Statements of Faith: My Personal Beliefs Regarding Christianity
In order to present myself in the best manner possible, I deem it crucial to explain and expound upon the beliefs I have come to form through the reading of Scripture and my continual relationship with Jesus Christ. God has done a marvelous work in and through me and without His atoning sacrifice and eternal grace, I am (literally) nothing (John 15:15).
Thus, as I step forward into future ministry endeavors and as Christianity grows more and more diverse, with a myriad of diverging theological systems inciting a growing tension amongst Christ-followers who hear multiple interpretations on the same quote from Scripture, I find it of utmost importance to genuinely know what you believe and be able to respond to any (and every) inquiry about those beliefs.
The apostle Peter says in his first epistle in the New Testament, “But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil” (1 Pet. 3:14-17).
Those verses are so crucial for the growing believer and for the veteran Christian alike.
Peter admonishes those who are truly dedicated to serving and following Jesus’s will for their lives to “always be prepared to make a defense,” that is, to hold firm to what they know they believe.
It’s far too easy to become a complacent, apathetic Christian that’s neither growing nor sinking but, even more dangerous, just floundering. As Christians, we must know what we believe and be able to give a logical response and inspiring reason for the hope that dwells in us.
That hope that resides in my innermost being is only there because of the immaculate love and grace of a Person named Jesus Christ. Therefore, everything I do, everything I say, everything I think, every hope and wish and dream should be dedicated and done all for the glory, exaltation, magnification, and demonstration of the grace of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
I (We, You) owe everything to Him, so how can I (we, you) not give everything in return? Thus, I’m resolving to know Jesus more intimately and to make His name and His gospel infamous throughout the world, not caring what the cost is for my life, but “wholly leaning on Jesus’ name,” living with unreserved obedience and absolute surrender.
In light of this resolve, it’s paramount that I address the core doctrines of the Christian faith to ensure one understands the perspective from which I interpret the Scriptures. By no means do I ever feel or consider my perspectives or viewpoints on the Word of God to be universal because I’m in no sense of the term “perfect.” Therefore, my interpretations aren’t perfect either.
Thus (and I feel this should be the heart of every true believer), my understanding and application of the Bible is in a constant state of flux. There’s a certain amount of dynamism that must accompany the true believer in his walk with God.
That isn’t to say that we should be continually changing the way we view the Word of God because there are surely specific doctrines and ideas and cardinal truths throughout the pages of Scripture that one can be absolutely inflexible and adamant about, i.e., the Deity of Jesus Christ, the Resurrection from the Dead of the Messiah, the Universality of a Sin Nature, to name a few. But as we progress in spiritual sanctification and grow more in the knowledge of our Savior, so too will our understanding of the Bible grow and mature.
The more we engage in following hard after God (Ps. 63:8), the more we will realize His infinite and boundless nature. He’s a measureless, untold God whose thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are His ways your ways (Isa. 55:8). There should never come a point in our Christian life where we have the mindset that, “I’ve arrived; I’ve figured everything out!” That’s dangerous ground!
As I continue to learn more about my Jesus and about my Heavenly Father, naturally, new concepts and applications will be drawn that might shift my perspective slightly in certain areas.
That is to say: I present these doctrinal statements to you now not as if I’ve somehow determined everything there is to know about the Scriptures or God Himself, but rather as my humble interpretation of the Holy Word of God and how the Holy Spirit has used the ministry of His Spirit and Jesus’s grace to shape and alter the course of my life.
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