Looking unto Jesus and not at our creeds, no matter how evangelical they may be. The faith which saves, which sanctifies and which comforts is not giving assent to the doctrine of salvation; it is being united to the Person of the Saviour. “It is not enough,” said Adolphe Monod, “to know about Jesus Christ; it is necessary to have Jesus Christ.” No one truly knows Him if he does not first possess Him. According to the profound statement of the beloved disciple, in the life there is light, and in Jesus there is life (John 1:4).
A common refrain, heard often when a religious opinion gets tested by the straight angles of the Word is, “Well I’m no theologian.” And with a wave of the hand a person imagines himself/herself dismissed from the challenge to be Biblical in their thoughts and actions. The truth is every one is a theologian. But not every one is a good theologian. What we think about God and how we put those thoughts in order and into words matters. But, they can only go so far. And there is always the deceptive tendency to replace a personal religion with a purely doctrinal one.
Monod quotes his father in this section. Let me quote mine. Barry Van Hoogen used to say, “You’ll be surprised how right a person can be and be wrong and how wrong a person can be and be right.” We must be careful in our pursuit of doctrinal correctness not to rely on thoughts and ideas. Our rest must always be in the Person of Jesus Christ. He is the flame that ignites doctrine into a blaze of joyful celebration in His truth. Without him doctrine is nothing but dried twigs; and our recitations of the same, mere nasal reviews of shrubbery.
"Come now, and let us reason together," Says the Lord, "Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool. Isaiah 1:18
And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. Acts 2:42
Can We Pray? God of all truth, God of mind and heart, I bless you for both these faculties given to us in order to seek you out and to know you. I am glad for the joy of learning and the excitement of discovery. But God save us from the enthusiasm of merely acquiring new information. May we rejoice only so far as each insight drops another bright explosion of Christ’s own glory upon us. Keep us from the comforts of resting in our convictions. May the only comforts of life derive from resting in our companion Savior and let our knowledge only grow as we grow in our intimacy with Him. In the Name of our Lord Jesus.