What I Believe



    Who is God? God is love. God never changes, He is the same yesterday, today and forever. God is the only one true God. He always has been and always will be. He lives outside the constraints of time because he created time. Because He is holy He is incapable of lies or deceit. He is faithful and true. He is our Father who lives in Heaven. He sees all, He knows all and He controls all. He is the creator of all things. God is perfect, and all life comes from Him. 

     Who is Jesus Christ? Jesus Christ is God in human form. He left His kingdom with our Father God and the Holy Spirit in Heaven to come to earth for us. Jesus lived an earthly life like us who are fully human. His father is fully God and His mother is fully human. His mother was a virgin. Jesus was tempted but He never sinned, it is impossible for Him to sin since He is God and perfect. His main purpose here on earth was to die for our sins. Since God is ultimately good, Holy and just, something had to be done about our sin. There had to be a propitiation, a sacrifice, a replacement or a payment for all our sins. His death paid the debt for all our sins : past, present and future. He did this for us so that we wouldn’t be liable any longer and if we accept His gift then we will live eternally with Him. Death did not defeat Him as He rose from the grave and went back to live with our Father in Heaven.

     Who is the Holy Spirit? When Jesus went back to Heaven He sent in His place the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is God in spirit form, sent to dwell and reside with us here on earth. The Holy Spirit offers comfort, guidance, support, help, advice, strength and encouragement. He is a replacement of sorts for Jesus. 

     Who am I? I am a child of God. He created me in His image along with my brothers and sisters. That means that in some tiny way I am like Him. I have a soul that will live forever. Since I am saved I will spend my forever with Him. As humans we only have access to use a small portion of the power of our brains. It is possible that the rest of those circuits will be turned on when we reach Heaven. Then we will see more clearly, not through a glass darkly as now. I did not know love until He loved me. He is love and He teaches love. Creation was an act of love and sending His son to earth was an act of love. Then sending the Holy Spirit here to comfort and guide us was a further act of love. I am nothing and can do nothing apart from God. I was not created for this world, I was created to be in relationship with Him. That lonely ache for home is for a home that we have not yet seen. I do have free will. God did not create us as robots. We can freely choose to love or not to love God back. We can freely choose to accept His gift of eternal salvation or not. But at the same time that we have free will, God is totally in control. This is one attribute that sets us apart from other living creatures is our free will, another distinction is that we have a soul. Also, we are the only creation that is made in His image.

     How does God relate to the world?  God has a definitive purpose for my life. I believe that I have completely free will. At the same time though, God is in total control. I do not understand this at all. But I think that I can choose to do whatever I want. I believe that when I do things that are outside His will for me He then prunes me and tries to further mold me into a semblance of His son. He works all things together for my good so if I learn from my missteps then I will get more back on track with where He wants to use and develop me. We never ever arrive to anything near perfection and at the same time he never ever gives up on working on us. I do believe that we can influence God. There are stories in His word that show that prayers or urges made a difference in the future.

     What is the Bible? The Holy Bible is the inerrant inspired word of God. It is living and breathing and capable of illuminating truth to its readers. Its teachings you never graduate from. The Bible is one unified message from a single primary author conveyed through multiple secondary authors. The authors were the instruments of God. From a secular standpoint the Bible stands as one of the most often purchased and read books ever written. It is respected by many a non believer as an incredible work of art, history and poetry. For me is it of immeasurable value as it is God’s word for me, like love letters of instruction in how to live out the best life He has for me. The reading of the Bible should be approached in prayerful awe. Sometimes what the Bible says doesn’t exactly equal what it means. Sometimes it seems the more I learn, the more questions I have. But one of the cool things is that somehow my faith grows the more I study. It is vitally important to study alongside other believers to glean from them and hear what the Spirit is teaching them through His word. We must share and grow and expand together. This builds up and strengthens the body.

     What is salvation? Salvation is a gift of grace, it is not something we can ever hope to earn or gain. We cannot do anything to earn God’s love. We cannot make Him love us any more or less than He does. He loves us all. I am not more worthy than anyone else. Actually, we all are unworthy of the gift we have been given. Salvation is given to us from God but we have to accept it. God knocks on your heart’s door, you are convicted and drawn by the Holy Spirit to take action. That is, you let God into your heart and promise your life to Him. He is a gentleman, He will not force His way in and we have free will so we can choose to deny Him entry. Once you are saved you always will be and will spend eternity in Heaven with the Lord. There is nothing you can do to lose your salvation. If there were that would lessen the value of the gift and lessen the value of His sacrifice of His life to us. It would also presume that there were something more powerful than His love and gift such as sin or the power of the enemy. We as fallen sinful man require salvation in order for God to see us as whole and blameless. The blood of Jesus paid the price so that our sins are cast as far as the east is from the west. In order to be saved we must:

1. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ  

2. Confess that we are sinful and need a Savior  

3. Believe and confess that He rose on the 3rd day  

These 3 steps should be followed up with Baptism in obedience to His command.

     Who is the Church? The church is you and me and all the believers all over the world including those who are already in Heaven. It is not a building, it is the unified body of believers both near and far. We are set apart to serve and worship the Lord as brothers and sisters in one accord. We are called to gather together and share time with God and with the saints who have gone before. We are called to worship in spirit and in truth. We are then sent back out into the world to witness to non believers.

     What is Christian hope? This word hope is not the hope we speak of today 170px-ThinkingMan_Rodin   in secular language. You may say “I hope to finish my essay tonight“, in that sentence you are not totally sure that you will complete the essay. The Christian hope is one without any doubt that the Lord is returning to take us home with Him. We are supposed to be watching and waiting for Him in alert anticipation of our life to come. No one knows when He will come, not even Jesus. I do not believe we should fret or over-study signs as I think that is a bit too close to “worry”. And we are told specifically not to worry about the end of this world besides being told not to worry about anything at all. I believe that the saved will be taken before the second coming. I believe He will rapture the church away. But I certainly need to give this much more prayer and study.

      I was tasked with writing this essay as part of a leadership class I attend at church. I challenge you to take the question that begins each paragraph and write your own essay into your journal. And of course, I’d love to hear what you think and any feedback. Thank you for reading.

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