Friday, October 15, 2010

God's Infinite Omniscience

It seems like every Sunday I express the same thought.

I wish everybody could have heard Daddy's sermon.

No, I'm not being judgmental.  I need biblical advice more than anyone.  Trust me.  But, the message was just so good that I wanted to share it.  Unfortunately, we have a very small congregation right now.  I'm not dissing small congregations...well, maybe you understand.  I'm thankful Covenant Baptist Church has grown a little bit in the past year, but I still can't help wishing more people could hear Daddy preach.  Yeah, he's that good.

I'm not saying he is perfect.  However, I'm prejudiced.  After all, he is my father.  I'm proud of him, if you don't know.

I could naively say every Sunday is an exception.  He outdid himself again.  Being young and inexperienced (even for 16); there are many things I don't comprehend.  I know many people say the gospel is easy to understand.  Didn't Jesus say that we are to have faith as a little child?  In Matthew 18:3 He also said, "Verily I say unto you, except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven."   On the other hand, there are many who would claim the incomprehensibleness of the gospel.  There are always two sides in every matter. (Matthew 12:30)  However, the harder to understand concepts can be a little confusing to a naive young woman such as I am.  Take for example, the differences between postmillennialism, pre-millennialism, and amillennialism; all the different worldview "isms": Calvinism, Judaism, communism, fascism, Marxism, socialism, etc. etc.   I may be a preacher's kid (another article topic coming up, folks!), but most times I feel dumber than a box of rocks. (My dad's metaphor.)  I think I need a Dummies Guide to Life.  Ha. Ha.  Is it all the pressure?  I read many books, but sometimes they set me to wondering if I really have what it takes.  If I don't understand something, I'm automatically d-u-m-b.  It's just the way I roll and the way my brain works.  Self-consciousness maybe?  Don't I believe everyone has a limit in knowledge?  (My limit must be pretty small. Shh!)

The text was taken from Romans 8:28-30.  A Reformed Christian believer would know this passage contains God's grace and foreknowledge of the elect.

"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.  For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.  Moreover, whom He did predestinate, them He also called: and whom He called, them He also justified: and whom He justified, them He also glorified."  

As my dad said, there isn't any way anyone can walk away from Romans 8 & 9 and deny God's grace and foreknowledge of His elect.  Even before the world began, God chose us from the very foundation of the earth.  He settled our lives beforehand.  He knew Adam would bring sin into the world, but He also knew the second Adam would bring life.  He knew our thoughts before we lived, and He even knows the very number of hairs on our head. (Matthew 10:30; Luke 12:7)

Before the world began.  That's a long time span in our finite understanding.  Somewhere around 6,000 years ago, when God first created the universe, He knew us - what we would be and become - even our very actions and thoughts this day!  Isn't His omniscience grand!  To know that He knew us before the world began is amazing!  I could stop here and let y'all falsely misconstrue my meaning.  However, let's look at the meaning of this word "know."

There are several different meanings of the word "know."  To know someone intimately is to be familiar with their ways.  Brothers and sisters know each other.  Friends know and love each other closely.  Husbands and wives know each other.  All of these are the same word “know” yet have somewhat different meanings.

Then there is an acquaintance relationship.  To meet someone for the first time is to get to know them, although not yet personally.  To know your friend is more than you know an acquaintance.  To know your family is more than you do your friend.  God is the One with ultimate knowledge.  My dad used this example:  God knew who Hitler was, yet He didn't know him in a personal relationship.  God already knew what Hitler would do before he did it, but God didn't reign in Hitler's heart.  Adolf Hitler reigned there instead.

On the other hand, God knows His children intimately.  He speaks to them through His word and listens when they pray.  His elect have a relationship with Christ that the rest of the world does not.  God knows the thoughts and intents in every man's heart, but each relationship is different. To know is to know, but how much do we exactly know?  There is a big part of us that we don't want anyone to really know about.  Oh sure, we're all sinners, but we wouldn't dare display that particular part about us.  We can't know any heart other than our own.  God, however, knows everything.  He preordained the whole world for His glory.

"In whom we also have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of Him who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will."  ~Ephesians 1:11

Who can say that man can will/do whatever he pleases?  Can a finite mind overpower the infinite?

My advice is this: don't trust in what just anybody says.  Even what I say, don't take for granted.  The Bible gives the best advice on what to do.  "Search the scriptures."  (John 5:39)  Only the Bible can give the correct answer.  My reasoning has to be corroborated with Scripture, and so does everything else.  The Bible warns us against false philosophy.

"Beware lest any man spoil you though philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ."  ~Colossians 2:8

The truth will set us free.  But what is truth?  Pilate couldn't find the answer.  However, Jesus said in John 14:6 that He is the way, the truth, and the life.  Because Jesus Christ is truth (for He cannot lie), so is His word.  Sola Scriptura ultimately means Scripture Alone.  Scripture alone can show us truth, for Jesus said His word is truth.

Because God knows His children, He also cares for them.  When we believe in His love and mercy, we can rest assured in His unfailing grace that gives us life.

(Paraphrased from September 26's sermon by James Brown Jr.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

* like *
Don't worry about being prejudiced like that.. It's natural. I wish I could listen to your father's sermons... I really enjoy what he does share :)

Yeah!, its hard to understand all the "isms" even for a 17 year old :)