Here are a few thoughts as I have been meeting with students.
Lost in a Fog
In today’s society with a plethora of knowledge at everyone’s fingertips it is easy to quickly become overwhelmed with theological content. It is incredibly easy to become well versed in certain pastors’ catch phrases as we spend hours listening to podcasts.
Or we memorize part of some new theology book and waste countless hours talking about some deep concept that would change the world if only people would listen. We do all of this for the sake of knowing more of God, but friends if I may, let me propose to you a thought. Have we become so focused on knowing stuff that the Gospel is no longer changing us?
For a few months I have found myself meeting with various students and as we walk through their struggles, sin, or heartache it seems the first 20 minutes is spent wading through a fog. I find myself walking through loaded phrases or sentences in attempt to find the heart of the person I am talking to and help them work through whatever is currently on their hearts.
I think we have slowly become students of others knowledge of God, without being changed by God Himself. We say phrases like “I want their approval” or “I need to depend more on Christ” or “I need to Gospel myself.” All of these are true statements, but when pressed, most students don’t even know what they mean.
The Simplicity of the Gospel
I am not trying to make fun of any students or make light of their sin or struggles, but I am trying to shed light on the fact that most of us have moved past the precious simplicity of the Gospel for deeper things, without first cherishing the basics. Paul mentions this to the church in Corinth.
1 Corinthians 3:2 “I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not ready for it.”
Too frequently I see students moving past the basic truths of Christianity, the Gospel, or milk as Paul mentions for food, when in reality they haven’t come to cherish milk. So we move on to discussing election, providence, or missions before we come to cherish the Gospel.
So friends, my word to you today is short and simple. Take some time this week to return to the simplicity of the Gospel.
1 Corinthians 15:1-5 “Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.”
Let us be people marked by our love for the Gospel first and foremost, and then the knowledge of God we are learning.