Christian, eat your Cheerios

Just the other day I was speaking to an individual about some of the basics of the Christian faith. Their response was something similar to “that’s basic Christian stuff, I learned that 9 years ago”. While their response did concern me as it seemed as if their whole faith was simply head knowledge without any spiritual maturity to back it up. One thing that came from that conversation was a reminder that even the most mature believer needs to go back and eat their Cheerios.

Some time ago I was listening to a lecture by Sinclair Ferguson. He was discussing some of the basic truths of the Christian faith in which he makes the point that believers sometimes need to go back and eat a bowl of cereal. What he meant by this is that as mature believers, we sometimes forget some of the basic or early teachings of the Christian faith.

We don’t usually eat a bowl of cereal for breakfast. In most cases we would grab a cup of coffee, or some sort of breakfast bar before we go about our day. As Children, most of us started our day with a bowl of cereal before heading off to school. It’s sweet, filling, basic and gets us going.

The gospel is just like this. It’s the focus of the Christian faith, but it’s also where we begin our journey with Jesus Christ. The gospel truth can be found on Romans Road which states

• All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23)

• There is none who are righteous (Romans 3:10-18)

• The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ (Romans 6:23)

• While we were still sinners (doing nothing to earn any grace) Christ died for us (Romans 5:8)

• If we confess with our mouth and believe in our heart that Jesus is Lord we will be saved (Romans 10:9)

• Anyone who called on the name of the Lord shall be saved (Romans 10:13)

As we look at the list above it doesn’t start with something delightful. Something that is appealing and what we would want to chase after at first glance. Nobody likes to be told they are a sinner who deserves to die. As our Lord teaches in John 3:19-20, the wicked run and hide in fear of their deeds being exposed. But once we get past that point, confess our sins we begin to see just how sweet and delightful the gospel truly is.

We could parallel the Gospel of Jesus with Cheerios. Cheerios are a pretty basic cereal. It’s just a simple oat ring with just enough sweetened to enjoy. On first glance the cereal doesn’t look that delightful. In fact, many children don’t like to eat Cheerios. But once you get past what it looks like, bite into a spoonful of those rings you find just how delightful and filling they can truly be.

While we shouldn’t be dogmatic with the thought, I think we could called the Gospel a “Cheerio gospel” only to the extent that we are reminded how simply yet sweet it truly is. Nothing more.

At the time of writing this article I was one who has almost forgotten how sweet the gospel is. I do have a large interest in biblical theology and history, a man who wants to know more, eat the heartier meats of the Christian faith.

I recently began taking a class with a workbook study that reminded me of these truths and how delightful the Gospel is. It’s not that there was an abandonment of faith, but as I began to meditate on the Gospel on a deeper level I gained a stronger peace for what the Lord has done.

As David said in his psalm, “restore to me the joy of my salvation”. (51:12) He was redeemed by the Lord, but clearly was in a season without such delight. Only through that reminder of Gods grace do we find true joy. Then we will be in the right position to minister to others. (51:13)

Now I am one who strongly encourages digging into the meats of Scripture but we must not get so consumed with the steaks that we forget that bowl of Cheerios we once ate. I believe we should go back to the gospel and be reminded of the sweet delight it holds. a reminder of the sins we have committed against a Holy God, yet because of Christ we can rest and delight, and find joy in His sacrifice for us.