Summary: Lord willing, we hope to shed some light on the mysteries of God’s mercy today. We don’t have all the answers and we won’t this side of heaven. However, we can certainly look into the mysteries of God and continue to receive His mercy in our lives.
The Mystery of Mercy
Intro: People love to solve mysteries. Whether it’s figuring out a John Grisham novel or solving a complicated riddle, people love to try to figure out mysteries. Lots of people enjoy the TV show "Unsolved Mysteries" hosted by Robert Stack. "Unsolved Mysteries" was one of the first internet interactive TV shows. The TV show’s web site boasts that over 270 cases have been solved by viewers of "Unsolved Mysteries."
-People love to look for mysteries in every area of life, and that includes the spiritual life as well. A second century spin off from Christianity called the gnosticism became obsessed with solving mysteries. The gnostics claimed that there were secret truths that Jesus revealed to just an elite few. If you were initiated into the elite, you too could gain access to these mysteries that the rest of the Church was ignorant of. Fortunately gnosticism died out in the late second century, and the Christian faith prevailed. However, as I see so many people try to find secrets and mysteries in the Christian faith through Bible codes and obscure interpretations of the Bible, I’m reminded of just how similar this is to second century gnosticism.
-People love mysteries. You see, the reality is that the reason we like mysteries is so we can try to solve them. We don’t really like mysteries that we can’t solve. How popular would the TV show "Unsolved Mysteries" be if it boasted zero cases solved? We simply can’t put up with things we don’t understand, and the spiritual life is no exception. Some people struggle with this in regards to the doctrine of the Trinity. Bible verses about the Trinity show Jesus being fully God, the Father being fully God, the Holy Spirit being fully God, yet the Bible teaches that there is only one true God. Some would say, "I can’t understand that. It doesn’t make sense. It’s not reasonable or logical that God could be both three and one." But here’s a thought: If we could totally comprehend God’s nature, we’d be equal with God. It comforts me to think that there are things about God that are mysterious and beyond my stunted ability to comprehend. Some simply cannot imagine worshipping a God who is surrounded by mystery, a God who can’t be fully explained or put in one’s own mental box. That’s why some reject the God of the Bible. (Timothy Peck, sermoncentral.com)
-Lord willing, we’re going to shed some light on some of the mysteries of God’s mercy today. We don’t have all the answers and we won’t this side of heaven. However, we can certainly look into the mysteries of God and continue to receive His mercy in our lives. Let’s take a look!
I. The Mystery of the Hard Heart (25)
Romans 11:25 I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in.