Christianity 201

August 8, 2014

Knowing the Answers versus Believing the Answers

II Timothy 1:12b

For I know the one in whom I have placed my confidence, and I am perfectly certain that the work he has committed to me is safe in his hands until that day.  (Phillips)

I know Him and I have put my trust in Him. And I am fully certain that He has the ability to protect what I have placed in His care until that day.  (The Voice)

I know the One I have believed in. I am sure he is able to take care of what I have given him. I can trust him with it until the day he returns as judge. (NIrV)

For I know him in whom I have trusted and I am fully convinced that he is able to guard my deposit until that day. (Mounce)

I couldn’t be more sure of my ground—the One I’ve trusted in can take care of what he’s trusted me to do right to the end.  (Message)

I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day. (KJV)


I Corinthians 2:2

For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. (ESV)

For I resolved to know nothing (to be acquainted with nothing, to make a display of the knowledge of nothing, and to be conscious of nothing) among you except Jesus Christ (the Messiah) and Him crucified.  (AMP)


I’m currently reading The Pastor’s Kid: Finding Your Own Faith and Identity by Barnabas Piper. Although I’m not a PK myself, many of his words resonate; especially in terms of the expectations often placed on a kid to be something spiritually that he or she is not. It can be easy to pretend. It can be easy to act the part — the background meaning to the word hypocrite, and fool the people in your spiritual community, or even though the broader community, though the latter may in fact be more likely to see through the facade.

I think a portion of scripture that should horrify all of us, even those who “know that they know that they know”  is Matthew 7: 21-23:

21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 22 Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’

I mean, doesn’t that just make you go “Yikes!” And yet, The Twelve, after spending three years in Jesus had no assurance of themselves spiritually and so in Matthew 26: 21-22 we read the account:

And while they were eating, he said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me.” They were very sad and began to say to him one after the other, “Surely you don’t mean me, Lord?” (NIV)

Barnabas Piper writes about hiding his true self under layers; he compares it to the layers of an onion:

The Pastor's Kid - Barnabas PiperI spent all those years knowing all the right answers about everything, convincing everyone I was all good.  But at no point did I know what I believed.  I knew answers, but not reality.  I knew cognitive truth, but not experiential truth.  I was an internal mess.  I knew right and wrong.  I knew Jesus and His saving work.  I knew my need for a savior and grace.  But I didn’t believe these things.  I didn’t know them like I know my wife or my children – real, experiential, proven.  And so, after twenty years as a Christian, sin took over my heart and then my life.  It nearly cost me my marriage.  It did cost me that job.  I was broken.  All because I knew answers about everything but didn’t truly know what I believed.  All because what I showed the world was ‘right’ but inside me was a whole lot of wrong.

It is only grace that has restored me.  It was the awful power of God’s grace that peeled back layer after layer of hypocrisy, my onion self, to expose my heart to what I knew answers about but truly needed to believe.  It wasn’t the first time I had fallen, and it wasn’t the first time God had exposed my sin and His grace, but the other times I had moved on, lesson unlearned.  So He peeled me to save me.

More than anything I want my breaking to be the freeing of others.

Lord Jesus; help me not just to be someone who knows all the answers about you, but help me to truly be someone who is placing my trust in you, truly believing you, for everything. Amen


 

Today’s bonus item (from Twitter)

F – forwarding
A – all
I – issues
T – to
H – Heaven

 

 

 

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