Category Archives: Faith

Taking on Theology

So I began to work on this blog as a way to build my knowledge of the Bible.  As I got into it, I began to realize that I do not have the proper tools to deal with scriptures accurately.  I do not have any formal training in how to approach scriptures and therefor have nothing more than an elementary method for studying the Bible and nothing more than elementary understanding. it

Enter the Credo House in north Oklahoma City.  This place has caught my attention because they are offering seminary level training in their coffee shop.  While it is no replacement for seminary, it gives me structure in studying basic seminary level material.

I am excited because while only in the first class of the series, I have already shifted my perspective on several topics and am currently resulting with several others.  It has opened my eyes to see that we “…have to distance ourself emotionally from that which binds us so that we can see if what we cling to is worthy” (Micheal Patton~Credo House Founder).

The classes are 10 weeks long each and are as follows:

  1. Introduction to Theology
  2. Bibliology and Hermeneutics
  3. Trinitarianism
  4. Humanity & Sin
  5. Soteriology
  6. Ecclesiology & Eschatology

These classes have been developed by the founders of the Credo house and are used in hundreds of churches for the staff.

Books I am reading right now are as a part of my studies in Introduction to Theology are:

  1. Systematic Theology:  An introduction to Biblical doctrine by Wayne Grudem
  2. The Mosaic of Christian Belief:  Twenty Centuries of Unity & Diversity by Roger E. Olson

 

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God I NEED YOU!!!

Nothing else I can say is more fitting at the moment. This video says it all for me.  I need strength.


“…protect my life from the threat of the enemy.”

Tonight as I am burdened with thoughts that will not go away, I turn my gaze to the Lord’s word.  I thumb through the multitude of pages looking for something.  What I find is this:

“Hear me, my God, as I voice my complaint; protect my life from the threat of the enemy.” (Psalm 64:1 NIV)

I need God’s protection to keep my heart from failing.  My gaze has not been on Him these past few weeks and I have allowed other idols to take control over my heart.  This is the enemy lurking…this is danger.

So my prayer tonight, my sovereign King, is please protect my heart, my soul, my life from the destructive wiles of the enemy.  Bring my heart back into obedience.  I need you.


Do You Know Him?

This video is of Joe White speaking to the Promise Keepers in 2003. I share videos of him because his message is powerful and in my opinion his message matches what God’s word says. He, like me, believes that the Bible teaches something that many churches fail to. He teaches that faith is not cheap. No where can you find in Jesus work that He requires nothing of us for salvation. If you read what He says when speaking to the crowds and even to His own disciples, he requires much. Faith requires action. This is often difficult for Christians who have been taught that when you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord that you inherit salvation. But where people fail, and I was subject to this failure for so long, is that we do not really know what it means to confess and believe.

First, the word in the Bible from the New Testament for believe and believer is pisteuo. It was used 209 times and means to believe, put one’s faith in, trust, with an implication that actions based on that trust may follow. (Strongs, 4409, p.1583). When the Bible speaks on being a believer, this is the word that is used. (For more on this word click here).

It is a tragic misfortune that is in this country today. That most evangelism teaches that faith and belief and salvation is cheap and easy and costless. And so many of us in this arena has been sold a half deal. The road is come one way. God has given everything for us and so we’ve said God thank you for that, I’ll take that. But the road has never gone back to heaven. Where we turn it around and we say, God because you have given everything to me, by God’s grace I’m gonna give everything to you. It’s a two way road! That’s what belief is. And that’s what the thief had. Because that belief men, is a true, final, daily walk with the holy spirit and a daily walking relationship with Jesus Christ.

Men we don’t need another christian pep talk today. That will fire you up to go out and live a better life for the next three weeks of your life. What we need men is what our president pleaded for when he committed our brave troops to Iraq. We need cardiac revolution. We need a change of leadership in our heart. That’s the issue tonight men! It’s who’s in the lead in your heart. Who’s in the lead in your heart. That’s what belief is. That’s where faith resides. Romans 10:9-10 said if we confess with our mouth that Jesus is lord (Lord means that your submissive. Lord means that you come to him on your knees saying, Jesus I will follow you with my life) That’s what confession is Lord means. And it says if you believe in your heart…So many of us believe in our head. James 2:19 says the demons believe and tremble. It’s not about acknowledging that God died on the cross. It’s talking about faith in our heart that changes your life. The only way I know how to describe this incredible form of belief is the words of Bob Morehead. Actually an American pastor but the words found their way across the ocean into a little tiny hut apparently of a young Zimbabwe paster. And this Zimbabwe paster who had heard those words took his knife, just before he was overrun…just before he was martyred for his faith…this young committed pastor who understood what it means to be a believer. He took his knife and carved these words in the door of his little hut before he was overrun and martyred for his faith.

