What do you believe? What do you value?
Recap: Unity, liberty and charity (love) are important as we establish the essentials of what we believe.
Unity – as a body of believers in Christ Jesus – Ephesians 4:4-6 tells us, “There is one body [of believers] and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope when called [to salvation]— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of us all who is [sovereign] over all and [working] through all and [living] in all.” (AMP)
Liberty - Romans 14:1,12, 22 says “…As for the [a]one whose faith is weak, accept him [into your fellowship], but not for [the purpose of] quarreling over his opinions.” (v12) “…So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God…” (v22) “…The faith which you have [that gives you freedom of choice], have as your own conviction before God [just keep it between yourself and God, seeking His will]. Happy is he who has no reason to condemn himself for what he approves.”
Charity (love) 1 Corinthians 13:2 – “If I speak words from God, if I can understand all secrets, and know everything, if I can move mountains by believing, but if I do not love people, I am nothing, even though I can do all of these things.” (Worldwide English version)
The Bible is a collection of sixty-six books penned by over forty authors over a period of several thousand years. Yet it’s an integrated message system. Every passage, every word, every number, and every place name is there for a specific reason (C Missler – Learn the Bible in 24 hours, paperback. Hour 1 page 1)
The Old Testament consists of 39 books and the New Testament consists of 27 books. The OT was compiled over several thousand years, but the New Testament was compiled within one lifetime. (C Missler- Learn the Bible in 24 hours p163)
[Following Except from ]
Then I said, “Behold, I have come; in the scroll of the book it is written of me, — Psalm 40:7
The Bible is the single most important book of all time, selling an estimated 5 billion copies. It has been translated into 349 languages, and 2123 languages have at least one book of the Bible. At the same time, the Bible is scrutinized and attacked more than any other book in the world. It has been outlawed, confiscated and burned at different times and places in history. It has been smuggled into jail cells and across borders. (John Hus 1349-1415) was burned at the stake for teaching from the Bible as the final authority for the Church over any earthly church rulers. was strangled and burned for translating the Bible into English...
Do we question God’s Word? In Genesis 3:1 we read, “…Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God said, ‘You shall not eat of any tree of the garden’?” Here, near the very beginning, we are introduced to Satan, the serpent, our adversary, and the first thing we see him do is question God’s Word. “Has God said?”
His next step is to slander God’s character with straight denial. “You shall not surely die,” (Gen 3:4). Thus, Satan encouraged the rejection of God’s authority at the very beginning, while humanity was yet in its infancy. Eve failed to trust God, Adam followed her in directly disobeying what God had told him, and humankind lost everything as a result. We find the same pattern today…
Skeptics have brutally attacked the Bible throughout history, and during the past century it has become popular among intellectuals to regard the Bible as merely a collection of Jewish writings. It’s considered respectable to dispute the authorship of the books of the Bible and to disregard fulfilled prophecy as events reported after-the-fact..."
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:” — 2 Timothy 3:16
Scripture Is Inspired
Paul affirmed with elegant finality that “all Scripture is breathed out by God.” You can hear the meaning of the transliteration of the Greek word Theopneustos (“God-breathed”—Theo means “God” and “pneustos” means breath). More literally, “All Scripture is breathed into by God.” When you speak, your word is “you-breathed”—your breath, conditioned by your mind, pours forth in speech. You breathe out your words. This belief that Scripture was “breathed into by God” perfectly expresses the view of the first-century Jews about the Old Testament writings.
The early church believed exactly the same thing. As Peter declared, “No prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit” (2 Pet. 1:20, 21). The Old Testament Scriptures were God’s breath, God’s words.
Beautifully, we see that this is also how the early church regarded the Gospels and the Epistles. In 1 Timothy 5:18 Paul uses the same word for Scripture (graphe) that he uses here in 3:16 to refer to quotations from both the Old Testament and New Testament: “For Scripture says, ‘You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain’ (Deut. 25:4) and ‘The laborer deserves his wages’ (Luke 10:7).” …
Scripture Is Useful
The apostle uses two pairs of words to flesh out Scripture’s usefulness – “and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness” (v. 16b). The first pair—teaching and reproof—have to do with doctrine. Positively, all Scripture is “profitable for teaching.” That is why the whole of both Testaments must be studied—not just Romans, not just the Old Testament, not just the Gospels. All the didactic, poetic, narrative, apocalyptic, proverbial, and epical sections together are to make up the tapestry of our teaching. “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching.”
And of course when this is done, there will also be reproof. Those true to the Scriptures cannot escape this duty. Together the teaching and the reproof produce the boon of sound doctrine. It is for want of both that the church has so often fallen into error. (Ref: https://www.crossway.org/articles/3-lessons-about-scripture-from-2-timothy-31617/ )
The Bible is God's word to us. It was written by human authors, under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit. It is the supreme source of truth for Christian belief and living. Because it is inspired by God, it is the truth without any mixture of error. ( )
1 Peter 1:20-21 tells us, “But understand this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of or comes from one’s own [personal or special] interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.” (AMP)
Your word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path. Psalm 119:105 (AMP)
The Lord’s promises are pure, like silver refined in a furnace, purified seven times over. Psalm 12:6
The disciples saw Jesus do many other miraculous signs in addition to the ones recorded in this book. But these are written so that you may continue to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing in him you will have life by the power of his name. (The purpose of the Book – John 20:30-31)
Jesus gave us a challenge in John 7:17 - Anyone who chooses to do the will of God will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own. (NIV) Jesus gives us the challenge to take Hi at His Word and see what happens. God will reveal Himself to you as a response to obedience. (p169 – Learn the Bible in 24 hours, C Missler)
Human Beings- what complex creatures! In Genesis 1:27 we read, “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” We are created in the image of God!
