What We Believe

by Jonathan Whitaker

Every Christian has a testimony, a record of what Jesus has done in their life. Your story is uniquely yours and yet shared with everyone who has submitted their lives to Christ and received salvation. The fundamental element of our testimonies is this statement: “this is what I believe.” The importance of being able to clearly communicate what you believe is at the heart of the gospel call, which Christ gave to all of us when He commissioned His Church to make disciples of the nations. (Matt. 28:16-20)

I recently listened to the testimony of a young man who came to salvation out of Mormonism, while on his two-year Mormon mission. What impressed me was not only his powerful story of conversion, but that he was able to tie every part of his story to scripture, God’s story of redemption. There was real power in the young man’s words, because he told his own story using God’s word.

To know what you believe is integral to your personal relationship with God. God has spoken clearly about Himself in His word (the Bible). The Bible is unique among religious texts. Unlike every other book that purports to be holy, the Bible is not simply a list of rules and restrictions to govern man’s existence. In fact, its sole purpose is to reveal God Himself to man, and tell the story of how God is redeeming His creation. More than that, it is a story that is unfinished, about a living God, who CAN be known, and goes to great lengths to be known by the people He created. It follows then that your relationship with God is either enhanced or hindered by how much time you spend seeking Him in His living and active word. (Heb. 4:12)

The Elders of Element CS have no greater desire than to help you get intimately acquainted with your God and Savior, Jesus Christ. Over the next two months we will undertake to share with you the Living Word of God that underpins the truth of what we believe. Each week during our “What We Believe” series, we will teach you a different aspect of God’s grace. It would take an eternity to fully explore these topics, so our hope is that each of you will be blessed by the reminder of how good God is, and you would each get a renewed vigor for seeking God in your personal study of scripture. We hope to reinforce the truths you have mastered and possibly introduce you to truth you may not understand yet.

There will be homework. Notice I waited till the fifth paragraph to drop that bomb. Boo, homework! Here is my challenge to you. Don’t make the mistake I did by waiting until I was an adult (nearly 15 years after my salvation) to truly make seeking God a priority. The more time you spend with God now, the sooner He will reveal Himself through His word in your life. The more I study the Bible, the more it is a joy to study the Bible. You may not believe me, but if you have never done it, your opinion on the matter doesn’t convince me. I promise you that the life change you desire is found in the pages of scripture, but you must read God’s word to know Him. Do the hard work, it’s worth it. (Phil. 3:12-16)

This series will be a blessing to you and me both. And if you have had the urge to speak in church, it’s your lucky day, because Q&A will be encouraged.

One last appeal and I’ll wrap this up. The Apostle Paul said, “When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.” (1 Cor. 13:11) Not only is that the part of 1 Corinthians 13 that your Maid of Honor left out of her reading of the “Love is…” passage at your wedding, but it is a call to maturity. We have an opportunity to approach God and His Word as men and women, not children. We should take that responsibility seriously. When we understand what we believe in the light of who God said He is, then we will be truly effective for God’s kingdom.

Remember, your friends, loved ones, co-workers, and enemies will never call upon a God whom they have never heard of. They will never hear of God unless we send a preacher. My friend, you are that preacher. (Rom. 10:14, Is. 52:7)