Life can be treated several different ways. Some tend to think that people are inherently good, while others say that people are inherently evil. Depending on what you believe as the truth, it will skew your view of people, circumstances and life itself.
Think about this for a second. You are in a conversation with someone on a topic that is passionate to you. You have convictions that are rooted deep within your psyche and know beyond any shadow of doubt that you are right. Or are you?
Many times I have conversations with people who are convinced that they are right. I have also encountered where I feel I am right but during the conversation, I start to doubt what I believe. Is this sinful or just human?
When it comes to what you believe, I like to take a look at it as either a lie or videotape. Here is what I mean. If you believe something just because someone said it, then you may be believing in a lie and not even know it. On the other hand, you may believe something because you have studied it and know that it is true. The real question is “Why do you believe what you believe?”
The study of Scripture is important and essential for the Christian life, but when I talk with other believers who read the Scripture and ask them to prove why they believe what they believe, they come up with this statement, “Pastor so-and-so said that this is what this verse meant” or “I heard a preacher once talk about this so it must be true.” Both of these statements show me one thing, they either did not do the study themselves or aren’t reasoning why they believe what they heard.
Throughout my life, I have doubted what people say regarding their beliefs. Sometimes this has turned out to be a hindrance, but most times it has proved to be valuable. When I was in trade school for electronics, I always asked this question to my teacher, “Why does this work like that?” My teacher would then explain in more details. On one occasion, my teacher said, “Why ask why and just trust me. I am the teacher and you are the student.” I immediately shot back, “Because if I don’t understand how the circuit works in detail, how am I to fix it if it breaks?” There was no answer, just a look of frustration on the teacher’s part.
As Christians we need to treat Scripture the same way. We need to ask ourselves questions like:
1. “Why did God start with Israel and the Ten Commandments and then go to Jesus and the time of grace?”
2. What was the reason for Paul to state, “If they are preaching the Gospel, whether out of commitment or money, let them preach?” Was Paul condoning false motives?
3. If salvation is through Jesus Christ alone, is baptism a requirement for salvation as well?
4. Are infants to be baptized or just adults?
5. Are the teachings of my church in coordination with Scripture?
6. Can I show why I believe by more than just one Scripture?
7. Is it okay to argue with or get angry at God?
Obviously, there are many more questions that can be asked, but the underlying principle is the same…Why do you believe what you believe?
So here’s an example of why I believe that Jesus is the only way to heaven:
- Jesus said, ‘I am the Way. the Truth and the Life. No one goes to the Father except through Me.”
- The crucifixion of Jesus was foretold in Isaiah, “…he will be hung on a tree”.
- Ancient secular texts talk about Jesus in a real manner.
- There were many eyewitnesses to Jesus’ resurrected body (the Book of Acts)
- God said in Genesis, “The seed of the woman will break the head of the serpent.”
When you study Scripture with historical documents you will see many different things. You will see the context of the culture in which it was written. You will see the type of people who the letter or book was addressed to. You will understand the problem of that day and how they relate to today’s problems. Ultimately, you will see Scripture in a whole new light.
The advice given to me by my father still holds true, “Understand why you believe what you believe and you will be able to stand up in the days of trial.” That was one of the best pieces of advice my father gave to me.
However, this also comes with a price that is not easily adjusted to. When you take this approach, you will also be challenged to reason and question what you currently believe. Many times, I will ask myself, “What I was taught as a child, is it really true?” The the journey of discovery begins. It isn’t until the questions arise that the truth will be revealed.
When this life ends and our eternity begins will be have lived believing a lie or will God say, “Roll the videotape!” If God rolls the videotape then the Truth will be known and it will be too late.
Know why Jesus said, ‘I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one goes to the Father except through Me.” Only then will you be able to understand why Jesus told us the truth, each and every time He spoke.
It is late at night, I hope you aren’t that confused…If you are, comment and let me know. I’ll try to answer any comment that comes my way.
God bless and encourage someone today.