A gracEmail reader writes concerning faith and understanding. His comments are in italics; mine are not.
* * *
Let me close with an example. I find it interesting that both “Reformists” and “Restorationsts” look at the same Scripture and use the same doctrine (issue) to condemn each other. What is it? Baptism, of course. We look at the same verses, come to differing conclusions and anathematize one another over it. But in reality, there is only one correct conclusion. So who loses?
Anyone whom God sees is really not trusting in Jesus for salvation. That is sometimes evidenced by willful and knowing disobedience. It is also sometimes evidenced by trusting “correct” doctrine or practice as if it were the Savior.
But don’t we have to reason and interpret “correctly” to understand and have faith? Do you see my dilemma?
We hear the gospel and trust in Jesus through it (see the closing verses of John’s Gospel, and the stated point of First John. The Gospel is written so we might believe and have life (John 20:30-31). The Epistle is written so we may know we have eternal life, through the Son (1 John 5:13). To this extent, our intellect is certainly involved — as also our will, emotions and the rest of what the Bible calls our “heart.”
We are not discussing a spiritual SAT. Salvation involves a relationship — of creaturely dependence and trust in the Creator who became our Savior through his Son Jesus Christ. People who cannot read and write can still believe the gospel and find life through Christ. Many of God’s best saints through the centuries have been unlettered and unscholarly people who knew him and walked with him. Our education and knowledge opportunities are blessings if used properly, but they become hindrances if misused.