Dr. S. Lewis Johnson lays out how God may be comprehended in this first of two messages.
[Prayer] Father, we thank Thee again for the privilege of the study of the word of God, and we ask Thy blessing tonight upon us as we consider the nature and the possibility of knowing the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. We ask now that as we each study, we may have the sense of the presence of the Holy Spirit and his teaching ministry. And this we ask through Jesus Christ Our Lord and Savior. Amen.
[Message] I’m just going to take out a few minutes now and give the outline so that those of you that are taking notes can at least get the outline down, and then we will plunge into it section by section. And if you recognize that what I have to say in some way parallels the outline, you may be able to put the outline in at the proper place as we go along. Now, for those of you who are taking notes then, there will be first a brief introduction in which we will review the things that we have considered up to this point. And then 1 Roman, in the outline, the incomprehensibility — the incomprehensibility of God, that’s almost as long as Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz, whom we shall have in Isaiah chapter 8.
A. Man’s sin
B. God’s infinity
Roman 2: The Knowability of God
A. The logical evidence
B. The Scriptural evidence
Roman 3: The Method of Knowing God
And I think that we shall let it rest at that for tonight.
Let’s begin tonight by reading two passages of Scripture. One in Job chapter 11, verse 7, the other in the Gospel of John chapter 17, verse 3. Job chapter 11, verse 7, Job writes, “Canst thou by searching find out God? canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection?”
Now, let’s turn over to the New Testament to the Gospel of John chapter 17, verse 3. And this text of course is found in our Lord’s intercessory prayer. Just before his passion. John chapter 17, verse 3, and Jesus in his prayer says, “And this is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent.” [Repeat] “And this is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent.”
Now for a few moments I want to review. The reason I’m reviewing is two fold. Number one, what we’ve been going over is very difficult for the average believer of us to grasp and comprehend, in fact reports have come to me from seminary wives, who are very nice, but the reports have come to me from the seminary wives, one of them said that, “I didn’t understand a thing last time.” Now, girls I want you to feel free to speak to your husbands because they’re the ones who relay the information to me. But let me assure you that wasn’t nearly as bad as what my wife said. Because she said last Monday night, “That certainly was dull.” [Laughter] Now when you say I didn’t understand a thing, that leaves me with a little hope, it may be your denseness that enabled you too get nothing out of it. But when you are told that that sure was dull. There’s no question about whose fault that is. [Laughter]
Now wives are wonderful persons and very very important, and as a matter of fact essential for preachers. And so tonight I’m going to try to go a little slower and try to be comprehensible when we talk about the incomprehensibility of God. I remember a story of a preacher who was apparently such as I, because he gave a very learned discourse on God. And when he finished a simple Christian was heard as she went out of the auditorium, “In spite of what he says, I still believe in God.” [Laughter]
So let me review what we have been going over in our studies. We have been stressing two things. First of all Theology; or the science of things divine, that is the meaning of Theology is necessary, possible and is carried on by induction.
Now let’s stop for just a moment and talk about necessary. We would probably have no question about Theology being possible, is it necessary? Well it is necessary because it is only through Theology that we are able to come to balanced views of the truth of the word of God. Almost inevitably if we study the Bible and do not study it doctrinally it is impossible for us expect over a long period of time to have some understanding of the Bible in a balanced way.
We all have seen Christians for example and the first thing they studied was prophecy, and they became very interested in it and of course every Christian should be interested in prophecy. In some churches prophecy is the primary job that is served the Christians and consequently you can usually pick out that kind of Christian as an unbalanced Christian. He has the great interest in prophecy sometimes a great knowledge in prophecy but he does not often have the practical truths to go with his prophecy. And then of course what is even worse, a person becomes a Christian and he becomes a member of an evangelical church in which prophecy is discounted. And all that is served up to the members of the church is a dot of simple devotional messages in which there is no real exposition of the word of God and consecutive fashion at all but just text chosen here and there. But just text chosen here and there in order to give a blessing to those who hear the word.
Now there is a place for that. When you speak to the ladies auxiliary it’s very good to have a text of Scripture because you only have fifteen or twenty minutes and take a text of scripture and bring out of the text what is in the text, there’s nothing wrong with that. There are special occasions when devotional messages are very proper. And there are also times in the exposition in the word of God when we should preach it devotionally because certain sections of the word of God are devotional in content, for example 1 John is a good illustration of that. But if we had only that kind of God then we are unbalanced in that way. And so it is possible to be unbalanced doctrinally it’s possible to be unbalanced in a practical way.
