Believe…In What?

In her?

I couldn’t figure out the message.  She had “believe” tatooed on her forearm as she wore a low-cut shirt and a Wal-Mart name tag.
What was I to believe?

In evolution?

Bill Nye the Science Guy even admitted in a recent interview that Darwinian evolution required belief.

Might I suggest that we believe in an event which transpired both in time and space and which has profound impact upon our lives today:

if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation” (Romans 10:9, 10).

Believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Genuine belief (“in your heart”) accompanied by unashamed testimony (“confess”) results in complete forgiveness and a permanent right standing before God (righteousness, salvation).

Yesterday I reminded you of the Protestant Reformation and the Latin phrase post tenebrias lux (After Darkness, Light).  Today I wanted to introduce you to (or remind you of) the term semper reformanda.  Translated, that means “always reforming.”

The Reformation was an amazing work of God which should be celebrated and continued.  The Church reformed (you might say it was born again) and the Church should continue to reform.  God’s people should constantly be comparing their beliefs and practices to the Scriptures.  The Roman Church failed to do this, thus requiring a complete break of those who deeply desired to glorify God in doctrine and devotion.

Do you want to know what I deeply desire to do?  Glorify God in doctrine and devotion!

First, I deeply desire to glorify God in doctrine.  In other words, I want to ensure that what I believe about God is biblical.  That sounds easier than it actually is.  Whether we want to admit it or not, we all bring to the text.  We bring presuppositions.  We bring incorrect information previously imparted to us.  And we bring a fallen intellect.  This is why prayer must play such an important role in our study of God’s Word.  This is why being “Berean” is also a must.  For  those of you that are new to Christianity, when the word “Berean” is used in this context, it is a reference to a group of individuals who examined the words of the Apostle Paul, ensuring that what he was saying was indeed found in the Bible (Acts 17:11).

Second, I deeply desire to glorify God in devotion.  I recently required my college students to learn this statement:  Theology should lead to doxology,  resulting in walkology.  Puttting that another way:  Our knowledge about God should cause us to praise Him with our words and our ways.  I wonder just how many times I have stated that to my children over the past ten years.  It’s undoubtedly a message I will continue to repeat.  I will never require perfection out of them.  Only one of us can claim perfection and HE no longer resides physically on earth!  I will, however, preach consistency and growth.  If they indeed claim to be Christians, I will expect that they live like it.  And that starts at the top!  Since more is caught than taught, I need to live like the Christ I proclaim to love and respect.  Jodi’s calling is no less intense.

We should believe.

We should behave.

We should believe the truth (doctrine).  We should behave in light of the truth (devotion).  We should be semper reformanda–always reforming.  The courageous pastors and theologians of the Protestant Reformation–members of “the great cloud of witnesses” (Heb. 12:1)–expect us to do so!  Jesus used them to restart the Church, and it is now our responsibility to run the race, fixing our eyes on Him (Heb. 12:1,2).

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