Disclaimer: About This Blog

THIS BLOG IS: my personal journey of how I am rethinking some of my spiritual beliefs.
THIS BLOG IS NOT: intended to point fingers at people who I think are wrong.
I do not believe the final judgement will be based on how many correct answers we get on a theology exam. I believe many people throughout history have had genuine relationships with our Lord and Saviour Jesus, despite holding questionable beliefs and practices. I make no claim to having it all figured out or being your judge. If we end up disagreeing over these topics I pray we can find a way to demonstrate grace.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

What I Believe

The more I study the less I know... and many of my blog posts here reveal how I am seeing shades of gray in many places where I once saw black or white.

But there are things clearly central to scripture that I choose to believe by faith.

So here is a summary of what I believe... I will likely update this post as my journey unfolds.

It is OK to have a simple faith

I want to have faith like a child. I don't believe it needs to be as complicated as some have made it to be. We don't need to read libraries full of volumes of complicated theological arguments. Many of these complicated theological discussions are good, but they are not required.

Allow God to Reign in His Kingdom

Jesus' spent a lot of time preaching about the Kingdom of God , or the Reign of God. We must repent, and allow God to reign in our lives. I want to be part of His work in His kingdom now and into eternity.

Unity is Essential

There are many issues that are causing divisions in Christ's Church. We must recognize that Unity of Christ's Church is an essential part of our faith. We must look at the large scriptural support of unity and compare that to the amount of scriptural support of an issue that is causing a division.

Love is Essential

What is more important, correct theology or love? I believe scripture is clear that love is essential to our faith.

We should love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul and mind.

Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. - Matt 22:37-38 (NIV)

We should love others unselfishly
"Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments." - Matt 22:36-40 (NIV)
True Faith is accompanied by good actions.
What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. - James 2:14-17 (NIV)
(I see irony in the faith vs works divide. Sola Fide is a related topic.)

God is Eternal
"Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God." (Psalm 90:2)
The Problem is Our Self Centered Ways

God created us in His own image to have an abundant life. He did not make us as robots to automatically love and obey Him. God gave us a will and a freedom of choice. We chose to disobey God and go our own willful way. We still make this choice today.
"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." —Romans 3:23 (NIV)

"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." —Romans 6:23 (NIV)
God wants us to have Peace and Life

God loves us and wants us to experience peace and life—abundant and eternal.
"We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." —Romans 5:1 (NIV)

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." —John 3:16 (NIV)
"I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." —John 10:10 (NIV)
God's wants to restore relationship with us

Jesus Christ died on the Cross and rose from the grave. Jesus chose to be the sacrificial lamb that would take our sins to the cross. The wages of my sin is death, and Jesus has taken that upon himself so that I may live.

"The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! "(John 1:29 NIV)
"For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Jesus Christ." —1 Timothy 2:5 (NIV)
"For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God." —1 Peter 3:18 (NIV)

"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." —Romans 5:8 (NIV)

Our Response: Receive Christ

We must trust Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and receive Him by personal invitation.
"Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me." —Revelation 3:20 (NIV)

"Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God." —John 1:12 (NIV)

"That if you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved." —Romans 10:9 (NIV)

We must not forget to share this good news

The Parable of the Life-Saving Station is a good reminder.
He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. (Mark 16:15 NIV)

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