Romans 11:33: The Deep Knowledge of God

Outline

  • God’s knowledge
  • God’s knowledge of sin
  • God’s knowledge of me

Introduction

A W Pink in his book on the sovereignty of God writes: ‘The god who is talked about in the average pulpit, spoken of in the ordinary Sunday school, mentioned in much of the religious literature of the day, and preached in most of the so-called Bible conferences, is a figment of human imagination, an invention of maudlin sentimentality. The heathen outside the pale of Christendom form gods of wood and stone, while millions of heathen inside Christendom manufacture a god out of their carnal minds. In reality, they are but atheists, for there is no other possible alternative between an absolutely supreme God, and no God at all. A god whose will is resisted, whose designs are frustrated, whose purpose is checkmated, possesses no title to deity, and far from being a fit object of worship, merits nothing but contempt.’ Or in regard to many Christian’s thought about God, to quote Martin Luther, ‘Your thoughts of God are too human.’ Human thought is a procrustean bed that cuts God to fit our expectations. Or as the psalmist puts it in Ps. 50:21, ‘you thought that I was one like yourself.’ Paul confronts us with a God who breaks the bounds of our human expectation. Paul is confronted with profound mysteries and unknowables in God and this leads him to profound worship and consecration. Paul reminds us that we are not God, only He is and we are limited in our capacity to know God in His fullness. Paul sets before us three aspects of God’s work that exceed our ability to comprehend or test, His knowledge, judgements and ways. As we work to worship God as Paul did we will be learning how to be humble in our pursuit of knowing God without despising knowledge and doctrine; how to worship with incomplete knowledge, and how to suffer ignorance about God without accusation.

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