But if we take all of the scriptures and put them together as we do in Systematic Theology then we have a balanced understanding of the word of God. Furthermore theology is very necessary to preserve us from false doctrine. I quoted Professor Emile [indistinct], one who we would probably classify the liberal. But who nevertheless in spite of his liberalism and certain features of his doctrine has nevertheless said a good thing. He said that “Theology protects the church from food poisoning.” And that’s true, theology does do that, it gives us some backbone for the truth of the word of God. So it is possible, it is necessary, it is carried on inductively.
Now I know that this idea of induction is not the kind of thing that you usually hear in a pulpit but let me just briefly state what we mean by induction. All study whether it be scientific or whether it be studies such as you and I may carry on in our private devotional life. All studies whether the scientist or the theologians is carried on on the basis of certain truths that are assumed. In other words we assume we have a sound mind. We assume that the things that we come to by reason of the exercise of the rational process that God has given us are reliable.
We assume for example if we see the sun that there is such a thing as the sun etc. Everybody begins with certain assumptions. So when we come to the word of God we begin with certain assumptions of that character. And then secondly by induction we ascertain, collect and put together the truths that we see through the study of the word of God. Now we do this spiritually under the Spirit of God. And this way we differ from the scientists with investigating with a process of reasoning and the faculties of reason that God has given him. We do it under the Holy Spirit. But nevertheless we collect and combine the truth that we discover as we read the word of God. And we put them together and we do it carefulness and completeness, if we are going to have a good induction.
Scientists have often made errors, are still making errors, will continue to make errors. Sometimes their errors are because they have not been very careful in the understanding of their example. Sometimes they have not properly collected it. Sometimes they have overlooked something. For example, scientists for centuries believed that the sun proceeded around the earth rather than vise versa. It was a tremendous revolution in scientific thinking when we discovered the opposite. In the case of theology it’s important for us to not miss and misunderstand our data.
We might for example look at the word of God and read that Jesus does not know something. And that is true for remember in Mark 13 it is stated by our Lord himself that he does not know the hour of the second advent; of that hour the angels, the solemn man, know that hour, that hour is known by the Father only. We might conclude from this that Jesus was not omniscient but then of course we read in numerous occasions that he knows, he knows in such a way that we have to predicate of him that he is omniscient. For example, that when he met Nathaniel, Nathaniel saw him and he saw Nathaniel he began to open the conversation by saying behold the Israelite in whom there is no Jacob, no God. And I’m sure that Nathaniel wondered how in the world our Lord was able to see into his character and he responded and responded by faith in the Lord Jesus and the Lord Jesus had said, “Nathaniel before I saw you I knew that you were under the fig tree meditating.” And so from that statement we know that Jesus knew things that were happening to Nathaniel before he was ever acquainted with him. And he knows this by reason of the fact that he is omniscient.
And so one text of Scripture states or a series of texts states that Jesus is omniscient another text states that there is something that he does not know. Now we could go off the deep end on either of these truths. If we did not have both, we might for example say, “Jesus knows everything, he cannot be ignorant of anything,” or we might say, “He is ignorant of this he could be ignorant of many other things even morrow things.”
And of course the Scriptures combine them in the one person. The one divine human person who possesses a divine nature and thus all the attributes of deity; omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent, we shall study the attributes of God later, and those things that belong to a man who must mature.
Now Jesus never possessed any false information. But there were times in his experience in which he can say, “There are some things I do not know,” in his nature, in his human nature and so he must grow in wisdom and knowledge as Luke said, “Before God and before men because he must be a man just as you and I are men and he must as a man be taught by the Lord,” so he has true humanity apart from sin, no sin. At the same time, full and complete deity, but it is only by theology that we are able to come to the knowledge of such things as this. Then after we’ve collected all our data then we derive our principles, our teaching from the examination of the data, just as we have done by taking these things and putting them together. So theology is possible, necessary and it is carried out by inductive methods of reasoning.
Now the second thing that we discussed, two weeks ago tonight, was the existence of God. And I tried to point out that the proofs of the existence of God are, first of all intuitive. That is, this sense of the knowledge of God come from the basic character of our nature as a created being. We know God exists before we even think about rationalizing about it. It is part of our basic make up. There are other truths that are intuitive. I mentioned in age, knowledge in our senses. Now you don’t have to tell anyone the theology of pain. The moment they feel it they know they’ve got it. And they usually know they have it before they realize what it is. In fact all you have to do is to look at an infant. And an infant may feel pain but not know the first thing about it. It’s one of the things that are intuitive; it belongs to our senses, pain. I don’t have to explain it; in fact I would imagine if I were to try to explain pain, I would be more incomprehensible than I was in explaining God last time.
