Summary: We don’t always know the complete mind of GOD, but what He has revealed to us we need to believe, trust and obey.
Who Knows the Mind of God?
Text: Romans, Chapter 11
We know God, but what do we know about God? The only things we know about God are what God has chosen to reveal to us through the scriptures. In Isaiah 55:8, God said, “My thoughts are not your thoughts, and your ways are not my ways.”
So, all we do know about God, is only what He decided to tell us.
The scriptures tell us God created the world, all creatures, and mankind—which includes us. We’re told about many of His attributes, which include His loving kindness, patience, and His holiness. God is a Holy God, and He cannot tolerate sin.
Paul tells us in Romans, chapter 5, that sin entered the world when the first man created, Adam, sinned. Sin passed on to all men because all men have sinned. Paul said that the wages of sin is death—so we all deserve to die. But life came through the One—Jesus Christ. This was God’s plan.
Who knows the mind of God?
The Bible tells us God has chosen to reconcile sinful man back unto Himself with the atoning blood and the death of His only begotten Son—through His burial and through His resurrection on the third day.
Paul tells us we see the plan of God unfold through the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which is preached first to the Jew and then also to the Greek. He tells us the Gospel is God’s power unto Salvation—and he then tells us that this was God’s plan from the foundation of the world. Why?
Again—no one completely knows the mind of God, and no one completely understands the mind of God. We must simply accept this on Faith.
The scriptures tell us of the Love of God; but they also tell us to “fear God”. Do we understand the severity of God toward those who reject Him? We do understand the word fear in relation to our own world, don’t we? It produces a certain type of behavior in us, doesn’t it?
Let me illustrate with these two examples:
(I.) A couple was touring the Oregon Caves National monument and thought perhaps they would take a few samples of rock home with them. Now, during the tour guide’s introduction, he told the people not to take or destroy samples of rock, and he explained the penalties for doing so. The couple immediately decided not to touch a rock.
After the tour, they asked the guide, “Do you have much of a problem with people taking rocks from the caves?”
The guide replied, “No, we have very little trouble. And I don’t know if it’s because our visitors’ great love for nature or their desire to preserve the cave for all those who would follow after them. OR, it could have something to do with the $500 fine they receive if they violate the rule!”
Sometimes we do things, not because of our fear of losing our money, but out of the fear of losing our life.
(2.) In Florida there’s an old mansion on the West Coast, which is open for tours. A couple touring there asked the guide the following question: “In the master bedroom, we were surprised to see a sign on the bedsheets and curtains that said, ‘Wash Hands Immediately After Touching!’.
The wife said, “We admired the furnishings from a safe distance, but we were wondering if the fabric had been treated with some harmful preserving chemical?”
The guide just grinned and replied, “Oh, no, ma’am”, he said. “There’s nothing on ‘em. We just never did have much luck with the ‘Do Not Touch’ signs.”
Sometimes our behavior is dictated by the fear for our life. The Bible tells us “…perfect love casts out all fear”, and I know that’s true. But, I ask you—what is perfect about us today? Or the Jews in Paul’s day? Or the Gentiles in the world Paul lived in?
We are commanded—or commended—by the phrase, “…fear God…” at least 47 times in scripture!
“Oh”, some will say, “…that’s just in the Old Testament.” Well, no, it isn’t! Peter writes to Christians about fear.
1st Peter 2:17
---17---“Honor all men; love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king…”
Another person might say, “When the Bible uses the word fear, it always means “respect”. Well, no again. The word in 1st Peter is the Greek word “phobeo”, a word from which we get our term “phobia”. It means “to be terrified”. The word phobeo means “to put to flight”.
Romans, Chapter 11.
Now, this morning I’d like to return to our study—the same one we’ve been studying for several weeks now—Paul’s letter to the Church in Rome.
In Romans 11:20, Paul uses that same Greek word for fear—phobeo—when he said, “Do not be conceited, but fear…”.