Links Daily Devotional

‘This Is Major’

For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. (1 Corinthians 2:2, NIV)

And so the season is upon us.

With the leap into Poppie’s Pond at the ANA Inspiration and the first Masters week drives down Magnolia Lane, the majors are here. Whether you lean toward the PGA or the LPGA, for golf fans this is a wonderful fortnight. Spring is in the air, and with it a whole lot of well-struck shots by the world’s best players are soaring too.

There are plenty of doctrinal issues about which you will hear well-meaning, churchgoing friends say, “This is major.”Major is one of those superlatives that carry weight across the fields of life. News sources shout at us when there is a “major development.” Unwanted interference in the middle of our work day can be called a “major distraction.” And then there is the “major pain”—choose your own unhappy application for this expression.

Perhaps if you have been away the church for some time, you have heard preachers say that believers can get along when we agree on the majors and discount the minors. A relatively unknown theologian Rupertus Meldenius is most likely the originator of the saying, “In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity.” In this adage, we possess a wonderful principle for sharing the kingdom with our brothers and sisters, but it invokes one big question: What are the essentials; or in our context today, what counts as major?

Often the answer to this question is plucked from 1 Corinthians 15, where Paul wrote of the things that are of “first importance”—Christ’s death for our sins, Christ’s burial, Christ’s resurrection, and Christ’s subsequent appearances to the apostles and to more than 500 brothers and sisters in the faith.

We might, like so many golf fans weighing the individual merits of the majors, take one of these four events of Christ’s life and argue which is best. Or we might simply narrow our focus to this: Christ.

Much earlier in his first lengthy letter to the Corinthians, Paul had offered such a reduced list—Christ, and Christ crucified.

It sounds as though Paul was on spiritual retreat among the Corinthians. He had stopped all he was doing to meditate on the Lord of life. There is great meaning to such practice, for we are a people given to distractions of all kinds. Be they major or minor, they draw our eyes—and thus our minds and hearts—away from Christ.

There are plenty of doctrinal issues about which you will hear well-meaning, church-going friends say, “This is major.” In truth, the major major is singular. It is Jesus. In him alone you will find a lifetime of consideration and practice. What’s major for you is that you keep going back to him!

Jeff Hopper
April 3, 2017
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