Can you rejoice about the great truths taught in the bible? Being an educated person you may know something about what the bible teaches. Or perhaps you have had some theological training and you know how to argue about various issues of Christian doctrine.
Yet the big question is: What does all this really mean to you? What does it mean to me?
To very many people it is common knowledge that Christ has died on the cross for our sins. Perhaps you know that, but you are not really very interested in religion. Others may be acquainted with some of the theological arguments that have been discussed in the course of church history.
I am afraid sometimes there is what might be called political correctness in Christian churches. You must adhere to certain shades of meaning in order to be accepted in particular church groups.
During the Middle-Ages somebody who would openly depart from mainstream Roman Catholic doctrine could get himself into serious difficulties. Protestant denominations at times also have been vehemently arguing their particular point of view.
Christian ministers very often have considered it their duty to uphold and defend the correct or ‘orthodox’ Christian doctrine. Please note, I do not intend to say this is wrong. If you really care about the Christian faith, you also will be interested in discovering genuinely Christian viewpoints.
It is something else, I am aiming at today. You may hold as true and even proclaim that Christ has died for the sins of men. Yet still you may not inwardly rejoice about that truth!
Quite evidently it is the message of the bible that Christ has died for our sins. Yet still you may not sufficiently have applied this to your own self.
In what ways have I sinned against God, against his intentions for my life and against his commandments? Do I really care? Am I permitting the Holy Spirit to teach me about the sinfulness of my own self, i.e. of the ‘flesh’ (to use a theological term)?
Salvation and forgiveness of my sins may not be much more than a doctrinal hobby to me, unless I begin to understand something about my own sinfulness. At times I may be overwhelmed by a sense of guilt, but this does not necessarily mean I care about my sins with relation to God.
Christian truth of Christ having died for our sins is evident. Yet you will not really grasp this fact unless you begin to understand how much you are in need for that!
You may tirelessly repeat this main Christian doctrine, or you may get weary about it. But will you allow the Holy Spirit to apply this teaching to yourself?
We must learn to love God. We must care about how God views our attitudes, words and actions.
Only as we do so we can begin to participate in what Paul is writing about in 1 Corinthians 13:6. Love “rejoiceth in the truth.”
You may know correct doctrine. Still you may have failed to correctly apply these teachings to your own life. Thus your heart remains cold and callous.