Tag Archives: Belief

What I Believe Doesn’t Matter

Anyone who reads my blog knows what I believe about God and salvation. You really only need to read my Apostles’ Creed page to get a nutshell version. But what I believe doesn’t really matter because it doesn’t change what is true.

God did not create the earth and all life on it because I believe that He did. By the same token, life did not spontaneously begin without the help of God because atheists believe that it did.

There are certain truths in this life that are determined solely by what I believe or what someone else believes. For example, I believe that I do not like mushrooms. In fact, I hate them. They taste like dirt and the smell of them cooking makes me nauseous. Other people love mushrooms; some of these people have tried to convince me that they are good, and I don’t argue with the truth that they like them, but their belief that mushrooms are good does not change the fact that I hate them.

Opinions about favorite colors, whether movies are good or bad, whether it is better to live in the country or the city, and a host of other things are dependent on what each person believes. The truth of a particular opinion is subjective.

There are other truths, however, that are not determined by what I or someone else believe. These truths are objective in nature. Truths that fall into this category include:

  • Whether there is a God.
  • Whether life was created by a God or spontaneously occurred billions of years ago.
  • Whether, if God exists, He is loving and compassionate, vengeful and hateful, or indifferent and disconnected from His creation.
  • Whether human beings cease to exist when they die or enter into the realm of heaven or hell.

What I believe about any of these things doesn’t change the truth, but it can change me. What you believe doesn’t change the truth, but it can change you.

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Redemption and the Bread of Life for Recipe (Good) Friday

I know I usually post a recipe on Friday, but because it is Good Friday I decided I wanted to do something a little bit different. Instead of a recipe for food that will perish or last only for a single meal, I want to post the recipe for Redemption and the Bread of Life that will last you for an eternity if you choose to partake. This recipe was finished over 2,000 years ago, but to enjoy it you have to add two important things.

Redemption and the Bread of Life

Ingredients:

All the sin of mankind
One Spotless Lamb of God
One crown of thorns
Two wooden beams
Three nails
The blood of the Savior
Divine Love
One empty tomb
Belief
Confession

Directions:

The first part of the recipe was already finished when the Spotless Lamb of God took upon Himself all the sin of mankind, wore a crown of thorns, and was nailed to a cross made of two wooden beams. The blood of the Savior was shed because of Divine Love. After three days, one empty tomb was added to the recipe, and Redemption and the Bread of Life was ready for all to partake.

To enjoy Redemption and the Bread of Life, believe that the Spotless Lamb of God died for your sins and that God raised Him from the dead, and confess with your mouth that He is Lord of all. And while you are at it, enjoy this great video of Johnny Cash singing “Redemption.”

Finally, I just want to leave you with a few scriptures regarding the Bread of Life and how Jesus finished all that needed to be done, except for you to believe. And even that, I believe, His Holy Spirit has a hand in allowing us to do. Today is Good Friday, a somber day on which our Lord was crucified. But Sunday’s comin’ and Redemption is nigh’.

Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” John 6:35 (NIV).

When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. John 19:30 (NIV).

Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!” John 20:1-2 (NIV).

If you declare 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).

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Filed under Faith, Jesus, Life, Music, postaday2011

A Life Worthy of God’s Call

Last night I was reading 2 Thessalonians while waiting for the sleep study technician to come in and hook me up for a good night’s sleep. Actually, it was a terrible night’s sleep full of weird dreams and frequently waking up to find I was still connected to a computer monitoring my sleep patterns and vital signs. Then today 2 Thessalonians 1 came to mind twice, though I couldn’t recall what I had read that seemed to stick with me somewhere in my subconscious. So I decided I better go read it again. It was then that I remembered the part that stood out to me when I was reading last night.

In teaching about the second coming of Christ, which the Church was looking forward to and we still look forward to now, Paul wrote to the Thessalonian church:

When he comes on that day, he will receive glory from his holy people—praise from all who believe. And this includes you, for you believed what we told you about him. So we keep on praying for you, asking our God to enable you to live a life worthy of his call. May he give you the power to accomplish all the good things your faith prompts you to do. Then the name of our Lord Jesus will be honored because of the way you live, and you will be honored along with him. This is all made possible because of the grace of our God and Lord, Jesus Christ. 2 Thessalonians 1:10-12.

Three things stood out for me in this passage and the book of Thessalonians as a whole. First, Paul says the Thessalonians are included in those who will praise Jesus on His return because they “believed what we told you about him.” Consistent with his teachings elsewhere, and the words of Jesus Himself, belief in Jesus as their Savior and King is what Paul says ensures that the Thessalonians will be part of the saved on the coming Day of the Lord. There were no good works that they could do, or their goodness itself, that would secure for them a place in God’s kingdom. It is the same for us.

The second thing that stood out to me was how the “life worthy of his call” came after belief and was enabled by God. Paul asked that God give the Thessalonians (and us) “the power to accomplish all the good things your faith prompts you to do.” Good works and obedience are definitely part of the Christian life, but they do not precede belief in Jesus as Lord, and they do not happen because of our own ability or power.

The third thing I noticed was that the Glory and Honor because of the Thessalonians (and our) good works and worthy lives will go primarily to Jesus because it is His grace that makes it all possible. On the Day of the Lord we “will be honored along with him.” However, there is no indication that we will receive any honor before that time or on our own. We will be honored only because we have relied on Jesus.

I tend to be very methodical about things and in my thinking about problems and their solutions. Perhaps that is my legal training, or maybe it is just a gift from God. Because of that I see this simple, logical progression of the human soul from lost to obedient child of God:

  1. God the Father draws the unbeliever to His Son, Jesus our Savior. John 6:44.
  2. The unbeliever hears the call and believes in Jesus as his Savior and atoning sacrifice for his sins. John 3:16.
  3. The new believer is indwelt by the Holy Spirit of God. Acts 10:44-47.
  4. The Holy Spirit works in the heart of the new believer to give him or her the desire to know God’s will and understand His Word, and the power to live a life worthy of God. 2 Thessalonians 1:11.

I know I’ve left out a lot of detail in this short list. And number 4 can take a lifetime of work. But that’s okay, because God is patient. He is much more concerned with a humble and contrite heart that desires obedience than perfect outward actions done to look good in the eyes of others. As Psalms 51:17 says, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.”

“Jesus answered, ‘The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.’” John 6:29. All else is the work of the Holy Spirit.

My prayer is that all believers, not least of all me, will stop thinking we can live a life worthy of God on our own, and call on the power of the Holy Spirit to enable us to accomplish all of the good things our faith prompts us to do. Then Jesus will be glorified and honored, as it should be.

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