In the Christian life we find this pattern repeated: a few important things and a world of burdensome but unimportant ones. The Spirit-taught Christian must look past the multiplicity of incidental things and find the few that really matter. And let it be repeated for our encouragement, they are few in number and surprisingly easy to identify. The Scriptures make perfectly clear what they are: the fact of God, the Person and work of Christ, faith and obedience, hope, and love. These, along with a few more, constitute the essence of the truth, which we must know and love. Christ summed up the moral law as love to God and man. Salvation He made to rest upon faith in God and in the One whom He had sent. Paul simplified the wonders of the spiritual life in the words, “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” The temptation to forget the few spiritual essentials and to go wandering off after unimportant things is very strong, especially to Christians of a certain curious type of mind. Such persons find the great majors of the faith of our fathers altogether too tame for them. Their souls loathe that light bread; their appetites crave the gamy tang of fresh-killed meat. They take great pride in their reputation as being mighty hunters before the Lord, and any time we look out we may see them returning from the chase with some new mystery hanging limply over their shoulder. Usually the game they bring down is something on which there is a biblical closed season—some vague hint in the Scriptures, some obscure verse about which the translators disagree, some marginal note for which there is not much scholarly authority—these are their favorite meat. They are especially skillful at propounding notions, which have never been a part of the Christian heritage of truth. Their enthusiasm mounts with the uncertainty of their position, and their dogmatism grows firmer in proportion to the mystery that surrounds their subject.
. . . always learning but never able to acknowledge the truth. 2 Timothy 3:7
Seizing upon minor issues and becoming engrossed in details can be an excuse for failure to live the unmistakable truth.
O God, You are the Light. The closer I come to You the more clearly the dark holes of my heart are exposed. Shine on me and burn away the dross, for Christ’s sake. Amen.