He said “I am a proud part of the fellowship of the unashamed. I have the holy spirit’s power. The die has been cast. The decision has been made. I stepped across the line. I’m a disciple of his. I will not look back, let up, slow down, back up, or be still. I am done, I am finished with low living, side walking, smooth knees. Colorless dreams, tame visions, and dwarf goals. I no longer need preeminence prosperity, promotion, or applause and popularity. I do not have to be right, first, top, praised, recognized, regarded, or rewarded. I now live by faith, live in his power, lean on his presence, walk with patience, and labor with love. My face is set, my gate is fast, my goal is heaven, my road is narrow, my way is rough, my confainurs are few. My guide is reliable, my visions are clear. I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, turned back, diluted or delayed. I will no longer flench in the face of persecution, hesitate in the presence of my enemies, pander in the pool of popularity or meander in the maze of mediocrity. I will not give up, let up, shut up, until I have stayed up, stored up, paid up, prayed up, peaced up for the cause of Christ. I’m a disciple of Jesus! I will go until he comes. I will preach until all know. I will give until I drop. And He…when He comes for his own will have no problem recognizing me, my banner is clear!”

Is your banner clear tonight? It’s not about is He given his life for you. It’s all about are giving your life for him. It’s not about…is God on your side…He is! We were in a prison the other day and murderers and thieves and serial rapists and all were coming to Christ by the hundreds. It’s not about is He on your side…He is on your side! It’s all about are you on His side! It’s not about is his name written in your book. It’s all about is your name written in His book. It’s not about do you call yourself a Christian, men…It’s about does He call you a Christian. It’s not about do you have a file in your filing cabinet of your heart labled Jesus. It comes out every Sunday morning, and every maybe even Wednesday and every Easter and Christmas. It’s all about does he own the whole entire filing cabinet of your heart. Does He own it all? That’s what it is to give your life to Christ and experience what the Bible calls salvation.

Do you know him?

Do you know Him? It’s a marital term men. Do you know him? It’s a marital term…it’s intimacy. It’s a double relationship where one gives his life for the other and the other gives his life for the other.

Do you truly know Him? Will it be Mathew 7:21 where Jesus says on the last day many will come and say to me Lord Lord? It’s not a wide gate. He said it’s a narrow gate.


Word Study: What it Means to be a Believer

Believers

This word study is intended to be a guide on studying what the Bible says about Belief.  This will become a companion to several articles that I write when the topic of belief comes up.

When I began this study, it quickly became apparent to me what the Bible really means about belief.  I was brought up in the church believing that if I believed in Jesus that I was saved.  End of story.  Then I ran across this verse in the Bible:

“You believe that there is one God.  Good! Even the demons believe that–and shudder.” (James 2:19, NIV)

I wondered,  do I really know what belief means in the Biblical context?  What if I believe but that I have an incomplete faith?  What does that mean for me?  Well, I continued to read:

“You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless?  Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar?  You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend.  You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone.  In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction?  As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.  (James 2:20-26, NIV, emphasis added)

So when we read the words belief, believe, believed, believer, believers, believes, and believing, scripture uses the word Pisteuo most often (209 times to be exact).  It refers most often to believing by obeying Jesus teaching.  Consider Jesus’ own words when he was talking about Himself being the way to the Father:

Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.  (John, 14:12, NIV, emphasis added)

Belief, is incomplete unless you do as Jesus commanded.

Below is a list of the words used in the Bible for belief in its various forms.  First is the word in the original language, then the number corresponding to the Strong’s NIV Exhaustive Concordance (I will provide a reference later), Then the definition.

Hebrew (Old Testament References)

Aman (586):  To be faithful, be trustworthy, be established

Batah (1053):  To trust, rely on, put confidence in

Yare (3707):  To be afraid, be frightened; to revere, respect; to be awesome, be dreadful, be feared; to frighten, terrify, intimidate; in some contexts fear relates to terror and fright, in other contexts fear relates to honor, respect and awe.

Greek (New Testament References)

Hagios (41):  Holy (moral quality), consecrated ([ceremonially] acceptable to God).

Apeitheo (578):  To disobey, be disobedient

Apissteo (601):  To disbelieve, be faithless, unfaithful.  In some contexts unbelief has no implication of faithlessness or hardheartedness (Lk 24:11); in other contexts unbelief is a moral failure, not acting like a true follower (2Ti 2:13)

Apistos (603):  Unbelieving, lacking in trust, doubting; as a noun:  an unbeliever or outsider, one who does not believe the Gospel.

Pisteuo (4409):  To believe, put one’s faith in, turst, with an implication that actions based on that trust may follow.

Pistis (4411):  Faith, faithfulness, belief, trust, with an implication that actions based on that trust may follow; “the faith” often refers to the Christian system of belief and lifestyle.

Pistos (4412):  Faithful, trustworthy, reliable, believing.

This list shows the number corresponding to the words used for the variations of the word belief:

Word:  Belief

4411

Word:  Believe

578, 586, 601, 603, 1053, 4409, 4411, 4412

Word:  Believed

586, 4409

Word:  Believer

603, 3707, 4412

Word:  Believers

41, 4409, 4412

Additional Resources

Are we saved by faith alone, or do we need works, too?)