Monday, June 15, 2009

Do You Have Doubts? – Part 4

This is the fourth and final post in a series about faith and doubt.

IV. Believing and Being

As we have seen, faith is an important aspect of Christianity. The main reason faith is important is because the Bible says we are saved by God’s grace when we put our faith in Christ. The Bible tells us that… it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. (NIV, Ephesians 2:8-9)

Moreover, we can’t have the kind of relationship with God we were intended to have if we reject or doubt much of what the Bible says about him. But faith and belief aren’t the whole story – it is also very important to live according to biblical principles. We are not just to believe, but to be – that is, we are to live out our faith. The Apostle James tells us

What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? (NLT, James 2:14)
But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. (NLT, James 1:22)

Sometimes believing is the easy part, and being is the tougher one.

V. Conclusion

In the Book of Acts we see how the very early church in Jerusalem lived out Christ’s teachings. They shared everything, and There were no needy persons among them. (NIV, Acts 4:34a) In this imperfect world, such a situation is unsustainable, and that early church gave way to something that was less idealistic. However, the church can still live out those principles: take care of the needy, seek justice for all, and worship God in spirit and in truth. The Church is God’s instrument for worship, fellowship, learning, and ministry.

Moreover, once we come to faith we should testify to the truth as those Apostles did. We see them proclaiming the Resurrection in today’s reading from Acts:

With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. (NIV, Acts 4:33a)

Those same disciples, who once seriously doubted the Resurrection, were now actively proclaiming it “with great power”. They did this at risk to their lives, I might add. What a change from that frightened group hiding behind locked doors on Easter evening! Only God could do that – and that same power is available to you if you’re open to it. So if you have doubts, seek out answers – God will help the honest seeker (Hebrews 11:6). Get in the game – don’t just sit on the sidelines.

If you don’t understand something, get help from someone who can provide some answers. Let faith become a part of your life, so along with Thomas you will be able to say to Jesus “My Lord and my God!” (NIV, John 20:28b) When you do, your life will be much better, and you can fulfill your purposes in life, which Jesus summarized when he said to the disciples:

“Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” (NIV, John 20:21b)

So I hope you are committed to starting a new life of faith in Christ, sent out to be faithful followers of the one who died so that you might live.

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