What I believe: Faith formation part 2

As I begin this blog, I thought it important to talk about what I believe, how I came to believe in these things and how we can get a grasp of truth in a world where truth is relative. This is a continuation of yesterday’s post.

Every adult has had to consciously examine the concept of God. Some seem yet undecided, while others are convinced there is no god. Then there are those of us who believe in a god, but whom that god is may vary from person to person. For example, there are various religious organizations that call themselves Christian: Protestant, Catholic, Jehovah’s Witness and Latter Day Saints. I believe there is a God, a very specific one, and the tenets I adhere to are in line with the Protestant version of Christianity. The best way to begin explaining these tenets are by using the scriptures of the New Testament, which address how one is to be right with God.

“For if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved…For ‘Anyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved’” (Romans 10:9-10,13).[1]

But what does it mean to be saved?

“The term ‘saved’ simply refers to the standing a believer has in Jesus Christ. With the guarantee of heaven, believers are ‘saved’ from eternal damnation in hell. All who are believers are sealed with the blood of Jesus Christ, and seen as righteous in the eyes of the Lord…’saved’ to be with God in heaven.”[2]

In the New Testament letter to the Corinthian church and in another to the Galatian church, the Apostle Paul explains that our salvation through Christ is made whole by His work on the cross and his subsequent resurrection. “When he was hung on the cross, he took upon himself the curse for our wrongdoing” (Gal. 3:13). But the cross isn’t enough. The resurrection seals the work. “And if Christ has not been raised, then your faith is useless, and you are still under condemnation for your sins” (1 Cor. 15:17).

Therefore, to make us right with God, He, himself, had to act on our behalf. This is because we cannot earn or work toward salvation or Godliness on our own. Jesus, himself, said, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one can come to the father, except through me” (John 14:6).

This is unique. Virtually all other religions require that one works toward their own salvation. As exemplified in The Christian Broadcasting Network DVD, “The Quest for God,” Gordon Robertson states about other major religions, “they’re all about, how can we as human beings perfect ourselves? How can we work to appoint where we can approach God?” He answers that in Christianity, “Jesus said, I’ll do it for you. I’ll come to you, you don’t have to come to me, I’ll come to you.”[3]

Another unique aspect of Christianity is that, as Brennan Manning puts it, “He is the only God man has ever heard of who loves sinners.” [4] Manning continues, stating that His love is acted out by an amazing grace.[5]

But what is grace? This and more tomorrow.

[1] The Holy Bible, New Living Translation

[2] Jennifer Devlin, “What does it mean to be Saved?” Christian Broadcasting Network, http://www.cbn.com/spirituallife/churchandministry/evangelism/Devlin_saved.aspx (accessed Feb. 12, 2013).

[3] Gordon Robertson, The Quest For God, DVD, Christian Broadcasting Network and The 700 Club, (Virginia Beach, VA: CBN, 2011).

[4] Brennan Manning, The Ragamuffin Gospel (Sisters, Or., Multnomah), 23

[5] Ibid. 39.

3 thoughts on “What I believe: Faith formation part 2

    1. jmdansville

      No. I respect them both, and have had friends that were both Mormon and Jehovah’s Witnesses throughout my life. Their beliefs about Jesus is blatantly counter to what I believe that I can’t call their views truly Christian. But this leads us to another question about grace…will we find Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses in Heaven? That’s one for another blog post.


  1. Pingback: What I believe part 2: More on faith formation | A Closer Look

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