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Tuesday: Stewards of the Mysteries of God — 21 Comments

  1. Our lives must reveal the gospel to the world. A person living a life of repentance revealing the glory of God will automatically reveal the gospel in the life work that an unconverted person could never reveal by preaching through his mouth.

  2. I'd say "Glory be to God because of His Mystery! We could never fully understand His love for His own creatures!".
    Sometimes I feel that I cannot control the way I witness because I'm a failure! There is nothing in myself that I can count as good! Only by the miracle of Jesus my filthy life can still be a blessing to others! And it is! Because every day when I accept His love in my heart there is a mystery of change happening. Not that I can fully realize that, but the important thing is that others see God's works through me! I just need to be empty of self waiting faithfully for God to complete me with His will! Have a blessed day!

  3. The meaning to be faithful with the secret things of God is the same thing Paul was actually doing sharing about Jesus with those who did not know about Him.

  4. It is impossible for even the keenist mind to fully comprehend the character and works of God. Job 11:7,8. We can though comprehend enough to discern His boundless love, mercies, and power available to us. We should not be surprised that in the spiritural world there are mysteries we cannot fathom. We must keep in mind though that God never asks us to believe without sufficent evidince to base our faith on...
    Stewards of the gospel. Takes at lot of finesse and knowledge sometimes when the receptor of our stewardship is of another faith, it would be easy to dust off our feet and go on to the next, that would be a cop out though. Just don't get into a heavy debate, and yes there may come the time when you have to say I belive this and you believe that. I see I can't change your belief and you can't mine. We depart...

  5. It's indeed a mystery that God who is all powerful could allow His Son Jesus to go through so much agony & finally death just to save rebellious and stubborn human beings! If He wanted He could have wiped out everyone on the face of earth and created more obedient and faithful human beings. What a long suffering and compassionate God we serve!!! It actually shows how consistent His scriptures are

    • One of his mysteries is that of "Forgiveness." The Apostle Peter thought he was doing great to forgive up to seven times. Jesus said to do it 70 times 7. That equals 490 times. How many of us would take the time to keep a record of forgiveness that was that long? Jesus then went on to tell Peter the parable of the King that forgave his servant a great sum that his servant owed him and then that servant would not forgive his own servant the same way that his King forgave him. The fact that Jesus would tell Peter to forgive 70 times 7 tells me that God forgives that way because He would never tell us to forgive like that if he himself does not forgive like that. Yet here we are in the last days and God's so called Remnant talk about being perfect like God except in this very way of forgiveness toward others.

  6. "You have been called to be a steward of the gospel. What responsibilities does that automatically mean you have?"

    My thought is that most of all we do not take Christ's name in vain. The gospel of Christ is mocked when "believers" do not reflect who Christ is and fail to understand the need for His grace. We fall short of this, but the Holy Spirit is not limited by our imperfections and will accomplish God's purposes.

    Whatever other truths (doctrines) I might know is always of lesser importance than knowing Christ and accepting Him and the grace He offers freely. Nothing else matters unless Christ matters first. The Jews had all the truth for their time, but it wasn't until the wonderful grace of Christ was understood that lives were actually changed.

    Therefore, it seems my highest responsibility is to know the love and character of Christ and to reflect Him in everything I do, everywhere I happen to be.

  7. Those things that some are presented as being aware and able to communicate that awareness, perhaps should read a text with authority. Isaiah 55:8,9. For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways , and My thoughts than your thoughts. Perspective to achieve may sometimes be helpful.

  8. I am disturbed by the ambivalence I perceived in Tuesday's (1/30) lesson that does not appear to comport with the memory text (1 Thes 2:4). Interestingly, the study begins with a quote from Zophar (Job 11:7) that is perhaps true as a general statement of humanity's unaided capability to understand God but which, ironically, DOES NOT apply to "the mysteries of God" (1 Cor 4:1)--especially in light of it's quote of Dt 29:29. Later in the book of Job God provides atonement for Zophar's false thinking (Job 42:7-9).

