October 22, 2015

Your Faith Box: The First Foundation Belief, "For God..."

I have asked many Christians the following question. What is or are the basic essential beliefs of a Christian? Most of the responses are some variation of the familiar scripture in John chapter three where John writes in verses 16 and 17 (do not leave out the critical 17th versus). Let me quote it from the King James Translation, but feel free to read it from other translations.

   "For God so loved the World, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
     For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved."

If I were stricken dead and not able to complete this blog, that verse would stand as my primary faith statement. This is the one truth Christians must be able to affirm in the face of any temptations or challenges Satan might thrown at you even if your life depended on it. Within this statement, complete though it is, we can learn several secondary but essential truths basic to Christian.

First, a Christian acknowledges there is a supreme being we call God. Muslims call that being Allah. Ancient Jews were so in awe of this supreme being they could only spell his name with no consonants, YHWH. There are many other names for God, but they all point to a supreme being, someone or something well beyond the human experience.  There are numerous concepts about this God. In pantheism, God is the universe itself. In atheism, God does not exist, The agnostic sees God as unknowable or unknown. In deism, God is the creator, but not the sustainer of the universe. He built it and then left it on it's own. There are other "isms" about the concept of God, all beyond the scope of this blog, but worth reading about.

So where are Christians in this discussion of the reality of God? Our belief system is called theism, Christians believe in God as both creator of the universe and sustainer. Not only do we see God as sustaining the universe, but we also see God as being involved in the creation. And not only is he involved, but he also loves his creation, including the humans he created. The first part of John's gospel, "For God, so loved the world...." is basic to our understanding of God and our understanding of our relationship with him. We will write about God's love in our next post. But for now, focus on "For God..."

So the foundation belief in your faith box is a belief or a faith that God created the universe and all that is in it, Genesis 1:1 says it perfectly in five simple yet very profound words, "In the beginning, God created..."  No matter what discussion you have, what argument you encounter, what theory you are subjected to, if it begins by saying the universe was not created by God, you know it is not Christian based.

A word of caution in in order at this point. A belief in the creator God does not give a time frame for God to create, or any other  helpers God used in the creation, or, most importantly, place any restrictions of the foundation belief God Created!  I say this knowing full well, some Christians will explain that the Bible says the universe was created in six days and God rested on the seventh day. Genesis 2:2 By the seventh day God completed his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day...".  your foundation belief is not how or when or even why, but the fact is He did. He did create.

Read very carefully what I am writing, The key belief here is God Created! As you mature in the faith and develop understanding of the scriptures and experience the presence and guidance of the Holy Spirit, and continue to study, you will want to circle back to Genesis and confirm for yourself whether you are firmly in the six day camp or whether you feel God took whatever time he needed or wanted to do his work, whether six days or six months or billion years. Some theologians have even suggested God is not through with creation; he is still creating humans! God's work is not yet complete!

And that is the point of these posts. You are encouraged to develop a set of basic beliefs. Beliefs that are essential, beliefs you will never give up or compromise, so you will have the freedom to study and perhaps question other things knowing full well your basic belief is untouchable. A house built on a strong foundation will stand against any challenge or force. A house built on no foundation will fall at the first hint of a wind or rush of water or challenge.

God Bless you,
If you have comments, reactions or suggestions, contact me at stevej_home@hotmail.com

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