By: Ng Shaowen
From The Gospel Coalition (Erik Raymond is the lead pastor at Emmaus Bible Church in Omaha, Nebraska.)
I remember the dumbest thing I ever said. I was a fairly new Christian, and my wife and I were going to a church that emphasized a lot of outward conformity without a whole lot of understanding. In other words, I was getting really good at keeping all the rules but did not have a robust understanding of the Christian life.
One Sunday after morning worship, in a moment of shameless self-congratulation, I told my wife, “You know, Christianity is really pretty easy. You go to church, read your Bible, stay out of trouble. It’s not that hard.”
What an idiot.
My Christian eyesight was pretty bad. I was unable to see and understand the glory of Christ in the gospel because of this monument of self that was blocking my view.
On this particular Sunday I was reclining back admiring my mural of self-righteousness. I had no idea that it was actually graffiti on the life and death of Jesus, where righteousness was earned and self-righteousness was impugned (Is. 64:6; 2 Cor. 5:21).
This is where understanding the holiness of God pervades everything. God’s Word instructs us as to who we are and who God is. Without understanding the Scriptures we will never rightly understand God or ourselves.
I would have been in a much better Christian posture had I said, “This Christian life is really hard. I really stink. I can’t do anything right. The more I look at God’s Word the more I see my sin. If it wasn’t for the perfect righteousness of Jesus, I would be done!”
I then, and do now, have a lot to learn. Therefore, I need to give myself to the Word of God that I might know him better while scrubbing those hidden crevices of my heart that are ripe for self-glory. As Christians we need heart surgery every day. We need a sermon from God everyday. We need help every day. Pray that the Holy Spirit would not leave you alone but that he would keep convicting you and driving you to the Word that you might know, enjoy, and worship God in a manner that is befitting and consistent with his holiness.