    The lesson author wrote, "The mysteries of God have been recorded in Scripture, even though understanding them fully is still beyond our comprehension. That’s why they are mysteries", as well as "God wants us, as His stewards, to preserve, teach, protect, and care for divine truth that He has revealed". These two statements appear to contradict each other and then quotes Ellen White in apparent support. How does one "teach" something "beyond our[one's] comprehension"?

    Paul called "godliness" a mystery (1 Tim 3:16). He also called "the gospel" (Eph 6:19) a mystery. However, Paul, according to the memory text (1 Thes 2:4), was "heart-tested", "approved by God" and "entrusted with the gospel"--The Gospel of God no less (1 Thes 2:8; Rm 1:1)! Even as a stand-alone portion of Scripture, the memory text projects a concept of God carefully overseeing and vetting the individuals entrusted with His Gospel--a "MYSTERY kept secret since the world began" (Rm 16:25), but which is "now made manifest...to all nations" (Rm 16:26). God's "approved" stewards are neither uncertain nor vacillating (Eph 6:19; 2 Tim 2:15)!

    Like Daniel (Dan 4:8) before him, Paul was gifted a "spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him [God]"(Eph 1:17-18; Gal 1:12,15-16; Dan 5:14) and individuals like them will speak and write about things of "mystery" with a clarity only possible when the natural mind is subordinated by God's Spirit (2 Pt 1:21). Let us leave ambivalence and ambiguity behind, be it in our thinking (James 1:8), teaching (1 Cor 14:8) or our living (Gal 2:12-13), as it is a dangerously harmful contagion (2 Tim 2:14,16).

    • The issue can appear ambivalent but this illustration may help a little. A am married to a woman that I do not understand fully but whom I appreciate very much. There is always some new surprise around the corner as we grow older together. Likewise with God, there is always going to be things about him that we do not understand but that should not stop us appreciating and responding to him.

      • Maurice, I like conversing with men who appreciate the gift of a wife (Prov 18:22)..is that an amen?! 😊 Thanks for your illustration as it further highlights my concern. Your desire to "grow older together" would be very effectively torpedoed if your overtures to have deep conversations with your wife were met with evasiveness!

        I acknowledge the Scriptural teaching of the limitations of the unaided human faculties (1 Cor 13:9). I bristled at the lesson's suggestion that our limitations regarding the "mysteries of God" is the permanent state of the God/human relationship. That would be contrary to prophetic Scripture (Lk 2:27-32; Rm 16:25-26; 1 Cor 13:12; Rev 1:1-3). Relationships do not flourish in an atmosphere where one party imposes ignorance. Shepherded by the gift of His Holy Spirit (Jn 16:13-14), He becomes our conduit to ALL knowledge (1 Cor 2:10-12; Jer 9:24).

        • God does not "impose ignorance," but we are limited by our humanity which can never fully comprehend divinity, and thus mystery remains. That is not at all a bad thing, as Maurice pointed out in his illustration. Mystery is actually part of the attraction.
          Spiritualism teaches that humanity will some day morph into divinity and thus resolve the mystery. However, as I understand biblical truth, humanity will never become divine and will thus always be limited in understanding the divine. And that is all good.

          • Inge, your response suggests a misunderstanding of the intent of my posts. I believe you and I are in agreement that there are limitations on human understanding. Jesus taught that a right God/human relationship inevitably results in a more enlightened human (Mt 16:17; Jn 15:15). Nowhere in my submissions did I advocate or suggest eventual human omniscience.

            I stand by my original understanding that those who are deemed "stewards of the mysteries of God" (1 Cor 4:1)--specifically, "godliness" (1 Tim 3:16) and "the gospel" (Eph 6:19)--are clearly "given utterance...to boldly MAKE KNOWN the MYSTERY of THE GOSPEL". These things that long were, in fact, mysteries God has now chosen to make MANIFEST (Rm 16:25-26; Dt 29:29). I'm having a hard time imagining Daniel and his friends, with their lives under threat along with all the wise men of Babylon (Dan 2:18), responding to the king's query (Dan 2:26) like this: "O king, there is a God in heaven who reveals secrets, and He has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will be in the latter days..(Dan 2:28). However, in order to keep our attraction and interest He has only revealed 75% of your dream to me--is that OK with you, O king?"

