smallwanderings



"Take the adventure, heed the call, now ere the irrevocable moment passes! 'Tis but a banging of the door behind you, a blithesome step forward, and you are out of the old life and into the new!" Kenneth Grahame - Wind in the Willows

9.24.2012

The Mystery of Godliness in the Word

Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, “Lord, how is that You will manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world?”

Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.

“He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me.”  John 14:22-24

“The words that I speak to you are spirit, and are life.”  John 6:63

“And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”  John 17:3

The mystery of godliness, God manifest in the flesh (I Timothy 3:16), is that God would make Himself known, not mystically, but concretely by those means that we can hear, see, and touch (I John 1:1-2; Romans 1:20).  Mystical experience is subjective and easily counterfeited*. 

The word of God is the concrete expression of the person, nature, and purpose of God in Christ.  But not the gnostic, new age Christ of our own subjective design that fits our personal temperaments and preferences.  “Take heed that no one deceive you.  For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ’ and will deceive many.”  (Matthew 24:4-5).  Paul speaks of those “who did not like to retain God in knowledge” (Romans 1:28).  These people will be deceived because they have left the concrete revealed knowledge of God and they substitute in its place their own subjective concepts of God, or the non-existence of God (Psalm 14:1).

The fact that God has given us His word, not in mystical revelations to our mind, but in concrete words that have real, absolute meaning is one of the greatest gifts of grace that we have.  How uncertain we would be of God’s truth without it.  How nebulous and diluted would our concept of reality be.  How lost would we be in our own empty imaginations about who God is, and what He has done for us. 

“To the law and to the testimony!  If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.

They will pass through it hard-pressed and hungry; and it shall happen, when they are hungry, that they will be enraged and curse their king and their God, and look upward.

Then they will look to the earth, and see trouble and darkness, gloom of anguish; and they will be driven into darkness” (Isaiah 8:20-22).

“…having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart;

who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.

But you have not so learned Christ  (Ephesians 4:18-20).

The ignorance that leads to despair is only remedied by receiving the absolute word of God.

__________________________________________________________* There is also the mystical aspect of the Holy Spirit speaking to our human spirit, but He does not “reveal” any new truth, nor does He produce any effect that is contrary to the word of God.  He teaches us according to word of God, and causes us to understand it, believe it, and live by it.  In this way He makes known to us  who Jesus Christ is.

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