He told me he had carefully read the last three days of ‘What do Christians believe?’ Then said, ‘Okay, okay, I got it now, I think-- I have no problem with the things you listed as what Christians ought to believe, but what then… is that all there is to know?’ Hmmm . . . well, no.
Last Sunday, I taught at a Congregational church just north of Boston--I loved it--the church, the people, the setting, the love. However, I had an interesting conversation with a gentleman that is good for our consideration here. A retired history teacher, in his conversation he mentioned faith, then proceeded to say, ‘not that Christianity is the only way to God; there are many paths to God that are equally valid.’ Hmmm.
Here are the things I listed as essential for a biblical Christian to believe:
1. The Bible is the inspired, inerrant Word of God.
2. God is and always was; he is eternal, not a created being.
3. God exists in three persons - the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
4. God is the Creator--our Creator.
5. Sin changed everything, separated us from God.
6. God made a way for our redemption.
7. God's instrument of grace was Jesus Christ, God Incarnate
8. All of Christianity hangs on the Resurrection.
9. Because Christ was raised from the dead, so shall we be raised
10. Jesus ascended into Heaven and sits at the right hand of the Father
11. The Holy Spirit indwells those who have chosen Jesus as Lord.
12. Jesus Christ is coming again!
13. We are meant to be followers/disciples of Jesus.
Could my history teacher friend be correct about many paths to God? If so, then why did God the Father have Jesus take on an earthly body and let him suffer, go to the cross and die? That would make the Father a monster of a sort, whereas David wrote in Psalm 100 ‘the Lord is good.’ Which is true--monster or good? Our God is loving and kind, but holy and just as well; there had to be a ransom for sin and so Jesus came to earth.
It is only in reading and understanding the ways of God in the Bible that we can know his character and so we study God's dealings with mankind, his plans and purposes.
Why did Jesus willingly lay aside his heavenly robes and make his entry as a helpless babe born to a young Jewish girl, knowing what was to come, if many paths to God and eternity with him?
It is only in reading and seeking to understand the life of Christ and his teachings in the Bible, that we see Jesus’ perfection, manifest in compassion, great wisdom, humility and truth. Take for instance, Jesus’ words which would repudiate the kindly history teacher’s statement of many paths to God: I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except by me.’ John 14.6.
It is in reading more about the person and function of the Holy Spirit in the Biblethat we learn that our power for living well upon this earth comes through Him. Both Jesus and Paul put skin on what can be known about the Holy Spirit. Jesus said the Holy Spirit would be our Helper and Advocate, that He would convict us of sin, lead us into all truth and remind us of Jesus’ teachings. Paul said, the Holy Spirit would help us in our weakness and pray for us! Romans 8.26.
Yes, every new day is a gift from God: This is the day the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it! Psalm 118.24. It is in reading and walking out the truths of the Word of God that make every new day sweet. Amen!
And so we will turn our sights back to the spread of the Gospel in the book of Acts once more. Because why? Because walking with Jesus . . . well, How sweet it is!
Let me tell you about "My Jesus" ~ Anne Wilson, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FW5o2uBeMWQ - I heard her sing it live a couple weeks back...can't get it out of my mind. Her love for Jesus was so evident.
Praying right now that your love for God's Word will grow exponentially!