OH THE DEPTH OF THE RICHES!

It is early morning on Christmas Eve 2013, and I am thinking about the enormous wealth that I possess.  I am not talking about material wealth, nothing so transient and illusory as that.  I am talking about the wealth that the Apostle Paul had in mind in Romans 11:33 – 36.  There we read “Oh the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!  How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!  Who has known the mind of the Lord?  Or who has been his counselor?  Who has ever given to God that God should repay him?  For from him and through him and to him are all things.  To him be the glory forever!  Amen.”  When Paul recorded the praise filled response to God he had just completed the doctrinal section of the Epistle to the Romans.  He had done his very best with the help of the Holy Spirit to lay out the purpose of God in sending his Son into the world.  There can be little question that in Paul we have the primary theologian of the Christian faith.  Augustine, Aquinas, Luther, Calvin, and all others pale in comparison.  There is, however, one thing about Paul’s theology that must not be overlooked.  When we have done our best to explain the exceeding wonders of God’s salvation in Jesus Christ there is still infinitely more to be told than tongue or pen can tell.  Because of this we should find ourselves lost in wonder, love, and praise.  God does not save us in response to our intellect, but in response to our accepting his wonderful gift of his son, Jesus Christ.  Before you agree, think about the various arguments you have been a part of or witnessed on the fine points of theology.  Think of the great divisions that exist in Christendom.  Think of the countless polemical books that have been written to debunk this or that sincere Christian’s ideas.  Do not think that I am advocating a lack of vigilance for truth.  Paul himself challenged a number of very important issues related to false teaching in his day.  What I am asking for is a greater humility in the face of the wondrous truth of God.  If only we had more humility before God and could acknowledge our limitations, we could genuinely celebrate the faith of others with whom we may have some disagreements.  Never in my lifetime have I seen it as more critical that all who name the name of Jesus and know him to be the Christ, the Son of the Living God pray for and support one another.  We are not enemies.  We are family, and we are rich beyond words.  Oh the depth of the riches!

Dan Wooldridge

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