We will finally land the plane on our academics conversation. So far, we have seen that the pivotal point of focus in our academic pursuit is to be Jesus Christ. Learning in and of itself is noble, but it is not the ultimate pursuit in life. Glorifying God is. We said last time that academics should aim at glorifying God and not man. Whenever we see ourselves boasting about our academic prowess, then were no longer focusing on our main pursuit. Someone once said, “…we need to learn how to keep the main thing the main thing. Major on the major and minor on the minors.” To emphasize the previous post, God seeks to be glorified in all things, even our academics. His jealousy cannot allow for boasting to be man-centered but only HIM centered.
God designed academics to help us see Him
1 Corinthians 1:18-20: “For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. (19) For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.” (20) Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?
Academics wisdom does not give you purpose. Education is good and holds good times for us here and now but has no promise for there and then. You see, the issue is not how to build equilibrium for education and God’s pursuit. There is no equilibrium. One must rule over the other. One must serve the other. Either God serves the purposes of education, making him the lesser; or education serves the purposes of God, making education the lesser. Ecclesiastes 12:13, “The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.” This is your purpose; that you know Christ and you make him known. Your purpose is not to get an ‘A’ grade in school, or good honors in campus or a good career. That would be cheap hope for a soul that has to face eternity away from earth. Your purpose is to serve God, enjoy him fully, and make him known to other nations by fulfilling the great commission of making disciples. Now, does this negate the need for excellence in our studies as believers? Does this mean that believers should not seek to be high performers and ‘geeks’ in their fields of concentration? By no means! In fact, it compounds it and gives it more impetus and oomph!
Mathematics, literature, and science did not save us. Jesus saves us. God uses men and women who study mathematics, literature, and science to preach his gospel to save men. God may even use something in the studies of mathematics, literature, and science to draw people to himself, but the study of these academics in themselves does not save men and women. God uses the gospel to save people. Anything that does not give real hope is something that needs to find perspective in something else. Too much learning should prove to the mind that there is a lot more knowledge out there. That there is something bigger out there. God has made this wisdom of man look foolish by the Gospel. What is the Gospel?
John Piper says- “The gospel is the good news that the everlasting and ever-increasing joy of the never-boring, ever-satisfying Christ is ours freely and eternally by faith in the sin-forgiving death and hope-giving resurrection of Jesus Christ. 1” This is the message that dampened the noise of the high-sounding scholars of old. It has the same effects today as well. Unless we base our lives on this message, then we will find out soon that all we have lived for is wasteful. But when the realities of being embraced by the Gospel come to my heart, every library moment, every assessment test, every modular, every term paper and thesis is going to be done in joyful exultation. Why? Because the driving force is the transformed life within. The Gospel, makes learning look foolish by offering something more than papers and job security. The Gospel makes man wise by making all learning foolish when it gives us hope for life after death! When learned Paul met the Gospel, he later stated that all he had once thought to be gain, he has counted loss for Christ. He has suffered all the loss and now counts all else as dung because of Christ! When a learned lawyer speaks in this way, then you know they have placed academics at its rightful place- under the feet of Jesus!
Friends, it is good to have an education. It is critical to advance, if one is able to, and attain the highest accolades in academia. It is important that one who has the opportunity to study should do with all of their heart. However, all these are secondary things. If I have Christ, I have everything. Do all things by Him and feel his pleasure as you study for his glory. Our foundation is Christ. Our boasting is Christ. Our wisdom is Christ. Our life is Christ. Solas Christus! By Christ Alone!
Romans 11:36– For from him, through him, and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen.