Paul is coming to the end of a dissertation in which he shows how God rejects the physical nation of Israel so that He might have mercy upon all. Paul, himself a Jew, is humbled before the greatness and glory of God, and he gives this beautiful statement about the person of God. For the purpose of this study, I am going to show how this statement applies to the whole of Scripture. We will find that the God Who is unsearchable in salvation is also high above our thinking in every doctrine of the Bible.
O THE DEPTH!
We read first Paul’s words of amazement: “O the depth.” There is a depth to God that no man can fathom. When Job thinks on Him he says that He “doeth great things past finding out; yea, and wonders without number” (Job 9:10). Most men on earth never ponder God. Even saved men hardly ponder upon the greatness of God. It is against our proud Adamic nature to wonder at God, and so we find ourselves trying to make God small in our minds. We trivialize Him, and we end up with superficial lives.
There are usually three reactions that man will have when He comes to God:
1. He will reject God, and view the things he cannot understand as contradictions. An unbeliever can understand the reason of Scripture, but there are limits on the capabilities of human reason. He can understand that Jesus of Nazareth was crucified by the Romans and was buried. He can comprehend that he was raised from the dead and preached on earth for forty days before His ascension. Unsaved man can understand the reasoning of truth. What he cannot do is love truth—to love truth is to believe truth. To love God is to believe God. Unbelievers cannot love God and His truth. This can only happen by the regeneration of the soul by the Holy Spirit of God. And so fallen man though quite capable of seeing truth, cannot love the truth, and so rejects it even as he formulates it. Now because he does not love the truth, when the limits of his reasoning are challenged, he rejects these limitations as contradictions. Take for example the resurrection. He can understand that Jesus’ body was raised back to life. Of course this challenges human reason. When is the last time you saw someone raised from the dead?! And so because the unbeliever does not love truth, he rejects God, and views the things he cannot understand as contradictions.
2. The second reaction is that he will accept God, but make Him small in order that he may fit Him into the limitations of human reasoning. There are many unbelieving people that fill the churches today. For vain glory they have presented an outward acceptance of God. They say they are followers of God, but they are not followers of the all powerful God of the Bible. They have created a new God, a small God that they can control. They come to the miracles in the Bible, and they say that they can all be explained by nature and natural science. They come to the Person of Christ and say that he was a good man and worthy of imitating, but He was in no way God. You see, they recreate what the Bible means and explain it away. They shrink the Great God of the Bible. They take away the fear of the Lord. They say there is no hell and that all will go to Heaven. My brethren, they can say whatever they want about God, because they have created him and control him. They make God small that they might fit Him into their human reasoning. And so you see that this acceptance of God is really a rejection of the True and Living God, and a creation of a smaller god that they can control. Though this is a trait of unbelievers, I believe that even God’s people tend to do this. We do not naturally yield to His Almighty control. We baulk at the Lordship of Christ, because we want to be lord of our life.