Do you share my struggle? Do you find yourself wondering at times if you really understand the gospel? Does the frailty and finiteness of your mind struggle to grasp the immeasurable magnitude of the infinite love of the God-Man, Jesus Christ, suffering under the fullness of God’s wrath for your eternal punishment? If you resonate with this, you are not the first. You’re actually in very good company. Here’s what the lion of Protestantism, Martin Luther, had to say about this:
“Particularly when you hear an immature and unripe saint trump that he knows very well that we must be saved by the grace of God, without our own works, and then pretend that this is a snap for him, well, then have no doubt that he has no idea of what he is talking about and probably will never find out. For this is not an art that can be completely learned or of which anyone could boast that he is a master. It is an art that will always have us as pupils while it remains the master. And all those who do understand and practice it do not boast that they can do everything. On the contrary, they sense it like a wonderful taste or odor that they greatly desire and pursue; and they are amazed that they cannot grasp it or comprehend it as they would like. They hunger, thirst, and yearn for it more and more; and they never tire of hearing about or dealing with it.” – “Psalm 117,” translated by Edward Sitler in Selected Psalms III from Luther’s Works, vol. 14, edited by Jaroslav Pelikan (St. Louis: Concordia, 1958), 37; qtd. in Thomas R. Schreiner, Galatians (ECNT, 175-76)
The gospel is omnisciently profound. We are profoundly dull. The gospel is a glorious condescension from the highest heights of triune deity to the lowest place of our fallen depravity. Transcendent truth has visited our lowly state. Therefore, while a child can understand it, adults can swim beneath the surface of its bottomless depths for a lifetime. And, as Luther said, it will take a lifetime – and beyond – to pursue comprehending the glorious gospel. Go diving today, saints. Be gripped by the gospel.