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Learning Too Little

December 5, 2012

“The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.” (Deut. 29:29, ESV).

It seems to me that much confusion exists today about the so-called “mysteries” of God.  Christians often talk of apparent contradictions in Scripture and speak negatively about thinking too deeply about what may be deemed difficult doctrines of the Bible.  The emphasis can tend to be on simplicity with an appeal to 1 Cor. 2:2 which reads, “For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified,” (ESV).  While I believe there is a sense in which this is true, I think we often misuse this idea.

The scripture above does in fact speak of certain “secret things” which God has reserved for Himself.  These are things that it has pleased Him not to reveal to us as His people.  If we search into these things and try to create doctrines about them, we are acting presumptuously.  Some examples of these things could be the day and the hour of His second coming, or the amount of people who will be saved.  We must not go beyond what Scripture teaches.  If we do this we are guilty of creating human doctrines which insult God and injure our fellow human beings.

However, notice that the passage goes on to say that the “revealed [things] belong to us and to our children.”  My concern is that we can too quickly retreat from difficult revealed teachings and categorize them as secret and cast off any attempt to understand them properly.  This error is no less pernicious than seeking for the things not revealed.  What we are ultimately saying when we do this is that the Holy Spirit made a mistake and revealed something to us that He should not have.  Can we possibly excuse such a thought?  As diligent as we must be that we do not presumptuously search into things not taught in Scripture, we must equally be adamant about learning any doctrine that is taught to us in Scripture.  If we are to honor the wisdom of God and not arrogantly assume we are wiser than Him, we must seek to learn any revealed truth of Scripture, regardless of how “difficulty” it may seem.

Notice that this passage goes on to give the reason God has revealed certain things to His people.  It is so, “we may do all the words of this law.”  You see, if we neglect to learn any truth of Scripture we are hindering our ability to obey the God.  When we cast off teachings that may require a little more work to understand under the guise of simplicity, we place binders on our hands which prevent us from properly being able to do the things God has called us to do as His church.  What can often be an oversimplification of the Bible in favor of a stated focus on practical or applicational truths, ultimately hinders our ability to practically apply God’s Word to our lives.

Let us determine to know the things that God has revealed as much as we should determine to leave known to God the things He has not revealed.

From → Miscellaneous

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