We build sound Christian faith,
as both our knowledge of the Bible
and our relationship with God grows.
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 think about accepting Christian faith as an option.
And even though I did come to make a deliberate decision to look for the possibility of God’s presence; so as to potentially gain ‘faith and belief‘, I found it hard to totally leave that old outlook behind. Please see the article, “Too good to be true?” to read how I did manage to do so.
(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.)
As well as leading me to believe in God, the results of my own detailed search for ‘evidence‘ 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’ to pay for all of 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. BEGINNING OUR FAITH JOURNEY
The critical point throughout this website is that God can and will reveal himself to us within our lives, the Church and even the Bible. He does so by proving his presence there, most often by providing his loving care to us: through his ‘grace‘. And I will add there are indeed many hints that God is the ‘real deal’ within the Bible. Please have a look at the article, “Our amazing Bible” for guidance on how to read and ‘decipher’ it.
All we have to do to fully receive this gift of loving care (‘grace’) from our Lord, and thereby recognise his presence, is to deliberately ‘engage with him’. That is to open ourselves to him as the Bible explains. The article, “A relationship with God” can give you an overview of how that stuff works. And of course there are responsibilities, and guidance, for each of us laid out there in the Bible. And we will get to that later in this article.
2.1 In our lives
As a result of our Bible-based relationship with God, he begins to positively ‘affect our lives‘.
But by the time you have reached the stage of having a close, faithful, ‘trusting relationship‘ with the Lord – walking 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 Christian. But it happens. Honestly! This stuff ‘just’ relies on putting that Bible-based faith to use.
Bear in mind here I am not hinting about some ‘bed of roses’ existence for us. No, I am referring to a life that really does lead to contentment and purpose. A life that also comes with responsibilities of course.
2.2 In church
And there is the potential evidence of our Lord’s existence ‘available in the Church‘ which can even be dramatic, as far fetched as that may look to you at first.
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? And I often use that prompt on this website and mean it!
In that regard, we have supernatural events happening 2,000 plus years after St Paul wrote about them (1 Corinthians 12:4-11). And mark my words, they are happening! No pretending.
3. 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 ‘changed positively‘ as I just hinted above. But, of course not in the way modern society might expect.
So, there is the odd “but” that we need to recognise on this journey! And one of those is the need to make some changes in our lives; changes that God wants of us. Remember millions of people have gone before us, ready to accept that situation – for the ultimate benefits that are on offer to us Christians.
3.1 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 saviour.
And look, I know that one might particularly seem ‘a bit of a tall order’. But the sooner we do see baptism, and its commitments, as a necessary and positive step the better off we are. Yes, as I’ve already written, it can be life changing. Literally!
3.2 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 in this regard. 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. We refer to it as, “faithfulness“. Yes, it is about living, loving, giving and forgiving.
Certainly, as hinted already, the needs of other human beings are to be taken into account during our individual journeys of faith. ‘Helping others’ actually can be so satisfying. It doesn’t always come naturally to all of us though. So, if need be, we must motivate ourselves to act as God intends of us.
4. OUR CHRISTIAN FAITH GROWS
As beginner Christians, we just start by ‘trusting’ that God exists. But eventually, when reading ‘our amazing Bible‘ or having its scriptures explained to us in church, its life affecting messages become obvious.
Then we actually come to find that we can ‘engage with him‘ by opening our lives to his potential loving presence there, as the Bible explains. And we can also experience his presence in church, as I have already stated.
This use of Christian faith to support our belief in God, as the real deal, 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 Building our Faith
Yes, at first, it might ‘look too good to be true’, BUT we can actually come to clearly 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 explained in the Bible, makes sense. The Old Testament (OT) of the Bible, in its own mysterious way, explains how Jesus would live and die. It explains how Jesus would be ‘God in human form‘. Without doubt, it was written hundreds of years before he was born. The New Testament (NT) then gives us the actual details of Jesus’ human life, written after his death on the cross, and what that means for each of us. And it also makes it clear that Jesus was, and still is, God.
Finally, writings etched into ‘established history‘, by non Christian scholars and historians 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 about 600 – 700 years later? Well!
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 again, our responsibilities are made clear for us in the Bible.
4.2 Our faith firms up
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 lovingly support us through the twists and turns of life. YES, you can come to witness that happening, just as the Bible explains!
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, helping others in need, school/ college/ university/ job, friends, 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 and faith – 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 intro of this article. We come to build ‘sound’ Christian faith in this manner! We just relax into it.
This stuff is also closely related to another article, “Trusting God with your life” in the website’s “God in life” section. Maybe it’s worth reading it when you have the chance. The contents of both articles support each other, rounding out the ‘big picture’ of how to build a contented, purposeful life based on sound Christian faith and genuine belief in God.
Also 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
Now, God’s presence can be so obvious to us within our lives at this level of sound faith. He guides and helps us, because we are ‘on track’ with him; in sync. We readily engage with him on both an everyday, and whole of life, basis. Importantly, we continuously keep ourselves ‘in the loop’ … with him.
And we live ‘faithful’ lives, again previously explained under subheading 3.2. Yes, the positive results from him are generally just ‘more of the same’, ‘more of the same’. So evident! I’m not talking about ‘fame and fortune’ here though. It’s about our ‘needs’ (and indeed the needs of others). And most likely not our ‘wants’ or ‘wishlists’, that may exist in our minds at the beginning of our faith journey.
Our faith and indeed our lives, that are positively affected by it, come to make so much more sense as a result. We come to ‘get it’. Exactly what IS important in life!
5.2 Our loving relationship
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 painfully on the cross to ‘save’ us from the cost of our sins (wrongdoing), out of his limitless love for us; his grace. 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, really does encourage us to love him back. But you know, like many 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 normally just arises from holding and acknowledging that ever-growing beautiful relationship described above.
5.3 The new you
And as a result of that sound faith we are literally transformed. St Paul offered 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 accepting his message of love. 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 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. Again, 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, “What does faith offer us?”.