Don’t Skip the Preliminaries

Stan Mast

READ : Acts 16:25-31

Sirs, what must I do to be saved? (v. 30 NIV)

So I want to grow in my knowledge of Christ, but how can I do that? What’s the magic formula? Of course, there isn’t a formula. As outspoken journalist H. L. Mencken warned, “For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.”

Oh, there are definitely things you can do to grow in your knowledge of Christ. They are called spiritual disciplines, and I’ll talk about them later. Millions of people have practiced these disciplines for 2,000 years now, and they work wonderfully as instruments that lead to a deeper knowledge of Christ. But they won’t work for you if you skip the preliminaries.

Often we can skip the preliminaries. Your meal will be just fine if you skip the appetizers. The Super Bowl will be a great game (in fact, probably better) if you skip the pregame show. But when it comes to knowing Christ, there are preliminaries you just can’t skip.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not suggesting these preliminaries are necessary for salvation. I want to make it very clear, again, that we are saved by God’s grace through faith in Christ. “What must I do to be saved?” Here’s what: “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.” Both Peter and Paul, the denier and the persecutor, were saved by grace when they repented of their sins and believed in Christ. Then they became passionate about knowing Christ more. To grow that way, we can’t skip these two preliminaries.

PRAYER

Jesus, anchor me in yourself by grace through faith. Amen.