My church background growing up was one that, when looking from the outside, mirrored that of many young churchgoers in my generation. Growing up, and all my life up to this point, I have gone to a non-denominational church, with an extremely large congregation, non-traditional sanctuary, that plays modern worship songs in service. To many from a more reformed and/or traditional background, that may stir up some bad associations, but Brookwood Church in Mauldin, SC has been more than a blessing and has grown and molded my faith throughout my life.
My faith has developed in many different ways through the stages of great commitment or those "seasons" (such a modern Christian word lol) where my walk with Christ felt stagnant. That all being said, I feel very confident that the stage I am in right now is one of elaboration and understanding that has required me to question and dig deeper into why I believe what I believe. I think this is something that every Christian must pursue and for me, it all started by going back to The Foundation of what being a Christian is biblically.
At the core of this foundation, I believe there are 5 things that you have to believe, unequivocally, to truly call yourself a Christian, and they are as follows.
- We are guided by Scripture Alone
- We are saved through Faith Alone
- We are saved by the Grace Alone
- We are saved by Christ Alone
- We are saved and live all for the Glory of God Alone
These 5 statements, or "solas" as they were called during the Protestant Reformation, show us the building blocks that we must plant and grow in, in order to build a strong foundation on which our faith may stand.
The first of these, is that we are guided by the word of God and the infallible scripture that God gave us in the Bible. I'll start there with this verse from the book of Hebrews:
"For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart." -Hebrews 4:12
This verse, to me, sounds very familiar because it seems like growing up in church I always heard that the Bible was a living word, but looking back, I didn't know what that meant. What I know today, although I will not do it justice with the words I use, is that the Bible is a word that gives life when read and is applicable and perfect in any time, place, day, or emotional state. It is a word that, by just being read or heard, can bring change to someone's heart and impact them in ways that is unimaginable. Now that's how I would describe it, but let's let the Apostle Paul tell us what it means in the book of Romans:
"So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ." -Romans 10:17
Scripture is, most basically, the literal word of God that he gave to us to follow Him, and its guidance is our direct line to God's Will and character that we should so much desire to know more deeply. That desire is one that we should chase with no rest. We should desire to know God closer in everything we do and with everything we are, and the knowledge of that all comes directly from the Scripture Alone.
Now, just a little transparent moment, this is the single thing that I am worst at in my faith. It is the thing that I struggle with, neglect, and feel the most guilty about because I know that in order to grow the way that God has intended me to, I have to chase His word. I am trying and in prayer, I ask Him to give me a passionate desire to chase His word with tunnel vision and that He makes it as much of a necessity to me as food and water. I pray that He gives you too this desire and you understand the necessity for His word in your everyday life. I'll finish it off today with a couple of verses from the book of 2 Timothy, that expresses the importance of the word of God:
"All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work." -2 Timothy 3:16-17
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