A Wonderful Mystery

The mystery of the faith is that I, a poor, guilty sinner, can become a child of God

Scripture: 1 Timothy 3:9, John 3:16, Ephesians 5, John 6:6, 2 Corinthians 1:3-4


Alright, thank you very much. And hello again, radio friends. How in the world are you? Doing all right today? Well, I trust so, bless your heart. Nice to be back with you. This is your good friend, Bob Cook, and I’m looking with you at the Book of 1 Timothy.

These days we’re in chapter 3, and we’ve come down to verse 9. This is a listing of the qualifications for deacons, which is quite similar to that for pastors. “Deacons must be grave.” That means you take God seriously and you’re not fooling around with His Word, His law, His will or with people. “Not double-tongued,” you’re not saying one thing to one person and another to another; “not given to much wine,” that’s pretty plain.

“Not greedy of filthy lucre,” that’s a word that means “lover of silver.” “The love of money,” the Bible says, “is the root of all evil.” There are some deacons that I have met in years past who would rather count the offering than listen to the sermon, which of course might be explained over the dullness of the sermon, I presume. But the love of money shows up as a minus quality if you’re gonna be in leadership in the Lord’s work.

Then we come to Verse 9, “holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.” The mystery of the faith. Now, what is that, anyway? The mystery of the faith.

Well, there are certain things that you never will understand in the way God deals with us. It’s just beyond us. You take a simple verse like John 3:16, “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting, eternal life.” Can you understand that, why God loved you? That He loved you so much that He would bankrupt Heaven for you? And that He Himself in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ would pay your debt of sin? Huh? Great mysteries.

There are several that you find in the Word of God. There’s the mystery of the prosperity of the wicked, “Righteous art thou, O Lord, when I plead with thee. Yet let me talk of thy judgments. Wherefore doth the way of the wicked prosper” The mystery of the new birth, “The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: So is every one that is born of the Spirit.”

The mystery of God’s providence, “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God. How unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out.”

The mystery of the Resurrection, “I show you a mystery, we shall not all sleep”, says Paul, “but we shall all be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of the eye.”

The mystery of the union of Christ with the church, “This is a great mystery”, says Paul in Ephesians 5, “But I speak concerning Christ and the church.”

And then the mystery of the incarnation-we’re gonna get to that verse as we study it in a day or so. “Without controversy, great is the mystery of Godliness, He was manifested in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached among the nations, received on, believed on in the world and received up into Glory.” The mystery of Godliness, Christ incarnate for us. God manifest in the flesh. These are things you don’t understand.

Now, the first thing we ought to say to each other is, “You don’t have to understand everything about God and His dealings with us.” “What I do thou knowest not now, but thou shalt know hereafter. And no chastening for the present seemeth pleasant but grievous, but afterward it yieldeth the goodly fruit of repentance.” God says, “You don’t know what I’m doing but I know what I’m doing.”

Our Lord Jesus asked the disciples one day, “How are we gonna feed this crowd?” John 6 has the question. That was throwing them a curve. They didn’t know how to do it, they say, “Well, we’d have to go in debt for a year’s wages in order to give each of these people just a little bit and that would just to be enough to irritate them.” But then the Bible says, “He Himself knew what He would do. Known unto God are all His works from the beginning of the World. I know the thoughts that I think toward you. Thoughts of good not of evil, to give you a desired end,” God says.

It all adds up to this, you don’t have to understand everything you can, except God’s way, without always understanding everything. Now, those of you who are parents and grandparents, you’ve applied this with your own small children in the years that have gone by. You were standing at a crowded street corner about to cross it, and the little boy beside you wanted to dash right on out because he knew there was a candy store across the street down the block. He wanted to get there. You said, “Wait,” and he said, “Why?” and you said, “Because I said so.” [chuckle] Do you remember that? Well, there are some things that you don’t always have to understand but you’re better off to obey them.

Now, I’m talking to somebody today that can’t understand why you’ve had certain experiences. Somebody that is listening right now has gone through a real sorrow that’s broken your heart. The loss of a loved one has left a big empty place in your life. You look up through your tears and say, “God, why did you do this?” Well, beloved, I can’t answer your “why” question, I really can’t. I don’t know why either. I only know that God has His perfect way and He knows what He’s doing. And if in the process, He can comfort you and then give you the ability to comfort others, perhaps then that sorrow may not have been in vain.

That, I think, is the meaning of 2 Corinthians 1:3 and 4, “God, the Father of mercies, the God of all comfort who comforteth us in all our trouble, in order that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.” God dries your tears so you can dry somebody else’s.

