How Far to the Gospel?
I’ll admit it, I’m a bit of a theology junkie. I’m about as good at understanding it as I am of understanding how Eli Manning breaks down a Cover 2 defense. But, like the armchair quarterback, I love it anyway.
There are times when I get really excited about certain doctrines, or certain bits of theology, and I get laser focused on finding their applications throughout the scriptures, and in life.
This isn’t necessarily bad, it is a sign of growth. The Lord orchestrates breakthroughs in our understanding to fascinate us and lead us in to a deeper relationship with Him.
The mistake that I have made, though, is that I let the gospel become secondary to the new fascination. I can only think about one thing at a time, so it is natural, but the manifestation of this is that the life my story is telling puts more emphasis on that new thing than on the gospel.
I realized this not long ago as I was talking to a person who was a Christian, but was struggling with his faith. Looking back, I had a great opportunity to emphasize the gospel, and help him apply it to his situation. Instead, all I wanted to talk about was this new thing I was buzzing on. It didn’t apply to to his season, and looking back on it, I must’ve seemed really insensitive to during that discussion.
In that moment, it was a long way to the gospel. I took a piece of theology that is secondary to the gospel, and made it primary. It became a hurdle, it created distance.
It is not always theology, of course, I just wanted to highlight the fact that sometimes it can be good things that create the distance. There are any number of negative things as well, from my attitude, to my new phone. It is frighteningly easy to do.
One of my favorite preachers is Tim Keller, a pastor in New York City. The thing that I appreciate the most about Keller is his relentless application of the good news in his sermons. It doesn’t matter what obscure passage in the Old Testament he is preaching on, he always ties it back to the cross. For someone listening to a Tim Keller sermon, it is never far to the gospel.
That is what I want the story of my life to be like. For people who might be listening, I never want the gospel to be far.
I would love to hear your thoughts. What in your life gets in the way of the gospel?
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