Our Christian faith strengthens,
as knowledge of the Bible and belief in God grows.
As we engage with God we come to clearly recognise his presence.
Above all else when I was an atheist, I considered that belief in God’s existence fell into that area of, “If it looks too good to be true, then it probably is!” So, at that time, there was no way that I would even consider accepting Christian faith as a realistic option. And even though I did come to make a deliberate decision to look for evidence of God’s presence; so as to potentially gain faith and belief, I found it hard to totally leave that old outlook behind.
If you do read through the articles on this website, you’ll see that I had little choice in the end. Indeed I can say with total confidence now, there are options available in our search for ‘truth’, through the use of faith, that can lead to very solid evidence of God’s existence.
Bear in mind too, this website is addressed to so-called “thinkers”: people who will not accept ‘blind faith’ for themselves. The article “How to believe in God”, explains the website’s objectives in that regard.
(I am from a senior auditing background and the majority of my advisory team are Christian clergy. To glimpse the ‘who’, ‘how’ and ‘why’ of this website please click here.)
Indeed, the results of my own detailed search eventually led me to firmly accept the complete Christian faith ‘package’. That included a loving God who died for us in the ‘person’ of Jesus in order to pay for our wrongdoing, our need to deeply care about others, and of course the promise of eternal life. Now it may seem a ‘tough call’ for you to accept all that. And, particularly if you have just entered the website. But … just stick with me please.
2. FAITH AND ITS COMMITMENTS
Yes indeed, we can come to firmly believe that God exists. And we achieve that by simply engaging with God through the use of our Christian faith. And honestly, our lives can be transformed positively as a result.
However there is the odd “but” that we need to consider on this journey! And one of those is the need to make some changes in our lives. Remember millions of people have gone before you, accepting those changes. And so many of them have had their lives dramatically changed for the better as a result. I expand on this later.
2.1 The Church and baptism
The Bible makes it clear that we do need to regularly attend a fellowship of faith; a church. Our chosen fellowship will indeed ‘assist us greatly‘ during our faith journey.
Importantly, we then come to know the time is right to repent of our old ‘it’s all about me’ way of life. We need to be baptised: to accept Jesus as our Lord.
And look, I know this one might seem ‘a bit of a tall order’. But the sooner we do see baptism, and its commitments, as a necessary and positive step in our journey of faith the better off we are.
2.2 Trying to live as he wants us to
We are all expected to try to follow God’s directions, made all the clearer within the Christian Gospels of the Bible!
God does not expect us to be perfect. No, he just wants us to try hard to live the life he wants of us; entering into a committed relationship with him, caring deeply about our fellow human beings, looking to his guidance in life etc. This goal for us in life is termed, “faithfulness“. Please see the article, “Rules, laws and commandments” for an explanation of what God’s wants of us in our day to day behaviour. The other ‘expectations of Christianity‘ are also explained briefly on this website.
From my own experience, God also expects greater faithfulness from us as our relationship with him deepens. That is because if we don’t do so, then it just simply gets in the way! In simple terms, we are expected to try to follow Jesus’ example. You know, I can say too that there is quite some satisfaction in achieving that for him.
3. BEGINNING OUR FAITH JOURNEY
The critical point throughout this website is that God can and will reveal himself to us within our lives and the Church. He does so by proving his presence there; by providing his loving care. All we have to do to fully receive this gift from God, and thereby recognise his presence, is to deliberately ‘engage with him‘; open ourselves to him.
Then we begin to get serious about our Christian journey. We do this through the practical use of our growing faith, which is firmly based on the Bible’s guidance.
3.1 In our lives
As a result of our relationship with God, he begins to positively affect our lives.
But by the time you have reached the stage of having a close, ‘trusting relationship‘ with the Lord – walking closely with him and deliberately opening your life to his loving care – there should be so much evidence piling up against incredible odds. Look, I know how ‘wild’ that statement may look to a beginner. But it happens. Honestly!
In that regard I use the common term, “more of the same” widely throughout the articles on this website. That is, in reference to the many positive outcomes of our faith journeys. The more we engage with him, in ways he offers us, the more evidence we recognise for ourselves. It is just a matter of continually building up that ‘body of evidence‘.
3.2 In church
And there is the potential evidence ‘available in the Church‘ which can even be dramatic, as far fetched as that may look to you initially. Even the most mild-mannered fellowship of faith will offer you some ‘opportunities‘ to recognise his presence there in that environment. But, the Pentecostal/ Charismatic movement’s ‘active relationship‘ with the Holy Spirit? Well … are you ready?
In that regard, we have supernatural events still happening 2,000 years after St Paul wrote about them (1 Corinthians 12:4-11). And mark my words, they do still happen. No pretending. I don’t think anything else made it as clear to me, in my early years of faith, that the Bible was the ‘real real’ as those Bible-based events did when I was confronted by them! (And remember my auditing background.)
3.3 Potential ‘iron-clad’ belief
Yes, try it all for yourself and I am pretty sure that you too can hold ‘iron-clad’ belief in God as a result of applying Christian faith to your life. Prior to me trying it, evaluating its basis as a result, I certainly would have ignored any suggestion that ‘evidence-based belief‘ in God was remotely possible. But here I am now, assuring you that it is definitely is!