Now in a truth of our intellect, we know that, I just mention this because theologians mention it; that a straight line is the shortest distance between two points. And we don’t have to really argue that. That’s something that we know by intuition. And then there are certain truths that are inapt to our moral being. We know that we are responsible. We know there is a difference between right and wrong. The very moment that we start arguing about this or discussing it we reveal that it is part of our basic nature. Every one of us has this sense of responsibility and so I’m quite sure in my own mind, the Bible does not say this; I want to warn you, remember the things the Bible says you may believe. The things that I say the Bible says are less credible. Those things that I infer from scripture are less credible than those.
Now this is something I’m inferring. I would believe on the basis of this that Adam knew about God the moment he was created. Just as he looked with his eyes and saw the creation about him and knew it existed so he knew that God existed. Now then that is the intuitive proof. And to my mind it is the greatest proof outside of the statements of Scripture of the existence of God. Try to get away from it as we can. We just cannot do it. And even those who say that they do not believe are often the ones who have the greatest of belief because if God did not exist, why bother? Why be disturbed? Why go out of your way to keep from doing?
I often quote to my students an illustration that happened to one of our outstanding New Testament scholars when he was studying at one of our liberal universities. The professor who was teaching religion asked the class, a group of men of about twenty, “How many of you would like to have a hope of a resurrection?” did not ask them if they’d like to believe but just how many would like to have a hope. And everybody in the class but one said that they would like to have a hope of a resurrection. And he asked the man who had not raised his hand why he felt as he did. He said, “I do not believe in the resurrection, in fact I have steeled myself against it. And the professors and others of course knew by that that he had a great hope of the resurrection. It was so great that he was going through the trouble of steeling himself against it because deep down in his heart there was the conviction it was probably true. If it’s not true, if you know it’s not true you don’t bother.
Now then we talk about the rational truths of the existence of God. And I try to point out that these rational proofs are simply probable arguments. They are corroborative; they do not really prove to a philosopher. To us they confirm the faith that we have. I think if we were to tape them altogether that we would probably conclude it’s a pretty good case. But it’s not a case that would be absolutely convincing to someone who did not want to believe. I’ve often wondered about that. Why is it that we cannot argue anyone into the Christian faith?
Now the reason for it, I discovered not very long ago. Man is a moral, an intellectual and an emotional being. And the decision that he makes is a decision of the whole man. And consequently it must not be that which appeals to the mind only that is convincing but it must be something that is convincing to the mind, to the heart, to the will, to the emotions. In other words the appeal that God addresses to men is addressed to the whole man and therefore the decision is about character and not simply intellectual. And I’m glad it’s that way because I never really like to see a man who’s just intellectually convinced of Christianity. It has not really touched the whole man until it touches his will and his emotions.
By the way there’s nothing wrong with being emotional in the Christian faith. We should not be ashamed of emotion. We should not base our doctrine on emotion but we should not be ashamed of our emotions because emotion is part of us. Some others are more or less than others but we are emotional and our faith should touch our emotions. The only person to whom emotions have no meaning is a man over whom a white sheet has been pulled. And if you are dead, then you will not have any emotions, but in the Christian faith we have emotion.
Now I gave you four of the rational truths — cosmological, teleological, moral and etiological. Now let me just briefly go over these arguments again. I said I was going to be brief on the introduction but really intended to be a little longer because I wanted you to be sure and get this a little better; apparently than you got it last Monday night.
The Cosmological argument; now this argument is the argument from effect to cause. kosmos means world, kosmos means order, cosmetal is a word that means order. cosmetics — girls you all know what that is — that puts you in order, it gives you the right kind of order. We don’t like to see pale faces; that is we men, we like to see you in order, decently and in order in the church, decently in order in our physical dress. Cosmological, from effect to cause, in other words because there are effects and we see them in the universe we reason back from the effect to a cause. And from this argument we would know that there is a cause. We would not know that there is a personal cause necessarily but we would know that there was a cause. Sometimes men speak of God as the first cause. That’s an impersonal way of referring to God. If that was all the evidence we had that might me a very rational type of answer.
