Author Topic: Ignorance is not bliss  (Read 27 times)

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Offline Cariad

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Ignorance is not bliss
« on: September 20, 2017, 01:05:07 PM »
Hello there,

On six occasions Paul states that he did not wish believers to be ignorant or without knowledge of certain vital truths.

'For I would not, brethren,
that ye should be ignorant of this mystery,
lest ye should be wise in your own conceits;
that blindness in part is happened to Israel,
until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.'

(Rom 11:25)

* Here, Paul is dealing with the secret of Israel's blindness, in case the gentile believers at Rome should be wise in their own conceits and imagine that God had cast off the unbelieving nation forever and exalted the Gentile to take their place.

'Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant,
how that all our fathers were under the cloud,
and all passed through the sea;
And were all baptized unto Moses
in the cloud and in the sea;
And did all eat the same spiritual meat;
And did all drink the same spiritual drink:
for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them:
and that Rock was Christ.

(1 Cor. 10:1-4)

* In 1 Corinthians, chapter ten, Paul reminds the Corinthian church that, while all Israel at the Exodus were 'baptized unto Moses, in the cloud and in the sea', and were typically redeemed and linked with all that Moses stood for in law and ceremonial, in type and shadow, yet all did not enter the promised land, for with 'many of them God was not well pleased' (1 Cor. 10:5).  They lost their prize, that is, of entering into the inheritance of Canaan.

'Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren,
I would not have you ignorant.'

(1 Cor .12:1)

* In this same epistle, Paul uses the phrase again and states that he would not have them ignorant concerning spiritual gifts.  Detailed instructions were necessary so that these gifts should be used in an orderly fashion and to the edification of the local assembly.

'For we would not, brethren,
have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia,
that we were pressed out of measure, above strength,
insomuch that we despaired even of life: ... '

(2 Cor 1:8)

* In Paul's second letter he says that he would not have them ignorant of the trouble he had endured in Asia.  So great was it that he despaired even of life.  Yet, this led him away from self-trust or self-confidence. 'But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead' (v.9)

'Now I would not have you ignorant, brethren,
that oftentimes I purposed to come unto you,
(but was let hitherto,)
that I might have some fruit among you also,
even as among other Gentiles.'

(Rom. 1:13)

* In his letter to the Roman believers, Paul stated that he had often planned to visit them but had been hindered.  He was concerned that they should not be ignorant of this, or misunderstand his inability (Rom. 1:13)

* In each of these contexts where this phrase is used, something important is being stressed and so it is also in 1 Thessalonians chapter four:-

'But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren,
concerning them which are asleep,
that ye sorrow not,
even as others which have no hope.'

(1 Thess. 4:13)

* To the sorrowful among the believers at Thessalonica, who were mourning through loss of loved ones, Paul comforts them, by reminding them that the Saviour Himself was a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.  He had also stood beside the grave of a beloved friend and wept, and was deeply moved at the havoc and loss that death brings.  One thing which we are apt to forget is that redemption not only delivers from sin, but from the penalty of sin which is death.
 
'I will ransom them from  the power of the grave:-
 I will redeem them from death:
O death, I will be thy pragues;
O grave, I will be thy destruction'

(Hosea 13:14).
 
So that while we sorrow, we sorrow not as others who have no hope.  This one of the great differences between the saved and the unsaved. For believers, death is described in the Word as a sleep, an interlude before the real life starts in resurrection glory.  This figure is never used of the unbeliever.  For him the 'sting of death is sin', and this sing has not been removed as far as he is concerned.  Such a person is 'without Christ, without hope and of all men most miserable' (2 Cor. 1517-19).

Praise God!

In Christ Jesus
Cariad



Offline John

Re: Ignorance is not bliss
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2017, 02:30:11 PM »
Cariad,
          there are two 'types' of ignorance.
There is the Christian who knows the gospel and that is it. They aren't moving beyound the spiritual milk of the gospel into the meat of knowledge of God and Godliness.
This is partly laziness on there part and partly laziness on the part of their monisters, it takes real intelectual effort to prepare challenging sermons, that explain difficult concepts while also suppling milk to thos who need it.

The second type are those who are not Christian. There mind set is alien to the concepts found in Christianity. eg sin is having an extra helping of pudding.
They have to be educated to learn about holiness, sin and their responcibility to respond to the gospel.

Offline Cariad

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Re: Ignorance is not bliss
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2017, 03:05:05 PM »
Cariad,
         There are two 'types' of ignorance.
- There is the Christian who knows the gospel and that is it. They aren't moving beyond the spiritual milk of the gospel into the meat of knowledge of God and Godliness: this is partly laziness on their part and partly laziness on the part of their ministers. It takes real intellectual effort to prepare challenging sermons that explain difficult concepts while also supplying milk to those who need it.

- The second type are those who are not Christian: their mind set is alien to the concepts found in Christianity. e.g., sin is having an extra helping of pudding; they have to be educated to learn about holiness, sin and their responsibility to respond to the gospel.


Hello John,

Yes, thank you for pointing this out. 
* As you say, there are those who, being babes in Christ, need milk: who would choke on solid food. 

'And I, brethren,
could not speak unto you as unto spiritual,
but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.
I have fed you with milk, and not with meat:
for hitherto ye were not able to bear it,
neither yet now are ye able.
'

(1 Cor. 3:2)

* Then there is the ignorance of those described in Ephesians 4:17,

'This I say therefore, and 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:
Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness,
to work all uncleanness with greediness.
But ye have not so learned Christ; ... '

(Eph. 4:17-20)

In Christ Jesus
Cariad

Offline Cariad

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Re: Ignorance is not bliss
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2017, 04:01:32 PM »
Hello again,

Looking up the use of the word, 'ignorance', in the Word of God, I found the following references, and looking them up within their context, found:-

* In the Old Testament: for those of Israel, to whom the law was given, and to whom the keeping of the law was a necessary part of the covenant made between them and God. Provision was made for sins or trespasses committed in ignorance, for those of every walk of life, whether of the common people, Priest, Ruler, or the stranger in their midst. (Lev. 4:2,13,22,27; Lev. 5:15; Num. 15:24-29)

* In the New Testament: Peter in Acts 3:17, reveals to the People of Israel the magnitude of their sin, in that they killed 'The Prince of Life', but that it was done out of ignorance; and then points out to them that God had shown through His prophets that Christ should suffer, and that this had been fulfilled. Saying, 'Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; and He shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you.' 

* What a gracious and merciful God we have, don't we?

* In Acts 17, Paul, speaking to the men of Athens, having observed among the many gods that they worshipped an inscription 'To The Unknown God', revealed to them that the God Whom they were worshipping in ignorance was '... God that made the world and all things therein ... '  and that He was not to be worshipped by graven images, of gold or silver, stone, graven art or man's device. He then told them that this ignorant idol worship God 'winked at', or overlooked: but that now, God required that all men everywhere should repent. (Acts 17:30)

* So, both the former ignorance of Israel and of the Gentiles in these verses, would be overlooked: but for both repentance was a requirement.

* In Eph. 4:18, the state of the gentiles is described, and it is said that they are alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart.

* In 1 Peter 1:14, Peter exhorts the believers of the dispersion to be obedient children, not fashioning themselves according to their former lusts in their ignorance; and in 1Peter 2:15,  Peter tells them, that it was the will of God, that by well doing they may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men.. Not by word of mouth, but by living a godly life.

In Christ Jesus
Cariad