Thursday, April 23, 2009

So you know

It occurs to me tonight that I haven't talked much about what I believe when it comes to specific ideals.  I'm not going to take a long time and get into detailed arguments about why I think the way I do, I'm just going to lay it out there so you know the lens I'm looking (and writing) through. 

I believe the Bible is the perfect, inerrant word of God.  Perfectly preserved over two thousand years and given to us exactly as God intended us to have it.  I believe it to be the first and last word in all things.  

I believe Jesus was and is the son of God, the messiah.  I believe he is exactly who and what he claims to be.  I believe he walked this earth as God and yet was completely man.  I believe he went to the cross willingly and in perfect submission to will of the Father out of an unstoppable love for all of man.  I believe in dying he killed our sin and in resurrecting he defeated death.  I believe a faith in him is the only way to heaven.  

I'm not sure what the technical terminology for it is, but I believe it's the Holy Spirit working in you that first draws you to God, I believe it's God revelation of himself to you that allows you to make the first step towards him.  I believe in that first step you are saved and the Holy Spirit is with you.  I believe it happens at the same time, I believe that because it seems to me that without the Holy Spirit you could never find the strength to take the second step.  

While I believe it takes a move of God to draw us to him, I also believe we have it in us to deny him.  I think we were chosen in our creation and I believe Christ went to the cross for all of us, I believe God meant it when he said it wasn't his will that any should perish. I haven't read a bunch of fancy books on the topic, but I have read the Bible - all of it.  I have a hard time understanding how it is that God knew who would reject him and still saw fit to create them.  I don't know how you can say he gives everybody a chance if he already knows who won't take it, but I accept that the finite can never understand the infinite.  Nothing I've read in the Bible points to a God who creates a person destined to hell.  I believe that God takes his glory very seriously and I believe he is going to do the thing that glorifies him the most - I believe allowing his creation the freedom to deny him brings him glory when they freely choose him.  I have done my best to walk with God for the better part of 21 years, in that time I have lived the Christian life.  It's been real and dirty and difficult  - and the most joyfully freeing experience I can imagine.  I have hurt and ran and rebelled and God has always been in pursuit of my heart.  God has caught me - captured me.  He has done that because he has never forsaken me.  How can I claim that promise for myself and believe it isn't for everyone?  The Bible says whosoever believes - that includes you.  I believe it to be all inclusive.

I guess I'm technically an eternal security guy.  I've always believed that there is nothing you can do loose your salvation.  However, the more I see of the world and the more I think about the way salvation works, the more I believe you can willingly surrender your salvation.  The Bible talks about people trading truth for lies, the only way to trade the truth is to know it.  It seems to me that if you come to a point you can deny God then you've traded the truth you once accepted for lies, and in that case I think it may be possible to forfeit the salvation that truth provides.

I believe God is just and righteous and holy.  I believe he is love and mercy and grace.  I believe he is sovereign and powerful and tender.  He is all things good.  I believe that we, all of us, are his children created by him to spend eternity with him.  I believe sin is powerful and Satan is real.  I believe Jesus is victorious and death and Satan have been defeated.  I believe there is life and freedom in total surrender to the God who rescued us.  I believe heaven is a real, psychical place. I know that, if we allow it, the cross is powerful and grace sufficient enough to overcome all that binds us and see us safely home.