Now, you’re hurting so terribly, you’re so filled with sorrow, you look up and say, “God, I can’t take it, why did you do this?” Instead, beloved, listen to me, instead. Are you willing to look up and say, “Lord, I don’t like it, and it hurts. But I love you and I know that you’re God, and I want from this experience to be a better person and to be able to help other people more.” Pray that prayer and see what God will do. He comforteth us in all our trouble, in order that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. Don’t understand, no…..

A man came to me one day almost in tears. He said, “I have to talk to somebody, can I talk to you?” I said, “Sure.” He said, “I’ve worked for this corporation for 25 years or more, given them my best.” And now he said, “Without so much as a by-your-leave they’re shuffling me out the side door because there’s been a merger and the new management is bringing in their own buddies and I’m out in the cold and I’m too old to start over someplace else but I haven’t got enough seniority to really to retire. So why does this have to happen to me?” Does that have a familiar ring to some of you who’ve been through the squeeze process? You’ve been squeezed out because of a corporation shake-up or a merger? Yes, it happens, doesn’t it? And it’s not fun either, it hurts.

Because not only does it hurt your wallet and you wonder how you’re gonna make out financially, but it’s an insult, you give your best to a corporation and then they ease you out the side door. I know. Well, why, why should this happen to me? That’s what the man asked me that day as he came to see me. I said, “Brother, I don’t know.” But I said, “The Bible says God having prepared some better thing for them, God has something better for you-you wanna pray with me and believe God for that?”

Well, he wasn’t sure but yes, all right, we would. So we got down and we prayed. Something along this line, “Lord, we don’t understand why this thing has happened, but we know that you’ve got some plans for our brother and now we pray that you’ll lead him step by step and grant to him your provision.”

Well, the man went away and I heard from him some months later. He said, “I just thought I’d let you know.” He said, “You know, you told me that God had something better, and He certainly did. I’ve gotten a job with this and that corporation.” And he said, “It’s just better than I’ve ever had before and I’m so grateful to God and thank you for praying with me.” God knows, doesn’t He? Of course He knows. He knows what He’s doing, and His plans are already laid. So the Bible says, “In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy paths.” I take that to mean that if you really want God’s will and ask for it, that’s what you’ll get. He’ll see to it.

People say to me, “I’m so afraid I won’t be in the will of God, I want God’s will but I’m so afraid I’ll miss it.” Nonsense. If you really want God’s will and ask for it, He’ll see to it that you get it. That’s what that promise means, “In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy paths.” Why? Because His plans for you are already laid, and if you ask Him to guide you He will. Oh, yes, He will.

Mystery. You don’t have to understand why things happen. You can accept the God who makes them happen because He’s doing all things right. But Paul talks here about the mystery of the faith. What is that? That’s the mysterious process by which a poor guilty sinner is justified and adopted into the family of God and has a direct wire, so to speak, to enter the very throne room of Heaven. “Let us come boldly to the throne of grace so we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” The mystery of the faith.

How is it that I can confess Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior and that that results in my being born again, filled with the Spirit of God, as I opened all the rooms in my heart house to His indwelling presence? How can it happen that a poor, guilty sinner can become a child of God simply by praying and acknowledging the Lord Jesus Christ as Lord and asking Him to save me?

A mystery. It’s a mystery just as much as the mystery of the Incarnation, how could our Lord Jesus Christ come down the stairways of the stars to dwell in Mary’s womb and be born as a little baby in Bethlehem and then laid there in the manger out in a barn outside of a hotel, an inn in Bethlehem and to grow up as a boy in Joseph’s home and then to have His ministry three years here on earth as He went about doing good it said, and then to die on the cross for our sins. How is it that that could happen? I don’t know, I know it did, and I know today as I open my heart in prayer that the Lord Jesus Christ does fill my life with Himself and that life becomes a wonderful adventure with Deity as I walk every step with my blessed Lord. I know that.

The mystery of the faith that I, a poor, guilty sinner, can become a child of God and that I can call on the name of the Lord and be saved and that I can open my life to the indwelling Holy Spirit and be full of the Spirit of God and that when I talk it can be God talking through my throat and when I walk into a room it could be God walking into a room in my shoes. The very Presence of God in my life by faith, the mystery of the faith.

Christ is made unto us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption. Wisdom is knowing what to do with what you know; righteousness is being spontaneously good; sanctification is being set apart for God’s use only without being sanctimonious about it; and redemption is the quality of wrapping up all of life in a continuing miracle where you’re walking with your Lord step by blessed step.

Christ Jesus made unto us the mystery of the faith. By believing on Him and trusting Him and calling on Him all of this becomes yours. God does it. You don’t know how, nor do I, but we know that He does. The mystery of the faith. Now, we’ll get to the second half of that verse the next time we get together. Always remember, you don’t have to understand it all, but you can accept God’s will and obey it and enjoy it.

Dear Father, today may we enjoy the mystery of our faith in Jesus. Amen. ‘

Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today, and be a blessing!

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