Monday, December 7, 2015

The More You Know...

Photo courtesy of Logos and NBC.

The more I read, study, and learn about the Bible, the more I realize there is to know. Questions lead to answers that just lead to other questions. This experience could be why some Christians are tempted to give up and skim the surface, never really digging to uncover the deep things of God. "After all," they shrug, "I'll never understand it all."

They do themselves a disservice.

Of course we can never know everything about our God, Yahweh. He is infinite and we are finite. A professor of mine once likened trying to understand him to trying to pour an ocean into a shot glass. But just because we can't understand everything, that doesn't mean we shouldn't bother to understand some things.

First, there is definitely much that can be understood. The Gospel, at least, is perfectly plain: we are separated from God by our sin; Jesus came to earth as a human, lived a perfect life, died in our place, rose again, lives in heaven, and can save us from the penalty of that sin.

Second, the Spirit helps us understand truth--both the simple and the complex. Anything that is knowable and understandable to us this side of eternity can be accessed with his assistance. Although it still won't be everything, it's definitely more than we'd understand on our own. 

Third, the all-or-nothing attitude of the defeatist ultimately breaks down. Have you ever refused your share of dinner because you couldn't eat all the dinner? Have you ever failed to cash a paycheck because it didn't grant you all the money in the world? Have you ever enjoyed a cup of coffee less because it's only a coffee and not all the coffee?

Of course not (although that last one sounds plausible). 

You've eaten until your stomach is full, then walked away from the table with enough to get you through the day. You've cashed the check and used the money for your current needs. You've sipped the coffee, reveling in its therapeutic effects. It doesn't have to be all the dinner or all the money or all the coffee to help you. In the same way, we needn't have all the knowledge to benefit from knowing God. 

We need our daily serving--living paycheck to paycheck, savoring him one sip at a time. 
We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel, which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and increasing—as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth... And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins (Colossians 1:3-14).

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