Why Christianity Is Your Lifelong Education


How well do you know Jesus? Your Bible? Your salvation? When people ask you tough questions about your faith, how do you respond?

Knowing that Jesus died for your sins and offers you the opportunity to have a relationship with God is not something to passively accept and then move on. Acknowledging that Jesus is the way and the truth and the life (John 14:6) turns every moment into an opportunity to both apply that truth and learn more about its implications.

Not every Christian is called to be a pastor or Bible scholar. But wherever you are and whatever you do, Christianity should be your lifelong education. The “courses” we take and the people we learn from are as varied as our lives, but the subject is always the same: following Christ.

For Christians, class should always be in session, and school should never end.

One of my favorite C.S. Lewis quotes draws out this idea:

“If you are thinking of becoming a Christian, I warn you, you are embarking on something which is going to take the whole of you, brains and all. But, fortunately, it works the other way round. Anyone who is honestly trying to be a Christian will soon find his intelligence being sharpened: one of the reasons why it needs no special education to be a Christian is that Christianity is an education itself.” (Mere Christianity).

Do you remember things you learned from your first job? From college? High school? The less we use the knowledge and the skills we acquire, the faster they slip from memory. What lasts is the wisdom that we continually use and depend on—the knowledge we continue to develop and the principles we build on throughout our lives. When you know where to find truth, keep going there—why look anywhere else?

When your beliefs are challenged, do you stumble to recall the reason for the hope you have (1 Peter 3:15)? Or is it fresh on your mind, because you turn to Jesus daily? If you don’t already have a craving to learn and grow in Christ, you can build healthy spiritual habits until that desire is enough to keep you going. The more you know about Jesus, the Bible, and your salvation, the more prepared you are to explain them to others.

J.I. Packer, one of the most influential evangelicals in North America, says, “Christianity is not instinctive to anyone, nor is it picked up casually without effort. It is a faith that has to be learned, and therefore taught, and so some sort of systematic instruction (catechumenate) is an essential part of a church’s life.”

Paul was speaking to Christians immersed in worldly wisdom when he said, “When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power” (1 Corinthians 2:1–5). Christ was Paul’s area of expertise, the source of his wisdom, and the basis of every decision. The knowledge and the principles he proclaimed were rooted in what he knew about Jesus Christ.

Paul went on to explain that Christ, and the wisdom of the spirit cannot be inherently understood using earthly wisdom. It is revealed through the spirit:

“We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. No, we declare God’s wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. However, as it is written:

‘What no eye has seen,
what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived’—
the things God has prepared for those who love him—
these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.

The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us. This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words. The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit. The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments, for,

‘Who has known the mind of the Lord
so as to instruct him?’
But we have the mind of Christ'” (1 Corinthians 2:6–16).

Christianity runs against the grain of culture. It does not conform to the patterns of this world (Romans 12:2), and the wisdom of the Spirit doesn’t make sense to the wisdom of this world (1 Corinthians 2:14). Sin carves grooves into every culture and country—Christ reveals the path of truth in every moment of your life. The more intimately familiar you are with truth, the easier it is to recognize it daily.

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Whatever you do and wherever you are, there is always more to learn about Jesus, his truth, and how it all applies to your life right now.

What have you been learning lately? Tell us in the comments!

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