I don’t know how many times I’ve heard people say “I went to school and studied, so I’m an expert” or “I have this many years experience in such and such a field, so I’m an expert,” or any such thing. To a degree, it drives me a little crazy. If I can be honest, studying is well and good, experience is well and good, but it doesn’t always make one right. Jesus picked so many people who were not credentialed. As a matter of fact, the book of Acts tells us that the Sanhedrin (The ruling council) saw that Peter and John were uneducated and untrained (Acts 4:13), and that Stephen, an “untrained” deacon in the church, was able to successfully refute the disciples of the Pharisees (Acts 6:8-7:60). The only “credentialed” writer of the New Testament said he counted all of his accomplishments as rubbish (Philippians 3:8)!
The point that each of them (and I myself) are trying to make is this: Jesus isn’t impressed by our credentials. We’re not considered candidates for eternity based upon our accomplishments. In fact, our credentials qualify us for eternity apart from Jesus forever! It is by His power and His glory and faith in His name that we are saved! We are saved by grace through Faith in Jesus Christ! He doesn’t care about our background or degrees in theology, He’s after our hearts and obedience! What is more, He bestows, by the Holy Spirit, gifts on His followers that are for His glory and to draw all humanity to Himself! I heard one preacher put it this way: He doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called. So get in to the Word, get on your knees, and listen to the Holy Spirit. Do not lean on your own understanding, and seek the wisdom that comes from above. He will credential and qualify you, and He will make your paths straight!
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD, and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones.
Look out for the dogs, look out for the evildoers, look out for those who mutilate the flesh. For we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh— though I myself have reason for confidence in the flesh also. If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless. But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.