In our knowing, do we know?
A problem may arise if we are not careful. It’s about “gospel.” I’m afraid that in our knowing we might not know it. This will look different for different people – at least initially. Maybe some among us are not converted and that’s serious. You may not ever have repented of your independence and rebellion against God. You’d never considered Isaiah’s words when he said, “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:6). Think about that: if that’s true, then now is the time to turn to Jesus Christ and plead with God that He would credit Jesus’ perfection to you – and save your soul from the wrath of God. If your parenting was changed because your heart was changed then Hallelujah!
For the rest, my fear is that familiarity with the gospel will breed contempt for it. Maybe contempt is too strong; how about a passive kind of ho-hum attitude? Do we believe that the life, death, resurrection and ascension of Christ was what we needed to be converted but, beyond that, we’re talking about something fundamentally different to actually live? The Galatians did: 3:2-3. If we hold this view, we may, in fact, not understand the gospel’s place in our lives. If we misunderstand what it means to live in the gospel as converted Christians, then we risk living for the glory of something else. The stakes are high!
We need to ask ourselves why we are interested in studying the Bible; say parenting, for example. Let me oversimplify to make a point: are we more concerned about being equipped to parent or is our interest more about God? Think about it. I mean, clearly, parents need help parenting; no parent knows what in the world he’s doing while he’s doing it! (The sheer number of parenting books published in the last decade (75K??) proves the hunger for help.) But God apparently doesn’t believe that parenting-ignorance is our biggest issue (I know there are times when it feels like it!). The fact that the Bible contains so few verses about such a significant subject proves that.
At the same time, it’s not as if God isn’t concerned about it either! His message is different, even strange to us. Paul preached this message to his churches. We should take note because they were like us with pressing needs in every area of life: they were parents, employers, employees, children, friends, soldiers and artisans. They all needed to know how and what to do. They looked to Paul to provide help. Yet, his message was:
For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. (1 Corinthians 2:2)
Ask the Lord to reveal your interests here. Do you want to know Him as Paul prayed for his Ephesians brothers (1:15-19)? Or do you just want to know how to better parent? Desire to be a better parent less than you desire to know Jesus Christ; that the details of His life, the gospel, become your preoccupation – and that in which you bathe your family.