Have you ever stopped and thought about how much of our everyday lives are spent compensating for our forgetfulness? We set alarms, write to-do lists, keep calendars, take notes, set reminders, try to organize things so we remember where they are. I know for myself that sometimes when a thought comes to me, if I don’t write it down right away and put it in a place that I’ll find it again later, that thought may be gone forever never to be recovered. Part of life in this fallen world is finding ways to deal with our weakened minds and forgetfulness.
This forgetfulness carries over to our spiritual lives as well. We live in a world starving for some good news. In the gospel we have been given the best news in the world. The incredible reality that we sinful people have been reconciled to a holy God by the death of His Son. A reconciliation so complete that not only are we now friends with God, but we’re actually family. God is our Father, a good Father, completely wholeheartedly committed to our good. The power of sin over our lives has been broken. And yet as great as this news is, we forget it. We lose sight of it, and all its implications for how we live. We suffer from gospel amnesia.
It’s because of our forgetfulness that it’s imperative we find ways to compensate. We need to find ways to remind ourselves of the good news of the gospel constantly. We see this over and over again in Scripture. The writers are constantly seeking to remind their readers about the gospel, to help them fight their gospel amnesia. Here are a couple examples:
- “Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you” (1 Corinthians 15:1-2)
- “But I have written very boldly to you on some points so as to remind you again” (Romans 15:15)
- “I think it right, as long as I am in this body, to stir you up by way of reminder” (2 Peter 1:13 )
- “This is now the second letter that I am writing to you, beloved. In both of them I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder” (2 Peter 3:1)
We need to fight gospel amnesia, because the gospel is not the first “step” in a “stairway” of truths, rather, it is more like the “hub” in a “wheel” of truth. The gospel is not just the A-B-C’s but the A-Z of Christianity. The gospel is not just the minimum required doctrine necessary to enter the kingdom, but the way we make progress in the kingdom.”
So how do we compensate for our forgetfulness? How do we set gospel “reminders” throughout our day? Just as we are intentional to compensate for our lack of memory in everyday matters, we need to be even more intentional when it comes to reminding ourselves of the gospel. Here are just a few suggestions:
- First, have some go to gospel Scriptures that you daily read. The 19th century Scottish pastor R. M. McCheyne gives good counsel on the importance of having Scriptures at hand to remind us of the gospel when he says, “Often the doctrine of Christ for me appears common, well known, having nothing new in it; and I am tempted to pass it by and go to some scripture more taking. This is the devil again—a red-hot lie. Christ for us is ever new, ever glorious. ….. I ought to have a number of Scriptures ready, which lead my blind soul directly to Christ…”
- Second, Listen to songs filled with the gospel. Look for music that doesn’t just sound nice, but affects you with the truth it contains. Older or modern hymns can have a lot of gospel truth packed in them. Play worship music in the background of your home. Learn the song’s lyrics so you can bring to mind the truths of the gospel throughout the day.
- Third, listen to, or read gospel teaching. Grab a good book from the Christ Church book library. Listen to a sermon podcast. Read an article. We have access to an abundance of resources. HERE is a great site to go to.
- And finally, remember the importance of gathering together in community to remind ourselves of the gospel. We are called to “speak the truth in love” to each other. (Ephesians 4:15) To encourage each other with the truths of the gospel daily.(Heb. 3:13) We need each other. Often times, as we fight for faith, it is the words of the gospel spoken by a dear brother or sister in Christ that minister to our hearts. As Dietrich Bonhoeffer said in his book Life Together, “The Christ in their own hearts is weaker than the Christ in the word of other Christians. Their own hearts are uncertain; those of their brothers and sisters are sure. At the same time, this also clarifies that the goal of all Christian community is to encounter one another as bringers of the message of salvation.” We will be starting a new series in our Small Groups next week called Gospel in Life. This is a video series by one of my favorite Bible teacher’s and authors, Tim Keller. In this series we will spend 8 sessions examining how the Gospel works in us, and then through us. It will be a great way to be reminded of the good news of the gospel together. HERE is a link to watch the first video. If you aren’t part of a Small Group, now is a great time to join! You can sign up HERE.
We have been given such good news! My prayer is that it will land on us with freshness and the wonder and amazement that should be our response as we seek to be diligent to remind ourselves of the glory of what God has done for us in Christ. Praying this is a week filled with moments of gospel awareness for you.
Grace and Peace,