Instead of obeying the clear warnings of their Creator, Adam and Eve deliberately and willfully chose to rebel. And we’ve been living with the consequences ever since—humanity is mentally confused, emotionally afraid, and spiritually dead. However, the good news is God didn’t abandon us in our rebellion. In mercy and grace He provided the way out of our self-made mess through His Son, Jesus Christ.
“I believe in the Holy Ghost….” These are familiar words to those who have ever attended a church where the Apostles’ Creed is recited during the service. Six words commonly heard yet seldom thought through. What, exactly, do they mean?
The reality is, true biblical faith is based on knowledge of God and His Word. You can't believe in the promises of God if you don't know what they are or trust a God whom you know little about.
God’s desire is that we, His people, fully enjoy our freedom in Christ. However, there must be self-imposed boundaries or we will become self-serving, independent-minded, and careless rebels with no regard for others. The last 11 verses of Romans 14 address this issue.
Because of the weak believer’s human tendency to judge those who don’t embrace his or her customs and convictions and also because of the strong believer’s decision to discount judgments passed by those who find fault in his or her expressions of freedom, conflict emerges and persists. The solution? Put grace into action.
Slice it any way you wish; ignorance is not bliss. Dress it in whatever garb you please; ignorance is not attractive. Neither is it the mark of humility nor the path to spirituality. It certainly is not the companion of wisdom.
Now, before you call me “Scrooge,” I suggest you return to the first century and meet a disciple of Christ who fit this category.
No one wants to look back at the end of the year and see wasted time. No one hopes to drift aimlessly through life, doing things without at least some lasting value. The difficulty lies in the fact many of us simply don’t know what we need to do to give life purpose. Well, Jesus has three answers—three “musts”—for each of us.
There are days when it’s wise for us to stop and look and listen. We scrutinize our lives, examine Scripture, and spend extended time in prayer as we gain a clearer sense of what God is doing in our lives and what He has for us in the future. As the new year rolls around, take some time for reflection and renewal. Start today.