Understanding is the reward of faith. So do not seek to understand in order to believe, but believe so that you may understand. Augustine
When we tell someone about the gospel, or about how the gospel has changed us, do we tell them hoping they will understand, and then believe? That is quite impossible, we should know.
“For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved, it is the power of God.” 1 Corinthians 1:18 NASB
Approaching faith from an intellectual understanding is one of the great mistakes of our times. When we “try” to convince someone of the absolute sense the gospel makes, we are approaching the gospel from an intellectual angle. I think we might be handicapping those we speak with, if we do it like this.
The gospel cannot be understood by the mind, until the heart believes it. Then, how beautiful does it appear? Awesomely spectacular, with all of its wisdom attached to the man dangling from the cross. Utter foolishness it is to believe that this man, Jesus, can save anyone, if we approach it with our minds primarily. But when our heart is engaged, it seems as if God on the cross is the only thing that could ever make sense.
We approach the Word of God in the same manner, with our heads first. Why do we do this? Is it because we believe we have a pretty good understanding of the gospel? Is it because we fail to remain in Jesus the way He told us, which is by faith alone, and not by deeds, or by intellectual cunning? To remain, to abide in Christ, is to love Him, and obey Him. Love speaks nothing of the head, only of the heart. Thus, to abide must be a heart matter, not a knowledge base.
When we “lead” people to Christ, then, let us do it with our hearts, not with our heads, because the people who don’t know Jesus won’t understand the gospel unless they believe it first. What great fruit could we bear if we remained in faith? If we approach the gospel through faith, share it through faith, and live it through faith, understanding will follow. Let us pray understanding will follow for those we share the gospel with, for if it does, then they have believed!