The Christian alone has the special treasure of the knowledge of how a man can be reconciled to God and be set free from his sins and to come to know the God who is there. We are ambassadors and stewards of the mysteries of God and there is no greater privilege.
1 Corinthians 4:1 – This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. ‘
Preached on 9.16.2012 before Bob died of cancer on 11.6.2012.
2 Timothy 2:25: ‘With gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth.’ See that phrase there? And then in 3:7 of 2 Timothy, it says, these people here – talking about false prophets – they are ‘always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses,’ and so on.
So: people are not going to be saved apart from coming to know the truth. They’ve gotta know some doctrine. They’ve gotta know some content. They’ve gotta know something about God. They’ve gotta know something about the God who is there. And here we are. Here we are, stewards, stewards of the mysteries of God. We’re caretakers of the mysteries of God! We know God. We know what He’s like substantially. We know how man can get to God. We know how he can be reconciled with God. That’s us. We’ve got this special treasure. We’ve got this special treasure that…that can tell that man how to get through, how to get out of his sins, how to get free of his sins, how to break loose, how to get free of the penalty and the power of his sins and to come to know the God who is there. We have got that. I mean, there’s nobody else like us: stewards of the mysteries of God, ambassadors.
And Paul says in the next verse or so, ‘For this I was appointed a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher’ (2 Timothy 1:11). And he says, ‘I’m telling you the truth; I’m not lying’ (1 Timothy 2:7). I didn’t put myself in this. This wasn’t my idea. I was saved! I was called. I was appointed. And it’s the same way for us in some measure. We can say of a truth, ‘I’m not lying. I’m a Christian. I know God. I can tell you, my friend. I can tell you, my neighbor. I can tell you how you can get right with God, how you can be reconciled.’
And so, when we come together for prayer, let’s remember these things. The priority of prayer. Let’s remember who to pray for, who we can pray for, and number three, the reason we’re praying: that they might lead a quiet life, if they be saved, and just that they might be saved!
And so, what is this knowledge of the truth that we want to get across? What’s the big thing? What’s the central thing? What do we want to tell ‘em? What do we really want to tell ‘em? Do we want to tell ‘em about this little thing and that little thing, and where you can get the best buy on some commodity? Or talk about tradition and something like that?
No, we want to tell ‘em…we want to tell ‘em that there’s one God. Forget this other stuff. There’s just one God. There’s not the god of this and that. But you’ve only gotta do business with one. It’s one God. He made everything, and He sent His Son to be a redeemer. One mediator: there’s just one. The Catholics say you can have Mary too, but he says, ‘There’s one God and one Mediator’ (1 Timothy 2:5). Yeah, Jesus said, ‘I am the way’ (John 14:6), ‘I’m not a way; I am the way.’ We want to communicate that to ‘em. There’s not options. Christianity is exclusive. It’s very unique. It’s very narrow. The gate’s narrow. The way’s narrow. You’re gonna have to get right down here to the one God and one Mediator. And it’s wonderful, isn’t it, that we’ve only got to deal with one? Just the Lord of Glory. It’s Him with whom we have to do.
And, you know, God is holy. He’s in another realm. He’s so holy that the pillars of heaven tremble at His rebuke (Job 26:11). He’s so heavenly that the angels are not pure in His sight (Job 15:15). He’s so holy that angels hide their eyes, hide their face (Isaiah 6:2). And how can we, sinful men, how can we ever be reconciled to God? How can we have any business with Him? How can He ever look upon us?
It’s because this God who is there graciously sent His Son to be a mediator, to be able to identify with God the Holy One, and with man, the sinful man. He sent His Son to be a mediator, and then conciliate ‘between God and men, the man Christ Jesus’ (1 Timothy 2:5). Yes, He was God, so He can identify with God. And He became a man; He can identify with us – in all points, in all ways. Don’t need to be afraid. This mediator who is there, this reconciler who is there, He’s just like you are. We can tell that to our neighbors. He can identify with you. Come on in! The gate’s open for sinful men. He was like us in every point, except for sin.
Oh, there’s good news. There’s good news in this world. There’s really just one set of good news. We’ve got it. We know it. We can enjoy the gospel. We can enjoy the Son of God. Let’s make our journey a well-spent journey and a joyful one. Our sins are forgiven. And let’s take others with us.