Thursday, 6 October 2011

Thrilled by the Depths

Are you bored of the gospel? The Christian faces a huge temptation to grow weary of the gospel and move on to something new and exciting. That is why many make a shipwreck of their faith (1 Timothy 1:19)and move on to other gospels (which are no gospels at all - Galatians 1:6-7). They think that they know the gospel, have seen all that there is to see in it, and are now looking for the next exciting thrill.

But such thoughts betray a wrong understanding of the gospel. The gospel is not like a child's Christmas present, which is exciting at first but, after a few months, the novelty wears off. We might better think of the gospel like we think of the depths of the ocean. There is always more to explore, we can always go deeper and see new depths. Thus, excitement is not found in looking to move on from the gospel to something new, rather real excitement will be found in diving deeper into its inexhaustable depths. A true diver never grows bored of exploring the depths of the sea, neither should the Christian grow weary of the infinite riches of the gospel.

Tim Keller has some helpful words to say on this, and what implications it has for us. He says:
The angels never get tired of looking into the gospel. This means there is no end to gospel exploration. There are depths in the gospel that are always there to be discovered and applied, not only to our ministry and daily Christian life, but above all, to the worship of the God of the gospel with renewed vision and humility.

The underlying conviction in my preaching, pastoring, and writing is that the gospel—this eternally fascinating message craved by the angels—can change a heart, a community, and the world when it is recovered and applied.

It is one thing to understand the gospel but is quite another to experience the gospel in such a way that it fundamentally changes us and becomes the source of our identity and security. It is one thing to grasp the essence of the gospel but it quite another to think out its implications for all of life. We all struggle to explore the mysteries of the gospel on a regular basis, but we should strive to immerse ourselves in it and allow its message to influence our life daily.