4. OUR CHRISTIAN FAITH GROWS
So, as beginner Christians, we begin by ‘trusting’ that God exists during our early faith. Then we actually do find that we can engage with him, by opening our lives to his potential presence there. And we can also experience his presence in church, sometimes dramatically as I have already stated. As I have written already, our belief in him can become iron-clad.
And when reading ‘our amazing Bible‘, its life affecting message should also become obvious.
This use of faith to support our belief in God goes the full circle. For us thinkers, I mean that our developing belief in God’s existence goes on to support our growing Christian faith and vice versa!
4.1 Growing Faith
Yes, at first, it might look too good to be true, but we can actually come to recognise that he really is there in this world and within our lives. And we find that he is as the Bible portrays him: the great I AM.
We also come to realise that the ‘person‘ of Jesus, as portrayed in the Bible, makes sense. The Old Testament (OT) of the Bible explains how Jesus would live and die. Without doubt, it was written hundreds of years before he was born. The New Testament (NT) then gives us the actual details of Jesus’ life, written after his death on the cross, and what that means for each of us.
And finally, writings etched into ‘established history‘, by non Christians relatively soon after his death, explain that he did at least live and die as both the OT and NT explained. Think hard about that alone … how could OT scriptures predict what an historian would write 600 – 700 years later?
Of course our ‘church of choice‘ will lead us in our growth of Christian faith, e.g. our knowledge of Jesus’ life and its implications for us. As explained above, for example, responsibilities are made clear for us in the Bible.
4.2 Faith solidifies
I am so confident that we all can actually prove to ourselves that we have this God who is incredibly giving and loving. A God who will support us faithfully through the twists and turns of life. Yes, you can come to witness that happening!
So, gradually, gradually, we move into deeper faith. We accept more and more of Christianity’s messages learnt through attending our fellowships of faith and of course reading the Bible. We understand how it all fits together. Depending on our position in life, mind you, our priorities may need rearranging: God, family, church, school/ college/ university/ job, helping others in need, fun….
I am more than capable of realising that this may all look ‘way over the top’ for someone with an enquiring mind. That is, someone still thinking about trying Christian faith for themselves!
But, you know, just try the ‘whole deal’ and I am sure you will see that it works.
5. SOUND FAITH IS THE OUTCOME
So I am saying that once we get to that stage of firm belief – which relies on Biblical advice for its very credibility – we can then easily accept the balance of the Bible’s key messages as briefly summarised in the opening paragraph of this article. We come to enjoy ‘sound’ Christian faith in this manner! We just relax into it.
Please see the article, “Christianity explained”. It offers the basics of our religion. Christianity is actually a standout from the others. And I do mean that! The story behind that word “grace” is a great starter, for example.
5.1 Recognising his obvious presence
God’s presence is so obvious to us, within our lives, at this level of sound faith. He guides and helps us, because we on track with him; in sync. We readily engage with him on an everyday, and whole of life, basis. Importantly, we continuously keep him ‘in the loop’.
And we live ‘faithful’ lives, again previously explained. Yes, the positive results from him are generally just ‘more of the same’, ‘more of the same’. So evident!
Our faith and indeed our lives, that are positively affected by it, make so much more sense now. We come to get it!
5.2 Our loving relationship
And we find it really is possible to accept that Jesus was ‘God incarnate‘ (both wholly ‘God and human being‘). He is our Lord God and saviour. Jesus died on the cross to save us from the cost of our sins (wrongdoing), out of his limitless love for us. He aimed to lead us by his own example of how to live, love, give and forgive.
So what he has done for us and continues to do for us, as a result of his obvious loving presence in our lives, does encourage us to love him back. But you know, like other deeply committed Christians, I found it does not require any major decision on our part. That is, it’s not deliberate. No, our love for him just arises from holding and acknowledging that beautiful relationship.
5.3 The new you
And as a result of that sound faith we are literally transformed. St Paul offers us this statement to us:
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation;
the old has gone, the new has come!
[2 Corinthians 5:17]
Now for some people that can occur instantly, as Jesus’ message just hits home with a rush. But with other people, like me for example, it just gradually happens as his message is slowly absorbed through finally accepting his message of love; his grace. That is, it all relates to the way we are ‘wired’ as individuals.
But, one way or another, we do get there, if we are only willing to engage with him in the manner he asks of us in the Bible.
As explained above, I have tried to present the simple basis of Christianity in the final section of this website. The first article in that section is titled, “Christianity explained”. I am confident that open minded analysis of Christianity, through reading the Christian Bible and guidance from your chosen fellowship of faith, will lead you to recognise that Christianity is indeed very acceptable as a religion. The article,“Our amazing Bible” offers you brief advice on how to decipher it; to grasp its ‘big picture’.
And that beautiful loving relationship that Jesus offers us? The sense of peace in itself, that it also offers, is hard to express. When you come to understand his message then you will more than likely see your life really changed for the better.
It all just comes together. Greater contentedness and purpose in life: real personal freedom is ours. Honestly, this ‘freedom’, that we must earn, really can positively transform anybody’s life.
Continue to the next article, “Real personal freedom”.
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