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Summary: There are people happy with shallow faith and shallow understanding of who God is but God wants to reveal to His beloved children more and more of His character and beauty and of His plans with mankind. These deeper things of God, the mysteries of God are

Preached on 17th of July 2011

Text: 1 Corinthians 4:1

The mysteries of God.

Bible readings: Colossians 4:1-6 & Mark 4:1-11

Dear sons and daughters of the Almighty, loving God.

Paul wrote to the believers in Corinth:

“This is the way you should consider us: as the servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God.”

The mysteries of God.

This morning I’ll try to answer 4 questions:

1. What are the mysteries of God?

2. If they are mysteries, is there a way how we could get them revealed to us?

3. When they are revealed to us what is the purpose of that revelation of the mysteries?

4. What do they mean to us today?

1. What are the mysteries of God?

In the Old Testament book of Job, one of the Job’s friends, Zophar the Naamathite asks:

“Can you fathom the mysteries of God? Can you probe the limits of the Almighty?” (Job 11:7)

And immediately he provides the answer to this rhetorical question and says:

“They are higher than the heavens – what can you do?

They are deeper than the depths of the grave – what can you know?” (Job 11:8)

(interesting parallel to Romans 10:6-7)

However the Hebrew word that is translated as “mysteries” here is very difficult word with a few dozen meanings. That is why some Bible versions translate this passage as:

“Can you understand the deep things of God” (Lamsa)

or “depths of God” (NASB)

“Can you discover the essence of God?” (NET Bible)

“Can you find out God by searching?” (Interlinear Bible)

“Can you discover the limits and bounds of the greatness and power of God?” (Good News Bible)

All these translations are somehow trying to express that God is infinite; that God is beyond the range of the human mind. Simply God is mysterious and we human beings cannot find God by the means of our own searching, by our own efforts. God is beyond reach of anything and everything. It means unless God decides to make Himself known He will be always a mystery God.

But then when apostle Paul spoke about the Gentiles (non Jews) that even though they do not belong to the chosen people of God, e.g. they are outside the covenant of God, they are not participating in the blessings of God and are strangers to God, yet,

“What may be known about God is plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made so that men are without excuse.” (Romans 1:20)

So even though God is spirit, as Jesus said to the Samaritan woman (John 4:24), yet even the non Jews just by observing the creation can know something about God – “his eternal power and divine nature”.

God’s power and the fact that He is God, that is not a mystery, that is revealed in His creation. Look up in to the starry sky and you have to say: ‘Whoever did this, His power must be totally unlimited, awesome, amazing. And His power beyond description, because this universe seems unlimited – or at least we can’t fathom its size, its limits, so how could we fathom the limits of the maker of this universe?’

His eternal power and his divine nature are clearly seen and clearly understood – as Paul says – by all men. God’s power and divinity are not mysteries then. But something else is.

The Scripture from Job speaks of deep things of God – they are mysteries. If there are deep things it leads us to the conclusion that there are also things to know about God that are not so deep, e.g. things that provide only shallow knowledge of God.

Unfortunately the sad fact is, that very many people are satisfied with very shallow faith and very shallow understanding of who God is and what He is. So good question to ask yourself is: How deep is your understanding of God? Is your faith shallow? Is your understanding of who God is, shallow? Are you interested at all to know the mysteries of God; the deeper things of God?

Paul wrote to Ephesians 3:14-19

“For this cause, I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, that you may be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inward man; that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; to the end that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be strengthened to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know Christ's love which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”

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