What Do You Believe?
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What Do You Believe?

Why it's important to know what you believe and why you believe it.

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What Do You Believe?
theschoolofmary

Do you believe that wood burns?
Do you believe that the moon reflects the sun’s light?
Do you believe that a single seed can grow into a huge tree?

Why do you believe these things? With no prior experience, it’s hard to look at a forest and picture it in flames. If it weren’t for scientists and their technology, would you have any reason to believe the moon does not emit its own light? It takes years for a small seed to achieve its full potential and mature to its full size.

How about this:

Do you believe that Adam and Eve were the first people on this earth?
Do you believe that God’s son came to Earth as a human and lived a perfect, blameless life?
Do you believe that through faith in Jesus we can live eternally with God?

Why do you believe these things? After all, you weren’t there.

The Sunday school answer to this is “because the Bible tells me so!” In John 20:31, we are told that “these [signs] are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” In his Word and deed, God has repeatedly shown us that He loves us, works all things for our good, and is deserving and worthy of our total fear, love, trust, and belief.

It is because of this that it is important to spend time with God in prayer and Bible study and devotion, that we may become familiar with his Word and promises. In Deuteronomy 6:6-8, we are told: “these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontlets on your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”

Here Moses teaches the Israelites to surround themselves with God’s Word and promises, including the laws they had just been given when Moses delivered the 10 commandments to them on the tablets. Why should we do this? In Psalm 119: 105, the psalmist writes, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Those laws God has given guide us in this life in our interactions with God and all the people with whom he has surrounded us.

In your life you will encounter people who don’t believe or don’t understand our Christian faith or Christian life. It is important to be able to articulate for them what you believe and why you believe that. Just saying “it’s in the Bible somewhere” just won’t cut it; you need to know what the Bible says about it.

When I was in high school, I moved 500 miles from the town I called home. Growing up in the Bible Belt, I encountered unbelievers, but mot people at least knew what it was (vaguely) that Christians believe. At my new school, however, I was in the minority as a Christian. Many people in my classes only knew what they had heard in the media about Christians. They had seen the hateful protests of Westboro Baptist church when they came to protest our school’s active Gay Straight Alliance and were shocked when I wouldn’t join them in the counter protest.

Several of my friends associated me as a Christian with the false teaching of Westboro and wanted to know how I could claim that Christians are not just judgmental jerks and then turn around and “hate on” those in the LGBT community.

Through this experience, I got to share about my faith – that although God says that lifestyle is sinful and contrary to his plan for us, he loves every single person on this earth, and that we, too, as Christians are called to love one another. By calling it like it is and saying that lifestyle is sinful, we are not being hateful; we admit in fact that we are just as sinful. Instead, we are trying to share what we are taught by our Creator and Savior, that others may believe and be blessed with the awesome gift Jesus earned for all of us when he died on the cross.

For you it may not be a conversation about gay pride – it may be about adultery, idolatry, God’s forgiveness, grace, or any other number of things. But these are real conversations that you may have had before and will certainly continue to have throughout your Christian life. They’re tough, but Jesus tells us to “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28: 19-20)

So we should spend time getting to know his Word. He even promises to be there with us, even in those tough conversations. He will give you the words you need, even when you are at a loss for what to say. We certainly believe in an amazing God.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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