Engaging with Mystery
Yesterday, I preached on Romans 8:26-27. It is one of the most powerful sections in one of the most powerful chapters in all of Scripture. To think that God the Spirit would pray to God the Father on the basis of the finished work of God the Son for me is absolutely incredible. It's also a mystery - something we cannot fully understand.
Now, when I was preaching, I noted that sometimes we work so hard at understanding the mysteries of the Gospel that we neglect to worship God for the Gospel. That is truly a tragedy. Imagine a scientist only ever looking through a microscope at God's creation, but never just enjoying the beauty all around them. Or think about an astronomer only ever looking through a telescope, but never enjoying the grandeur of a clear night's sky with the naked eye. We must step back and be in awe of the mysteries God puts before us.
That does not mean we should neglect the hard work of studying and understanding these mysteries. Too often, Christians use 'mystery' as an excuse for spiritual immaturity and Biblical illiteracy. God does desire that we grow in our knowledge and understanding of Him. Take Ephesians 1:18 for example - "I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, would give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him."
It is our very study of these mysteries that should drive us to worship and awe. Yes, there are times when we must pause, acknowledge our lack of understanding and bow in reverence. Then there are times when our passion for God drives us to know Him more and take hold of Him until the Spirit grants us a deeper knowledge of the Word. We aren't seeking new revelations, but to better understand the revelation already given to us through the Scriptures. When we do, our worship of Him will grow stronger and deeper.
The beauty of this pursuit is that we will never arrive. God always transcends our current knowledge of Him and therefore, we will spend all eternity diving into the depths of who He is. This is why I personally believe that study of theology is worship. It's not simply an intellectual pursuit - though it engages our intellect - but a heart pursuit as well. The mysteries of the Gospel leave us in awe, but they also drive us to know Him more