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We Can Know (Colossians 1:26-27)

January 25, 2010

Until the time that Christ returns, men will flatter themselves with the vain notion that they have been granted special understanding and fuller knowledge of divine truth apart from and independently of God’s Word.  This is a pernicious error, and yet a persistent one.  Those who think this way become vainly puffed up by their fleshly mind, for they consider themselves enlightened beyond what is allowed to the ordinary man.

This kind of vain thinking surrounds us, and every “religion” that strays from God’s perfect revelation of Himself in the Bible promotes it.  The LDS church comes to mind.  They certainly are not the only religion to claim special light.  But their claim is typical of those who reject the plain teaching of the Word.  They have experienced a special burning in the bosom that frees them from the constraints of God’s pure Word.  They have received more “light” than those who hold to Sola Scriptura.

No Bible believer should ever be disturbed by this kind of vain deceit.  They would have you believe that your faith is somehow inferior to theirs, that you have not acquired their level of knowledge.  In their sight, you are unenlightened, ignorant, and disadvantaged.  But this is not what God thinks of you.  Rather, those who hold the pure faith of the Gospel, as revealed in Scripture alone have the advantage.  For in and through the Word of God, you may be filled with all the fulness of God.

Paul the Apostle was made a minister (the word here is diakonos) for this purpose.  The vain philosophers of this world might think that they have obtained full knowledge independently of God.  But knowledge is impossible apart from God, and in Christ are hid all the treasures of knowledge (Colossians 2:3).  The dispensation of God was given to Paul for us — Paul emphasizes the word “you” here, and the word “for” is the Greek word eis, which also means “into,” “to,” or “in.”  In other words, the stewardship of the Word was given to Paul so that the Word, the mystery (v. 26) could come through him to us.  In verse 26, Paul is more specific about what has been entrusted to him —

Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:

God is able to keep these mysteries hidden.  He kept them hidden for generations, even from those prophets that he used to record those mysteries (Matthew 13:17; Luke 10:24; I Peter 1:10-12).  Men might flatter themselves that they have discovered these things on their own.  But they are blind leaders of the blind.  The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

But God, according to His grace, has made known the riches of the glory of this mystery.  God has even stooped so far as to make them known among the Gentiles.  God has done this through the Apostle Paul, by entrusting him with the stewardship of this mystery.  God has revealed these things, not to the “wise” or to the “prudent,” but to babes in Christ.  God has revealed these mysteries in His Word, in the face of Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 4:6).  This is the glory of the mystery — Christ in you, the hope of glory.

Brethren, we must not let any man beguile us of our reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, and not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God.

Rather, we must stand firm on the Word of God.  We can know.  And those who are resting in Christ alone for their redemption, those who have received Jesus Christ alone as He is presented in the Gospel, having repented of their sins and come to Christ by faith, to them God has made known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery.

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