If you're a Christian, you might have noticed by now that you have a tendency to forget the Gospel. Like the people of Israel constantly forgetting the many wonders wrought by the Holy One who delivered them out of Egypt, we too forget the historical work of God on our behalf and in our lives. It's particularly disturbing when we forget the work of Christ on the cross, and live in fear of God's displeasure rather than by faith in his love. In fact, I'm frightened by how often I actually forget the Gospel entirely. Is there something wrong with me?
Yes. Terribly. I'm still plagued by sin that dwells in me. That sin is continually resisting God's authorityâ€¦Â and his grace. Grace threatens my sin, it threatens my pride, my self-sufficiency. So somewhere inside of me, some part of me is always trying to forget the Gospel! This is why I (and all Christians) need so desperately to be reminded of the Gospel on a regular basis! We need to be in relationship with other Christians in order to mutually remind and encourage each other with the good news of God's sacrificial love that we don't deserve.
There's a silver lining to this cloud of forgetfulness. I know the Gospel. I understand it. I have rehearsed it for years. I've taught it to others. And yet I'm still surprised by it, as if it were brand new, every time I hear it. This could give me a cause for worry, but in fact it reinforces my faith. This situation is entirely unlike any other. I don't forget other information like this. I don't need to be reminded by others for my entire life that two plus two equals four, or that the sun is the center of our solar system. These things don't constantly surprise me. But the Gospel does, because of the resistance of my sin. The only thing that can account for this is the truth of the Christian worldview; there are forces at work within me, and in the world, that want to prevent me from worshiping my Savior and from fully applying the Gospel to my life. Knowing that I struggle with forgetting the Gospel can be discouraging, yes. But it also confirms the reality of the spiritual battles in which we are engaged. And one day these battles will be decisively ended, and we will never again forget the joy of our salvation.