          • Yes, Lynrol, God's stewards are, indeed, given insight into the mysteries of the gospel and the mystery of godliness. These are "mysteries" to the unconverted, but not to the followers of Christ to whom God gives not just understanding but also experience in godliness and the gospel.

            However, as the lesson suggests, and as Maurice's comment supports, there will always be mysteries surrounding the Godhead, and "understanding them fully is still beyond our comprehension." And I suggest this will be so through eternity, even though humans will gain more and more insight into these mysteries.

        • Lynrol, I can undestand part of your predicament, but if I read you right, I think your disagreement is with the notion that 'the "mysteries of God" is the permanent state of the God/human relationship.' I don't have a problem with that idea. Let me digress to the discipline of mathematics for a moment to illustrate:

          I studied Mathematics at university level in so far as it helped me understand Physics and Chemisty. I recognised that there is a lot more to Mathematics than what I learned. My son did a PhD in a branch of Mathematics that I do not even have a glimmer of understanding about. It raises the question; Is Mathematical Knowledge a finite set or is it infinite? Could we at some point, given enough time, understand all mathematics? Part of the challenge of any field of study, is that for us there is always more to learn.

          I think that there is always more to learn about God in the same sort of way. Part of the problem we have now is that there are limitations to our learning due to time/space constraints.

          As a side note: One of the problems that I have with our concept of God is that God does not need to learn or discover anything. Yet, He made us in his image and has given us a sense of curiosity and the urge to learn and discover. That seems at odds with a God who has no need for curiosity and discovery. I don't lose any sleep over the issue, but I will ask God that question when I get a chance!

          • Inge and Maurice, to be clear, the intent of my original post was not to comment on the limits of human understanding, nor was it a commentary on the infinite nature of God. I was bothered by a lesson titled "STEWARDS of the MYSTERY OF GOD" where the lesson's author suggests two ideas regarding the "stewards" that appears to be in conflict. The first idea appears in the second sentence of the first paragraph, "The mysteries of God have been recorded in Scripture, even though understanding them fully is still beyond our comprehension", which appears to suggest that the "stewards" are in over their heads. This first idea appears to be in conflict with the second idea which appears in the third paragraph, "God wants us, as His stewards, to preserve, teach, protect, and care for divine truth that He has revealed", which suggests the "stewards" ought to be "teach[ing]..truth that He [God] has revealed." So are the "stewards" disabled by their possession of "mysteries...beyond our comprehension" or are they enabled to "teach...divine truth that He has revealed"? Which one? This is also repeated in the second paragraph, "We are stewards of things that we do not fully understand. We know only as much as revelation and Scripture reveal."

            This muddled ambivalence stands contrasted against that lesson's first quoted Scripture. Consider Col 2:1-3 where Paul is actually addressing "stewards" in Laodicea whom he "encouraged" with the promise of "ATTAINING to ALL RICHES of the FULL ASSURANCE OF UNDERSTANDING, to the KNOWLEDGE of the MYSTERY OF GOD, both of the Father and of Christ, in whom are hidden ALL THE TREASURES of WISDOM and KNOWLEDGE."

            My preference is to think, understand and live within the stream of "encouragement", "boldly" made known (Eph 6:19) by a "heart-tested", "approved by God" (1 Thes 2:4), "steward of the mysteries of God" (1 Cor 4:1).

            • Lynrol, I think we can expect a bit of ambivalence in the wording on the topic of "understanding the mysteries of God". Part of it is linguistic, part cultural. I appreciate your returning to the central idea of stewardship though. The way we relate to the "mystery" and the way we communicate it to others is important.