“…The human body is something that makes the human creaturely, and not necessarily something that constitutes a distinction. Animals and humans have bodies that show aspects of common design. Our bodies both contain elements, minerals etc that cause some people to say we come from a common beginning. While unique in their own way, both humans and animals can have such features as eyes, noses, legs, and arms that point to our common Creator. It is the unique creation of mankind in the image of God that distinguishes us from all other creatures…”
“…The main impact of the image is that God endues man with some of his divine attributes, thereby separating and making him different from the beasts. What are these special Godlike qualities which man is permitted to share? I shall mention six: language, creativity, love, holiness, immortality and freedom. You will probably be able to add to this list. All can be summed up by saying that man, like God, has an intelligence, a mind…” Ref: https://answersingenesis.org/who-is-god/creator-god/man-the-image-of-god/
God loves people so much that He gives us choice. He gives us the choice to follow him or reject him. We each have a tremendous potential for good. However, we are all sinners and this sin separates us from God. It causes immense pain and sorrow in our lives.
That is why we need Salvation. Salvation is God’s gift to each person. We can’t earn it, we can only accept this gift. We can never make up for our sin by self-improvement or good works. The only way to restore our relationship with God is through Jesus Christ. Only by trusting Jesus Christ, God’s son, as our personal Lord and Saviour can we be saved from sin’s penalty.
“Sin pays off with death. But God’s gift is eternal life given by Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23
In Titus 3:5 we read, “He saved us because of his mercy, and not because of any good things that we have done. God washed us by the power of the Holy Spirit. He gave us new birth and a fresh beginning.”
When we turn from our self-ruled life and turn to Jesus Christ in faith we are saved. Eternal life begins the moment one receives Jesus Christ into their life by faith.
Romans 5:1-2 tells us “… Now that we have been put right with God through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 He has brought us by faith into this experience of God's grace, in which we now live. And so we boast of the hope we have of sharing God's glory!”
God gives us eternal life through the Lord Jesus Christ. The person who believes in Jesus Christ is secure in their salvation for eternity.
If we remember, Jesus was born of a virgin; he lived a sinless human life and willingly offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all people by dying on a cross. John 14:6-7 tells us, “Jesus answered, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. The only way to the Father is through me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father too. But now you know the Father. You have seen him.”
The grace and power of God maintain salvation, not our self-efforts. We can’t keep our eternal security – only God can do this. We put our faith and trust in God to do this.
Do you know humans live forever? Whether we live eternally with God or eternally separated from God is our choice. To choose eternal separation is punishment. In Revelation 20:15 we read, “Anyone whose name wasn’t written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.”
Let us not be like those the Lord speaks about in Isaiah, “All of you that plot to destroy others will be destroyed by your own plots. The Lord himself will make this happen; you will suffer a miserable fate.” Isaiah 50:11
In Hebrews chapter 6 verses 1-8 we read, “Let us go forward, then, to mature teaching and leave behind us the first lessons of the Christian message. We should not lay again the foundation of turning away from useless works and believing in God; of the teaching about baptisms[a] and the laying on of hands; of the resurrection of the dead and the eternal judgment. Let us go forward! And this is what we will do, if God allows. For how can those who abandon their faith be brought back to repent again? They were once in God's light; they tasted heaven's gift and received their share of the Holy Spirit; they knew from experience that God's word is good, and they had felt the powers of the coming age. And then they abandoned their faith! It is impossible to bring them back to repent again, because they are again crucifying the Son of God and exposing him to public shame. God blesses the soil which drinks in the rain that often falls on it and which grows plants that are useful to those for whom it is cultivated. But if it grows thorns and weeds, it is worth nothing; it is in danger of being cursed by God and will be destroyed by fire.”
Many of those who have already died will live again: some will enjoy eternal life, and some will suffer eternal disgrace. Daniel 12:2
However, if we choose to live eternally forever with God through forgiveness and salvation then we live in Heaven.
John 3:16 For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not die but have eternal life… Heaven and Hell are real places of eternal existence.
What you believe you Value. What do you believe about human beings? Are people created in God’s image or do you think they evolved? If they evolved then how do you explain the differences between us and animals? How do explain language, creativity, love, holiness, immortality and freedom?
If you are not saved, then you do not have eternal security. Instead of having peace, hope, joy and rest in God; you spend each day trying to fill a void in your heart. That void is looking for God in us. Our Spirit – that which separates us from animals and makes us in the image of God. We can’t obtain salvation except by trusting in faith that Jesus Christ died and rose again for us. We trust that through Jesus Christ we have been declared legally cleared – our record of sin and wrong has been paid in full and we are free.
Are you living eternally with God or eternally separated from God? The choice you make in this life determines your eternal future.
These are not small considerations. They are life-changing choices. These decisions impact on where and with who you spend eternity.