The second argument was Teleological and telis, the Greek word means in or aim. Sometimes it adds the idea of purpose, so that the Teleological argument is the argument from design in creation to a designer. In other words we look about us and we see design. Now any gardener knows that there is design in the creation. He doesn’t understand all of them. And I’m speaking from experience you understand and out of emotions to. We don’t understand everything about that which happens in our garden but we know that somehow out of us the rain falls upon our plants and is good for our plants and certain chemicals which are in the soil and in the water are taken up by our plants and then we know, we never see it but we know it, because the scientists have told us, that are plants then give back this into the atmosphere and soon the very thing that has been of benefit to them has become again rain, and so that there is this endless cycle that goes on from rain to air to rain to plants. And all of that is an exhibition of design.
I read a week or two ago of a man that was trying to set forth his argument and he used the dandelion. You can use almost anything you know. And he said, “Have you ever wondered why it is that the dandelion seed has a nice little parachute attached to it and when the time comes and the seed comes and the winds come, the dandelion uses that little parachute in order to take those seeds to places where they might germinate and give us more dandelions where we don’t want them?” But the fact remains that there is purpose or design manifested in creation. Look at almost anything and you can see it, design. And so the argument is teleological. That from design we infer designer, that’s the natural result.
Thirdly, the moral argument; everybody possesses a conscience. Do you know what conscience really means? Well, scientia in Latin remember means “knowledge.” scio or conjugation verb, remember, scio means “to know” and scia means knowledge. Con, the Latin prefix which means with. So that conscience is with knowledge. And we know that each one of us that with the knowledge that we posses there is also a sense of moral responsibility. That’s what conscience is; the sense of responsibility that goes along with our knowledge. So we each have conscience. We have a sense of right and wrong.
I’ve often wondered about the illogic that has manifested in our society today. For example you will find people who will say, “This is unjust.” And I always want to stand up right at that point and say, “Why is it unjust?” Because I want them to ultimately say, “Well it’s unjust because our consciences tell us that it’s unjust.” And I want to then say, “What else does your conscience tell you?” And he’ll have to say, “Well the conscience tells me also there’s a God.” And then I want to go from there and I want to say, “What about this God, how can we know him?” I want to bring him back logically through this that you can only know this God logically through the Scripture. And therefore that if we are to acknowledge any kind of standards among men we must ultimately go back to the Christian faith. It’s the only one that is rational. The only one that’s logical; ultimately, I don’t mean by the way that a person who does not think that is irrational but I do think he’s wrong. And furthermore I do not see how it’s possible for us to claim that there is an authority apart from the belief in Holy Scripture. If we do not believe this then logically any kind of arguments about just and unjust or injustice and justice are going beside the point. They have no force, no authority whatsoever.
It’s just what you think as over against what I think. I might say it, when I’m unjust. As a matter of fact that’s what we are having in our society today is this. For many, many generations in the United States though men were not Christians. They believed in the principles that are found in the word of God. They didn’t know why, most men didn’t but they did accept them, they accepted the principles set forth in the word of God. But now they have come to the place where they have questioned these things and so now they are free. They are free to do what they think is right.
And today in our society we have every man doing what is right, that which is right in his own eyes. And so one man says I believe this law is bad, I will take the law in my own hands here. Another one says I think this one is bad so I will do what I please here. And strikingly in some of the terrible things that have happen and I do not in any way mean to countenance what has happened in our society, but some of our men who have said we will take the law in our hands have become the victims of some who have taken the law in their own hands using their own philosophy.
So this sense of moral responsibility that men have, even God less men have, is an evidence of the fact that God has put something within us that says ought. And there never was a time when a man said, “You know I think we ought have to have a sense of ought.” Because if that’s true he already had that sense of ought. And it does not arise spontaneously or else we can dispense with it spontaneously. We’re not responsible for it, if we were responsible for it we could dispense with it. It is something God has planted there. And even when we are not thinking it is still there.
Finally, the anthological argument — by the way did you find this argument especially obscure? This week I was looking in another theology and I ran across this and I thought some of you might be encouraged by it. This is was the theologians said, “This is the most difficult of all the collaborative proofs of God’s existence, indeed it is obscure, so obscure that many keen minds confess their inability to comprehend it. It has been likened to the Scotsman’s definition of metaphysics, one man talking about something of which he knows nothing to another man who does not understand him.” And so with that as an introduction let me tell you what the anthological argument is. This argument by the way has been stated in three different ways and I didn’t want to confuse your mind. I just used Ansehlm’s statement of it, because it’s the best and it is this; every man has the idea of a perfect being, naturally, by our nature. Secondly, existence is an attribute of perfection. For example if we had an idea who did not exist, we might have an idea of a perfect being who did exist which would be better a more perfect idea than the other. So existence is an attribute of perfection. Therefore he must exist.
