Monday, April 20, 2009

Day 2 ~ I Believe...

Today we come to the question of the week...WHAT DO CHRISTIANS BELIEVE?

Believe -
a: To have a firm religious faith.
b: to accept as true, genuine or real.

Think about it right now - How would you answer that question if someone approached you with it today? How do you think your children would answer that question? Would we all know how to answer with more than just I believe in God...or Jesus?

Todays topic begins the journey of digging into and exploring segments of the Apostle's and Nicene Creeds. Inside Bishop Kenneth's book - "What Christians Believe" - you will find a more extensive exploration of these Creeds side by side. It is what I call - GOOD STUFF!!


It is my prayer that this information will come as new revelation to some readers and for others it will remind and speak to us in a new fresh way. For all - I pray it strengthen's and expand's our desire for greater knowledge of the Bible and the heritage of our faith.

Whatever stage you are at it does not matter. What matters is if you have discovered the wonderful truth that brings you to God.
Belief is necessary for salvation...Do you believe?


"I Believe..."
Taking it Personally


Being a Christian is a personal thing. I should point out that by personal I don’t mean individual. Being a Christian is not an individual thing. When we become believers in Christ we also become members of his family, his Body, the Church. But as someone has said, “God has no grandchildren”. Our relationship with him isn’t mediated through some other channel so that we are in Christ but don’t know Christ; real faith has a personal dimension to it. You can personally know God. You can personally pray to him. You can personally encounter his presence. You can personally obey him or disobey him. So, when the Creeds begin with “I believe” they mean just that. By personally affirming what the Church believes you are joining together with untold millions of Christians who throughout the ages have also embraced the truth of the Christian faith.

But - and this is a big but - what follows after the words “I believe” is not up to us. Although the Christian faith is personal, it isn’t individualistic. You can’t just make up your own creed (though heaven knows enough people have tried to). “I believe in peanut butter and jelly sandwiches” is not an accurate statement of what it means to be Christian! Our personal faith, our “I believe” joins with the whole of the Church in embracing the faith once delivered to the Apostles by Jesus himself.

How many times have you heard people say, when speaking of some text in the Bible, “Well, what it means to me is...”? Hop efully what they intend to say is, “Well, this is the application the text has for me.” Application is one thing, interpretation is another. We approach the Bible, and the Christian faith, together. We don’t believe whatever we want to believe. We believe what we have received from those who have gone before us. Saint Paul, writing the church in Corinth said, “For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread...” (1 Corinthians 11.23). The words that Paul used for received and passed on are technical words for the passing on of tradition. As Christians, we do the same. Like the Christians in Corinth, we receive the teachings of the Apostles, and we pass them on to those after us. So when we come to the words “I believe” in the Creeds, we should understand that we aren’t making this stuff up as we go. We are standing at the end of a long line of men and women who have defended and protected the precious faith, some with their very lives, in order to pass it on to others. We believe the faith that has been delivered to us from the Prophets (the Old Testament), from Jesus, and from the Apostles (the New Testament), and which has been guarded and kept from their day until ours. What “I believe...” is of necessity what we believe.

(from Chapter One, What Christians Believe by Kenneth N. Myers)
To order a copy of the book by Bishop Myers go to http://www.kennethmyers.net/.

Enjoy this video of the group Third Day singing Rich Mullins Creed Song.
May it sing in your soul throughout the day and days to come!




 

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