Are you forgetful? How often do you forget where you keys are? What that guy’s name is? Where you parked? The answer to that test question (that you just read in your book)? What that smell reminds you of?
Us people have memory problems. Even if you have a pretty solid memory for the logistic things in life, when it comes to deep heart-memories, we have spiritual amnesia.
Going through the book of Galatians we see Paul reminding us over and over and over about the heart of the Gospel: Jesus Plus Nothing. And the leaders of the church, the ones that actually spent years and years with Jesus himself, fully agreeing, and then forgetting. Look at Galatians 2:11-14
But when Cephas (Peter) came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. 12 For before certain men came from James, he was eating with the Gentiles; but when they came he drew back and separated himself, fearing the circumcision party. 13 And the rest of the Jews acted hypocritically along with him, so that even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy. 14 But when I saw that their conduct was not in step with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas before them all, “If you, though a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you force the Gentiles to live like Jews?”
Let’s be honest. Peter and Barnabas are far smarter and spiritually knowledgeable than we will ever be. Yet they forgot. They KNEW the Gospel, but were deeply influenced by what others thought and acted out of step with the Gospel that they knew.
When and How do you forget the Gospel of Jesus?
1) When you are tempted to pursue your own satisfaction in a relationship rather than realize you are fulfilled in Jesus?
2) When you refuse to forgive yourself for a sin for which Jesus has fully paid?
3) When you drop names and your spiritual resume so others will think more highly of you rather than leaning on Jesus’ resume.
4) When you envision God’s looking at you with a scowling or at least disappointed face instead of believing that he looks on you as His adopted, beloved, valuable child?
Paul is inviting us to live “in step” with the freeing Gospel of Jesus rather than “in step” with hopeless self-performance. But first we have to continually know and re-know the hope of Jesus, because it is really easy to forget.