Now if that argument is difficult for you to grasp, rejoice. Other theologians such as your becoming have also found it difficult. Now, well I hope we’re up to date now so we can take a look at the incomprehensibility of God. There are several things that render God incomprehensible to the human mind and the first is man’s sin.
And I’m going to ask you now to turn with me to 1 Corinthians chapter 2, verse 14 and then Ephesians chapter 4, verse 18. Let’s read these two texts first. 1 Corinthians chapter 2, verse 14, I don’t want to deal with this to much because later on we are going to talk about illumination and this is the great passage on that subject and we’ll be expounding it.
Verse 14 reads: “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness under him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”
Now this text states, as you can see, that the natural man is the man who does not posses the Holy Spirit. He therefore is the non-Christian. He is the man who has not yet believed in Jesus Christ. We know from the scriptures that the moment we believe in Jesus Christ we receive the Holy Spirit. So the natural man is the man who does not have the spirit. Now the Bible says that man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, he cannot know them because they are spiritually discerned.
And I want to paraphrase or I think Paul means by that; they are discerned by the spirit. In other words our sin which has caused God’s departure from us, when Adam sinned in the Garden of Eden our sin has brought us to the state that we do not posses the Holy Spirit and he is the author of scripture and sense we do not have him we cannot understand Scripture. We are incapacitated we do not have the faculty for understanding the word of God. It is just as if we were trying to pick up high frequency waves, sound waves in this audience here. We cannot do it. There is an instrument that would enable us to do it, the radio. And all we have to do is connect it, cut it on and then tune. And we are able to hear the sounds that are here.
I hope there are no real scientists; well there are some scientists in the room, if you’ll pardon me but I think you understand what I’m driving at. We don’t have the faculty for grasping those high frequency sounds in our ears. We don’t have the faculty for grasping low frequency sounds. Did you know for example that dogs can hear things that human being cannot? Oh, you did know that because you have a dog. Have you ever wondered about how it is that they can? Well, you see they have certain capacities that you do not have. And so spiritually if we do not have the Holy Spirit we cannot understand spiritual things. So since we do not have the spirit as the result of our sin, God is really incomprehensible to us.
Now when I say incomprehensible I mean in the full sense, as we shall see. But let’s look at Ephesians chapter 4, verse 18 now because Paul says something of the same thing here except he looks at it not so much as from the standpoint of the spirit as from the standpoint of our sensibilities.
Ephesians chapter 4, verse 17 says, “This I say therefore, in testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart.”
Look at this, alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them because of the blindness of their heart. Our hearts are blind that produces ignorance that produces alienation from God, the darkening from the understanding. Because of our sin God is incomprehensible. Secondly or B; God is incomprehensible because of his infinity or infiniteness. Let’s look at 1 Timothy. Turn over a few more pages from Ephesians to 1 Timothy chapter 1, verse 17.
1 Timothy chapter 1, verse 17; “Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen”
God is eternal, invisible, he is an infinite being and because he is infinite he is eternal and because he is eternal he is infinite. Let’s look at chapter 6, verse 16. 1 Timothy chapter 6, verse 16; “Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honor and power everlasting. Amen.”
In other words, God is infinite. And because he is infinite he is incomprehensible to finite man. Now I think the logic of this should be very obvious. Let’s turn to another passage, Isaiah chapter 40, verse 18. Now in Isaiah chapter 40, verse 18 the prophet says: Isaiah chapter 40, verse 18 “To whom then will ye liken God? Or what likeness will ye compare unto him?
One of the translations that I read this afternoon said, “How shall we describe God?” He is incomprehensible; we could not do that. What likeness will ye compare unto him? The finite cannot grasp the infinite. We know that, I hope. And because God is infinite, he is incomprehensible. In fact Terstegan, the German mystic said, “A God comprehended is no God.” If we could really know God in the fullness of his being, we would be gods ourselves. The only person who can know God is God.