              As I think I have made clear in both this thread and my posts in other threads, the idea that somehow stewardship means that we have greater knowledge of the "mystery of God" is wrong, not only as far as the relationship is concerned but also it communicates the wrong idea about the Gospel. Good stewardship is about the experience and not the attainment of knowledge.

              If I can give another example: When I ask an electrician to wire up my house, I expect that he or she uses their practical knowledge about electricity to wire the house safely. They are good stewards if they know the right gauge or wire to use to carry a 10 amp current to the powerpoints and that the wires are correctly terminated in the switches so that they don't short and set the house on fire. Do they understand the mystery of electricity? I suggest that they don't but they know enough about it to respect the wiring protocols and wire the house appropriately. I think that my knowledge (as a physicist) about electricity is more extensive than that of an electrician. I know about electron drift velocities and Fermi-Dirac energy levels; I can discuss conduction bands and a whole lot of other theory about electricity and electrical circuits. But would I wire a house? Definitely not! Good stewardship on my part is letting the electrician do that work for me.

              I know that illustrations do not always fit the situation exactly, but what I am trying to say is that Stewardship of the Truth involves using the knowledge an experience we have to the best of our ability. In the spiritual sense; if we accept that stewardship is a growing experience we will respond to the leading of the Holy Spirit and grow in knowledge an experience. I see Col 2:1-3 as an invitation. And that is what I think you are saying in your last paragraph.

              The problem that we potentially face is where we come to the stage where we think we know it all. And that is where we need to humbly accept the leading of the Holy Spirit to continue to grow in wisdom, understanding and application.

          • Maurice, I agree that the issues regarding human learning is indeed complex. I also agree that know-it-all, condescending or cruel educators are poor motivators for learning. However, with your background as an educator I'm sure you understand the reasonable expectation that educators possess a superior command of the subject they teach. They should have a curiosity that drives their own desire to learn and have current information. I imagine that every educator in physics would hope (or at lease have an awareness) that they're educating another Fermi, Einstein, Curie, Tesla, Bohr etc and not only should electricians be eternally grateful for their "theoretical" labors but so should astronauts, chefs, radiologists, plumbers, pilots, mechanics etc! The educator (steward), his/her employer (God), students and those whom the graduating students will serve become an "irreducible complexity", where no one part may be removed or modified without harm to the system.

            So, as I see it we have a choice between the impoverished "stewardship" of this Laodicea (Rev 3:1,17) or the bright "assurance" of this one (Col 2:1-2) with its identified Source (Col 2:3; Lk 4:18; Jn 14:12).

  9. Being a steward of the gospel means that you have the responsiblity of sharing God's love and grace with others. It may also mean that you should share the complete message: the Bible doctrines that we have been given; the health message; God's commandments and at some point we should encourage them to be baptized because that is the commision that we have been given.

    • As a Seventh day Adventist I grew up "Knowing the truth." Being a steward of the gospel meant that I shared my belief and defended it to the max. Now that I am older and have gone through changes in my belief of the gospel and what it means has required me to go through a major (through cognitive dissonance) shift in my position on the gospel and what it means.

      Now I am learning to listen to others and what their belief is and how I can incorporate their belief with mine. Finding common ground, I am finding, is the best way to be a good steward of the gospel and the presentation of it. All of this is by way of the Holy Spirit.

      • To the Jews I became as a Jew, so that I might win Jews [for Christ]; to men under the Law, [I became] as one under the Law, though not being under the Law myself, so that I might win those who are under the Law.
        1 CORINTHIANS 9:20 AMP.
        To me this means I mingle, but not at the expense of my pillars of my faith 1. Laws of Gods love(ten commandments). 2. Faith of Jesus-Righteousness of Christ 3. Three Angels Message. 4. Sabbath. 5. State of the dead-Milliunium 6. Special gift of prophecy. 7. Sancutuary message-Christ ministry in heaven.
        Back to the precieved dichotomy, ambivalence, and conflict of ideas. I don't believe we need to say the author is having mixed feelings. It appears as WE have two points to make, is all. Romans 11:33-36. Texts hard to pass up when talking about the mysteries of God.


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