WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE?
July 30, 2017
BEFORE we begin, if you are a believer in Jesus Christ, take a moment to name your sins to God the Father. This will allow you to be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit as you read this booklet (EPH 5:18 & 1JO 1:9). IF YOU HAVE never believed in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you have that opportunity right now. Simply tell God the Father that you are believing on His Son Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. If you make that decision, you are now a believer and will always be a child of God! When you die, you will spend eternity with Him forever in heaven! (JOH 3:16 & ACT 16:31).
Have you ever asked yourself what you believe? It sounds like a simple question. But it is such an important one! Stop reading for a minute, close your eyes and ask yourself that question. Many believers today – many that are much older and more spiritually mature than you are – don’t have an answer to that question. Or maybe even have never asked themselves. They might have a vague idea of who God and Satan are. They may have learned that heaven is the place they might go to when they die. They might believe in God but not have a clue of who He is! This type of believer may have been confused by so-called Christian churches that have ruined the Gospel’s reputation because they are ignoring what The Holy Spirit inspired its writers to say to the Church. These believers don’t have any Bible doctrine in their souls!
Some Christian churches teach you to invite Jesus into your heart in order to be saved. They couldn’t be more uninformed. The Bible teaches you that faith alone, in Christ alone is all you need to be saved: For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. (EPH 2:8-9). It’s so clear, isn’t it? Salvation is a gift from God to the whole world. It’s a gift “by grace” which simply means God did all the work and we get all the benefits. It’s that easy! You can’t be saved by water baptism or by promising you’ll never sin again or by raising your hand or by walking down an aisle. These things are “works”. They are things you do. And they have nothing to do with Salvation. Remember, if God did all the work, why would we have to do anything more? By adding “works” to faith, you’re removing God’s Grace from the picture because you’re working to get Salvation. Adding works to Salvation is like calling God a liar because He clearly states in EPH 2:8-9 (see above) that faith is a gift and you don’t have to do a thing to earn it. And how can you promise never to sin again?
Duhhhhhhhhh! It’s not possible!!
Most Christian churches today also teach you that being pleasant and friendly makes you a better Christian. They don’t teach you that learning God’s Word is what makes you a better Christian. They don’t teach you that applying the Bible doctrine you learn makes you a good Christian. Satan wants you to focus on being pleasant and friendly so that you will not focus on God and His Word. There’s nothing wrong with being pleasant and friendly but Satan wants you to concentrate on these things so you’ll take your eyes off the things above. If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. (COL 3:1-2) Do you keep your eyes on the things above?
Ask yourself this question the next time you get ready to go to school: am I ready and prepared to go out into the world to face the kingdom of darkness? Always remember that as believers: our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. (EPH 6:12) You are preparing yourself right now by reading this. You’re preparing yourself whenever you study God’s Word with your right pastor/teacher. God has magnified His Word above His Name: I will bow down toward Your holy temple And give thanks to Your name for Your loving kindness and Your truth; For You have magnified Your word according to all Your name. (PSA 138:2) Doesn’t that make it crystal clear how important it is? By studying His Word, you will be able to stand on the solid ground of the Gospel so that your entire Christian life will be based on fellowship with God. How do you get into fellowship with God? You do it by naming your sin to Him in His Son’s name. This is called rebounding. (IJOH 1:9) That is a verse you should know by heart. Look it up right now and read it out loud.
EPH 6:11 says: Pick up and put on the full armor from God, that you may be able to hold your ground against the schemes or the strategies of the devil. Why does Paul the apostle tell us this? Because in EPH 6:12, he warns believers that we will have a struggle! EPH 6:13-15 goes on to say: because of this, pick up and put on the full armor from God, that you may be able to hold your ground in the day when evil attacks you, even after you have achieved or accomplished everything, hold your ground. Because of this, hold your ground, [after you] have buckled on your combat gear around your waist by means of doctrine, and [after you] have put on the breastplate of righteousness, [hold your ground] after you have put on your combat boots on your feet with readiness, preparation, or the equipment of the gospel of peace. AMEN!
The apostle Paul wrote the Book of Colossians to the people of Colosse, to whom he taught Bible doctrine, but then they began to ignore his teaching and rely on human viewpoint. In other words, instead of learning and applying God’s Word, they were ignoring it and doing what they thought they should! CRAZY!!
The people of Colosse were being taught directly by an apostle but were acting like spoiled brats!! The Colossians got so far off track that they no longer knew what they believed. Non-Christian teachings were circulating within the Colossian church. Jewish and Gentile beliefs and practices were being combined, creating a sort of hybrid religion that no longer resembled true Christianity. More specifically, the heresy taking root in Colosse was a form of gnosticism, which taught (among other things) that humans could transcend evil and the corruptions of the world through self-denial and their own strength of will. Gnostics believed that they could essentially ignore the world and follow their own desires and impulses. Paul wrote to the Colossian church to warn them away from error and to help reiterate the importance of the Christian ethic.
In the Book of Colossians, Paul encouraged them to look solely to the Divinity of Jesus Christ, through whom we are all saved. In the Book, Paul refutes the gnostic heresy spreading throughout the Colossian church and presents Jesus as God, Creator of the universe. He emphasizes the importance of The Cross: Jesus is Savior, and only by His Blood are we saved. Like the Colossians, how can you hold your ground against the kingdom of darkness, if you don’t know God’s Word? You can’t. Don’t even try! Paul tells us to buckle on our combat gear around our waists by means of God’s Word!
Do you know what you believe? How can you protect yourself if you don’t? How can you hold your ground against the kingdom of darkness? What God wants is someone just like you who is preparing to stand firm. The Lord knows He can rely on a believer like that! Do you know what you believe? Keep on studying God’s Word and you will!