I would gather from that by the way that means that you and I shall never know God, in the fullness of his being. Did you think you would? Sorry to disappoint you. But I don’t think you ever will because I think there is only one God and there always will be only one God. Of course we should know a lot more about him than we know now, when we are in his presence. Then the knowledge that we have through a glass dark place should be face-to-face knowledge through our Lord Jesus. But I do not think that we should ever know the essence of God, only God knows his own essence. We shall see this later on when we talk about illumination because in that same 1 Corinthians chapter 2 the Apostle Paul states that the things of God knoweth no man saves the spirit of God, only God’s spirit knows the things of God. Just as only Lewis Johnson knows the things of Lewis Johnson, not even his wife knows, she has a good idea of what goes on in my mind and they are quite frequently correct. But not always, occasionally I can fool even her. Only I really know what is going on in my mind and only you know what is going on in yours.
Now the Reformers spoke rather strongly on the incomprehensibility of God. Calvin said, “His essence is incomprehensible so that his divinity wholly escapes all human senses.” And then Luther spoke repeatedly of God as the hidden God, in distinction from the revealed God. In fact he even went on to say that there was a sense in which when God revealed himself, he was still hidden. And that is true because there are things about God we shall never know.
And so let’s not be disturbed because there are some things we don’t understand. The secret things belong unto the Lord the things that are revealed belong unto us. Pore over the word of God, learn things that are revealed. Don’t worry about the things that are not revealed. There are some things that are not even going to be known when we get to heaven and I would imagine that throughout all eternity, you know one of the things that’s going to make eternity interesting is the fact that our knowledge of God is probably going to be an increasing knowledge.
I’ve often wondered what are we going to do if we knew everything when we got to heaven and if we were there in full possession of all the faculties of God, what in the world are we going to do in heaven? Well there have been all kinds of speculations about this, I have a friend who is a preacher, he led me to the Lord actually, he use to say that when we get to heaven we are going to create new worlds, God is going to give us the right to create new worlds. And we’re going to be the god of that little world and we’re going to be able to carry it out under God of course. And that’s what we are going to be doing, creating worlds all around space.
Well now I don’t know whether that’s true or not that’s something you infer from scripture, that’s not found anywhere in the Bible as far as I can tell. The Bible does say that his servants shall serve him and so we know that heaven shall be filled with servants. But I would imagine that there are to be some Bible classes in heaven. Now whether they’ll be conducted like this or not, we don’t know. But I do think there is going to be increase in knowledge. In fact I think Paul really states that in 1 Corinthians right at the end when he says, “There abideth faith, hope and love, but the greatest of these is love.” But he puts that in the present tense, he says, “Now there abideth faith, hope and love.” These three, the greatest of these is love.
I’ve often heard people say that when we get to heaven we’re not going to have faith anymore we’re just going to have sight. That’s not true to 1 Corinthians chapter 13, verse 13, because Paul said in the present tense, “There abides faith.” And I think that when we get to heaven we’re going to have new revelations from God and we’re going to exercise faith in them and have hope as we see them come to pass. And when I read too, that he is going to lead us from living fountains to fountains of waters, I would assume that there is going to be an increase and a development of my emotional life to, and of all of my experience of God in heaven. That’s why I want to be prepared when I get there.
When students come to Dallas Seminary and they’ve had a Greek course, we give them a quiz, and those who pass the course we allow them to go onto the second year of Greek. And those that are sort of in between passing and failing, if it could ever be that student, they really failed but we hate to make them take it all over again after they have graduated from some college with a Greek course, and by the way there are lots of them that attend our colleges and universities that cannot pass our entrance exam.
And so what are going to do with these boys that passed it in college and are not really bad, we hate to make them take it all over again, and so we’ve devised a one hour course a week, it’s a review course, and those that do real bad we put them in that review course. And so for the first year they have to take that review course and yet they also take the advanced course to. We try to bring them up to par. Lots of Christians are going to have to go through a course like that when they go to heaven, you know. Their there, but that’s all their there, they have not really passed, by the grace of God their there and as far as knowledge is concerned, not any of you of course in this audience [Laughter], Paul’s going to have to put you in that class, Greek 300A, [laughter] to learn the fundamentals again which you were suppose to have learned down here.
Time’s almost up, in fact time is up. So we’re going to stop here and I’m going to pick it up here next time at the Knowability of God. Let’s close with a word of prayer.
[Prayer] Father we thank Thee for the word of God and we pray that as we continue to study that Thou will enable us to understand the things that will be fruitful to us in our Christian service and our Christian experience. Amen.