Why Do We Believe What We Believe?
How do we understand our faith? Do we understand what we believe and why we believe it? How do we decide if something is true according to the Bible? It is not unusual, during home Bible studies, for someone to ask, "What does the church of Christ believe about some particular subject?" Are you able to answer for your faith? “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.” (1 Peter 3:15) In this study let us observe four areas and ask why we believe what we believe about certain things.
Why do we believe that Jehovah is the one true God? Paul wrote, "And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:19) Isaiah recorded God’s own words in Isaiah 43:10-11. “Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour.” (Isaiah 43:10-11) Other god’s are nonexistent figments of human imagination. They are the worthless works of men’s hands. “And there ye shall serve gods, the work of men's hands, wood and stone, which neither see, nor hear, nor eat, nor smell.” (Deuteronomy 4:28) The Bible is clear in showing that Jehovah is the one and only true God. God is the ever present, all-powerful Creator of the universe. God knows everything about us and He cares deeply about our eternal destiny.
Why do we believe that sin is man's worst problem? The Bible teaches that "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23) The miseries of this life are caused by sin. Sin brings a terrible payday. "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 6:23) We must have a proper understanding of sin and evil so that we can know of our need for salvation in Jesus Christ. Sin is any deviation from God’s perfect standards of righteousness. Sin is anything that is contrary to the nature of God. It includes actions, words, and thoughts. The consequence of sin is eternal separation from God. (Isaiah 59:1-2) Christians must be on constant guard against sin! Sinners must obey God to be saved from sin. Christ saves all that obey and only those that obey. "And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him." (Hebrews 5:9) Only those willing to obey Jesus will be saved. "But why do you call Me 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do the things which I say?" (Luke 6:46) Gospel obedience includes hearing God's word, believing in Jesus as the Christ, repenting of sins, confessing Christ as Lord, and being baptized. (Matthew 28:18-20, Mark 16:15-16, Luke 24:46-47) Disobedience is a tragic thing. Those that fail to obey are condemned. Only those that have learned truth and been obedient to it will be saved.
Why do we believe that Christ has only one church? The church is Christ's one body. (Ephesians 1:22-23, Ephesians 4:4-6) It is not enough just to be in a Church. You must be in the church that is in the Bible. Jesus Christ established His church long before anyone ever heard of Catholic, Baptist, Pentecostal, Episcopal, Methodist, Presbyterian or Jehovah's Witnesses. Today there are hundreds, even thousands of kinds of churches in existence. Men founded these churches on the teachings of men. Our Lord Himself established the New Testament church almost two thousand years ago. Jesus promised “on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it." (Matthew 16:18) Acts 2 gives the history of the establishment of the New Testament church. The year that the church was established was about 33 AD. The New Testament church is not a denomination. You can be a member of the New Testament church and if you are then you are only a Christian. The wonderful blessings of heaven should move us to obey the gospel and serve God faithfully in His one church. It is our prayer that you are a member of the blood bought church that you can read about in your own Bible!
Why do we believe that there will be a Judgment Day after this life is over? The Bible teaches that we have appointments with both death and judgment. "And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment." (Hebrews 9:27) Each person is accountable to God for his life. “So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.” (Romans 14:12) Can you even imagine what that great day will be like, that great Day of Judgment and accountability? Not many things are more clearly taught in Scripture than that of the Judgment Day. In the New Testament the second coming of Christ as Judge of the world is an often repeated teaching. The Apostles gave a most prominent place to this doctrine in their preaching. (2 Corinthians 5:10, 2 Timothy 4:1) The time of the Second Coming is spoken of as "that Day." (2 Timothy 4:8) It is "the day of the Lord." (1 Thessalonians 5:2) Are you prepared for that final Judgment?
The Bible teaches that baptism is essential to one's salvation. Have you been baptized according to the Lord's commands? If not, you should be. "And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord." (Acts 22:16) Believers contact Christ's saving blood by being baptized into His death. Those that become children of God have reason to rejoice. (Acts 8:39) Rejoicing follows man's response to God's good news of forgiveness by the death of Jesus. Do not put off doing what you know you should do. Opportunities pass quickly. Are you doing that which meets with God's approval? Is your life built on truth? "You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." (John 8:32)
By Charles Box, Walnut Street Church of Christ, P.O. Box 551, Greenville, Alabama 36037 USA