Our Lord has only begun to surprise us!
Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him.2
The details we argue as believers are mostly intellectual filler. Like the inactive substance that makes up most of a pill, much of our theology is inert and harmless as long as we learn not to argue too vehemently and not with a vitriolic passion that suggests we know what we are talking about.
However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived”— the things God has prepared for those who love him3
But we have our positions and a need somehow to distinguish ourselves from others who are persuasive in what they promote. We must defend the faith! Our voice has to be a “Thus saith the Lord!”
But beyond the message of the Cross, does it?
God has gifted us with an exciting message of great news in the story of His grace. Anyone, regardless of what they have done or what life or reputation they are living, can join the saintly band that is marching to a glorious place with Him that we call “heaven.” We don’t really need to know how God made this offer possible, other than through His death and resurrection in the person of His Son. What happened exactly on that Roman cross? Did He die to forgive us? To reconcile us? To appease His wrath …against us or against sin? Was it the ultimate sacrifice for love? Did He pay our debt or ransom us …or both? The theories of our atonement are many but none can deny that this was grace!
“Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.4
What we need to know only is that now the veil is rent and we have an audience with our God. There is much to know, much to learn. Now begins the journey with Him, talking to Him, getting to know Him …a journey that will walk us into His living presence and into eternity with Him. For now, why should anything else consume our interest or drive our passion for truth? Jesus death is our starting line.
For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.5
What He has told us in Scripture is worth our time exploring but only within the boundary of that revelation. Outside that circle of knowledge there is so much more to know …someday in glory.
The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow…6
And what about the Holy Spirit and the end times and Israel’s relation to the Church? Unless we missed it, the Spirit is within our lives to enhance clarity and train our perspective on that Cross and the power of the resurrection in our witness for our Lord. The Spirit truly hides in the shadows, works in the background, to put Jesus, His death, resurrection and intercessory work in the spotlight of eternal truth.
But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.7
And we ask, “Why me?” Was I chosen by grace or could I have said or done something that turned God’s ear first? Why did He call me and not so many others? Why is the way that leads to destruction so wide and well traveled and so few take the narrow path to God?8 How has grace not worked to redirect them!?
We admit that our questions are many but answers should not be conjured up through a rambling theology that feels a need to defend the plan of God or justify what we think we know or observe about God’s dealings with His creation.9 I am always brought back to Jesus’s final words to His disciples when they were near overwhelmed with apprehension and so many questions. They were restless, anxious; for, so the word “troubled” means in John 14:1 when Jesus spoke peace to their hearts.. And to ours: “You believe in God.” You do, don’t you! And then Jesus summed up what grace is all about making a thousand questions no longer necessary: “Trust me!”
2 Isaiah 64:4
3 I Corinthians 2:9
4 Isaiah 1:18
5 I Corinthians 2:2
6 Deuteronomy 29:29
7 John 16:13
8 Matthew 7:14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
9 John 21:22 Jesus answered, “… what is that to you? You must follow me.”