How many times have we heard someone say that? How many times have you asked that question yourself? Typically, the question is the result of someone saying or advocating a position on scripture that is different than our traditional understanding. I believe this is a good question and it gets to the heart of most sermons, bible classes, and bulletin articles.
I know that some of my recent articles have been controversial. More importantly, I hope they have been challenging to our faith, stripping away anything that is not biblical. Unless we are challenged; unless our understanding of a subject is challenged, we will never grow beyond a remedial level. Maturity is attained by stretching your mind, your faith, and your foundational understanding of Christianity.
As scripture says in Hebrews 6:1-3, “1 Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, 2 and of instruction about washings, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. 3 And this we will do if God permits.” (ESV)
So, let’s move on. Recently, we have been dealing with some important but controversial topics. My goal has been to challenge our beliefs about some foundational concepts that underlie much of what we do and believe as Christians. Challenging our positions is not about destroying what we believe. Instead, it’s about reinforcing what we have right and correcting anything we might have wrong.
The primary focus of much of the articles, sermons, and bible classes has been about removing an underlying, almost unnoticed, dependence on self; a dependence on our works and rules. I want us to get back to a more balanced position on “salvation,” “works,” “security,” “the Holy Spirit,” and “God’s amazing grace.”
I want us to reach the end of “us” and find the beginning of “Jesus.” To find that place where we no longer depend on us or what we can do and depend completely on Him. That, I believe, is what it means to be a Christian.
“He must increase, but I must decrease.”
John 3:30 (ESV)